The continued use of the Umunthu slogan by President Joyce Bandaâ€™s Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) has angered the Peopleâ€™s Transformation Party (Petra).
The two parties, which were part of a 15-member opposition alliance to fight the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in November last year entered into a consent judgement endorsed by the High Court which stopped PP from using the Umunthu platform.
But Petra, which is led by Kamuzu Chibambo, has written PP querying the continued use of the ideology as a party slogan.
Petra contends that PP is in contempt of court for violating the court order.
Petra alleges that Banda used the slogan when she addressed the nation on May 18 in Parliament. The party also argues that Vice-President Khumbo Kachali used the slogan at a political rally he addressed at Edingeni, Mzimba, on May 13.
“Our client is distraught that the judgement herein is being violated by none other than the very senior party officials of the PP who also hold the top two constitutional offices in Malawi and are expected to be foremost in upholding the rule of law and respect court judgements.
“Indeed, the previous regime [the DPP of late Bingu wa Mutharika] has been severely condemned by the Malawian people and Her Excellency for its systematic undermining the rule of law, exemplified through disobedience of court orders.
“We have instructions to demand that your clients should forthwith desist from any further violation of the judgement or else our client would be left with no option but to take further action in this matter for the whole nation to see the hypocrisy herein,” reads a letter addressed to PP legal counsel, Maulidi and Company.
In an interview on Saturday, PP lawyer Paul Maulidi acknowledged that the matter is in court but wondered whether the Umunthu ideology is protected by the law.
“I know some quarters are complaining, but I know no person who has registered it. I know they have taken it to court, but we will see how we will handle it,” said Maulidi.
He said as far as PP is concerned, anybody can use the Umunthu ideology as a slogan because it is not protected under the laws of Malawi.
Prior to its registration last year, PP faced a challenge from the Maravi Peopleâ€™s Party (MPP) and Peopleâ€™s Progressive Movement (PPM), accusing the party of stealing their name and symbol.
Meanwhile, PP has described the alliance with the 14 other parties as a loose relationship.
He said there was no memorandum of understanding binding the parties in the alliance.
Besides PP, the other parties in the alliance are PPM, Aford, Congress for Democrats (Code), Republican Party (RP), New Republican Party (NRP), Malawi Democratic Party (MDP), Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde), Congress for National Unity (Conu), United Front for Multiparty Democracy (UFMD) and the UDF splinter group led by Friday Jumbe.