Thursday, February 07, 2013

Nevers still Reform Party leader, insists Registrar of Societies

Nevers still Reform Party leader, insists Registrar of Societies
By Allan Mulenga and Kombe Chimpinde
Wed 06 Feb. 2013, 16:10 CAT

THE Registrar of Societies has insisted that Reform Party exists and that Nevers Mumba is still its president. But Mumba says he will not debate issues of him being Reform Party leader because it is not his responsibility to update the records of the Registrar of Societies.

Appearing before the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign affairs chaired by Kembe MMD member of parliament Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha yesterday, acting Chief Registrar of Societies Willies Mangimela said although Reform Party exist, the party had not been remitting its annual returns to the institution from 2007.

"So as we are speaking right now, we are about to write them a letter of default. They haven't been remitting annual returns to the office," he said.

Mangimela urged political party leaders to notify the institution whenever there were changes of office bearers.

"At times as political parties when you have come up with a decision or probably you decide not to continue with that political party, there is always one omission which I have seen of not writing a letter to the Registrar of Societies telling them that the party is no longer existing or we have decided to forget about this party," he said.

"That is what is giving us a challenge, even in terms of the office bearers, political parties are supposed to write letters to the Registrar of Societies telling us that they have changed the bearers and giving us the minutes for the resolutions. But this is not happening."

Mangimela said the Registrar of Societies would soon sit down with leaders of Reform Party to determine the way forward.

"Because what they are saying is that the party no longer exists, but record-wise the party exists. We need to sit down and see where the problem is and that's when we are going to determine on whether they are owing the Registrar of Societies or not," he said.

Mwinilunga East UPND member of parliament Stephen Katuka then asked why the Registrar of Societies rushed to deregister MMD for not settling statutory fees of about KR390,000 whereas they failed to deregister Reform Party which had been defaulting since 2007.

Mangimela responded that the institution followed certain procedures before deregistering any political party.

"If Reform Party was not written to, the Registrar of Societies cannot rush in trying to deregister it. But if the other parties the formalities were followed, probably they sat with the officials from that political party and nothing came up and written procedures were done, hence that deregistration which took place. But if nothing has been done like this party in question, I think we haven't sat with them as Registrar of Societies and then that is why we have not taken action," said Mangimela.

Home affairs minister Edgar Lungu a fortnight ago said records at Registrar of Societies indicate that Mumba was still Reform Party president.

But Mumba insists that Reform Party ceased to exist in 2008 and there was communication to the Registrar of Societies. For MMD, Lungu indicated that records show Rupiah Banda as the party's president while Katele Kalumba was national secretary and Michael Mabenga as national chairperson.

But Mumba said in an interview, that he was surprised by the Registrar of Societies insistence that its latest records were indicating that he was still Reform Party president.

"I left Reform Party in July 2008, so it not my responsibility to go to the Registrar of Societies to remove my name from any document. That remains the responsibility of Reform Party and the Registrar. Just like the name of President Rupiah Banda was thereā€¦it was not president Banda's responsibility to go to the Registrar of societies to remove that name."

Mumba said he could not understand why there was insistence by the Registrar of Societies that he was the Reform Party president.

"You can go there. They are many presidents who are dead but their documents are there. Does it mean they are still presidents? You will go there, you will find President Michael Sata's name appearing as national secretary on many documents," Mumba said.

He challenged the Registrar of Societies to destroy the records that were no longer representing the current state of affairs, regarding the Reform Party and the MMD.

"Whatever they are talking about, it does not affect me. I resigned as Reform Party president, if there was anything Reform Party and registrar did not complete, it's up to them to go and clear that. As far as I am concerned, Reform Party had written to them and there is a letter. So they should stop being political about it and be professional," said Mumba.

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