COPPERBELT MMD chairman Dennison Chisunka yesterday asked Lusaka High Court judge Sharon Newa to nullify all decisions and resolutions made by Felix Mutati and team at a convention held in 2016 and order the registrar of societies to restore the original list of office bearers led by Nevers Mumba.
Chisunka, who also told the court that he was a farmer in Luanshya, was testifying in a case in which Winnie Zaloumis as acting national secretary sued Mutati, Raphael Nakacinda, Mwansa Mbulakulima and George Kangwa and was seeking an order that the convention that the defendants held in 2016 was illegal and wants the court to nullify it.
He said because the Mutati convention was illegal, all decisions and resolutions made were illegal and ought to be nullified.
He testified that the notice to have a convention in 2016 signed by Mbulakulima was illegal as there was no NEC meeting convened.
Chisunka explained that Article 14.2 of the party’s constitution states that only the NEC has power to sanction the convention one month prior to the convention.
“It’s only the NEC that has power to call a convention. Not even the president nor the national secretary has the power to call for a convention,” he said.
Chisunka said the people that called for the 2016 convention were expelled from the former ruling party.
“The expulsions were contested but the court confirmed the expulsions. The person who signed the notice, Felix Mutati, was not an MMD [member] and Mbulakulima was suspended from the party. Nakacinda was also suspended in 2016. The other defendant, George Kangwa, was expelled in 2014. Therefore, when you consider the team that called the convention is a team of illegal men. What these men did was illegal and remains illegal,” he said.
Chisunka said any member who was going to be a leader must respect the regulations and it was for this reason that he did not attend the illegal gathering of Mutati and others who were in bad standing with the party.
And Chisunka also said the election for office bearers does not begin with the NEC but with the branches all the way to the NEC.
“It was illegal for someone to elect the NEC without valid office bearers at the provincial, district, constituency, wards and branch. It is the president that opens the provincial conference and is closed by the national secretary. The provincial conference forms the electoral college for the NEC, 10 from each province, five districts and three from the constituencies,” Chisunka said. “There was no election conducted to renew the leadership of the provincial executive to elected NEC.”
He explained that when the term of office ends, the incumbent leadership was responsible for organising elections of the new office bearers.
“If the term of office ends and the leadership disperses, it is a recipe of anarchy. This has never happened anywhere in the world,” Chisunka said.
He clarified that the MMD NEC had never held elections every five years, adding that the convention for NEC was held in the sixth year.
“When the NEC postpones an election, it is done by Article 56 (1). This article gives power to NEC to make rules and standing orders for the effective running of the party,” Chisunka explained.
And Elizabeth Chitika-Molobeka told the court that there was no party convention in 2016.
“What was held was an illegal gathering called by the people that were in bad books with the party.
When the purported convention was held, the party went to the court to stop it and an injunction was issued but the court order was disregarded,” said Chitika.