Court stays MMD de-registration pending the hearing and final determination of the case

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LUSAKA High Court judge Jane Kabuka has stayed Registrar of Societies Clement Andeleki’s decision to de-register the MMD pending the hearing and final determination of the case.

Andeleki on Wednesday announced the de-registration of the MMD, but the party’s national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe and 53 members of parliament through their lawyers Hobday Kabwe and Company and George Kunda and Company filed a notice of application for leave to apply for judicial review where they asked the court to declare the Registrar’s decision unlawful, null and void.

The MMD women’s league had planned to demonstrate on March 22 but has since cancelled the demonstration following the court ruling.

Ruling on an ex parte order for leave to apply for judicial review yesterday, High Court judge-in-charge judge Kabuka ordered and granted the application.

“Upon reading and considering the application for leave to apply for judicial review, statement of facts filed herewith and the affidavit verifying the statement of the said facts, it is hereby ordered that leave to apply for judicial review be and is hereby granted and is to operate as a stay of the decision of the Registrar of Societies made on the 14th day of March 2012 pending the hearing and final determination of these proceedings,” she said.

Judge Kabuka also added that costs of the application be in the cause.

And briefing journalists yesterday, MMD legal chairperson George Kunda said the party had commenced a court action for judicial review and in accordance with the practice and procedure.

“…the MMD will continue with its normal operations. Our members of 53 members of parliament will continue to enjoy their rights and privileges and powers which they enjoy in the National Assembly,” Kunda said.

“They were elected for a five-year mandate by the people of Zambia. We are challenging the powers of the Registrar of Societies to nullify 53 seats and also to cancel registration of MMD.”

Kunda said the MMD would like the court to determine whether the Registrar had the powers to usurp the jurisdiction of the High Court and determine issues of tenure for members of the National Assembly./POST

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