The Lusaka High Court has dismissed a case in which three expelled UNIP members were seeking a declaration that the top leadership’s continued stay in office was illegal, saying the court cannot intervene in “club” matters.

Jarious Chakulunta, Charles Lubasi and Mwansa Musunte wanted the court to rule that UNIP president Tilyenji Kaunda, his vice Njekwa Anamela and secretary general Kenneth Kaira’s prolonged stay in office was in violation of the party constitution.

But High Court judge Betty Mung’omba refused to make any declarations sought by the trio as there was no legal basis upon which she could grant the reliefs saying UNIP was a club governed by rules and regulated under the provisions of Societies Act.

Justice Mung’omba said the plaintiffs failed to prove their case on a balance of probability.

She dismissed all the claims for being devoid of merit.

The court has also ruled that the plaintiffs had no rights and privileges to participate in affairs of the party as they were expelled.

During trial, Chakulunta testified that the party last held its general congress in 2000 where it ushered in the central committe but the Defendants had continued holding office even after their mandate ended in 2005.

Tilyenji and others contended that their stay in office was in line with article 152 of the UNIP constitution thereby urging the court to dismiss the matter.

The Tilyenji was elected as president in 2001 at an extra ordinary council meeting held in Kabwe.