Malawi should establish a political party funding regulatory body which should look at the main sources of funding for political parties and the rules applying to their use, Patrick Zeus Phambala, a Lilongwe-based political and social commentator, has proposed.
Malawi parties are mainly financed by “well-wishers” who happen to enjoy government business – mostly dubiously – or those that seek opportunity to do business with the State.
In the worse corruption scandal called cashgate, the courts in the country have heard that the scheme was raising money for the then ruling People’s Party.
There have also been cases record of wrongful-fundraising for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF).
The money raised have been channelled to party leaders who controls and uses the same to wield power.
However, Phambala said the regulator would widen public interest in the running and overall ownership of parties.
According to Phambala, unregulated party funding is a major contributor to individual ownership of parties and is responsible for the “demigods” in political parties.
“ In Europe, no party founders have a right to claim ownership or exercise monopoly in positions of the policy-making process.
“ In most European countries, parties are mandated to observe their funding principles and orientations, are not allowed to accept anonymous donations, let alone donations exceeding a certain amount per year,” stated Phambala as quoted in the press.
He then observes that parties formed on ethnicities fall victim to the founder syndrome.