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Govt declares UKA an illegal body, as coalition protests denial of right to rally in Kafue District (Video)


Government has declared the United Kwacha Alliance (UKA) as an illegal entity, saying it did not exist in the books of the Registrar of Society.

Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister, Jack Mwiimbu, said to this effect the planned rally in Kafue District would not be allowed to proceed despite an application having been made by the group.

Addressing a media briefing in Lusaka on Wednesday, Mwiimbu stated that allowing UKA to proceed with the rally was allowing lawlessness in the country which is being governed by rules and laws.

He said no formal application had been made by the group to be registered as a political party or pressure group to the Registrar of Societies.

“You may wish to recall that on February, 13, 2024 Mr. Sakwiba Sikota visited the Registrar of Societies office to conduct a name search and reservation for a society called United Kwacha Alliance (UKA) which he intended to register as a pressure group,” Mwiimbu stated.

The minister said after the said application, the name UKA was accordingly reserved from February, 13 to March, 13, 2024 and Sikota was informed that he was free to apply for registration of the pressure group.

He stated that Sikota, however, returned on February, 14, 2024 with a verbal request to change the reservation category from a pressure group to a political party of which he was advised to apply formally.

“Following the expiration of the reservation in March, 13, 2024, Mr. Sikota came through to request for an extension of the reservation period. By then, the Department had migrated the application processes to the e-government platform,” Mwiimbu added

He said Sikota was advised accordingly to make an online application, but that to date no such application had been recieved.

Mwiimbu further said a person identified as Gibson Bwalya attempted to apply for registration of a society called Unified Kwacha Alliance using another person’s National Registration Card and on the second attempt, he omitted to attach an NRC document.

“These events clearly indicate that the said United Kwacha Alliance does not exist legally and is, in as far as the Ministry is concerned, an illegal society,” the minister restated.

He further said UKA would not be allowed on the ballot paper for any election since it’s an illegal entity despite its office orders indicating their availability to participate in such elections.

Read More: Coalition, UKA, dares Hichilema to test popularity by calling for early presidential election

Meanwhile, Sikota in a letter dated April, 10, 2024 addressed to Mwiimbu appealed against the turning down of the rally notice by the Police in Kafue District.

“This attempt to stop the public rally stifles our rights to assemble and protest peacefully,” he stated.

Sikota said the Public Order Act was being applied in a manner that offends Articles 20 and Article 21 of the Constitution and thereby takes away the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly and association.

He cited Article 91 (3) (c), (e) and (f) of the Constitution that provides that the exercise of executive authority by the President shall be to promote democracy, protect and promote the rights and freedoms of a person and uphold the rule of law.

“Article 8(c) enshrines our national values and principles which include democracy and constitutionalism; these values apply to the implementation of the Public Order Act,” Sikota said.

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