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Membership organization principally for political parties who are represented in the National Assembly

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Background

Political parties under the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) have been championing the review of the Political Parties (Registration and Regulation) Act since 2010. Through the years, CMD has held wide consultations with civil society organizations, faith based organizations, the media, traditional leaders and regional and district structures of political parties. CMD has also had numerous interactions with the Legal Affairs Committee of parliament.

Progress to Date

In August 2013, CMD came up with a Technical Working Group comprising a representative from the Ministry of Justice, representative from the Law Commission, the Law Society, the Registrar of Political Parties and the University of Malawi, Faculty of Law. The Technical Working Group came up with a draft bill that was further interrogated by different stakeholders including the political parties themselves, the Legal Affairs Committee, the civil society organization but also the Anti - Corruption Bureau and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

In January 2016, Secretaries General of political parties represented in the National Assembly reached a broad consensus on the content of the proposed bill. On the 21st of January the CMD presented the draft bill to His Excellency the State President, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika who is also President of the DPP. CMD then presented the draft bill to Rt. Hon. Chakwera, Leader of Opposition and President of the MCP; Hon. Atupele Muluzi, President of the UDF; Hon. Uladi Mussa, Acting President of the PP and Hon.Enock Chihana, President of AFORD. All these leaders pledged their support for the bill. CMD then formally presented the bill to the Ministry of Justice on the 22nd of January, 2016 through the office of the Solicitor General.

The Essence of the Bill

Political parties in CMD hold the view that this bill will go a long way in consolidating multiparty democracy through having political parties that are stronger, better regulated and playing the roles meant to be played by political parties. Apart from encouraging parties to become more vibrant and more relevant, the bill also proposes to enhance intra party democracy. Further, the bill proposes to encourage transparency and accountability of political parties, not only to their members, but to the general public. This transparency includes disclosure of private financing.

The Roadmap towards tabling of the Bill in the National Assembly

Political parties in CMD expected that the bill would be presented in the national assembly during the last Budget Sitting of Parliament. Noting that this did not happen, political parties sought to have an audience with the Honourable Minister of Justice, Samuel Tembenu, SC to discuss the prospects of the bill and the way forward. The meeting took place on the 23rd of August, at the Ministry of Justice. The following people were in attendance from the CMD delegation:

Party

Name

Designation

AFORD

Christopher Edward Ritchie

Secretary General

DPP

Grace Obama Chiumia

Deputy Secretary General

DPP

Charles Mhango

Director of Legal Affairs

MCP

Gustave Kaliwo

Secretary General

PP

Ibrahim Matola

Secretary General, Chair of CMD

UDF

Kandi Padambo

Secretary General

In   Attendance

   

CMD Secretariat

Daniel Dawa

Finance Manager

 

Kizito Tenthani

Executive Director

The Minister of Justice was accompanied by the Solicitor General, Dr. Janet Banda, SC, and Mr. Kelious Mlenga, Assistant Chief Legislative Council.

The Minister of Justice made a commitment that the Bill will be presented to the National Assembly at the next sitting of Parliament (scheduled for November, 2016). Towards that end, the following roadmap was agreed:

-          The Ministry of Justice will finalize processing the bill by the 2nd of September, 2016.

-          A joint meeting between CMD and the Minister of Justice is scheduled for the 8th of September for final clearance of the bill before the Minister takes the bill to the Cabinet sub -committee and full cabinet.

-          The bill is scheduled to be published by the 1st of October, 2016 in readiness for the tabling in the National Assembly.

Can Malawian political parties reconsider paid up membership as a way of fundaising? CMD-M conducted workshops  in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu with party leaders at district level to shed more light on the subject. 

It was discovered that Political Parties in Malawi raise their funds by organizing football matches, dinner dances and coffee mornings, but their main sources are donations from well wishers from inside and even outside of the parties.  Donor money, however, com...es with strings attached and difficult conditionalities.  The party leadership finds it hard to budget on donor money since they do not know how much they will be given that year.  Party members also don't have a sense of ownership of the paty because those who contribute towards the management of the party activities are the ones who are consedered as the real owners of the party.  Is it high time, therefore, political parties considered bringing back paid up membership?

Paid up membership is where every member of a political party is obliged to willingly pay a fixed amount of money or more to their parties.  This is a sign of commitment and it shows that they are in full support of the party's ideologies and manifestos.  Paid up membership makes it easier for parties to recognize their members and it conquers internal democracy in parties.  Members have a sense of ownership and they can ask for clarification on how finances are handled.

