The Lusaka High Court has declared that Chifumu Banda is still FDD vice-president and has ordered the party to settle disputes out of court as provided for in the party Constitution.
In this matter, FDD national secretary Nathan Mulonda had applied for an exparte order for an interim injunction to stop the operations of ‘Save FDD’, a faction led by Banda which has been calling for a convention to replace Edith Nawakwi under the pretext that she has exhausted her terms of office.
Mulonda had also asked the court to confirm Banda’s expulsion saying he had no right to speak on behalf of the party.
But Banda, who was jointly sued with Lawrence Mwelwa and Yotam Mutayachalo; all members of the ‘Save FDD’, argued that their expulsions were illegal and unconstitutional.
They also asked the court to order the party to resolve the dispute through arbitration as prescribed in the FDD constitution.
In her ruling yesterday, judge Sharon Newa stated that Banda, Mwelwa and Mutayachalo were still members of the FDD as their purported expulsions were not upheld at a convention.
She also ordered the party to resolve its disputes in arbitration.
“The constitution of the FDD provides for reference to arbitration of any disputes in the party and it is a valid document governing the relationship between the party and its members…In view of the provisions of section 10 of the Arbitration Act No 19 of 2000, I refer the resolution of the disputes in this matter to arbitration and accordingly stay the proceedings. Costs shall be in the cause. Leave to appeal is granted,” said judge Newa.
On March 22, Banda demanded for a party convention to elect a new leader saying it is unconstitutional for Nawakwi to cling to the party presidency.
He was speaking when he launched the ‘SAVE FDD committee’ which he said was mandated to mobilize funds necessary to hold a party convention insisting that Nawakwi had exhausted her terms of office.
But party spokesperson Antonio Mwanza denounced Banda saying he had no authority to speak on behalf of the party.