Zambia's former ruling party dissolved
Lusaka - Zambia's former ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy has been dissolved for failing to pay registration fees, which could see it stripped of its parliamentary seats, the chief registrar said on Wednesday.
Political parties are required to pay annual registration fees, but the MMD has not paid since 1993 and now owes more than 390 million kwacha ($74 300), chief registrar of societies Clement Andeleki said.
"I have cancelled the registration of the MMD for non-compliance with the Societies Act," he told a news conference in Lusaka.
"The effect of my decision is also to nullify 53 seats in parliament held by the MMD as of today. I shall in view of this decision be informing the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini to take note of this development," Andeleki said.
The party will retain its seats until the speaker is notified.
"This drastic decision has been taken as an act of great exception by my office to send strong signal to erring registered societies," he said.
The MMD lost last year's elections to the Patriotic Front, seeing President Michael Sata take power peacefully from Rupiah Banda.
Since taking office Sata has launched a tough anti-corruption drive, but MMD members complain they have been singled out.