Engagement with the Registrar of Political Parties on Political Party Funding and Subsequent Litigation- Judicial Review Case Number 14 of 2022: The State (On the Application of Malawi Law Society) v Registrar General (As Registrar of Political Parties).
On 20th July 2021, the MLS wrote the Registrar of Political Parties in terms of the Constitution [sections 37 and 12(1)(a) and (f)] as read with the LELPA [section 64(d)] and the Access to Information Act [section 15]. The MLS requested that he provides the MLS with information reflecting on the state of compliance with political party funding laws for the four major political parties in the country for the period 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2020. In the first letter, the MLS gave up to 5th August 2021 in line with the Access to Information Act. The MLS placed a reminder on 30th September, 2021 and gave 14 days. The MLS received no response from the Registrar. On 9th May, 2022 the MLS filed an application seeking permission of the Court to apply for judicial review of the decision of the Registrar to omit (or the failure of the Registrar in relation to exercise of public functions under the Political Parties Act, 2018) to supply to the MLS within 15 days or without undue delay thereafter information on political party funding as requested in the MLS’s letters dated 20th July, 2021 and 30th September, 2021. The case was registered as Judicial Review Case Number 14 of 2022: The State (On the Application of Malawi Law Society) v Registrar General (As Registrar of Political Parties). The court granted the permission by an order dated 19th May, 2022. The matter is still in court.