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Court warning for foreigners working in Zambia

Publish date: 01 April 2024
Issue Number: 1070
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Corporate

A new decision from the commercial registry of Zambia’s High Court holds a warning for professionals hailing from other countries: check whether you are entitled to work in Zambia. If you don’t qualify to be registered by the professional body that oversees your profession, you will be closed down and your company liquidated. In this case, writes Carmel Rickard in her A Matter of Justice column on the Legalbrief site, a Zimbabwean-registered accountancy company, off-shoot of the international accountancy company Crowe, registered itself to work in Zambia. There, a prominent local accountant, who is also the president of the council of Zambia’s institute of chartered accountants (ZICA), became the new company’s managing director. But then she discovered something that alarmed her. Under Zambia’s laws requiring accountants working in Zambia to be registered with ZICA, she was the only member of the company eligible for registration. No other member of the company was registered or eligible for registration. In response, she began legal proceedings to have the company closed down and liquidated. Now the High Court has upheld her application, finding that the company must be wound up because it had been incorporated for ‘unlawful purposes’. Though professionals from other countries were welcome to come to Zambia, they had to ‘play by the rules’, said the judge. This was to protect local people from service providers who were not bound by any enforceable codes of conduct.

A Matter of Justice

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