NAREP spokesperson Bwalya Nondo says the Registrar of Societies is trying to dent the image of the party by making people believe that the party has not been paying annual returns for two years.
And Nondo says the Registrar of Societies is playing foolish politics to try and destabilise the opposition alliance.
On Wednesday, chief registrar of societies Thandiwe Mhende mentioned NAREP as one of the political parties that had not been paying annual returns and warned them to pay penalties within 21 days.
But in an interview, Thursday, Nondo said his party had been paying returns and it had receipts to prove it.
“What is at play is politics; foolish politics so to say. Just because we are in the alliance, the Ministry of Home Affairs is trying to use the office of the registrar to dent the image of our party. What happened was that a day before that press briefing, we had officers from the office of the registrar of societies who came to inspect our documents at random, they didn’t even inform us but we still attended to them, we showed them all the receipts. For 2018, we paid on the 16th of July and we haven’t even clocked a year and we told them that we are in a process…because there are certain documents that we need to prepare, so they agreed. Without knowing that they were on a mission to have a press briefing and say NAREP has not been paying annual returns for two years. So we are so shocked because we have all the documents. So we demanded for an apology because we know that there is a heavy hand behind the who thing; there is no way the officers from the Registrar of Societies can come to our offices randomly, without informing us. We even told them that we are your clients, you need to inform us in advance but we still had a very fruitful discussion with them and they were even shocked with the documents we showed them, we were just surprised to hear them hold a press briefing and say NAREP has not paid annual retains for two years,” Nondo said.
He said the Registrar of Societies was being used by a heavy hand to try and destabilise the opposition alliance.
“Because they know that NAREP is the cornerstone of the opposition alliance, they want to destabilise us, they are working on destroying the alliance by targeting individual members of the alliance, that’s our suspicion actually. Because there is no professionalism, they can’t tell us that ‘no, it was a mistake’ it was a well calculated move so that when they tell the nation that NAREP has been deregistered, then the public will have no confidence in the alliance. But we told them that it’s a miss,” said Nondo.
“So after their press briefing yesterday, our secretary general went to their offices and said ‘what is happening here?’ they were apologising saying ‘no, we are sorry, we didn’t know what happened, we didn’t know that NAREP was included as well.’ We said no, that was not a mistake, it was an intent actually to show the nation that NAREP is also a defaulter in this regard. So whatever you heard from the Registrar of Societies was not actually correct, it was a wrong statement that was meant to dent the image of the party. We are on course where returns are concerned and we have documents and even if you called them, they won’t even argue because they know that they made a foolish move actually.”