Registrar still to decide fate of Reform Party

The Registrar of Societies still has to decide the future of opposition Reform Party whose records still show Dr. Nevers Mumba as President although the last returns were submitted in 2007- almost eight years ago.
This, in spite of instructions from the Permanent Secretary Maxwell Nkole to register the party as it is “dead.”
Acting Chief Registrar of Societies Willis Manjimela  is reported to be  in the “process” of making arrangements to deregister the party due to lack of submission of appropriate returns.
The RP status has been at the centre of a court row following an application by former National Secretary of the Movement for Multi Part Democracy who has insisted that Dr. Mumba was not  eligible to lead the opposition party on account of his affiliation and Presidency of the Reform Party.
However it is not clear why the Government has maintained that the party still exists in spite of failing to provide returns as required by law. The most appropriate action would have been to deregister the party.
Last week Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Maxwell Nkole  instructed the Registrar of Societies to remove the Reformed Party from the records as being one of the official political parties existing in the country.
He  the Registrar to his discretion and de-register the Party  as it was  ‘dead’,
Mr Nkole said this when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs.
He said the RP was only active on paper but its operations on the ground were non-existent.
“RP on the shelf is an active party but it is dead out there. It has not been active since 2007,” he said.
Mr Nkole was responding to a question raised by Zambezi East member of Parliament Sarah Sayifwanda who wanted to know why the Office of Registrar of Societies is seemingly applying double standards to political parties.
Ms Sayifwanda said there is need for the civil service to guide the PF government correctly so that it delivers development.
Mr Nkole said the argument about RP is merely an academic exercise.
“The issue about RP is an administrative one and not a political matter as is being portrayed,” he said.
Mr Nkole said civil servants must speak the same language with policy-makers, adding that the Office of the Registrar of Societies must advise the Ministry of Home Affairs correctly.
He said the civil service is not proactive in keeping the government informed on certain matters.
Mr Nkole said the current administration wants to change that attitude towards work.
“We haven’t given sufficient guidance to Government as civil servants,” he said.
And Ms Sayifwanda commended Mr Nkole for being candid on the matter which has attracted public debate.
“We only have one country…. that’s why we want things to go well,” she said.

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