As the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is set to go to convention between October and November to elect its 2014 presidential torchbearer, those who are interested to contest for the partyâ€™s top post must be ready to raise funds for their own campaign, the party has said.
Political analysts have, however, said funding for DPP presidential candidateâ€™s campaign is the entire responsibility of the party, fearing that the partyâ€™s stance would block some aspirants with weak financial standing from competing for the post at the indaba.
So far, only late president Bingu wa Mutharikaâ€™s brother, Peter, has come out and gone full-swing mobilising support for his 2014 presidential bid at the convention.
In an interview on Monday, DPP secretary general Elias Wakuda Kamanga said while the party will provide material and some financial support for campaign, whoever is elected 2014 DPP candidate must have capacity to raise the rest of the resources for the presidential race.
â€œThat is a big position and interest to contest for it must be a drive from the person. It goes along with capacity to do certain things. The person must have capacity to raise resources for campaign.
â€œHe must be able to generate funds for the presidential race because he will be the first person to go out to look for money for campaign. The party will always be there materially and financially, but the individual must get additional resources for campaign,â€ said Kamanga.
He said it was not irregular to demand that aspirants for the presidential post contribute funds for their own campaign despite being endorsed to represent the party in the presidential race.
â€œWe wouldnâ€™t really just say that letâ€™s go we will carter for whatever, then the person is not a material enough for the candidacy. The party will support whoever wins, but while the party supports him, he should also raise funds for his own campaign,â€ said Kamanga.
Chancellor College political analyst Mustapha Hussein on Thursday said political parties are expected to fully fund campaigns for their presidential candidates.
â€œNormally, a person who runs or contests on a ticket of a party is supposed to be supported by the party. It is a bit abnormal for somebody who is the partyâ€™s presidential candidate to fund their own campaign as he could be seen to be an independent candidate.
â€œIt is expected that the party should fully support the candidate because he represents the party and thatâ€™s the essence of belonging to the party,â€ said Hussein.
On how the partyâ€™s stance would affect democracy in DPP, he said: â€œWe all know what is happening in DPP. It could be a way of discouraging other contestants and advancing the interests of a particular individual.â€
Efforts to get Peterâ€™s comment as acting DPP president on the matter and whether he has money to sponsor his own campaign proved futile as he did not pick up our phone calls several times. His personal assistant Ben Phiri could also not be reached for comment.
Peter has, however, so far conducted several rallies in all the regions including the North where he recently apologised for the deaths of 20 people in a police crackdown against July 20 demonstrators in 2011.
But Kamanga said they are assured that Peter has capacity to fund his own campaign, adding they are still waiting for other aspirants to express interest to challenge him at the convention which is only about two months away.
â€œSo far, nobody else has expressed interest, but we are still waiting. The drive must start with the person, thatâ€™s the position of the party.
â€œDemocracy is not about numbers, but the views of the people. It does not become democracy because there is more than one person vying for the position.