Blantyre city throws out UTM

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The Blantyre City Council (BCC) has rejected a request by United Transformation Movement (UTM) to hold a political rally on Saturday in the city by indicating that it is not a ‘registered’ political party.

Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC)

Chilima is the leader of UTM.

This follows a refusal on September 21, 1018 by Malawi office of Registrar of Political Parties to register UTM as a party by stating that the application was made in contrast with the political party Act and was aimed at ‘misleading’ the Registrar.

The registrar’s office said 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.

As per requirement, UTM had written to BCC asking for permission to hold a political rally at Nyambadwe School ground that is in the city.

BCC through a letter signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Lytton Mkata, says it is illegal to allow UTM to hold a rally by citing section 17(2) of the political party Act which prohibits any political party that is not registered from holding a rally.

“Reference is made to your letter in which you sought permission to hold a political rally at Nyambadwe primary school ground on 29th September, 2018 in the city of Blantyre.

“We regret to inform you that permission is hereby not granted for the United Transmission Movement (UTM) to hold the said rally on the ground that it has come to the council’s knowledge that you are not registered as a political party,” reads part of the letter.

The council further said granting permission to UTM’s to hold a rally in the city of Blantyre will be a contravention of section 17(2) of the act and that it will mean the council is perpetuating illegality.

BCC concluded by saying that as soon as UTM brings proof to show that they are a registered party, permission will be granted to them to hold political rallies at any place in the city as the law permits.

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