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Societies Act

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CHAPTER 119 THE SOCIETIES ACTCHAPTER 119
THE SOCIETIES ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I PELIMINARYPART I
PELIMINARY

Section
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 REGISTRATIONPART II
REGISTRATION OR EXEMPTIO N 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 af ter society has become unlawful
15. Publication of registration, etc.
16. Appeals

PART III DUTY OF SOCIETIES TO FURNISH IINFORMATIONPART III
DUTY OF SOCIETIES TO FURNISH IINFORMATION

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 SOCIETIESPART IV
UNLAWFUL SOCIETIES

Section
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 GENERALPART 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

CHAPTER 119
SOCIETIES
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] 65 of 1957
46 of 1958
26 of 1960
7 of 1962
9 of 1974
21 of 1990
13 of 1994
Government Notices
314 of 1964

497 of 1964
Statutory Instruments
66 of 1965
96 of 1969

PART I PRELIMINARYPART I
PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Societies Act. Short title

2. (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.
(No. 9 of 1974) Interpretation

“declared objects”, in relation to any societ y, means the objects declared by such society
at the time of, and contained i n, 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 th e time being exempted from registration
under the provisions of this Act;
“member”, in relation to a society, include s 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 th e 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 Permanen t Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs;
“place” includes vessel and vehicle;
“registered society” means any society for th e time being registered under the provisions
of this Act;
“Registrar” means the officer appointed as Re gistrar of Societies under section three and
such other officers as may be appointed under the same section;
“society” means any club, company, partners hip 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 plac e of business within Zambia; or

(c) which is deemed to be an association established in Zambia under the provisions
of section five;
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 tw o hundred and twenty-six of the said Act,
and any building society;
(ii) any company, council, authority, as sociation, 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 partners hip 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 u nder 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 twenty-three;
“writing” includes any handwritten or t yped document and any carbon or other copy
thereof, and any reproduction of any doc ument by printing, lithography, photography or
any other means whatsoever, whether simila r to those enumerated or not. Cap. 388
Cap. 269
Cap. 347

(2) Where any body of persons, whether corpor ate or unincorporate, is a member of an
association, all members of such body shall be de emed, for the purposes of this Act, to be
members of such association.
(As amended by No. 26 of 1960, G.N. No. 314 of 1964, S.I. No. 66 of 1965 and S.I. No.
96 of 1969)

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

(2) The Minister may from time to time give general or special directions to the Registrar
as to the performance of his duties, and th e Registrar shall comply with any such
directions.
(As amended by G.N. No. 314 of 1964)

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

5. An association shall be deemed to be established in Zambia although it is organised
and has its headquarters or chie f 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: Associations deemed to be established in Zambia

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

(i) it is organised and is ope rating wholly outside Zambia;
and

(ii) no office, place of business or place of m eeting 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 so licited in Zambia by the society or by any
person in its behalf.

PART II REGISTRATION OR EXEMPTION FROM REGISTRATIONPART II
REGISTRATION OR EXEMPTIO N FROM REGISTRATION

6. (1) Every society, other than a society in respect of which an order made under the
provisions of subsection (2) of section twenty-three 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 w ithin such extended period as the Registrar may
in any particular case allow, make applica tion 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 ma de until it has been received by the Registrar.
Application for regist ration or exemption

(2) Every society in existence at the commencement of this Act shall, in the manner
prescribed, make application to the Regist rar 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 ge nerally 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 releva nt period prescribed under subsection (1) or
(2), such society may make a subsequent appl ication 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 deem ed to be a due application for the purposes
of section seven.

(4) Any person who knowingly makes any false statement in any application made under
the provisions of this section sh all be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine not
exceeding three thousand penalty units.
(As amended by No. 46 of 1958, No. 26 of 1960, G.N. No. 314 of 1964 and Act No. 13
of 1994)

7. (1) Upon due application being made by any society for registration, the Registrar
shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, register such society. Registration or
exemption of societies

(2) Upon due application being made by any so ciety for exemption from registration, the
Registrar may-

(a) with the approval of the Permanent Secret ary and subject to the provisions of this
Act, grant such exemption; or

(b) refuse the application;
and if such exemption is not granted, the Registrar shall treat the application as an
application for registration and shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, register the
society.

(3) On registering, or exempting from registration, a society, the Registrar shall issue to
such society a certificate in the prescribed form which shall be prima facie evidence of
registration or exemption, as the case may be.

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a registered society may make
application to the Permanent Secretary for exemption from registration and the
Permanent Secretary may, in his absolute di scretion and subject to such conditions, if
any, as he thinks fit, grant such society exemption from registration, and thereupon the
Registrar shall cancel the certificate issued to such society under the provisions of
subsection (3) and shall issue a certif icate of exemption to such society.
(As amended by No. 26 of 1960 and G.N. No. 314 of 1964)

8. The Registrar may refuse to register and shall not exempt from registration any
society where it appears to him that such so ciety has among its objects, or is likely to
pursue or to be used for, any unlawful pur pose or for any purpose prejudicial to or
incompatible with the peace, welfare or good orde r in Zambia, or that the interests of the
peace, welfare or good order in Zambia would ot herwise be likely to suffer prejudice by
reason of the registration, or exemption from registration, of such society.
(As amended by No. 46 of 1958 and G.N. No. 314 of 1964) Grounds for refusing
registration or exemption

9. The Registrar shall refuse to register and shall not exempt from registration any
society where-
(a) it appears to him that the terms of the c onstitution or rules of such society are in
any respect repugnant to or inconsistent with the provisions of any law for the time being
in force in Zambia; or
(b) he is satisfied that the application does not comply with the provisions of this Act
or of any rules made thereunder; or
(c) he is satisfied that the society does not exist; or
(d) the name under which the society is to be registered- Cases where Registrar
must refuse registration or exemption

(i) is identical with that of a ny other existing society; or

(ii) so nearly resembles the name of such other society as, in the opinion of the
Registrar, is likely to deceive the public or the members of either society; or

(iii) is, in the opinion of the Registrar, repugnant to or inconsistent with the provisions
of any law for the time being in force in Zambia or is otherwise undesirable.

