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MMD MPs challenge expulsion in High Court

THREE MMD members of Parliament have individually petitioned the party in the Lusaka High Court for expelling them on allegations that they contravened the party constitution, conducted themselves in a manner likely to bring the name of the party into ridicule and insubordination, among others.

Muchinga Constituency member of parliament Howard Kunda, Serenje Central’s Maxwell Kabanda, and Mkaika’s Peter Phiri, have cited MMD national secretary Elizabeth Chitika, seeking a declaration that their expulsion from the party was null and void.

Kunda, Kabanda and Phiri, who are seeking the same remedies, want an order that their purported expulsion by the party dated August 18, 2020 was ultra vires Articles 1(3), 2, 11, 20 and 21 of the constitution of Zambian as amended by Act no.2 of 2016, therefore was void and of no legal effect.

The three want a declaration that any purported suspension relating to them which violates the Bill of rights as enshrined in the constitution of Zambia be declared null and void abnitio.

They are seeking a declaration that the purported expulsion from the party was illegal, as it was procedurally improper and absolute defiance of the established rules of natural justice.

Kunda, Kabanda and Phiri in their individual petitions said they were all bona fide members of the MMD who joined the party on different dates and that the MMD was guided by a Constitution which was duly lodged with the Registrar of Societies.

The trio explained that sometime in 2016, the MMD leadership had announced that the party was going to work with and form an alliance with the
PF in elections that were to be held on August 11, 2016 and in the same year, the MMD issued them with adoption certificates to contest as member of parliament in various constituencies and they won the elections under the MMD ticket.

They said that after the Patriotic Front won the presidential election, Felix Mutati was nominated as member of parliament by President Edgar Lungu and appointed as Minister of Finance as the two political parties were in an alliance.

The petitioners stated that they had been representing people in their constituencies but they started having problems with the MMD leadership following the judgment of the High Court under cause no. 2016/Hp/0989 dated November 5, 2019 which declared Nevers Mumba as the MMD president and not Mutati.

The three said that they started receiving phone calls from the party that they should make contributions to the party but they said that they would channel their contributions towards party mobilisation in their constituencies and that there was no provision in the party constitution indicating that contributions were mandatory.

Kunda, Kabanda and Phiri said that the party or party leadership has never communicated to them that it was no longer in alliance with the PF and that the same had been terminated.

The trio said that in June this year, a meeting was held where accusations against them, of failing to comply with the party decisions, resolutions and directives, among others, were discussed.

They said that on August 18, 2020, the party wrote to them informing them of their expulsion from the party

The petitioners contend that the continued state of affairs where they were at the sudden change of mind by Chitika to exercise their constitutional rights was unacceptable in a constitutional democracy like Zambia.

They further want a declaration that an MP’s duty to represent the interests of the constituents relating to the constituency he or she represents is greater than his or her duty to a political party they represent.

The trio is also seeking a declaration that the proceedings and resolutions of the National Executive Committee through the meeting that was held on June 20, 2020 be declared null and void abnitio.

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