Hight Court ruling ends MMD leadership wrangles

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    LEADERSHIP wrangles within the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) came to a conclusion yesterday as the Lusaka High Court declared Nevers Mumba as the rightful president of the former rulling party.

    High Court judge Sharon Newa declared the convention which ushered in Mutati as party president was irregularly convened and any deliberations, resolutions, elections and pronouncements made at there were of no legal effect and not binding on the party.

    She said suspended MMD national secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima failed to present the petitions by different provinces demanding for a convention but chose to adopt an illegal method of convening a convention as only the National Executive Committee was mandated to call for a convention.

    She stated that in as much as political parties govern themselves through consensus , rules stipulated by the party have to be followed.

    Judge Newa said Felix Mutati having been expelled from the party although he challenged his expulsion was not eligible to stand as president of the party as Article 39(1) of the party constitution which provideed that a person who is not a member of the party shall not be elected as the president of the party.

    She said PF Milenge member of Parliament Mwansa Mbulakulima and Nominated member of Parliament Raphel Nakacinda having been suspended from the party had no right to convene, attend or participate in the Convention as their rights as members of the MMD were on hold.

    Judge Newa said acting National Secretary of the MMD Winnie Zaloumis had the authority to commence the proceedings as she sued in her capacity as acting National Secretary.

    “Since the second defendant (Mbulakulima) was suspended from the party the person who would protect the interest of the party was his deputy. The argument that the plaintiff has no locus standi to seek reliefs that the convention was illegal and should be declared null and void is dismissed.”

    Nevers Mumba’s supporters celebrates at the secretariat in Lusaka after the Court ruing – picture by Kalemba

    ” It is hereby held that the plaintiff has locus standi to commence these proceedings held. The plaintiff having succeeded on the claims l hereby order that she is awarded costs of the action to be taxed in default of agreement, I hereby order that the registrar of societies to rectify the record relating to the membership of the party, leave to appeal is hereby granted,” ordered judge Newa.

    After the court session Mutati’s supporters who were dismayed with the judgment said they would not consider the Court’s ruling that the convention of May 2016 was illegal.

    The supporters threatened to lynch Mumba as they hurled insults at him. Police officers acted swiftly and secured Mumba from being clobbered.

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