Analysts welcome UTM party registration: ‘CSOs calling on SKC’s resignation as Malawi veep are double-faced’

Governance experts and analysts have reacted to the ruling by the High Court in Blantyre that  Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s  movement be dully registered as a political party by  Registrar of Political Parties using its abbreviation of ‘UTM’ instead of the full name United Transformation Movement (UTM).

UTM secretary general Kaliati with supporters at the High Court after ruling that the movement be dully registered as a political party

Chilima had dragged the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties to court for rejecting to register UTM.

According to court judgement, UTM is technically registered as the Judge ordered that the registration process goes back to September 21 2019 when the movement made that application.

Reacting to the court order, legal expert Sunduzwayo Madise said the decision of the judge in the matter was “expected.”

He said: “That the Registrar has been slapped with  [legal] costs is not unexpected too. Only sad thing is it will be our tax money that pay for this circus.”

Governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali  agreed with Madise  that the Registrar of Political Parties’ reasons were not sufficient enough to block registration of the new party and described the court ruling as “victory for democracy.”

“The outcome of the ruling is not surprising if precedence in case law is anything to go by. It’s sad that our public institutions continue to be politicised by those in the ruling party,” Munthali told Nyasa Times.

“The ruling is victory for democracy, and sends a strong message to those in power that justice shall always prevail even in the context of state-orchestrated  attempts to stand in its way,” he said.

Munthali said politically, the ruling has only managed in validating the claims by some stakeholders that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government is afraid of UTM, and that UTM is a force to reckon with in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati who was at the court on Friday said the new party had shaken the foundation of other parties and powerful people in government were using underhand tactics to frustrate it.

Meanwhile, UTM prepares to hold its first elective convention which was initially scheduled for November 9 2018, but has since been postponed to an unspecified date.

Chilima is seeking a democratic process to be picked as UTM torchbearer   and is set to challenge President Peter Mutharika for presidency next year.

In a related development, an influential newspaper columnist has said the call by some government-sponsored civil society groups for Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC) to resign as State Vice-President because he formed UTM which is fighting for the presidency lacks merits.

Steve Nhlane in his column published by the leading Nation publications pointed out that, the argument is one-sided and the CSOs are themselves double-faced and lack the moral higher ground to champion such a cause.

“To start with, the position of Vice-President is an elected one just like the State Presidency. SKC was elected by Malawians as Vice-President together with APM. That is why once in office the State President cannot dismiss him.  This is because the position of Vice-President is ring fenced by the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. And like APM, apart from voluntary resignation, incapacitation and death only Parliament—through impeachment—can the Vice-Presidency fall vacant.

“If SKC is of the view that he is better placed to contribute towards the development of the country as Vice-President or as President and as opposed to outside it, and that he stands a better chance to ascend to the presidency in his current position then, he should stay put. Besides, if the Presidency was to fall vacant now, Constitutional order would require that SKC and nobody else takes over. Voices against him maintaining his position as VP are just political,” the columnist wrote.

He also cites  precedents when former vice-president Justin Malewezi was contesting for the presidency against Bakili Muluzi’s  handpicked successor Bingu wa Mutharika, Malewezi did not resign as Vice-President.

“The Constitution allowed him to remain Vice-President. When former president Bingu wa Mutharika resigned from the governing United Democratic Front (UDF) in 2005 the party on whose ticket he became president and formed his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), he did not resign as State President of Malawi.

“Additionally, when former president Joyce Banda was expelled from the governing DPP and formed the Peoples’ Party (PP) in 2011 she remained the State vice-president even if she was excluded from Cabinet meetings. The framers of the Republican Constitution must have envisaged a situation where a vice-president would fall from grace with the ruling party and State President and sometimes on flimsy or political reasons and not for the benefit of Malawians. That is why they ensured the Vice-Presidency is protected by the Constitution,” reads the column.

He tipped the Fyson Chonzi led groups who are known to be sponsored by government that if they are serious on issues of accountability and good governance, before calling on Chilima to resign as Vice-President, they should also be asking President Mutharika to do the same “for betrayal of the people’s trust.”

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mtete
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mtete

I personally don’t mind if MCP or UTM wins May 2019. Anything but APM and his DPP, together with his fellow matchona, is most welcome. These dudes have done enough harm to the nation through stealing, plunderering, corruption, nepotism and everything that is bad governance. If, by hook and crook they sneak into government, they will definitely have a tough time by the combined onslaught of MCP and UTM who, whether one likes it or not, will win a sizeable number of MPs

Nyutinemu
Guest
Nyutinemu

Its Kugawana Zida type of politics going around…Its Mwana Pumbwa vs Son Pumbwa…..mukubayana nokhanokha……vulazanani……after all for me DPP and UTM ndi anthu amodzi..and many pipo believe this as well……Team A and Team B from 2014 general elections

Tizanka
Guest
Tizanka

Chipani cha a Tumbuka

my beloved malawi
Guest
my beloved malawi

so this means taxpayers money will be paid again for the silly decision one man calling himself registrar made!!! oooh my malawi were r we going!! instead of the money saving the common good it wil paid to party to cover legal costs!!! God is watching how much were suffering……one day a way wil b found……public officers shud b punished for costing hard earned tax payers money just like dat…..this wil help send a signal on how pple shud b operating

Patrick Mbewe
Guest
Patrick Mbewe

Apumbwa inu ngati simukudziwa, UTM has postponed it’s convention waiting for some big fish to defect from DPP. They can’t defect now coz of ntchito while others are yet to finish gathering corruption information , akufuna akamalowa UTM ma file ali mmanja. Mukhaula

Napoleon Muza
Guest

Che patiliki Mbewe, , which defection. All disgruntled like you are not there. What type of the party will it be with all disgruntled people. Wait and see what will happen after your so called convention to come, then you will know what am talking about, as of now your understanding is myopic.

LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGOLONGOLIWA
Guest
LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGOLONGOLIWA

Let’s all be honest here. None of us can resign from that previlaged position given on a silver platter. Let’s stop being hypocrites! Ine ndineneletu. I wouldnt resign. I will need free pension free housing free police guard free…After retiring. You think a sane person would lose that to please the few that are baying for his resignation? Azikadya pakhomo panu? Nanga Mary akatchenetsa ndi ndalama zitizo?

Makosana nkhani ya resignation itayeni

Banda
Guest

The constitution of Malawi should be changed to allow the President to appoint or fire a vice-president otherwise wise every 5years we will be having a new Political party.

Atate
Guest
Atate

That is not the solution. Are you telling me that all the vice presidents we have had in Malawi are bad? There is abuse of power somewhere. In fact the constitution should stipulate the rightful duties of the vice president then things can work.

LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGOLONGOLIWA
Guest
LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGOLONGOLIWA

Even after amending the constitution the fired VP will still forn another party. Just improve intra party politics. Eliminate politics of patronage and loyalty. The VP must be loyal to the Presidency (Throne) and not the President. That means if the president does something wrong the VP should refuse to toe the line because it’s against the Presidency. The opposite is also true.

kennzo
Guest
kennzo

How ignorant or stupid are those following DPP? Can’t they see the fact that the curt made it clear? Why didn’t malewezi, Joyce and bingu resign?? It is now clear that these little gymies are afraid of skc. It is just sad to see some Malawians are still asleep and bale, wake up guys don’t defend fools with the aim of getting money, you’re killing our future.

Duli
Guest
Duli

You are so intellectually challenged. Was Bingu ever Veep of Malawi?

Bob
Guest
Bob

He dumped the party that put him in power. That’s what he is pointing out.

Kanyimbi
Guest
Kanyimbi

If he resigns Chilima wont be able to truck the corruptions & other dubious deals Apumbwa of DPP shall be doing lastly the Chonzi team are trying to cut Chilima from monitoring their Apumbwa govt. “Amati ukakhala ndi wako kumphika, umaledzera ndiolawa”

Tsogolo Langa
Guest
Tsogolo Langa

Justice has prevailed ! 🔥🔥🔥🔥 now it’s going to be all hands on deck……unstoppable UTM with SKC we will have fun at Kuwala Night💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

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