Old Zambian ruling party kept alive

Lusaka - A Zambian high court on Tuesday overturned a decision to dissolve the country's former ruling party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), which had been in arrears on registration fees.

Judge Jane Kabuka said the decision by the Registrar of Societies ordering that the MMD disband itself was excessive. She did, however, note that the party's paperwork was in shambles.

Zambia's former president Rupiah Banda at the State House in Lusaka, Zambia. Credit: AP

The MMD lost elections last year to President Michael Sata's Patriotic Front (PF), the former opposition party. Since the PF took over, the party has been plagued by accusations that it is using its position of power to hurt its former opponents.

MMD president Nevers Mumba said the ruling was a “a sweet victory for the party.” If the MMD would have lost the court case, it could have also been forced to forfeit its 53 seats in parliament.

Government spokesman Fackson Shamenda said the PF accepted the ruling and that it had not been involved with the decision by the Registrar of Societies.

“The Registrar of Societies makes his own decisions, and we will never put any pressure on him,” said Shamenda. - Sapa-dpa