Opposition political parties have hailed the remaining credible civil society organisations (CSOs) in the country who have taken the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to task to refund all the money it received from parastatals and city councils during its fundraising dinner called Blue Night on July 29 2017 and to desist from abusing power.
During a news conference in Lilongwe on Thursday, where they tackled a number of critical issues on Malawi situation, the parties commended the five CSOs—Youth and Society (YAS), Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), Livingstonia Synod Church and Society Programme, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC)—through lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa in Mzuzu for taking to task DPP.
Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM) president Mark Katsonga Phiri said the CSOs demonstrated patriotism by pushing DPP to pay back State enterprises.
“The CSOs should be commended for demonstrating patriotism. As opposition, we were equally not amused with abuse of public funds by DPP,” Katsonga said.
Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Lazarous Chakwera said the parties will support the CSOs to ensure that public money is safeguarded that they will push for enactment if the Political Parties Bill.
If passed into a law, the Bill will among other things outlaw handouts, deregister political parties that do not win in elections or hold conventions, impose fines on people that belong to more than one political party and also impose fines on political parties that do not declare donations.
The Bill proposes that the Auditor General audits the financial records of any political party that receives State funds, saying that when Parliament dissolves, political parties should close the party’s books and records of account.
“Subject to the Public Audit Act and the Public Finance Management Act, the minister responsible for finance may issue written instructions for the better control and efficient management of funds provided to political parties under this Act,” reads the Bill.
The Bill also empowers the Secretary to the Treasury to surcharge the amount of any expenditure disallowed on the party and any sum which has not been duly brought into account on the party.
Chakwera said the party is good as its intention is to bring sanity in the way the parties go about their business.
Besides refunding the money, the CSOs also demand that the ruling DPP should furnish the public with a list of all public/statutory corporations that made the donations and amounts donated.
They argue that DPP’s conduct amounts to misuse and abuse of public resources contrary to Malawi’s legal framework and that, as a ruling party, it owes Malawians a duty to inform them how it uses public resources.
Malawi Law Society (MLS) joined the condemnation of donations to the governing DPP by State enterprises and demanded a refund to the agencies.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :