THE lawyer for MMD faction leader Felix Mutati has applied to subpoena lawyer Jean Madaika who is representing Nevers Mumba in the leadership wrangles case.
In this case, MMD acting national secretary Winnie Zaloumis sued Mutati, Raphael Nakacinda and others and wants the court to declare that the convention which purported to elect Mutati as the party president in 2016 was illegal.
And when the case came up for opening of defence by Mutati and team, their lawyer Jonas Zimba said he had two applications to make and the first was to issue subpoena in respect of Madaika while the second one was to amend the defence by including a counterclaim.
He told judge Sharon Newa that he was ready to proceed with the two applications in the order set out.
But Mumba’s lawyer, Mulambo Haimbe, objected to the application by Zimba.
He said the plaintiffs have not been served with summons for the applications as they were only served with an affidavit for the same.
Haimbe added that that being the case, Zimba’s applications were not properly before court as the same had not yet been uplifted.
He added that the applications were not even attempting to raise any preliminary issues.
Haimbe added that the court appointed yesterday for specific business of opening defence and could not be derailed by the two applications, which have not been yet uplifted.
“They can wait their turn with 500 witnesses to be called. We can’t waste a single minute of this honourable court ‘s time. In summary, this honourable court appointed today for specific business and can’t be derailed on account of the two applications not uplifted. We are ready to continue with trial,” Haimbe said.
But Zimba added that the applications he wanted to make were a prerequisite to properly open their defence.
“He said they were key to the defendant’s case and they lay a foundation as regards the case.
Zimba explained that the specific business would not be transacted properly without the two applications being heard first.
He added that the plaintiffs wanted the two applications to be pushed aside and hurry into hearing the matter, saying ‘justice hurried is justice buried’.
Zimba added that his colleagues wanted to hurry justice so that it is buried on the part of his defendants.
And in her ruling, judge Newa said she heard submissions from both parties and noted that the defence had a month to file their application but only filed it on Monday.
She however, said the defence had a right to be heard on the two applications.
The judge adjourned the case to May 3 in chambers for hearing the two applications.
Judge Newa condemned the defence to costs to be agreed and taxed if not agreed.
Meanwhile, MMD vice-president Reuben Sambo condemned in the strongest terms the “tricks” from the Mutati group.
Addressing a horde of supporters that went to court, Rev Sambo said, “You have seen for yourselves that they do not have a defence. They are coming to court only to try one trick after another.”
“We are disappointed that today we have not made the progress that we hoped to make,” he said.
Rev Sambo announced that the party would no longer wait for the court case to end before starting to mobilise.
He told the cheering crowd that between now and when the case comes up, a series of meetings had been planned across the country aimed at bringing “our party to its proper stature.”
He lamented the slow pace of progress in this matter, but said that soon it would be concluded.