No Chilima in 2019: Malawi’s Political Parties Registrar rejects UTM

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The Malawi office of Registrar of Political Parties has rejected an application by the United Transformation Movement (UTM) to register it as a party by stating that the application has been made in contrast with the political party Act and was aimed at “misleading” the Registrar.

United Transformation Movement

Rejected

According to the letter dated 21September, 2018 and signed by Deputy Registrar of Political Parties, Chikumbutso Namelo, UTM made its application on September 13, 2018.

In response, the registrar’s office says it is not lawful for the movement to register itself as UTM party while it has been operating under a full name called United Transformation Movement.

“However, for purposes of obtaining registration of the party, office bearers of UTM consciously and deliberately submitted documents which carefully omit any reference to the full name under which they have been publicly out as,” reads part of the letter.

The office has further warned UTM that it is an offense to “furnish false or misleading information” for the purpose of obtaining registration of
political party.

“As misleading the Registrar of Political Parties in order to obtain the registration of a party is an offense under the Act and therefore unlawful, I am satisfied and it is my decision that this application is not in conformity with the Act… I refuse registration of UTM as a party under the Act,” clarifies Namelo.

In response, UTM has challenged the registrar’s decision and has indicated that it will take the matter to High Court.

The movement’s spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti Malunga, says the Office of Registrar has not given them an opportunity to be heard on the matter.

“We obviously vehemently disagree with the determination of the Registrar of the Political parties for a number of reasons,” reads part of the statement issued by Malunga.

UTM is being led by Malawi Vice President, Saulos Chilima, who has expressed interest in contesting for the seat of president in the forthcoming 2019 tripartite elections.

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