10. (1) The Registrar shall effect registration of a society by entering in a register kept
for the purpose the particulars given in the ap plication form and the date of such entry.
Method of effecting registration

(2) Upon payment of such fee as may be prescribed, the register kept under the
provisions of subsection (1) may be search ed and examined by any person during the
usual office hours upon application being made to the Registrar in that behalf.

(3) Any document purporting to be an extract of any entry in the register kept under the
provisions of subsection (1) and to be certified under the hand of the Registrar shall be
received in evidence as to the matters stated therein in any proceedings under the
provisions of this Act.
(As amended by No. 26 of 1960)

11. (1) When a society is exempted from registration under the provisions of section
seven, the Registrar shall enter in a register kept for the purpose the name of such society
together with the date of such exemption. Exemption from registration to be entered in
register

(2) Upon payment of such fee as may be prescribed, the register kept under the
provisions of subsection (1) may be search ed and examined by any person during the
usual office hours upon application being made to the Registrar in that behalf.
(No. 7 of 1962)

12. (1) The Registrar may, with the approval of the Minister, rescind at any time any
exemption granted under the provisions of section seven. Rescission of exemption

(2) Where the Registrar rescinds the exemption of a society under the provisions of
subsection (1), such society may, within twenty -one days from the date of the receipt of
notification of such rescissi on, apply for registration under this Act, and where such
society so applies it shall not, pending consideration of such application and
notwithstanding any provision of this Act to the contrary, be deemed to be an unlawful
society.

(3) Where the Registrar rescinds the exemp tion of a society under the provisions of
subsection (1), such society shall, within twenty-one days from the date of the receipt of
notification of such rescissi on, surrender to the Registrar the certificate of exemption
issued to it under the provisi ons of subsection (3) of secti on seven, and if such certificate

is not so surrendered, every office-bearer of the society shall be guilty of an offence and
shall be liable to a fine not exceeding seven hundred and fifty penalty units and to a
further fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty penalty units for every day after the
expiration of the said period of twenty- one days upon which such certificate remains
unsurrendered.
(As amended by G.N. No. 314 of 1964 and Act No. 13 of 1994)

13. (1) The Minister may, in his discreti on, cancel at any time the registration of any
society effected under the provisions of section seven if he is satisfied that it is expedient
so to do on the ground that- Cancellation of registration

(a) the society concerned has, in his opinion, among its objects, or is, in his opinion,
likely to pursue, or to be used for, any unlawful purpose or any purpos e prejudicial to or
incompatible with the peace, welfare or good order in Zambia; or

(b) the interests of peace, welfare or good order in Zambia would, in his opinion, be
likely to suffer prejudice by reason of the c ontinued registration of such society.

(2) The Registrar may, in his discretion, cancel at any time the registration of any society
effected under the provisions of section seven if he is satisfied that it is expedient so to do
on the ground that-

(a) the terms of the constitution or rules of such society are, in his opinion, in any
respect repugnant to or inconsistent with th e provisions of any law for the time being in
force in Zambia; or

(b) the society concerned has, in contraven tion of the provisions of section seventeen,
altered its objects or pursues objects ot her than its declared objects; or

(c) the society concerned has failed to comply with an order made under the
provisions of section nineteen or twenty with in the time stated in such order; or

(d) he has reason to believe that any such so ciety has ceased to exist as a society; or

(e) the society has changed its name and the new name it has adopted-
(i) is identical with that of any other existing society; or

(ii) so nearly resembles the name of such other society as, in the opinion of the
Registrar, is likely to deceive the public or the members of either society; or
(iii) is, in the opinion of the Registrar, repugnant to or inconsistent with the provisions
of any law for the time being in force in Zambia or is otherwise undesirable.

(3) Prior to cancelling any registration under the provisions of this section, the Registrar
shall notify his intention to the society c oncerned and shall give such society an
opportunity to submit reasons why the re gistration should not be cancelled.

(4) A society which has had its registrati on cancelled under the provisions of paragraph
(c) of subsection (2) shall not be entitled to apply for re-registration until the order
concerned has been complied with.
(As amended by No. 46 of 1958 and G.N. No. 314 of 1964)

14. (1) Where any society is or has become an unlawful society under the provisions of
this Act, the Minister may, where it appears to him to be in the public interest to do so, by
order prohibit any act specified therein- Prohibition of certa in acts after society has
become unlawful

(a) by any person on behalf of or in rela tion to any society associated with such
unlawful society; or

(b) by any person on behalf of or in relation to any society which, in the opinion of
the Minister, has objects similar to th e objects of such unlawful society;
in the area of Zambia specified therein, bei ng the area in which it appears to him that
such society carried on or, as the case may be , proposed to carry on, its activities or in
any part of such area.

(2) Any person who contravenes the provisi ons of an order made under subsection (1)
shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding three
thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

(3) A police officer of or above the rank of Inspector may arrest without warrant any
person whom he suspects upon reasonable grounds of having committed an offence
against this section.

(4) For the purposes of this section, a society shall be deemed to be in association with a
society which has become unlawful or has been refused registration or has had its
registration cancelled if such so ciety is the parent society of which such unlawful society
is a branch or is derived from the same pa rent society or is the successor of such an
unlawful society.

(5) An order under this section shall continue in force for such period (not exceeding six
months) as may be specified therein:

Provided that nothing herein shall preclude th e Minister from making a further order or
further orders with or without variations if it a ppears to him to be in the public interest to
do so.
(No. 46 of 1958 as amended by G.N. No. 314 of 1964 and Act No. 13 of 1994)

15. The Registrar shall, by Gazette notice, notify-
(a) every registration effected under the provisions of section ten;
(b) every exemption from registration grante d under the provisions of section seven;
(c) every rescission of exemption from re gistration effected under the provisions of
section twelve;
(d) every cancellation of registration effected under the provisions of section thirteen;
(e) every refusal to register under the pr ovisions of section eight or nine; and
(f) every change of its name by a statutor y society notified under the provisions of
section seventeen or eighteen.
(As amended by No. 7 of 1962) Pub lication of registration, etc.

16. Any society, other than a society the re gistration of which has been cancelled under
the provisions of subsection (1) of section thirteen or in respect of which an order made
under the provisions of subsecti on (2) of section twenty-three is in force, which is
aggrieved by the refusal of the Registrar to register such society or by his decision to
cancel the registration thereof or by his refusal to grant any application made under the
provisions of subsection (2) of section nineteen may, within twenty-one days or such
extended period as the Minister may allow, fr om the date of such refusal or cancellation,
appeal against such refusal or decision to the Minister.
(As amended by No. 26 of 1960 and G.N. No. 314 of 1964) Appeals

PART III DUTY OF SOCIETIES TO FURNISH INFORMATIONPART III
DUTY OF SOCIETIES TO FURNISH INFORMATION

17. (1) No registered society shall- Change of name, etc., of registered societies

(a) change-
(i) its name; or
(ii) any of the provisions of its constitution or rules; or

(b) add to or decrease its objects; or

(c) become a branch of, or affiliated to or connected with, any organisation or group
of a political nature established outside Zambia;
without notification in writing to the Registrar within one month thereof, and it shall be
the duty of every office-bearer of a registered society to ensure that such society does not
contravene the provisions of this subsection.

(2) If any registered society fails to comply with, or acts in contra vention of, any of the
provisions of this section, then such society and every office-bearer thereof shall be guilty
of an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding three thousand penalty units.
(As amended by Act No. 13 of 1994)

18. (1) Every exempted society which change s its name or adds to or decreases its
objects shall give notice in writing to the Registrar within one month thereof.
Change of name, etc., of exempted societies

(2) If any exempted society fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (1), such
society and every office-bearer thereof shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine
not exceeding three thousand penalty units.
(As amended by Act No. 13 of 1994)

19. (1) An authorised officer may, at a ny time by notice under his hand, order any
registered society to furnis h him with- Information to be furnished by registered
societies

(a) a true and complete copy of the constitu tion and rules of such society in force at
the date of such order;

(b) a true and complete list of office-bearers of such society or of any committee or
governing or executive body of such society resi ding in Zambia or present therein at the
date of such order;

(c) such accounts, returns and other information as may be prescribed by the
Minister.

(2) An order given under the provisions of subsection (1) shall specify the time, not
being less than twenty-one days, within which the information shall be supplied:

Provided that the authorised officer may, in his discretion, on application being made to
him and good cause being shown, grant such ex tension of time as he may think fit.

(3) Without prejudice to the pr ovisions of subsections (1) and (2), an authorised officer
may, at any time by notice under his hand, order any registered society within a time to
be specified in such notice to permit its accounts to be inspected by himself or by a
person authorised in writing by him.

(4) Every office-bearer and every person mana ging or assisting in the management of a
society in respect of which a notice under subsection (3) has been serv ed shall supply to
the authorised officer or the person authoris ed by him such information relating to the
accounts of the society and other matter incidental thereto as an authorised officer or such
authorised person may require, and when the inspection is undertaken by a person
authorised by the authorised officer, such person shall make a report to the authorised
officer with such recommendation as he may deem fit to include.
(As amended by No. 46 of 1958, No. 26 of 1960 and G.N. No. 314 of 1964)

20. (1) An authorised officer may, at a ny time by notice under his hand, order any
registered society to furnish hi m, within a time not being less than twenty-eight days to
be stated in such order, with duly audited a ccounts of such society. Authorised officer
may call for audited accounts

(2) For the purposes of this section, “duly audited” means audited by an auditor approved
by an authorised officer and such approval may be given either generally or for any
particular audit.
(As amended by No. 26 of 1960)

21. (1) Any order made by an authorised officer in relation to any registered society
under the provisions of section nineteen or twenty shall be binding upon every office-
bearer and upon every person managing or assis ting in the management of such society in

Zambia who has been served with such order. Persons responsible for supplying
information

(2) If any registered society fails to comply with the whole or any part of any order given
under the provisions of section nineteen or twenty, each of the persons mentioned in
subsection (1) who has been served with such order shall be guilty of an offence and shall
be liable to a fine not exceeding three thousand penalty units:

Provided that it shall be a defence for any such person to prove to the satisfaction of the
court that he has exercised due diligence and has failed to comply with the order for
reasons beyond his control.

(3) If any information supplie d to an authorised officer in compliance with an order
given under the provisions of sec tion nineteen or twenty is incorrect or incomplete in any
material particular, the person who supplied such information shall be guilty of an
offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding three thousand penalty units:

Provided that it shall be a defence for such pe rson to prove to the satisfaction of the court
that he believed and had good reason to beli eve that the information was correct and
complete.
(As amended by No. 26 of 1960 and Act No. 13 of 1994)

22. The Minister may, where it appears to hi m to be in the interests of the members of
the society concerned, take such steps as he thinks necessary to publish to such members
any matter furnished to the Registrar under the provisions of section nineteen or twenty.
(As amended by G.N. No. 314 of 1964) Discretion to publish information

PART IV UNLAWFUL SOCIETIESPART IV
UNLAWFUL SOCIETIES

23. (1) Every society, other than a statutory society, shall be deemed to be an unlawful
society: Unlawful societies

Provided that a society in respect of which-

(i) an application for registration or exem ption from registration has been duly and
lawfully made under the provisi ons of section six and has not been refused; or

(ii) an appeal has been lawfully made to the Minister under the provisions of section
sixteen and remains undetermined;
shall not be deemed to be an unlawful soci ety pending such refusal or determination.

(2) The Minister may, in his absolute discretion, where he considers it to be essential in
the public interest, by order declare to be unlawful any statutory society which, in his
opinion-

(a) is being used for any purpose prejud icial to, or incompatible with, the
maintenance of peace, order and good government; or

(b) is being used for any purpose at va riance with its declared objects.

(3) An order made under the provisions of subsection (2) shall operate immediately to
cancel the registration or resc ind the exemption from registration, as the case may be, of
the society concerned.

(4) The Minister may at any time vary or revoke an order made under the provisions of
subsection (2), but while any such order remain s in force, the society in respect of which
it was made shall not be entitled to appl y for registration or for exemption from
registration under this Act.
(As amended by No. 46 of 1958 and G.N. No. 314 of 1964)

24. (1) Any office-bearer and any person managing or assisting in the management of
any unlawful society and any person who is or who purports to be charged with the
performance of any function in respect of such society, which is distinct from the
functions of an ordinary member, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine
not exceeding fifteen thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not
exceeding seven years, or to both. Penaltie s of office-bearers, members, etc., of
unlawful society

(2) Any person who-

(a) acts as a member of an unlawful society; or

(b) attends any meeting of an unlawful society; or

(c) in any public place utters any word or statement, or makes any sign, or displays or
is in possession of any badge, banner, insignia or writing, whereby it is indicated that
such person is a member of an unlawful society;
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be li able to a fine not exceeding fifteen thousand
penalty units or to imprisonment for a pe riod not exceeding seven years, or to both.
(As amended by No. 26 of 1960 and Act No. 13 of 1994)

25. Any person who knowingly allows a meet ing of an unlawful society, or of members
of an unlawful society, to be held in any place belonging to or occupied by him, or over
which he has control, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine not
exceeding seven thousand five hundred penalty un its or to imprisonment for a period not
exceeding three years, or to both.
(As amended by Act No. 13 of 1994) Persons allowing unlawful society on premises

26. In any proceedings under the provisions of this Act-
(a) where it is proved that a club, company, pa rtnership or association of ten or more
persons is in existence, it shall be presum ed that such club, company, partnership or
association is a society within the meaning of this Act unless the contrary is proved;
(b) it shall not be necessary for the prosec ution to prove that a society possesses a
name, or that it has been constituted or is usually known under a particular name;
(c) where it is alleged that a society is an unlawful society, the burden of proving that
such society is a registered or exempted soci ety, or that an application for registration or
exemption from registration has been lawfully made under the provisions of section six
and has not been refused, sh all lie on the person charged.
(As amended by No. 46 of 1958) Presumptions as to societies

27. (1) Where any books, accounts, writings, list s of members, seals, banners or insignia
of, or relating to, or purporti ng to relate to, any society ar e found in the possession of any
person, it shall be presumed, until the contrary be proved, that such person is a member
of such society, and such society shall be presumed, until the contrary be proved, to be in
existence at the time such books, accounts, writin gs, lists, seals, banners or insignia are so
found. Presumption of member ship, etc., of society

(2) Where any books, accounts, writings, lists of members, seals, banners or insignia of,
or relating to, any society are found in the possession of any person, it shall be further
presumed, until the contrary be proved, that such person assists in the management of
such society.

28. (1) The Minister may order that the property, real and personal, which belongs to an
unlawful society or which is, with the consent and permission of the true owner thereof,
in the possession, order or disposition of such society shall vest in such officer as may be
specified in such order, and thereupon such property shall vest in such officer and such
officer shall proceed to wind up the affairs of such society, and if, after satisfying and
providing for all the debts and liabilities of the society and the cost of winding up, there
are any surplus assets, such officer shall prep are and submit to the Minister a scheme for
the application of such surplus assets . Winding up affairs of unlawful society

(2) Where it is necessary that any entry be made in or on any book, register, title deed or
other document in order to vest any property in any officer in pursuance of an order made
under the provisions of subsection (1), such en try shall, on production of such order, be
made, by the person whose duty it is to make such entry, without the payment of any fee
or duty in respect thereof.

