United Transformation Movement (UTM) has been granted permission to apply for judicial review in the matter which Blantyre City Council (BCC) refused to grant the movement permission to hold a rally at Nyambadwe Primary School ground because it is not registered.
UTM national chairman Noel Masangwi said the grouping—led by the country’s Vice-President Saulos Chilima who broke ranks with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and declared he will challenge President Peter Mutharika in the presidential race in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections— had sought court relief on the matter.
He said lawyer Micheal Goba Chipeta lodged to court application to apply for Judicial Review for a quashing order and declaratory order in respect of Blantyre City Council decision blockihg the UTM to hold the rally in Ndirande Township.
The High Court has since granted permission to apply for Judicial Review and ordered that the City Council cannot block UTM from holding the rally unless it asks the court to vary or discharge the order.
According to Miscellaneous Civil Cause Number 47 of 2018, UTM through its lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta, obtained an order before Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda to apply for a judicial review of the decision by Registrar of Political Parties to reject the movement’s application for registration.
Reads in part the order: “This grant of permission to commence judicial review proceedings against the respondent operates as a stay order on the decision of the respondent [BCC] under order 53, rule 3(10) (b) of RSC [Rules of the Supreme Court].”
The court has further ordered the applicant to file originating motion for judicial review within seven days from on Friday.
Meanwhile, Chilima on Friday travelled from Lilongwe to Blantyre and having stop-over meetings along the way and reiterated his stance against corruption saying he will not shield anyone when UTM takes over government next year.
The second citizen said UTM is serious and will field candidates in all positions including ward councilors and members of Parliament in 2019 tripartite elections.
UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati said she was delighted with the high turnout of people long the way, saying it shows people’s trust for Chilima.
In the letter dated September 27 2018 addressed to UTM national chairperson Noel Masangwi and signed by the council’s director of administrative services Lytton Nkata on behalf of BCC chief executive officer Alfred Chanza, he said the movement could not be granted permission to proceed with the rally because it is not a registered political party.
The BCC response came barely a day after it emerged that the Registrar of Political Parties had rejected the movement’s application to register as a party for allegedly flouting the law by seeking to register using its abbreviation UTM instead of the full name ‘United Transformation Movement’.
In a letter to UTM following its application, Deputy Registrar of Political Parties Chikumbutso Namelo said the use of the abbreviation instead of the full name was a deliberate scheme to mislead the registrar because there is another registered political party with a similar sounding name.
The deputy registrar was apparently referring to United Transformation Party (UTP) registered by businessperson Newton Kambala who earlier announced his partnership with UTM at the movement’s rallies but has not committed to deregistering his party.
In 2003, three men Chikumbutso Mtumodzi, Thom Chiumia and Ken Ndanga unsuccessfully thwarted attempts by Brown Mpinganjira to register his National Democratic Alliance (NDA) when they registered a political party in the same name then later changed it to New Dawn for Africa in another attempt to stop the registration after the High Court intervened.
In 2011, People’s Party (PP) started by the country’s then vice-president Joyce Banda also had trouble registering the party when the Registrar of Political Parties rejected the application on the grounds that the abbreviation was too similar to that of People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) and Maravi People’s Party (MPP).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :