The Attorney General (AG) has asked the Supreme Court of Appeal to suspend the execution of the High Court ruling made November 2 2018 by Judge John Chirwa which gave the registrar of political parties seven days to register UTM as a party effective September 21, 2018.
The appeal to Supreme Court follows another determination by Judge Chirwa to throw out an application by the Attorney General and the registrar of political parties to put aside the court’s earlier order to register the movement as a political party within seven days.
He cited that there were no good grounds in support of the application and also delisted hearing of the appeal case that was scheduled for November 13.
Through senior State advocate in the Attorney General’s (AG) Chambers Neverson Chisiza, the State is praying that the Supreme Court order to register register the movement which is promoting Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s presidential ticket in the May 21 Tripartite Elections — be suspended pending the determination of the appeal..
In arguments filed at the Supreme Court of Appeal, the State says if the High Court order is enforced by having UTM registered as a political party, the pursuit of the appeal will be rendered “nugatory, pointless and otiose.”
The State has cited legal authorities which include the the case of J.Z.U Tembo v. Gwanda Chakuamba MSCA Civil Cause No. 230 of 2001 in which Justice Tambala stated that: “I must now consider the legal principles which guide a court whenconsidering an application for stay of execution pending appeal. The general rule is that the Court does not make a practice of depriving asuccessful litigant of the fruits of his litigation. However, the Court will grant stay pending execution of judgment or order when it is satisfied that there are good reasons for doing so. A Court would also order stay of execution pending appeal where it is satisfied that failure to order a stay would render the appeal nugatory.”
The State is arguing the Judge Chirwa’s determination on the matter was erroneous.
The judge said the decision was “unreasonable and unjustifiable”.
But the State, among other grounds, argue that the judge misdirected himself at law and fact in finding that the registrar of political parties, in exercising his statutory duties, should have restricted himself to what was presented to him and ignore what was in public domain.
In September, deputy registrar of political parties Chikumbutso Namelo wrote UTM following its application for registration, claiming the movement’s use of the abbreviation instead of full name was a deliberate scheme to mislead the registrar as there was already another registered political party with a similar sounding name.
The deputy registrar was apparently referring to United Transformation Party registered by businessperson Newton Kambala, who earlier announced his partnership with UTM though he is yet to deregister his party.
In his challenge against the registrar’s decision, lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta, representing the Vice-President, argued that the registrar erred in law and fact in holding that the name UTM closely resembles that of another political party known as the UTP.
He also argued that the registrar erred in not considering the documents UTM presented before him such as the manifesto and constitution and instead only used information from the public domain.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :