29 November 2012

Zambia: High Court Upholds Zanama Ban

THE Lusaka High Court has upheld the decision of the Chief Registrar of Societies to de-register the Zambia National Marketeers Association (ZANAMA) on grounds that the association contravened the law.

High Court Judge Mungeni Mulenga, in handing down her judgment, said the registrar did not abuse his discretion when he de-registered ZANAMA because the association had contravened the provisions of Section 17 of the Societies Act.

"The association contravened the law by pursuing other objects other than its declared objects. In this instant case, ZANAMA actively supported a particular political party contrary to its constitution which provided that the association was to be non-partisan.

"I hereby decline to grant the sought orders and I accordingly dismiss this application," she said.

Mr Justice Mulenga said it was not only top officials involved, but that other office bearers were also in the forefront of contravening their constitution.

ZANAMA had sought judicial review challenging the registrar's decision to de-register it, contending that the action was illegal and irrational.

But the judge said there was no illegality in the manner the registrar acted because ZANAMA was among the four associations that were de-registered on August 1, this year and that the applicant was given a 21-day notice of intention to de-register.

"The applicant has thus not proved the irrationality to the required standard on the totality of the relevant facts that were taken into consideration by the Chief Registrar in arriving at the decision," Ms Justice Mulenga said.

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