A parliamentary candidate in Mulanje Central Constituency Dr Michael Usi has asked the government to swiftly operationalise the Political Parties Act which President Peter Mutharika assented to early this year in a bid to end the culture of handouts.
Social-economic activist, comedian and play writer famously known as ‘Manganya’ said the culture of handouts is destroying the spirit of self -reliance.
“Parliament passed the law some seven months ago but it is suspicious that the government is not operationalising it,” said Usi.
The law, among others, outlaws handouts for political reasons.
Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) executive director Kizito Tenthani said his organisation, mandated to operationalise the Act, said it is waiting the written consent from the Ministry of Justice to operationalise the law.
Minister of Justice an Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said government is committed to ensuring that provisions in the Act are used in the ongoing electoral cycle as that was the purpose of passing the Bill last November.
The minister also said he would invite political parties and some parliamentary committees to develop regulations because there are certain rules that must be promulgated before the Act can come into force.
The new law will among others, regulate political party financing and ban handouts before and during the electoral cycle.
Tenthani said the new Act will level the playing field in politics.
He said: “We believe that if the law comes into effect before the elections period then political parties ought to comply to it to ensure the elections are free and fair.
“It is a law that guides the registration and regulation of political parties and how they should behave as players in our democracy.”
The new Act also compels political parties to disclose to the registrar of political parties sources of their funding and donations exceeding K1 million from individuals; or those exceeding K2 million from companies.
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