CHAPTER 119
SOCIETIES ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Registrar of Societies

   4.   Protection of officers

   5.   Associations deemed to be established in Zambia

PART II
REGISTRATION OR EXEMPTION FROM REGISTRATION

   6.   Application for registration or exemption

   7.   Registration or exemption of societies

   8.   Grounds for refusing registration or exemption

   9.   Cases where Registrar must refuse registration or exemption

   10.   Method of effecting registration

   11.   Exemption from registration to be entered in register

   12.   Rescission of exemption

   13.   Cancellation of registration

   14.   Prohibition of certain acts after society has become unlawful

   15.   Publication of registration, etc.

   16.   Appeals

PART III
DUTY OF SOCIETIES TO FURNISH INFORMATION

   17.   Change of name, etc., of registered societies

   18.   Change of name, etc., of exempted societies

   19.   Information to be furnished by registered societies

   20.   Authorised officer may call for audited accounts

   21.   Persons responsible for supplying information

   22.   Discretion to publish information

PART IV
UNLAWFUL SOCIETIES

   23.   Unlawful societies

   24.   Penalties of office-bearers, members, etc., of unlawful society

   25.   Persons allowing unlawful society on premises

   26.   Presumptions as to societies

   27.   Presumption of membership, etc., of society

   28.   Winding up affairs of unlawful society

PART V
GENERAL

   29.   Search warrants

   30.   Power to search without warrant

   31.   Supplementary provisions as to search warrants, etc.

   32.   Consent to prosecution

   33.   Forfeiture

   34.   Registered office

   35.   Power to reject information, etc.

   36.   Service of summons, etc.

   37.   Penalty for unauthorised disclosure

   38.   Rules

AN ACT

to provide for the better control of societies by registration and supervision; and to provide for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

[2nd June, 1958]

Act 65 of 1957,

Act 46 of 1958,

Act 26 of 1960,

Act 7 of 1962,

Act 9 of 1974,

Act 21 of 1990,

Act 13 of 1994.

GN 314 of 1964,

GN 497 of 1964.

SI 66 of 1965,

SI 96 of 1969.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Societies Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

“authorised officer” means the Registrar, an Administrative Officer, a police officer in charge of a District Police Station, and any police officer of or above the rank of Sub-Inspector;

“declared objects”, in relation to any society, means the objects declared by such society at the time of, and contained in, the application of such society for registration, or any subsequent variation of such objects made in accordance with rules made under the provisions of this Act;

“exempted society” means any society for the time being exempted from registration under the provisions of this Act;

“member”, in relation to a society, includes an office-bearer of such society;

“office-bearer”, in relation to any society or any committee or governing or executive body of a society, means any person who is the President, Vice-president, Chairman, Deputy chairman, Secretary or treasurer of such society, committee or body, or who holds therein any office or position analogous to any of those mentioned above;

“Permanent Secretary” means the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs;

“place” includes vessel and vehicle;

“registered society” means any society for the time being registered under the provisions of this Act;

“Registrar” means the officer appointed as Registrar of Societies under section 3 and such other officers as may be appointed under the same section;

“society” means any club, company, partnership or other association of ten or more persons, whatever its nature or object—

      (a)   formed or established in Zambia; or

      (b)   having its headquarters or chief place of business within Zambia; or

      (c)   which is deemed to be an association established in Zambia under the provisions of section 5;

and any branch of such club, company, partnership or association, but does not include—

      (i)   any company registered under the provisions of the Companies Act, or which has complied with the requirements of section 226 of the said Act, and any building society;

      (ii)   any company, council, authority, association, board, committee or other body lawfully constituted or established under Royal Charter, Royal Letters Patent, British Act, Order in Council or any law for the time being in force in Zambia;

      (iii)   any trade union registered under the provisions of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act

      (iv)   any company, association or partnership consisting of not more than twenty persons, formed and maintained for the sole purpose of carrying on any lawful profession or business;

      (v)   any co-operative society registered under the provisions of the Co-operative Societies Act;

      (vi)   any society or class of society which the Minister may, by statutory order, declare not to be a society for the purposes of this Act;

“statutory society” means a registered society or an exempted society;

“unlawful society” means a society declared to be unlawful by or under the provisions of section 73;

“writing” includes any handwritten or typed document and any carbon or other copy thereof, and any reproduction of any document by printing, lithography, photography or any other means whatsoever, whether similar to those enumerated or not.

   (2) Where anybody of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate, is a member of an association, all members of such body shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to be members of such association.

[S 2 am by Act 26 of 1960; GN 314 of 1964; SI 66 of 1965, 96 of 1969.]

3.   Registrar of Societies

   (1) There shall be a public officer styled the Registrar of Societies and such additional Registrars, who shall be public officers, as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act.

   (2) The Minister may from time to time give general or special directions to the Registrar as to the performance of his duties, and the Registrar shall comply with any such directions.

[S 3 am by GN 314 of 1964.]

4.   Protection of officers

No suit shall lie against any public officer for anything done or omitted to be done by him in good faith without negligence and intended exercise of any power of performance of any duty conferred or imposed upon him by any of the provisions of this Act.

5.   Associations deemed to be established in Zambia

An association shall be deemed to be established in Zambia although it is organised and has its headquarters or chief place of business outside Zambia, if any of its office-bearers or members reside in Zambia or is present therein, or if any person in Zambia manages or assists in the management of such association or solicits or collects money or subscriptions in its behalf:

Provided that no association shall be deemed to be so established if and so long as—

      (i)   it is organised and is operating wholly outside Zambia; and

      (ii)   no office, place of business or place of meeting is maintained or used in Zambia by such association or by any persons in its behalf; and

      (iii)   no register of all or any of the members of such association is kept in Zambia; and

      (iv)   no subscriptions are collected or solicited in Zambia by the society or by any person in its behalf.

PART II
REGISTRATION OR EXEMPTION FROM REGISTRATION

6.   Application for registration or exemption

   (1) Every society, other than a society in respect of which an order made under the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 23 is in force, shall, in the manner prescribed and within twenty-eight days of the formation thereof or of the adoption thereby of a constitution or of rules, or within such extended period as the Registrar may in any particular case allow, make application to the Registrar for registration or for exemption from registration under this Act. An application under the provisions of this section shall be deemed not to have been made until it has been received by the Registrar.

   (2) Every society in existence at the commencement of this Act shall, in the manner prescribed, make application to the Registrar for registration or for exemption from registration under this Act within sixty days of such date, or within such extended period as the Registrar may either generally or in any particular case allow, and, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, no such society shall be deemed to be an unlawful society until such period or extended period has elapsed.

   (3) Notwithstanding the failure of a society to make application for registration or exemption from registration within the relevant period prescribed under sub-section (1) or (2), such society may make a subsequent application to the Registrar for registration or exemption from registration under this Act, and such application may, with the prior consent of the Permanent Secretary, be deemed to be a due application for the purposes of section 7.

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