The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) says the decision by the Registrar of Societies to de-registrar the Movement of Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) was excessive and not a proper exercise of the discretionary power vested in the Registrar.
LAZ president James Banda said Section 13 (2) of the Societies Act, Cap 119 of the Laws of Zambia does not make it mandatory for the Registrar to de-register earring organizations.
Mr. Banda explained that the long established principals of the of law are that those who yield and use discretionary power must use such power in the public interest and not to achieve narrow interests.
In a press statement Mr. Banda, said if MMD failed to pay the statutory fees, it was wrong but it is not mandatory that where there is a failure to pay fees the Registrar must de-register an organization.
He stated that the MMD is the largest opposition party in the country with over 50 Members of Parliament and de-registering it would not be in the public interest as this undermines democracy.
Mr. Banda said the Registrar had other options including referring this matter to the Attorney General.
He said the Attorney General could have handled the alleged amount due from the MMD as a debt to the public and commerce proceedings for the recovery of the said debt.
He emphasized that the Registrar has no power to nullify any parliamentary seat and even if he had such power, it was not to the best interest of the public to nullify the said seats for the alleged overdue amount of K390 million.
He has also condemned the Registrar’s call for by-elections in 53 constituencies saying this can cost billions of Kwacha which has not been provided for in the current budget.
Mr. Banda described the decision as rushed, irresponsible and not in public interest.