DEMOCRATIC Party leader Gift Kalumba has expressed sadness over the Registrar of Societies’ decision to de-register his party. On May 23, 2018, the Registrar of Societies informed the Democratic Party of its intention to de-register the political party for reasons that it has no office.
However, on June 4, 2018, the DP wrote back to the Chief Registrar indicating the reasons why the office was closed. In a statement, Kalumba stated that a fine as opposed to deregistration is the legal punishment for a party that fails to comply with provisions of the law.
“We responded to the letter on June 4, 2018, explaining the reason as to why the offices were closed at that time [Registrar of Societies officers visited the offices]. And we also indicated that the closure of the office does not warrant de-registering of a political party, but a fine which is not to exceed three thousand penalty units,” Kalumba stated.
“And we explained that as we are making some changes to the party after the election of new office bearers, we are with intent to update and inform the Registrar of Societies in due course, writing to them as required by law informing them of any changes that we might have as a party in our re-organisation process but sadly, as can be seen, the response was written on July 6, 2018, barely a day after our response, meaning this was already a pre-determined matter; to have us deregistered by whatever means necessary.”
He stated that the law provided for 14 days to inform the Registrrar of Societies of any changes to office bearers. Kalumba stated that the Register of Societies had denied the party a right to democracy for no apparent reason. He stated that the Registrar’s mandate was to provide leadership to the mushrooming political parties and not assassinating one’s political freedom and rights.
Kalumba stated that Zambia would soon be a one party state because many Zambians were being denied freedom to exercise their rights. He stated that the Registrar’s quick move to deregister the party was questionable and motivated by the opposition party’s decision to invite Harry Kalaba to be its president.
Kalumba stated that the party would not sit and watch the Registrar derail the party’s good intentions for Zambians.
He stated that it was unfortunate that the country’s democracy was being threatened and that people with different political views were being silenced.
“The Democratic Party has been denied a democratic chance for reasons best known to themselves. As a party, we are deeply saddened by such action. We feel sad that the good reason for making this society and its provision is now being used in such a callous manner to assassinate individual freedoms and rights of association and forming political parties. Zambians have been denied a chance to exercise their rights. Slowly and very soon, Zambia will be a one party state without people offering alternative ways of governance,” stated Kalumba.