CHIEF Registrar of Societies Clement Andeleki says his de-registration of the MMD has nothing to do with politics.
Mr Andeleki shot to fame or infamy in the eyes of the MMD when he announced that he had de-registered the former ruling party for failing to meet annual returns amounting to K380 million, an action the opposition party is hotly contesting after obtaining a stay from the High Court.
And MMD acting president Michael Mabenga says the MMD will continue as an opposition party, offering checks and balances to the Patriotic Front government in the hope of bouncing back to power in 2016.
Featuring on Cross Fire Blog Radio monitored on Zambezi Radio in Livingstone yesterday, Mr Andeleki said despite suffering persecution at the hands of the MMD government, his action to de-register the party was purely in the public interest and that he will resign if that is proved to the contrary.
“This action of the MMD in court will give us a better opportunity, especially my office. I have already offered that if my action was improper, like I did at police, I would even quit my position because this is an issue which has gone over and over to the extent that no reasonable person who is paid by the people can accept to continue to serve like that,” he said.
Mr Andeleki said he suffered persecution from the MMD government after giving a permit to an opposition political party while working as officer-in-charge at Matero police station in 2006 to hold a rally at which it was alleged a political leader made defamatory remarks against then President Levy Mwanawasa.
He said despite the persecution, he has no business settling scores with the previous regime as he is a professional civil servant.
Mr Andeleki said he is not a political appointee.
He said though his office has been co-operating with political parties and other organisations, it will not allow its authority to be undermined by impunity.
Mr Andeleki said he is satisfied with other political parties’ compliance with the law governing organisations and that the public is free to visit his office and check their records.
He said he was taken aback by Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president James Banda’s comment in the press recently that his move to de-register the MMD was excessive and improper.
Mr Andeleki said Mr Banda did not have enough details for him to comment the way he did.
“It quite struck me that the LAZ president could comment like that. The issue is that he did not have sufficient details. Whether you’re a journalist, a lawyer or whatever you’re, it’s very important that you gather your facts correctly so that you do not mislead yourself and the people in the country. He missed a lot of things you know,” Mr Andeleki said.
He said his was a well thought-out action as his office had done what it could to engage the former ruling party over the money it owes the government in returns.
Speaking earlier on the programme, Mr Mabenga said the MMD is looking forward to returning into power in 2016.
Mr Mabenga said the opposition party is now putting its house in order.
“We’re discussing matters, thinking hard on how to see to it that the party continues to raise money for the convention and re-organisation of the party,” he said.
Mr Mabenga said the MMD is still trying to establish what could have led to its defeat in the tripartite elections last year and that people outside the party are free to help it in that regard.
He said the purpose of the undertaking is for the party to draw lessons to help it do well in future elections.
Mr Mabenga urged MMD members to be patient and believe in the party’s ideals.
[Zambia Daily Mail]