Zambia makes the Registration of Churches as Business Houses illegal

Christopher-Mapani-from-PACRO-Zambia
Christopher Mapani from PACRO Zambia

Government has repealed the Companies Act of 2011, making the registration of churches as business houses illegal.

Patents and Companies Registration (PACRA) Assistant Registrar Christopher Mapani says the new law will see churches who want to register with the agency to run businesses being turned away.

Speaking at a stakeholders workshop on the Companies Act in Kitwe, Mr Mapani said the new law was signed by the Minister in June and it is now being enforced.

Mr Mapani revealed that all religious organisations who intend to run businesses must register with the Registrar of Societies but PACRA is now registering businesses and not religious groups.

Meanwhile, Mr Mapani has disclosed that it is illegal for Pastors or other religious leaders to share profits in churches.

He says churches have no shareholding and therefore it is an offence for the leadership to share profits like shareholders.

And officially opening the workshop which has attracted the business and legal fraternity, Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu said the repeal of the Companies Act has brought relief to workers.

Mr Mpundu said in the past, liquidators used to run away with a lot of money, leaving former workers destitute.

He added that the new law has also given guidelines on the role and qualifications of liquidators, a move that will bring about professionalism in the handling of liquidated companies.