Petra, Mafunde, PPM and Maravi are ‘briefcase’ parties -survey

A prominent governance body,  Centre for Multiparty Democracy’s (CDM), survey report which took place between November last year and August this year, has revealed Alliance for Democracy (Aford), Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde), People’s Transformation Party (Petra), People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) and Maravi People’s Party (MPP) have no traceable structures.

The survey results, according to Daily Times newspaper, also indicated that ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) are the only three political parties with functional structures in the country.

The survey was conducted in three districts of Mzimba in the north, Dowa in the centre and Zomba in the south.

“It was, however, not possible to track all the parties at the four levels in all the three districts where fieldwork was carried out. Of all the eight parties, it was only DPP, MCP and UDF that had somewhat functional structures at [national], regional, district and local levels,” the paper quoted the  report, entitled Benchmarking Core Capacities of Political Parties in Malawi.

Kamuzu Chibambo: Leader of Petra

“The economic environment is less conducive for parties in opposition because of the predominance of state in economic activities. The private sector exists but it is very small and essentially dependent on the state for its survival,” the report noted.

Meanwhile, the paper also reported that the “briefcase parties” protested the survey results.

Petra Administrative Secretary Drake Chithambo was quoted saying: “The results are not a true reflection of what is happening on the ground.”

MDP ‘life’ president Kamlepo Kalua said:”How would they compare parties that enjoy state funding with ours which depends on our own resources? If anything, the survey should have scrutinised if the funds that such parties receive are used prudently.”

Daily Times also quoted PPM spokesman Redson Munlo who said “the coverage of the study was not broad enough.”

Aford and Maravi parties also claimed they had functional structures.

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