(3) A scheme submitted to the Minister under subsection (1) may be amended by the
Minister in such manner as he may think prope r in the circumstances of the case, and the
approval of the Minister to such scheme sh all be denoted by the endorsement thereon of
such approval signed by the Permanent Secretary, and thereupon the surplus assets, the
subject of the scheme, shall be held by th e officer concerned upon the terms and to the
purposes thereby prescribed.

(4) For the purposes of the wi nding-up of the affairs of a society under the provisions of
this section, the officer specified in the order made under subsection (1) shall have all the
powers vested in the Official Receiver for the purpose of the discovering of the property
of a debtor and the re alisation thereof.

(5) The Minister may, for the purpose of en abling a society to wind up its own affairs,
suspend the operation of any order made under the provisions of subsection (1) for such
period as to him may seem expedient.

(6) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any property forfeited under the
provisions of section thirty-three.
(As amended by No. 26 of 1960 and G.N. No. 314 of 1964)

PART V GENERALPART V
GENERAL

29. (1) Whenever it is represented on oath or affidavit to a Judge or magistrate that in
fact or according to reasonable suspicion any society, whether a statutory society or not,
is being used or has been used or is a bout to be used for unlawful purposes or for
purposes prejudicial to or incompatible with the maintenance of peace, order and good
government, or that any statutory society is being used or has been used or is about to be
used for unlawful purposes at va riance with its declared objects, such Judge or magistrate
may by warrant empower an authorised officer to enter, with or without assistance and
using force for that purpose if necessary, into any place which is so represented to be or
have been used or to be about to be used as a place of meeting or place of business of
such society, and search such place and any person found therein or escaping therefrom
for evidence that such society is being used for such purposes aforesaid. Search
warrants

(2) Whenever it is represented on oath or affida vit to a Judge or magistrate that in fact or
according to reasonable suspicion any place is or is about to be used as a place of meeting
of an unlawful society or of persons who ar e members of an unlawful society or for the
concealment, custody or deposit of any books, accounts, writings, lists of members,
banners, seals, insignia, firearms, weapons or other articles belonging to an unlawful
society, such Judge or magistra te may by warrant empower an authorised officer to enter,
with or without assistance a nd using force for that purpose if necessary, into and search
such place and seize or cause to be seized all books, accounts, writings, lists of members,
banners, seals, insignia, firearms, weapons or other articles which he has reasonable
cause to believe belong to any unlawful societ y or to be in any way connected therewith
and to arrest or cause to be arrested any person found in such place or escaping
therefrom.
(As amended by S.I. No. 66 of 1965 and Act No. 9 of 1974)

30. (1) The Minister may, by statutory orde r, declare that the provisions of this
subsection shall apply to any area of Zambia, and in any area to which this subsection has
been so applied it shall be lawful for any aut horised officer who has reason to believe that
any society, whether a statutory so ciety or not, is being used or has been used or is about
to be used for unlawful purposes or for purposes prejudicial to or incompatible with the
maintenance of peace, order and good government, or that any statutory society is being
used or has been used or is about to be us ed for purposes at variance with its declared
objects, to enter, with or without assistance and using force for that purpose if necessary,
into any place which he has reason to believe is used or has been used or is about to be
used as the place of meeting or place of busine ss of such society and to search such place
and any person found therein or escaping ther efrom for evidence that such society is
being used for such purposes as aforesai d. Power to search without warrant

(2) The Minister may, by statutory order, decl are that this subsection shall apply to any
area of Zambia, and in any area to which this subsection has been so applied it shall be
lawful for any authorised officer to enter, with or without assist ance and using force for

that purpose if necessary, into any place in which he may have reasonable grounds to
believe that a meeting of an unlawful society or of persons who are members of an
unlawful society is being hel d, or that books, accounts, wr itings, lists of members,
banners, seals, insignia, firearms, weapons or other articles belonging to an unlawful
society are concealed, kept or deposited and to arrest or cause to be arrested all persons
found in or escaping from such place and sei ze or cause to be seized all books, accounts,
writings, lists of members, banne rs, seals, insignia, firearms, weapons or other articles
which he may have reasonable cause to believ e belong to any unlawful society or to be in
any way connected therewith.
(As amended by G.N. No. 314 of 1964 and Act No. 9 of 1974)

31. (1) The provisions of subsections (1) and (3) of section one hundred and two, and
sections one hundred and four, one hundred and six, one hundred and nineteen, one
hundred and twenty and one hundred and twenty -one of the Criminal Procedure Code
shall apply to search warrants issued under th e provisions of section twenty-nine, and any
magistrate issuing a search warrant under section twenty-nine shall, for the purposes
thereof, be deemed to have jurisdiction throughout Zambia. Supplementary provisions as
to search warrants, etc.
Cap. 88

(2) All persons arrested and all articles seized in pursuance of a warrant issued under the
provisions of section twenty-nine may be detained in custody until they can, without
unnecessary delay, be brought before a subordina te court to be dealt with according to
law.

32. Except in the case of persons arrested under the provisions of section twenty-nine or
thirty, a person shall no t be prosecuted for an offence unde r the provisions of this Act or
any rule made thereunder without the written consent of the Director of Public
Prosecutions, or, if duly authorised thereto by the Director of Public Prosecutions, the
Solicitor-General or State Advocates: Consent to prosecution

Provided that a person charged with such offe nce may be arrested, or a warrant for such
arrest may be issued and executed, and any such person may be remanded in custody or
on bail notwithstanding that such consen t has not been obtained, but no further
proceedings shall be taken until such consent has been obtained.
(As amended by No. 26 of 1960 and S.I. No. 66 of 1965)

33. Any books, accounts, writings, banners, se als, insignia, firearms or other weapons
which belong to an unlawful society or which are, with the consent and permission of the
true owner thereof, in the possession, order or control of such society shall be forfeited
and given to the Registrar for disposal in such manner as he may think fit.

(As amended by No. 26 of 1960) Forfeiture

34. (1) Every statutory society shall have a registered office and postal address to which
all communications and notices sent under or for the purposes of this Act may be
addressed. Registered office

(2) Notice of the situation of the registered office of a society and of any change thereof
or of the postal address of the society sha ll be given to the Registrar and shall be
registered by him.

(3) If any statutory society-

(a) operates without having a registered office, or without giving notice of the
situation of such office as he reinbefore required; or

(b) operates at any place to which its re gistered office may have been removed
without having given notice of the change in situation thereof to the Registrar; or

(c) fails to give notice to the Registrar of any change in its postal address;
then such society and every office-bearer ther eof shall be guilty of an offence and shall
be liable to a fine not exceeding thirty pe nalty units for every day during which such
society so operates or fails to give notice.
(As amended by Act No. 13 of 1994)

35. (1) Where the Registrar is of opinion that doubt exists as to the qualifications or
good faith of any person applying for the regist ration or exemption from registration of a
society, or supplying information under any of the provisions of this Act, he may order
such person to show cause why such applica tion or such information should be accepted
from such person. Power to reject information, etc.

(2) An order given under the provisions of subsection (1) shall specify the time, not
being less than twenty-one days from the date of such order, within which the person
concerned shall comply therewith.

(3) Where any person ordered to show cause under the provisions of subsection (1) fails
to comply with such order within the specified time or fails to satisfy the Registrar as to
his qualifications or good fait h, the Registrar may, subject to the confirmation of the

Minister, refuse to accept the application or information concerned and may accept any
application or information in the same matte r made or given by any other person who, in
the opinion of the Registrar, is entitled to make the same.
(No. 26 of 1960 as amended by G.N. No. 314 of 1964)

36. (1) Every order, notice, summons or other document issued under the provisions of
this Act or any rule made thereunder shall be deemed to have been validly and effectively
served on the person to whom it is addressed if it is personally served upon him, or is left
with him, or is sent by prepaid registered post addressed to him at the registered office of
the society with which he is conc erned: Service of summons, etc.

Provided that, where it is not possible to effect service of any such document in any of
the modes hereinbefore mentioned, service thereof shall be deemed to have been validly
effected if such document is securely affixe d to the door of the house or other building in
which the person to whom such document is addressed is usually resident.

(2) Every order, notice or other document i ssued under the provisions of this Act or any
rule made thereunder shall be deemed to have been validly served on a society if it is sent
by prepaid registered post a ddressed to the society at its registered office.

(3) Any document served by being sent by re gistered post shall be deemed to have
reached the person to whom or society to wh ich it was addressed within seven days of
posting unless the contrary is proved.
(As amended by No. 26 of 1960)

37. Any person employed in carrying out the provisions of this Act who publishes or
communicates any information acquired by him in the course of such employment to any
other person, otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act or without the
written authority of the Permanent Secretary, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a
fine not exceeding three thousand penalty un its or to imprisonment for a period not
exceeding one month, or to both.
(As amended by G.N. No. 314 of 1964 and Act No. 13 of 1994) Penalty for
unauthorised disclosure

38. (1) The Minister may, by statutory instrument, make rules generally for the better
carrying into effect of the provisions of this Act, and, in pa rticular, and without prejudice
to the generality of the foregoing, may make rules for the purposes following or any of
them: Rules

(a) prescribing the manner of exemption and registration of societies under this Act;

(b) regulating or restricting changes of name or objects of statutory societies;

(c) prescribing the forms which may be used for carrying out the provisions of this
Act;

(d) for securing the submission to the Regist rar of accounts relating to the assets and
liabilities, income and expenditure of registered societies in such form and at such time or
times and in respect of such period or periods as may be prescribed;

(e) prescribing the fees to be payable in respect of anything to be done under the
provisions of this Act;

(f) for securing the submission to the Regist rar of annual or other periodical returns
relating to the constitu tion, objects, membership and management of statutory societies in
such form as may be prescribed;

(g) prescribing anything to be prescribed under the provisions of this Act.

