The Patriotic Front (PF) has accused the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government of attempting to pressure the Registrar of Societies to deregister the PF. The party’s Information and Publicity Chairperson, Hon. Raphael Mangani Nakacinda, has described the move as an assault on democracy and an indication of how scared the UPND Government is of the biggest opposition party.
“The UPND is scared of the PF, a party that has remained strong regardless of the efforts made to victimize members through trumped-up court charges,” Hon. Nakacinda said. “While the party will comply with the provisions of the law like always, it does not expect administrative issues to become fundamental to even threaten deregistration.”
The Registrar of Societies had issued a notice of intention to deregister the party for failing to provide a complete list of the party’s office bearers. Hon. Nakacinda criticized the Registrar of Societies for making administrative issues a fundamental issue that could lead to deregistration. He advised the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security Permanent Secretary Joseph Akafumba to stop pressuring the Registrar of Societies to deregister the PF.
“This issue of office bearers requiring to submit their fingerprints is an administrative issue that all was required by the Registrar of Society was to just write a letter requiring those things,” he said. “But this shows that the UPND is scared of the Patriotic Front because the party has remained strong regardless of the efforts made to victimize members and inconvenience people with trumped-up charges in court.”
In response, Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba warned that such actions could lead to great political embarrassment for President Hakainde Hichilema. He cited the example of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy’s deregistration in 2012, which backfired and brought great national and international embarrassment to President Michael Sata.
“Whatever the weaknesses, Zambia is a democracy, and there has been a campaign to promote democratic tenets and institutions,” Amb. Mwamba said. “The Patriotic Front as the largest opposition party in Parliament with about 58 Members of Parliament is part of the governance of this country. Therefore, any attempts to deregister the party could lead to unnecessary political tension and a setback in the country’s democratic progress.”