The idea has not recently received enough support because it was once misused during the one party system when people were forced to buy cards and were denied some of their rights in absence of the card.  People are therefore a bit unsure because they don't want to go back to such times.  There was also no accountability on how the money gained from the selling of the cards was being used.

However, with good personnel recruited and effective accountability mechanisms put in place,  this could be a solution to lack of funds in most political parties especially those out of government.  This money can be used during conventions and for campaigning.

DSC01206Under the mentorship program of the “Women’s Active Participation in Political Leadership and Decision- Making in political parties in Malawiproject funded by Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD), The Centre for Multiparty Democracy organized an exchange visit to Tanzania. The visit offered a refresher training to 2 representatives from each of the following parties: AFORD, DPP, MCP, PP and UDF. The training was from 13 to 15 July, 2016.

CMD solely organised the training for the women in politics in the two countries to share knowledge and experience on how political parties entrench women mentorship processes and how they have advocated for and promoted issues of women inclusion e.g. affirmative action and quota system. The training was also to participate in the organization and role of Women Wings and appreciate how the wings are set up, mobilized, engaged and related to the mother parties, to explore strategies of increasing women representation in Parliament and at council level, and to network and establish relationships with fellow women politicians.

Some of the lessons learnt from the exchange visit were that Tanzanias party ideologies are different from Malawis. Another lesson was that each and every party in Tanzania has seating Members of Parliament and Councillors. The women also learnt that women wings in Tanzania raise their funds by owning infrastructures which are rented out, selling out party materials rather than giving out for free as is the case in Malawi, village community banking, members of parliament making contributions in their parties and every party member is obliged to give a membership fee from the top to the grass root level.

Though Tanzania is advanced in most cases, some common challenges between the countries were that the women fail to contest for leadership positions due to weak financial base, lack of support from society and lack of confidence.

The two groups however came up with recommendations to strengthen the women wings. The first recommendation was that through the National Director of Women, the Malawian women in politics should form a task force that includes female MPs and all NEC members as well as mentors and mentees to have women circus within their parties. They also need to have cross party visits to all political parties to exchange ideas. On economic empowerment, the women recommended establishing Village Savings and Loans in their parties. It was also recommended that elected MPs should come in the open and advocate for gender issues.

TiyaINTRO: My name is Tiyamike Chakhaza Mkandawire. I am currently working as a Program Associate for the USAID Malawi Scholarship Program at World Learning since February 2014.        I am a young politician from Alliance for Democracy, AFORD.

EDUCATION: I obtained my MSCE from Lilongwe Girls Secondary School and I am a holder of a Bachelors Degree of Social Science from Chancellor College.

ROLE MODEL: Nelson Mandela

AMBITION: To become councillor and mayor. However, whether I hold high political positions or not, I will always make positive contributions to the nation through my political involvement.

INSPIRATION: Inspired by the selflessness of Nelson Mandela of South Africa who showed that his interest was to fight for the freedom of his people and not to promote his personal agenda through his involvement in politics, I decided to venture into politics in the year 2013 when I encountered an opportunity to join the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD). Malawi is underdeveloped and for the country to develop there is a need for Malawians who can rise up to selflessly serve. I believe that every human being regardless of tribe, gender, age or any other factor exists for a purpose and they ought to exit the world having made it a better place in some way.

NEXT 10 YEARS: I see myself having significantly and positively contributed to the actions and policies of the government of Malawi. I look forward to holding political positions that will enable me to more effectively make such contributions. In the short run, I would like to contribute to the development of a stronger youth wing for my party so that the youth are able to make better contributions to the effectiveness of the party as well as the development of the nation.

ADVICE: To the youth who are not in politics, first for those who feel they need to be actively involved in politics, is that they ought to take the step and join. Malawi awaits them and will not develop without them. For those who do not feel led to be actively involved in politics, I would advise them to support the young people who are involved in politics, with the understanding that every role of society has to be taken if we are to succeed as a nation.

ElizaINTRO: My name is Elizabeth Blessings Mukhuna. I am a business woman. I provide event management services e.g. decorations, wedding cakes and snacks. I also sell second hand clothes. I am a young politician from Malawi Congress Party, MCP.

EDUCATION: I obtained my MSCE from New Era Girls Secondary School. I also hold a diploma in Information Technology from National College of Information Technology

ROLE MODEL: My late grandfather Late J.T. Kumbweza Banda (former MP and Minister), my mother Ms Chimwemwe Kumbweza Banda who, although has not achieved her position as MP, is still active and encouraging fellow woman to participate in politics and Hon Juliana Lunguzi who is an MP and Hon Goodwin Mseka, Regional youth chairman as young politicians who are courageous.

