THE Patriotic Front (PF) has strongly objected of former Matero Member of Parliament Miles Sampa’s political party because it has similar names with the ruling party and may cause confusion among voters.
And now PF secretary general Davies Chama has sued the Registrar of Societies and the Attorney General, challenging them to cancel the registration name of the party, Democratic Front (DF), because of some similarities of the Party’s initials with the ruling party’s initials.
Mr Chama has argued that Mr Miles Sampa’s party names are likely to deceive the public who may not be able to distinguish the names of the two parties.
He wants the Lusaka High Court to declare that the decision of the Registrar of Societies to allow the registration and use of the name DF which so nearly resembles the name of PF is likely to deceive the public and is irrational and unreasonable in terms of Section 13 (2) (e) (ii) of the Societies Act Chapter 119 of the Laws of Zambia.
Mr Chama also wants his application to be granted a direction that the hearing of the application for judicial review be expedited.
He stated in his affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for leave to apply for judicial review that since its inception in 2001, the PF has enjoyed countrywide popularity to the extent that it managed to unseat the MMD from power and took over the Government in 2011.
Mr Chama said that it is common and normal practice in Zambia for political parties to be referred to by acronym and his party is generally referred to as PF and its symbol is a clenched fist on a raised arm.
Mr Chama said he has conducted a search at the office of the Registrar of Societies and has come to learn that there is a political party that was initially registered as Genuine People’s Platform but it was allowed to change its name to DF sometime in December.
He said he wrote a letter requesting the respondents to cancel the name in accordance with the law but they responded by saying there was nothing confusing between DF and PF.
Mr Chama contends that some of the promoters of the political party are former members of the PF and that its name is identical to the already existing name of the PF.
He said that the newly formed party uses a raised arm with a clenched fist with one raised finger which will again add to the confusion.
He submitted that because of the alphabetical advantage of DF appearing before PF on the ballot paper, it is more than likely that DF will be able to siphon votes from the unsuspecting and undiscerning public.
Mr Chama said that DF can be easily mistaken for PF by not the illiterate but also the literate.
He said it is for this reason that he feels he has a proper case to grant him leave to commence judicial riew of the respondents’ decision.