Raphael Nakacinda has alleged that Nevers Mumba tore petitions of party members that challenged his presidency after the expiration of his term of office.
This is in a matter where acting MMD national secretary Winnie Zaloumis is challenging the legality of the convention which saw the election of Felix Mutati, Mwansa Mbulakulima, Nakacinda and George Kangwa as new leaders of MMD in 2016.
Zaloumis is seeking a declaration of the court that the convention was null and void.
Opening his defense before High Court judge Sharon Newa on Thursday, Nakacinda, the national secretary of the Mutati led faction, testified that Mumba [the MMD president] wanted to avoid the party convention from being held in 2016.
Nakacinda said that several party members had petitioned the national execution committee to hold a convention but claimed that Mumba shredded the petitions.
He said in 2015 when he was spokesperson of the party, he spoke to Mumba about going for a convention as enshrined in the party constitution but the clergyman had a already decreed that the convention would be avoided.
Nakacinda said he told Mumba that a convention was last held in the April 12, 2011 and that there was a need to convene one on or before April 11 2016 but the former Republican vice-president told him that he was advised that having been elected as party president in 2012, his term was to run from 2012 to 2017.
“I told Dr Mumba that in 2016 the question of holding a convention will arise, he said let’s focus on bringing the party together and at the right time, that question will arise,” Nakacinda said.
“Because of the manner the matter was discussed, I find that there was an already predetermined way with which to avoid the convention. I took my party constitution with me and sat with Dr Mumba saying that if we do not apply ourselves with the provisions of the Constitution, we will end up making a mistake. I told him that even when you did not secure many votes, you can still walk proud that you upheld the rule of law of this country.”
The nominated member of parliament told judge Newa that when NEC convened at Mika Lodge in January 2016, some members noticed that four legal opinions from lawyers that where consulted in relation to when the convention should be held, were missing from the file.
“When the meeting started, we realised that legal opinions which were of the view that the convention should have been held in 2016 were missing from some of the NEC members’ files and we discovered that there was a new copy from Dr Mumba’s lawyer which was of the view that the convention should have been held in 2017,” Nakacinda explained.
Hearing continues today.