Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo says the Registrar of Societies has commenced the process of cancellation for 500 registered societies that have not been remitting annual returns.
And Kampyongo said two out of the 12 political parties that were recently deregistered have appealed and their applications are being processed by his ministry.
Meanwhile, Kampyongo told parliament in a ministerial statement, Tuesday, that of the 15 political parties that were in default of annual returns, five had paid while the Registrar of Societies intended to cancel the certificates of the remaining 10 that were still in default.
“Mr Speaker, as regards to other categories of societies, the department has commenced the process of cancellation for 500 societies that have not been complaint with the Act. Among them are associations, religious bodies and community service societies. The affected societies will to this effect be engaged in line with the prescribed procedure in the societies Act on cancellation. Mr Speaker, finally let me remind all societies that are operating illegally, especially religious organizations that they are required by law to register with the Registrar of Societies in accordance with Section 26 of the Societies Act 119 of the Laws of Zambia,” Kampyongo said.
He said out of the total 22, 000 societies registered with certificates of registration, 11, 595 successfully remitted their 2018/2019 annual returns.
“Out of the 22, 000 societies registered with certificates of registration, 11, 595 remitted their 2018/2019 annual returns, and out of this figure 41 were political parties. It is of great concern that despite the statement I issued earlier, encouraging registered societies to comply with the Societies Act Cap 119 of the Laws of Zambia, some societies have continued to operate in default. In this regard, out of the 14 political parties that were earmarked for deregistration in my earlier statement, the department of Registrar of Societies on 29th May, 2019 finally cancelled the registration of 12 twelve of these political parties. Ten out of these were cancelled for failure to comply with provisions of the Societies Act Cap 119 of the laws o Zambia. These parties are as follows: People’s Redemption party; National Alliance party; National Democratic Focus; United Nationalist party; Party for Unity, Democracy and Development; Movement for Democratic Process; Zambia Conservative Party; Zambia United Development party; Zambia Development Conference; Democratic Assembly,” Kampyongo said.
“Meanwhile, the cancellation of the registration of the other two political parties was based on the request from the two parties to have their registration cancelled. These parties are: Heritage party; and Alliance for Better Zambia. I wish to inform this August House and the nation that there is currently a total of 60 registered political parties, of which 41 successfully filed in their 2018/2019 annual returns. As such, these were served with default notices which gave a 21 day ultimatum for them to normalize their status, failure to which, the process of cancellation was to be initiated. Arising from the action taken by the department, two political parties that were deregistered have since appealed their deregistration and these are Zambia Conservative party; and Democratic Assembly. And their submissions are being processed by the ministry.”
And Kampyongo said the Registrar of Societies had issued a notice to deregister 10 political parties that were still in default.
“However, from the 15 political parties that were in default, five have so far settled their penalties and normalized their status accordingly, and these are National Restoration party; United Progressive people; People’s Alliance for Change; New Labour party and Ubuntu Democratic party. The 21 days having elapsed, the department has since gone further to issue notifications for intention to cancel the certificates of the remaining ten political parties that were in default and have not to-date normalized their status,” said Kampyongo.