Recently, one of the country’s political commentators Dr Henry Chingaipe suggested government that should put a law that will force political parties to disclose their sources of funding as one way of ensuring transparency and accountability.
If one was to put Chingaipe’s remarks under the microscope, one tends to agree with him that indeed that political parties owes Malawians a disclosure of their sources of funding; especially after considering numerous corruption related stories that associated with political parties that are in government.
It is surprising that it is only when a political party is ushered in government that it is able to acquire a new fleet of vehicles yet it was almost bankrupt prior to the elections.
Likewise some individuals from the said parties have also become rich overnight a development which indeed raises many questions than answers as how they acquired such worth.
Dr Chingaipe said the problem that we have in Malawi is that most political parties are funded by individuals a thing which makes it difficult for other people to challenge them.
Just as political parties, civil society organization leaders demand government to be accountable and transparent on how it uses public resources, they (political parties) too must be accountable in disclosing their sources of funding and how such funds are funds.
In 2009 the late President of National Salvation Front (NASAF) James Nyondo funded several independent aspirant Member of Parliament who were failing to raise money amounting to MK100,000 to pay to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) a development which also raised many questiosn on where he got that money and the motive behind his financial support.
Political leaders do not disclose their sources of funding apart from the nauseating answer that their parties are funded by well-wishers without necessarily disclosing who these well-wishers are.
Their followers have the right to know how the affairs of their parties are run especially the issues of finance and democracy gives people the right to have a say as to who should hold power and how it should be used as such the parties must be accountable and transparent on how they handle the issues to do with finance.