The Socialist Party (SP) has described the directive by the Registrar of Societies for all registered political parties to hold their convention within 60 days as illegal and unconstitutional.
The Chief Registrar of Societies, Thandiwe Mhende, had issued a 60 day ultimatum in which all registered political parties should hold their elective conventions or face deregistration.
Socialist Party Deputy Secretary General, Antonio Mwanza, told Zambia Monitor that article 60 which the Registrar of Societies was quoting was not operational until the Societies Act was amended.
Mwanza said the Registrar of Societies operated an Act of Parliament and that it did not give her the powers to direct political parties on how they should conduct their businesses.
“The Registrar of Societies has no authority under any piece of legislation to prescribe to political parties when they should have or not have their conferences. So she has no mandate under any law to direct parties to hold conventions,” he said.
Mwanza said the Statutory Instrument issued by Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister, Jack Mwiimbu, giving more powers to the Registrar of Societies was null and void.
He said the SI was not supported by the Societies Act and can not supersede the provisions of an Act of Parliament.
“If Mwiimbu wants an amendment, the Registrar of Societies must take the Registrar of Societies Act to Parliament to have it amended,” Mwanza said.
He said as things stand, Mhende and Mwiimbu have no powers to prescribe when parties must hold their conferences until the Act is amended.
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