Several times over the past number of months it appeared that the ruling Patriotic Front party was seeking to force through the de-registration of Zambia’s largest opposition party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). Had they been successful, more than 50 parliamentary seats would have been vacated, requiring a staggering number of bye-elections.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case any longer.
Today the MMD is reported to have paid K300 million out of the K392 million the former ruling party owes the department of the Registrar of Societies in accrued statutory fees, with the remaining sum to compensated in coming weeks.
These fees cover the 42 registered branches of the MMD, which threatened the former ruling party’s continued existence after it was threatened with deregistration.
Chief registrar of societies Clement Andeleki has confirmed receipt of the K300 million from the former ruling party, and has since “urged” other societies to emulate the MMD and further reiterated his warning that the department will not hesitate to take action against any defaulting registered association, in what may have been a veiled threat against other opposition parties.