UTM registration ruling deferred:  Lawyer refers to constituting documents on party name not what’s in public domain.

The High Court on Tuesday reserved judgment on a challenge by newly formed United Transformation Movement (UTM)  against  the Registrar of Political Parties’ rejection of its application to register as a party.

Lawyer Goba Chipeta: Name of the party is in the constituting documents filed for registration

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—is  challenging the registrar’s decision to throw out its application on the basis that the grouping flouted the law by seeking to register using its abbreviation UTM instead of the full name ‘United Transformation Movement’.

In court  lawyer from Attorney General’s chambers Loness Michongwe  argued that the Registrar of Political Parties was  “ justified” to look at what was in the public domain in declining the UTM registration.

Deputy Registrar of Political Parties Chikumbutso Namelo alleged that 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.

But UTM’s  lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta  argued that all the  necessary documents for registration purposes were filed and that the Registrar of Political Parties made a material error in law “to look beyond the documents.”

Michongwe said it was right for the registrar to take into account what was in the public domain, sayng   the name United Transformation Movement was already in the public domain so any  reasonable registrar would have arrived at the decision he did.

However, UTM’s lawyer Goba quashed the claim, saying any reasonable or well trained lawyer should not have made that assertion.

Instead, he says the legal question in the legal matters should be : what are the constituting documents and what do they say about the name of the party, and not what’s in the public domain.

After all, he pointed out that there have been a lot of things in the public domain such as Chilima Movement, United Transformation Movement, and  Transformation Movement.

Case was adjourned to a later date to be announced soon.

UTM interim secretary general Patricia Kaliati  told the movement supporters outside the court that  they will continue its mobilisation ahead of the election as they sort out the registration issues.

Chilima officially launched UTM at Masintha Ground in Lilongwe on July 21 and the movement has since been criss-crossing the country canvassing for support.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
tman
Guest

Kodi ndichipani kapena gulu? Kaledzereni uko ndi abwana anuwo.Mmangomva ndale,a Nyapaphi inu

mulako
Guest
mulako

Malawi nde imeneyo imakala ngati nyumba yamuntu mumozi ngati iyeyu safuna mudye zimateka kwambiri

dale
Guest
dale

antu a DPP mumangofuna kuwasega antu pakamwa chifukwa chani nkani yolembesa chipani a register achuke nayo ngati wapanga zanzelu zazii ngati zimene, mube ndalama musowese umboni muzikomu komaso kupanga promote ma cadet kuocha magalimoto

Mposa
Guest
Mposa

The problem with the name UTM is that it will be up to people to interpret its meaning. The lawyers can argue it is just a name and people should not go beyond papers, but then people will come up with its meaning. Again, please government lawyers take note that Chilima himself and many leaders of the group have on several occasions mentioned the name United Transformation Movement. That is enough to suggest that UTM means what we are saying.

Political Observer
Guest
Political Observer

If its been used by the leaders verbally why are they not put it fully on paper kod?

Political Observer
Guest
Political Observer

Why are they failing to put its full name on the papers then? At once the UTM guys should be serious ndithu.

Political Observer
Guest
Political Observer

I am not a lawyer by profesion myself and by such I can not fault the registrar on his decision to decline the registration of the new born party on the political scene as UTM. What is legally challenged is backed legally as well. The issue here is simple, let Chilima and his folks highlight the mistake and do the needful. The registrar can not act based on what is in the public domain but rather what is in the constituting documents. Its surprising to note why the party is failing to register its full name. By the way, this… Read more »

matchona
Guest
matchona

UTM would want to be clever in hiding the meaning cause registrar of political parties register parties not movement. Running away from that you have hitted on the existing party United Transformation party. Problem ya zipani za kubanja instead of let the new member to take over both of you thought of coming ndi new name. A name is not an abbreviation, munamvapo kuti. My simple advice is already given above that you rebrand to National Transformation Party. Registrar is likely to loose this case but will bring another argument akukananinso salemba ma movement or abbreviation.

Ochimwene
Guest
Ochimwene

My friend after all these are said and done,beleive you me it will be registered at all cost. Mark my word and keep this date.

BigMan
Guest
BigMan

Come on. You dont need to have the word party or chipani in the name for it to be a party.

Charlie Hebdo
Guest
Charlie Hebdo

The word movement in the party’s is not a problem. A party can be called anything without mentioning party in its full name. In Malawi some of the popular words that have been used instead of party are front in UDF and Alliance in AFORD and NDA.

Kanyimbi265
Guest
Kanyimbi265

Koma why such an oversight???? Why cant Kambala de-register his UTP and pave way for UTM registration? Munayamba kupereka hope bwinotu koma apa nde mwagufa. Zikavutisisa, rebrand, it come at a cost koma nanga mutani

matela
Guest
matela

mwayankhulatu anthuni

Mankhanamba
Guest
Mankhanamba

There is no way a political party can emerge with unclear names like UTM – names should be clear and should mean something. This is a movement in the first place; where its leaders do not know what they are doing. We need names – it could be “National Transformation Party” Not UTM. what is that? The danger is for such grouping to come again tomorrow to tell us a different meaning of their name.

Ndilibe Chokamba
Guest
Ndilibe Chokamba

Inunso ndiye ndi ochititsa manyazitu. Do you know the meaning of “Front” in UDF” . ? WHO says every political grouping intending to go to national polls should have “party ” in its name?

Patrick Phiri
Guest
Patrick Phiri

Wochititsa manyazi ndi iweyo. The “Front” in UDF was because during UDF registration, the Malawi constitution only allowed one party – the MCP. In addition, there was no Registrar of Political Parties then. Osamathangira kunyoza anzanu,

Absa
Guest
Absa

Ok do you mean Standard bank is lite. Olakwisa ndi a NBS

Power
Guest
Power

You you don’t know the NBS means New Building Society?? Why are you running away from the thing you started by yourselves, we know you as United Transformation Movement. Highlight it on your application you will be registered simple

Mlomwe
Guest
Mlomwe

Go and redo your research, NBS does not mean what you are saying, Its just a name as it is. Mutonamapo apa

More From Nyasatimes