AG Kaphale drags UTM to Malawi Court of Appeal: Supreme Court dismisses appeal

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…Appeal will be “nugatory, pointless and otiose” if UTM is registered, argues Kaphale

Newly appointed Attorney General (AG), Kalekeni Kaphale, has asked the Supreme Court of Appeal to suspend the registration of UTM as a political party.

Kaphale has filed an application to have UTM’s registration suspended pending an appeal against the High Court ruling made last week that ordered the Registrar of Political Parties to register UTM within seven days effective September 21, 2018.

Decision to drag UTM to the Supreme Court follows another High Court ruling this week which threw out an appeal against last week’s ruling Judge John Chirwa. The Attorney General and Registrar of Political Parties had asked the court to put aside its earlier ruling pending an appeal. The court also dismissed an inter-parte hearing slated for next week Tuesday between the grieved parties.

“There are no grounds advanced in the sworn statement in support of the application upon which this Court would be persuaded to deprive a successful, litigant of the fruits of his litigation… The application is thus declined” reads Judge Chirwa’s yesterday’s ruling.

But through Senior State Advocate in the AG Chambers, Neverson Chisiza, Kaphale has asked the  Supreme Court to UTM’s registration pending the determination of the appeal against the earlier ruling.

In arguments filed at the Supreme Court of Appeal, the State says if the High Court order  is enforced by having UTM registered as a political party, the pursuit of the appeal will be rendered “nugatory, pointless and otiose”.

“A Court would also order stay of execution pending appeal where it is satisfied that failure to order a stay would render the appeal nugatory.” reads part of AG’s application to the Supreme Court.

The Registrar of Political Parties had initially turned down an application to have UTM registered as a political party on grounds that the movement, being led by Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima, had used abbreviations of United Transformation Movement with the aim of misleading the Registrar.

Update

The appeal has reportedly been thrown out of the court by Justice Kapindu of the Supreme Court of Appeal who has denied to grant stay of execution of the judgement delivered by Judge John Chirwa on 2 November 2018.

With this ruling, it means the initial ruling to have UTM registered still stands.

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