(2) The Minister may, in making a rule under the provisions of this section, prescribe for
any breach thereof a fine not exceeding seve n thousand five hundred penalty units or a
term of imprisonment not exceeding one y ear, or both, and for a continuing breach
thereof a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty penalty units in respect of each day on
which such breach continues.
(As amended by G.N. No. 314 of 1964 and Act No. 13 of 1994)

SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

SOCIETIES CAP. 119

SECTION 2-THE SOCIETIES (APPLICATION) ORDER
Order by the Minister Government Notices
147 of 1958
140 of 1964

121 of 1983

1. This Order may be cited as the Societies (Application) Order. Title

2. The associations of persons described in the Schedule are hereby declared not to be
societies for the purposes of the Act. Declaration

SCHEDULE

(Paragraph 2)
SOCIETIES DECLARED NOT TO BE SO CIETIES FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE
OCIETIES ACT
1. All schools registered or establis hed under the provisions of the Education Act,
which are intended to provide or further a ge neral, vocational, or technical education.
2. All statutory education authoritie s, advisory boards, school councils or committees
and all committees appointed for educational purposes-
(a) by the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education either before or after the 1st
January, 1964; or
(b) by the Secretary to the former Federal Mi nistry of Education before the 1st January,
1964.
3. All societies within any schoo l aforesaid which have been approved by the
principal or head-teacher of such sc hool and have not been disapproved-
(a) by the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education either before or after the 1st
January, 1964; or
(b) by the Secretary to the former Federal Mi nistry of Education before the 1st January,
1964.
(As amended by No. 140 of 1964) CAP. 134

SECTION 2-THE SOCIETIES (NON-APPLICATION TO CLUBS) ORDER
Order by the Minister Statutory Instrument
121 of 1983

1. This Order may be cited as the Societ ies (Non-Application to Clubs) Order. Title

2. A club registered under the Clubs Registration Act is hereby declared not to be a
society for the purposes of this Act. Non-application of Act to Clubs. Cap. 162

SECTION 30-APPLICATION
Declarations by the Minister Government Notices
83 of 1959
84 of 1959
497 of 1964
Statutory Instrument
197 of 1972

It is hereby declared that the provisions of s ubsections (1) and (2) of section thirty of the
Act shall apply to the Northe rn, Luapula, Copperbelt, East ern, Central, Southern, North-
Western and Western Provinces of Zambia.

THE SOCIETIES RULES

ARRANGEMENT OF RULES
Rule
1. Title
2. Interpretation
3. Books of account to be kept by registered societies
4. Register of members to be kept by registered societies
5. Application for registration or exemption
6. Issue of Certificate of Registration
7. Issue of Certificate of Exemption
8. Notice of refusal to register
9. Notice of rescission of exemption
10. Notice of cancellation of registration
11. Notice of change of constitution of society
12. Notice of change in constitution of society
13. Notice of alteration of objects of society
14. Notice of change of address of society
15. Notice of change of office-bearers
16. Annual returns
17. Amendment of particulars in register
18. Appeals
19. Furnishing of additional information and documents
20. Signing of returns, etc.
21. Penalties
22. Prescribed fees

FIRST SCHEDULE-Prescribed forms

SECOND SCHEDULE-Prescribed fees

SECTION 38-THE SOCIETIES RULES
Rules by the Minister
Government Notices
119 of 1958
328 of 1958
307 of 1962
314 of 1964
497 of 1964
Statutory Instruments
295 of 1969
6 of1972
110 of 1982
11 of 1992
ActNo.
13 of 1994

1. These Rules may be cited as the Societies Rules. Title

2. In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires- Interpretation

“the register” means the register of societies to be kept by the Registrar under section ten
(1) of the Act.

3. (1) Every registered society which rece ives money from any source, whether by way
of subscription, donation or otherwise, shall k eep one or more books of account in which
shall be entered details of all moneys receiv ed and payments made by the society. Books
of account to be kept by registered societies

(2) Every office-bearer and every person ma naging or assisting in the management in
Zambia of a registered society in respect of which the provisions of this rule are not
complied with shall be guilty of an offence against these Rules and shall be liable on
conviction to a fine not exceed ing six thousand penalty units or to imprisonment not ex-
ceeding one year, or to both, unless he establis hes to the satisfaction of the court that he
exercised due diligence and that the failure by the society to compy with this rule was due
to reasons beyond his control.
(As amended by Act No. 13 of 1994)

4. Every registered society shall keep a register of its members in which shall be
entered-
(a) the full name and address of each member;
(b) the date on which each member was admitted to membership;
(c) the date on which each member ceases to be a member. Register of members
to be kept by registered societies

5. (1) Every application for registration or for exemption from registration of any
society shall- Application for registration or exemption

(a) be made in quadruplicate in the form set out as Form S.O.I in the First Schedule;

(b) be signed by all office-be arers of the society in the presence of the Registrar of
the district in which the societ y has its registered office;

(c) be sent to the Registrar of the district in which the society has its registered office;

(d) be accompanied by three copies of the constitution and rules of the society;

(e) be accompanied by a remittance for thirteen fee units.
(As amended by No. 110 of 1982 and Act No. 13 of 1994)

(2) The remittance referred to in paragraph (e) of sub-rule (1) shall not be returnable to
the society whether or not such society is granted, or exempted from, registration.

