Official Deregisters Zambia’s Former Ruling Party

Posted March 15th, 2012 at 1:35 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A government official in Zambia says the main opposition party, which ruled the country for two decades, has been dissolved for failing to pay its registration dues.

Clement Andeleke, the head of the registry office, Wednesday said the Movement for Multiparty Democracy's 53 parliament seats would be nullified as a result of the party's deregistration. He said the party owes nearly $75,000 in back dues dating from soon after the party first took power.

The MMD vigorously denies the allegation, saying it has documents proving it is completely up to date in its payments. Party spokeswoman Dora Siliya told VOA MMD will challenge the party's dissolution in court. She said the MMD believes the move is politically motivated.

“Our lawyers have already taken up this matter to get an execution of stay. However, we know that this is purely a political step to obliterate the MMD and it will not work, because the MMD is a strong party. We governed this country using the rule of law. We would be the last ones not to be able to follow the law.”

The MMD lost the presidency last year after more than 20 years in power but holds about a third of the seats in the parliament.

When President Michael Sata was elected, he pledged to crack down on corruption.

Siliya said the MMD still has received no official notice from the registrar and learned of the party's dissolution from a press release given to reporters.

“Even if the registrar of societies felt there was something we hadn't done, well at least he should have notified us. We got no notice at all. ”

She said the law grants them 21 days to appeal the decision following a notice of non-compliance.