district leaders 

Chikondi Manjawira

Centre for Multiparty Democracy-CMD has on Wednesday accentuated that only when  political party leaders at district level fully understand the newly enacted Political Parties (Act) Law, Politics in Malawi will be admirable full of peace and respect.

CMD Executive Director, KizitoTenthani made the remarks in Blantyre where representatives from various political parties at district level were being  oriented on what constitutes the Law, the dos and don’ts of political parties when running their daily endeavors.

Speaking in an interview with Maravipost, Tenthani said that his organization aims at disseminating information and educating the public about the newly enacted political parties Act (Law) because not many are in the know of the issues available in the act.

“Our aim is to ensure that we take the new political parties act (Law) to the district structures of political parties with an aim of expounding and giving them details of what the new law is all about but also specifically how they as leaders of political parties at district level will be affected by the law.  We want people from political parties to know how the act affects them as political leaders at district level, ” said Tenthani.

Tenthani further highlighted some of the major issues in the Act which include, the registration of political parties where each political party is required to have 100members per district to enable it registered, the party to have its members registered to keep them in a designated register and handouts. He however did not forget to tackle on the issue based politics.

“The other interesting issue is that of handouts, we want district political leaders to know what constitutes handouts and what does not but also how they can protect themselves so that they do not offend the law. We wanted the district leaders to know their role so that they can be putting this law into context and understand the role they are expected to play as politicians at district level,” added Tenthani.

One of the participants at the training was Brighton Naphepa, Phalombe District Youth Director for United Democratic Front-UDF. Naphepa said that the training was of much significant because they (District Party Governors/Chairpersons) interact with the people in the villages who do not really understand politics.

“CMD is equipping us with knowledge on the new political parties Act and we will pass the knowledge on to the people in the districts for the betterment of the way political parties manage the politics. We have also been taught on the importance of issue based politics which in turn promote peace and order in political circles,” said Naphepa.

The new Political Parties Act came into effect on 1st December, 2018 by the Minister of justice. Political parties will be given 12months from the day of effect, for them to comply with the registration requirement and that they equip themselves with the requirements of the law in as far as operation of political parties is concerned.

According to the new Political Parties Act, handouts is a very private good/s that are given to people as private enticement to make them vote for the particular party or for a particular candidate. Party materials such as flags, t-shirts, cloth are not part of handouts so as unpublicized  religious obligations or donations or if one gives out resources for party functions.

The meeting attracted district representatives from UDF, PP, DPP, MCP and AFFORD from the districts of Mwanza, Neno, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu and Phalombe.