MMD challenges de-registration in court
The Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) is challenging its de-registration through the courts of law.
The Registrar of Societies announced yesterday that it had withdrawn the certificate of operation from the former ruling party owing to its outstanding affiliation fees totaling K390 million (about US$78, 000).
Spokesperson Dora Siliya at a press briefing yesterday described the de-registration of the country’s most famous opposition as mere machinations by the PF government to obliterate the party.
Siliya said the party had met its financial obligations and that its operating licence was renewed on January 13, 2012.
“We’ve paid our returns of statutory obligations up to 13th January 2012. As such, we are a validly-registered political party. This is why we received with shock and contempt the attempt by the Registrar of Societies stating that he has de-registered the MMD for failure to pay statutory obligations,” said Siliya.
Meanwhile MMD treasurer Mwansa Mbulakulima this morning produced receipts it says prove that the party had been submitting returns to the Register of Societies.
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FODEP pleads with registrar to reconsider MMD ban
Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has appealed to the registrar of societies to reconsider the de-registration of the MMD.
FODEP Executive Director Macdonald Chipenzi says the registrar of societies should sit down with the MMD and find ways through which the party can clear the outstanding ZMK390 Million.
Chipenzi said the de-registration of the MMD would be costly to the nation because the development meant nullifying all 53 MMD parliamentary seats and a costly by-elections.
He said the country could not afford the luxury of holding such unprecedented by-elections especially that it had just come out of a general election.
MMD MPs assemble at Parliament despite de-registration
BUSINESS in Parliament proceeded as usual despite the de-registration of the MMD as a political party by the Registrar of Societies.
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mkhondo Lungu said he will make a ruling on a later date, regarding the position of the MMD in Parliament.
He was responding to Mfuwe Patriotic Front member of parliament Mwimba Malama who wanted to know why MMD MPs were in the National Assembly when their party had been de-registered.
He asked whether it was in order for MMD MPs to participate in parliamentary proceedings when their party was no longer in existence.
In response, the deputy Speaker of National Assemble who is also MMD MP for Lundazi constituency said he would only pass a ruling at a later date.
Rupiah Banda Stands Down
Former President Rupiah Banda has officially stepped down as president for the former ruling party MMD.
According to the Constitution, Banda risked losing terminal benefits as a former head of state had he remained in active politics.
But Banda says his decision to step down as party president follows the invitation he has received from Boston University’s African presidential archives and research center in the United States of America to provide various lectures.
He says the programme will require him to be out of the country for a period of three months.
He explained that at first, the university wanted him to be in USA for one year, but that because of the commitments in the country he couldn’t be out for that long.
Mr Banda says he has found it prudent to take up this new assignment which will require his time and energies during this period.
Let Zambians decide on my immunity – Banda
Former republican president Rupiah Banda says the people of Zambia have all the power to have his immunity lifted.
Banda who officially stepped down as MMD president today said his immunity should not be removed out of malice, but only when strong evidence is provided to warrant his prosecution.
He however said he was not scared to face any prosecution that might arise should his immunity be removed.
He described as lies speculations and accusations that he mismanaged the affairs of the country while he was in office.
In his farewell speech as MMD president at his residence in Lusaka today Banda said he had nothing to hide because his record was clean.
Sata invites Chinese to explore investment opportunities
President Michael Sata has invited Chinese investors to explore various areas of investment in the country.
This was during a closed-door meeting at State House yesterday, when he met a 14- member delegation from Beijing led by Luo Tao, the General Manager of China Non-ferrous Metal Mining Company (CNMC) group.
During the meeting, Luo assured President Sata who was flanked by Republican Vice-President Dr Guy Scott, that CNMC was confident of its investment in Zambia because President Sata commands a strong and ambitious team.
Luo described President Sata as a kind man who is focused on job creation and economic development of the country.
In response, President Sata recognised the important role Chinese investment was playing in the country.
“I would encourage you to bring more Chinese investors to invest in various areas of investment in the country especially mineral exploration. We would also like you to get involved in agriculture, textile and many other sectors.”
PF rakes in $779 million in investment pledges
Government says there has been increased investment pledges during the five months the PF has been in government contrary to speculation by the opposition that investor confidence had dwindled.
Giving a ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday on the status of investment inflows into Zambia from the time the PF took over government in September 2011, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Bob Sichinga revealed that investment pledges received in the last quarter of 2011 reached $779 million compared to $459 million during the same period in 2010.
Sichinga says Zambia has continued to generate significant interest from foreign companies seeking to invest in various sectors of the country.
He adds that investment inquiries during the short period of time the PF has been in government have been unprecedented.
Sichinga further revealed that Australian investors have pledged to invest five billion Australian dollars arising from the investment promotion mission he undertook to that country.
He said the PF Government had projected to create one million jobs by 2016 and about 150,000 jobs in 2012 arising from investments.