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UPND fights de-registration petition

By CHINTU MALAMBO
THE UPND says the Constitutional Court has no jurisdiction to hear the petition where a magistrate wants the court to direct the Registrar of Societies to de-register all political parties that have not held party elections since 2016.
UPND through its Secretary General Steven Katuka, as an interested party has asked the court to dismiss the petition for want of jurisdiction, because it does not disclose any violation of the constitution.
This is in a matter where Livingstone Magistrate Benjamin Mwelwa has petitioned the Constitutional Court asking it to deregister political parties that have not held party elections since 2016, as required by the amended constitution.
Mr Mwelwa is seeking a declaration that any political party which was registered and in existence as of January 5, 2016 and which has not promoted and practised democracy through regular, free and fair elections, within its political party, has breached article 60(2)(d) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act no. 2 of 2016 and therefore such a political party ceased to exist as a political party in Zambia on January 4, 2017.
He cited Attorney General, Likando Kalaluka and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) as the respondents in the matter.
Earlier, the Constitutional Court joined the UPND Secretary-General as an interested party to a matter, stating that the party has sufficient interest for joinder.
Meanwhile, the Patriotic Front has also asked to be joined as an interested part.
But in an affidavit to struck out petition and dismiss the matter, Mr Katuka said Mr Mwelwa’s petition does not meet the requirements for matter that should be brought before the Constitutional Court.
The application to have this matter dismissed will be heard on June 15 this year.

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