UTM denied permission to hold rally in Ndirande: Council says Malawi VP Chilima’s movement not registered

Blantyre City Council (BCC) has denied permission to United Transformation Movement (UTM) to hold a public rally at Nyambadwe Primary School ground in Ndirande which was planned for Saturday.

Chilima  (R)and Masangwi: Another hurdel

The movement—which is 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—  was scheduled to hold the rally in the squatter township of Ndirande to continue its mobilisation ahead of the election.

BCC Director of administration Lytton Nkata on behalf of  chief executive officer Alfred Chanza,  could not grant the UTM a go ahead for the rally because it has learnt that the Registrar of Political Parties’ has rejected of its application to register as a party.

“We regret to inform you that permission is hereby not granted  for the United Transformation Movement (UTM) to hold the rally on the ground that it has come to the Council’s knowledge that you are not registered asa apolitical party,” reads the letter from BCC to UTM’s national chairman Noel Masangwi.

As you are aware, Section 17 (2) of the Political Parties (Registration and Regulations) Act prohibits any political party or any combination that is not registered from electioneering or authorising any person to act on its behalf in connection with an election in which political parties contest,” reads the letter in part.

But observers said the decision to stop the rally could be infringing on Article 38 of the Malawi Constitution which is the supreme law of the land, which talks of freedom of assembly.

Deputy Registrar of Political Parties Chikumbutso Namelo  said in a letter dated September 21 2018 addressed to Ritz Attorneys, the law firm representing UTM, warned the movement that electioneering when it is not registered is an offence under the Political Parties Act. The offence is liable to a fine of K2 000.

Electioneering, according to the Section 17 of the Political Parties Act, is not allowed unless a political party or “combination of persons” is registered.

BCC  letter signed by Nkata said they have “evidence” which show that UTM has been holding similar rallies in the recebt past which were electioneering and it is likely that the intention of holding a rally at Nyambadwe groun is to continue electioneering while the UTM remains unregistered thereby knowingly committing an offence.

UTM spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga said they will seek court relief.

He said UTM is determined to go ahead and hold rallies across the country .

This is not the first time that a new political party challenging the status quo of a governing party has been in trouble with the Registrar of Political Parties.

In 2003, three men Chikumbutso Mtumodzi, Thom Chiumia and Ken Ndanga  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 maintaining same acrynom NDA after the High Court  battle.

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)

Meanwhile, UTM interim secretary general Patricia Kaliati said in the movement would respect the registrar’s decision and respond within the given 21 days.

She said the party would proceed with the convention slated for November 9 2018.

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Kandulu
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Kandulu

Don’t give up Chilima. The devil will not succeed. God is with you all the way. People are suffering in Malawi. Fight for mother Malawi. People need you. DDP is afraid of you. They fear you. With or without a party, whether one wants it or not, your name will appear on the ballot paper. They are giving you a huge morale by their harassent and oppression.

Cinderella
Guest
Cinderella

SKC don’t you worry , if tikutakata pa ground , when these fools wake up they will not know what hit them

Mato
Guest
Mato

ma publlic servants like better be professional tha getting used…boma litha kusintha mutha kuzamva pheini..free advice

Malawi
Guest
Malawi

Kuopa ndende. These guys they prefer fellow corrupt gangs. They know SKC means business. Once he takes power next year onsewa athera mndende.

They are just protecting their back side. The pattern indicates the BCC favours DPP.

Are they not the ones who authorised the cadets to hold their demos parallel to CSO.

We are not fools.

You can help your DPP but know the people have the vote.

Thanks for the publicity.

mkandawire
Guest
mkandawire

if ppl are failing to folow simple proces of registering a political party,zinazi adzazitha?

Mkaika
Guest
Mkaika

Why not just use SKC party akakufunsani tanthauzo just say Sololani Kenako Chokani or Saulosi Kaliati Calister or Sapita Kawiri n’Chibwana… Etc

truth pains
Guest
truth pains

mkaika, this is wise thinking i am impressed

faith
Guest
faith

weather they want it or not chilima awavuta basi alibe mpata womukaniza the guy will move on nanga akanala Wa indepent a Blantyre city council akanamulesaso msokano umeneo, 2019 is coming wins aona ngati sapeza mavoti awili

Tsogolo Langa
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Tsogolo Langa

SKC don’t worry, ife tikuyenda ya underground , UTM is unstoppable, when they finally wake up and realize what your foot solders are doing it will be too late for them……………INU OSATEKESEKA BWANA NDI MOTO KUTI BUUUUUUUU!

Zabura
Guest
Zabura

UTM held a rally where was this BCC. It seem someone who has rejected UTM to hold a rally is failing his duties and must be fired.
Lilongwe ,Mzuzu and Blantyre all these councils they dont know the rules of gathering .
DPP was my party but with stingy and their dont care behaviour i decided to not to registered and vote next year but coming of Chilima just the day after he introduced this at Masintha i registered show i for him basi.

BALE
Guest
BALE

SKC has formed a party called UTM. Please, it’s not United Transformation Party. Kkkkk

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