Ministry of Home Affairs Spokesperson Nephas Chifuta has announced that all Democratic Party (DP) political activities have been banned pending the Attorney General’s court appeal against the High Court’s decision to squash the ministry’s decision to deregister the party.
But DP spokesperson Judith Kabemba has advised all party members to conduct party activities freely saying the party will instead commence contempt proceedings against Chifuta for issuing an “alarming statement”.
In a statement, Chifuta stated that because the matter was pending full determination before the courts of law, the party should cease to conduct any political activities until the matter is disposed off.
“Members of the public may wish to be informed that late last year the Democratic Party sued Government through the Attorney General on the basis that the Registrar of Societies rejected to issue their Party a duplicate Certificate of registration despite having paid the annual subscription fees during the amnesty period. The matter proceeded before the High Court which ruled in favour of the Democratic Party. Being dissatisfied with the High Court ruling, the Attorney General appealed before the Court of Appeal which has now issued a stay of execution of the High Court judgement, thus, reinstating the decision of the Registrar of Societies pending full determination of the matter before the Courts of Law. In view of this current status quo, the Democratic Party is advised to forthwith cease to conduct any political activities across the country until the Court of Appeal orders otherwise,” Chifuta stated.
He warned that any violation to the order would be met with the full force of the law.
But Kabemba says party activities will continue because the de-registration of the party is still null and void.
“We wish to inform the nation that contrary to what is reported to have been said by the Ministry of Home Affairs, through their Public Relations Officer, the Democratic Party is not a deregistered party because the decision of the Registrar of Societies to cancel the registration of the party was quashed by the high court and as such the Registrar of Societies’ decision, remains quashed. The panic being exhibited by the Ministry of Home Affairs over the existence of DP and obviously President Kalaba to an extent of issuing false and Alarming statements to the nation leaves much to be desired. In this regard, the party wishes to advise its members and the nation at large to continue operating and conducting all party activities freely. In the meantime, the party will commence contempt proceedings on the ministry of Home affairs official who issued the alarming statement,” stated Kabemba.