AMBITION: To rise to the position as MP and support the party as a NEC member.

INSPIRATION: Growing up in a family with a strong political background, I felt the need to continue because our nation needs young women in politics as people see politics as a dirty game. I want to show other young women that we can participate in politics and make a change.

NEXT 10 YEARS: I see myself as an MP in but also a holder of a Masters Degree and a PhD.

ADVICE: Young women and youth need to take lead in politics to voice out and press for regulations for inclusiveness. Youth are the future leaders and need to start now.

 

Latest News

Written on 25/08/2016, 08:29 by ruth
cmd-ministry-of-justice-agree-on-a-roadmap-for-the-political-party-billBackground Political parties under the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) have been championing the review of the Political Parties (Registration and Regulation) Act since 2010. Through the years, CMD has held wide consultations with civil society organizations, faith based organizations, the media, traditional leaders and regional and district structures of political parties....
Written on 03/08/2016, 06:42 by ruth
paid-up-party-membership Can Malawian political parties reconsider paid up membership as a way of fundaising? CMD-M conducted workshops  in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu with party leaders at district level to shed more light on the subject.  It was discovered that Political Parties in Malawi raise their funds by organizing football matches, dinner dances and coffee mornings, but their main...
Written on 03/08/2016, 06:40 by ruth
tanzania-exchange-visit-women-in-politicsUnder the mentorship program of the “Women’s Active Participation in Political Leadership and Decision- Making in political parties in Malawi”project funded by Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD), The Centre for Multiparty Democracy organized an exchange visit to Tanzania. The visit offered a refresher training to 2 representatives from each of the following parties:...
Written on 18/07/2016, 09:33 by ruth
youth-in-politics-meet-tiyamike-mkandawireINTRO: My name is Tiyamike Chakhaza Mkandawire. I am currently working as a Program Associate for the USAID Malawi Scholarship Program at World Learning since February 2014.        I am a young politician from Alliance for Democracy, AFORD. EDUCATION: I obtained my MSCE from Lilongwe Girls Secondary School and I am a holder of a Bachelors Degree...
Written on 18/07/2016, 09:25 by ruth
youth-in-politics-meet-elizabeth-mukhunaINTRO: My name is Elizabeth Blessings Mukhuna. I am a business woman. I provide event management services e.g. decorations, wedding cakes and snacks. I also sell second hand clothes. I am a young politician from Malawi Congress Party, MCP. EDUCATION: I obtained my MSCE from New Era Girls Secondary School. I also hold a diploma in Information Technology from National College of...
Written on 18/07/2016, 08:51 by ruth
youth-in-politicsINTRO: My name is Mbiri Mulamba, I am a General Manager for Cedar Place. I also own a Catering Company and a Cosmetic Shop. I am a young politician for United Democratic Front, UDF. EDUCATION: I am a holder of GSCE from South End Secondary School, I obtained a Matric Certificate from South Africa, I have a diploma in Law from New College Nottingham, United Kingdom, and studying...
Written on 14/06/2016, 09:03 by ruth
cmd-dpid-partnershipThe Centre for Multiparty Democracy is in partnership with the SF and Venstre to implement a project that aims at strengthening youth involvement in political parties in Malawi. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the development of a political culture based on democratic dialogue in and between political parties, increasing inclusion of members and involvement...
Written on 13/04/2015, 08:39 by madamlava
stella-chauwa-a-youthful-parliamentarian-in-the-makingStella Chauwa, 28, is geared to tread in the land where even men think twice before they pluck courage to tread. She wants to join frontline politics and become a parliamentarian. Her dream is not without cause. “I got inspired by my grandfather who was once a parliamentarian and cabinet minister during Dr. Kamuzu Banda era, and my aunt who was also Member of Parliament,” explains...
Written on 13/04/2015, 08:27 by madamlava
cross-party-local-governance-initiative-information-sharing-meeting-with-dec-dpds-and-finance-personnelOn the 1st of April, 2015, CMD organised a one day information sharing meeting in Mangochi as a way of providing updates on the status and progress of the project, share experiences, challenges and lessons from the collaboration with PPFs and mapping the way forward for the project into the next quarter. In his opening remarks, the Program Manager for CMD, Dr Gerard Chigona...

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