(3) Where the constitution or rules of the so ciety were not made in the English language,
there shall be attached to the application three copies of a translation of the said
constitution or rules into the English language, in addition to the three copies of the said
constitution or rules in the langua ge in which they were made.
(As amended by No. 295 of 1969 and No. 6 of 1972)

6. On the registration of any society, the Registrar shall issue to the society a Certificate
of Registration in the form set out as Fo rm S.O.2 in the First Schedule. Issue of
Certificate of Registration

7. On granting any society exemption from registration, the Registrar shall issue to the
society a Certificate of Exemption in the form set out as Form S.O.3 in the First
Schedule. Issue of Certificate of Exemption

8. Where the Registrar refuses to regist er a society, he shall send to the society
notification of his refusal in the form set out as Form S.O.4 in the First Schedule. Notice
of refusal to register

9. Where under the provisions of section tw elve (1) of the Act the Registrar rescinds
any exemption from registration granted to any society, he shall give notice to the society
of such rescission in the form set out as Form S.O.5 in the First Schedule. Notice of
rescission of exemption

10. Where under section thirt een (2) of the Act the Registrar cancels the registration of
any society, he shall give notice to the society of such cancellation in the form set out as
Form S.O.6 in the First Schedule. No tice of cancellation of registration

11. Every registered or exempted society which changes its name in accordance with
section seventeen (1) (a) or eighteen (1) of the Act shall notify the Registrar of the change
in the form set out as Form S.O.7 in the Fi rst Schedule. Notice of change of name of
society

12. Every registered society which change s any of the provisions of its constitution or
rules shall notify the Registrar in the form se t out as Form S.O.7 in the First Schedule.
Notice of change in constitution of society

13. Every registered and exempted societ y which adds to or decreases or otherwise
varies its objects shall notify the Registrar in the form set out as Form S.O.7 in the First
Schedule. Notice of alteration of objects of society

14. Where any registered or exempted soci ety changes the situation of its registered
office or changes its postal address, it shall, within fourteen days, send to the Registrar
notice thereof on one of the forms set out as Form S.O.7 in the First Schedule, whichever
may be appropriate. Notice of ch ange of address of society

15. (1) Where any office-bearer of a registered society ceases to hold office or any
person is appointed to be an office-bearer of a registered society, such registered society
shall, within fourteen days, send to the Regi strar notice thereof in the form set out as
Form S.O.8 in the First Schedule. No tice of change of office-bearers

(2) If any registered society fails to comply with the provisions of this rule, then such
society and every office-bearer thereof shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to
a fine not exceeding three thousand penalty units
(As amended by Act No. 13 of 1994)

16. (1) Not later than the 31st March in each year every registered society shall furnish
to the Registrar an annual retu rn in the form set out as Form S.O.9 in the First Schedule.
Annual returns

(2) It shall be the duty of every office-bearer of the society to ensure that such annual
return is duly furnished to the Registrar.

17. (1) On being notified of any change of name in accordance with rule 11 or upon
receiving notification of any ch ange in a statutory society’s registered office or postal
address under rule 14, the Registrar shall am end the particulars concerning the said
society entered in the register. Amen dment of particulars in register

(2) Where the name of a society is changed, the Registrar shall issue a fresh Certificate
of Registration or Exemption, as the case may be, on the original certificate being
surrendered to him.

(3) The Registrar shall also make such other amendments to the particulars concerning a
society entered in the register as may be necessitated by information provided under rules
16 and 19.

18. Any appeal to the Mini ster under section sixteen of the Act and any application for
an extension of time within which to lodge such an appeal shall-
(a) be in writing signed by two of th e office-bearers of the society; and
(b) set out the grounds upon which the a ppeal or application is based; and
(c) be sent to the Permanent Secretary.
(As amended by No. 314 of 1964) Appeals

19. (1) In addition to the documents and information specifically mentioned in section
nineteen (1) of the Act, the Registrar may order any registered society to furnish him
within a time to be specified, such time not be ing less than twenty-one days, all or any of
the following: Furnishing of additional information and documents

(a) information on any of the matter containe d in Forms S.O.1 or S.O.9 of the First
Schedule;

(b) information as to the property, movabl e or immovable, and the financial position
of the society;

(c) a balance sheet of the last or any specified year’s working of the society; and

(d) a list of the names of members and office-bearers of any committee or governing
or executive body of such society.

(2) The Registrar may also order the societ y to produce for his inspection within a time
to be specified, such time not being less than twenty-one days, all or any of the following:

(a) all or any of the books of account of the society;

(b) any minutes or written records of the proceedings of the society or of any
committee or governing or executive body thereof;

(c) the documents of title to any pr operty held by the society; and

(d) the register of members of the societ y kept in accordance with rule 4.

(3) Where the Registrar requires the producti on of any such books of account or minutes
or written records and these are not produ ced within the time specified in such
requirement, such registered society shall be deemed to be in breach of the provisions of
this rule.

(4) Every office-bearer and every person managing or assisting in the management in
Zambia of a registered society which is in breach of the provisions of this rule and who
has been served with such order shall be guilt y of an offence against these Rules and shall
be liable on conviction to a fine not exceedi ng three thousand penalty units, unless he
establishes to the satisfaction of the court th at he exercised due diligence and that the
failure of the society to comply with this rule was due to reasons beyond his control.
(As amended by Act No. 13 of 1994)

20. All information and every notification or return required by the Registrar or by the
provisions of the Act or these Rules shall be signed by two office-bearers. Signing of
returns, etc.

21. Where in these Rules no penalty is pr ovided for the breach of a rule, every office-
bearer and every person managing or assisting in the management in Zambia of a society
shall be liable to a fine not exceeding three thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for
a period not exceeding six months, and for a continuing breach to a fine not exceeding
one hundred and fifty penalty units in re spect of each day on which such breach
continues.
(As amended by Act No. 13 of 1994) Penalties

22. The fees set out in th e third column of the Second Sc hedule shall be charged for the
several matters set out oppos ite thereto in the second column of that Schedule.
Prescribed fees

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