Registrar of Societies on firm ground over PF deregistration- UPND

UPND Media Director Ruth Dante


April 26, 2023

LUSAKA – It was not our intention to respond on the ongoing debate over the pending deregistration of the former ruling party and now opposition Patriotic Front by the Registrar of Societies owing to the breach of section 2 of the Societies Act Cap 119 of the laws of Zambia.

But the amount of scorn being leveled against our Party and Republican President Hakainde Hichilema as well as the Chief Registrar of Societies Madam Thandiwe Mhende by the Patriotic Front leadership and surrogates leaves us with no choice.

From the onset, the UPND wishes to remind the Patriotic Front and its rank and file that the matter at hand is not political nor is malicious but a matter of law and we see no reason why government should be dragged in the mud because of the party’s disorganization and failure to respect the laws of the land.

The Chief Registrar is on firm ground and has cited the sections of the law which has been abrogated by the Patriotic front and has provided them with a remedy to cure the anomaly which the PF has found itself in. It is thus appalling that the party through former Ambassador Emmanuel Mwamba and Matero lawmaker Miles Sampa have opted to dance to the gallery and in their true self rushed to seek public sympathy.

Instead of rushing to the media in an attempt to launder its ‘illegality’ and tarnishing the image of government accusing it of tramping on its democratic rights to exist, we urge them to quickly put their house in order during the seven days ultimatum and show cause why the party should continue operating as the country’s biggest opposition party.

The Registrar of Societies says they only have 3 office bearers in its custody instead of the required 10 and the PF insists that it has submitted the required number. It is time for the PF to merely correct the records and show the 10 office bearers in order to put this matter to rest instead of pointing accusing fingers.

The country and government has so many placing needs that need urgent attention and we really have no time to start discussing a matter that would have been avoided had the people respected the rules of the land more especially that they were the custodians of the same laws and regulations.

It is also a pity that the UPND and New Dawn government is being accused of engineering deregistration of the PF in order to turn Zambia into a one party state. We find this as a laughing matter because Zambia is a multiparty democracy with over seventy (70) political parties. How can deregistration of one political party lead to a one party state. What happens to the other 69 parties? Will they also go into extinct? Let the PF have respect for the other existing political parties as part of democratic coexistence.

As the party in government, we further wish to call upon and advise the Registrar of Societies to make sure that all existing political parties are following the requirements for their existence and are abiding to the requirements of the law.

As proponents of the rule of law, we urge the Registrar of Societies to leave no sacred cows as it sanitizes not only the political environment but all organizations falling under it.

Any failure to conduct a thorough check on the operations of all societies would render credence to suggestions that the PF misfortune is a witch hunt and not a matter of law. In the meantime, we shall follow the proceedings closely to its logical conclusion and urge the Registrar of Societies to conduct its business in a professional and legal way devoid of political or societal influence or pressure.

Issued by:

Ruth Dante-Heaton
Media Director


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