Government is yet to implement the Political Parties Act, seven months after it was passed into law and just eight months before the 2019 election, raising fears that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government might not operationalize it.
Political scientist Augustine Magolowondo said it was imperative for the government to implement the law, saying it is one of the great pillars of the forthcoming general elections.
“The implementation of the law would ensure a credible election. There is need to curb this culture of political handouts,” he said.
Among others, the law regulates how politicians should give handouts to the electorate in order to stop the voters being enticed with handouts instead of issues as well as the law would force all political parties to disclose their donors.
Magolowondo said the failure to implement the law poses a challenge to the holding of free and fair election in 2019.
But Kizito Tenthani, executive director of Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) who will be implementing the law said the government will roll out the law soon but did not disclose the exact date.
He said the delays to roll out the law was because the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs wanted to ensure that all political parties were aware of the new law and the office of the Registrar General was well prepared before the implementation of the law.
The debate on the law started way back in 1993.