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Parliament adopts motion on political party financing

Malawi Parliament has adopted and passed a private members motion that proposes operationalization of Section 40 (2) of the Constitution on political party funding, which had no legal framework regulations. 

Member of Parliament for Zomba Ntonya, Nedson Phoya, introduced the motion where the provision in the Constitution shall now be regulating the administration of political party funding, and other matters incidental thereto if the bill is enacted. 

Currently, the Constitution targets political parties that amassed at least 10 percent of the votes during general elections.

 “We want every party represented in parliament to benefit from the funds,” he said. 

Phoya said section 40 subsection 2 of the Constitution does not provide regulations on how to operationize the legislation hence to enact an amendment. 

He gave an example that the funds will come from public coffers’ consolidated funds that should be accounted for by looking into how they have used it. 

“Are they being audited? This is another major issue that is going to be included minus an element of getting 10% of national vote during general elections which shall be removed so that every party gets a proportion of the funds,” explained Phoya. 

Phoya told the August House that this scheme will help to phase out corruption activities that policitians have been attempted with from business tycoons who have had interest doing business with government. 

He added: “When a certain political party gets into power, these political donors or funders becomes investors. So, we need to deal with such things.”

He however pointed that money for political parties already exists as stipulated by law, only it was diverted because of lack of legal framework regulations.

The bill is expected to go through scrutiny together with section 21 of the political parties act. 

Seconding the motion, MP for Nkhatabay South East Noah Chimpeni explains that this bill will fade out issues of corruption between business gurus who funds political parties in favours of business opportunities when they get into power. 

DPP Spokesperson Ralph Jooma has expressed the need for political parties to fully take into account the funds that shall be disbursed through this scheme.

Speaking on behalf of UDF, Lilian Patel from Mangochi South supported the bill, saying today things aren’t the same and it is important for the democracy they fought for.

For MCP, Leader of the house Richard Chimwendo Banda expressed gratitude over the bill that it will really foster the country’s democratic principles.

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