National secretary of the Felix Mutati-led MMD Raphael Nakacinda was yesterday abandoned by his lawyer in a matter regarding MMD leadership wrangles.
This was after High Court Judge Sharon Newa refused to stay the proceedings of the main case, pending Nakacinda’s appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Nakachinda had appealed over the court’s ruling that dismissed Mutati and four other’s applications where they wanted the court to determine whether acting secretary general for the Nevers Mumba-led MMD faction Winnie Zaloumis could challenge their election when her tenure of office allegedly expired in 2016.
Justice Newa had last week dismissed their application with costs, saying it was not only forum shopping, but also an abuse of the court process, a ruling which Nakacinda had appealed against.
Meanwhile, Zaloumis informed the court that Nakacinda, Mutati and others held an illegal convention in May, 2016, which purportedly ushered them in as new office bearers, adding that they have caused a lot of suffering to the party.
When the matter came up for hearing, Tuesday, Nakacinda, through his lawyer Jonas Zimba, applied for stay of the proceedings in the main matter, pending determination of the appeal.
Judge Newa, however, declined to grant the application and ordered that trial commenced immediately.
But Zimba asked to be excused, saying he had no instructions to represent Nakacinda in the main matter.
And when Zimba walked out, Nakacinda appearing in person, applied to have the matter adjourned to enable him engage new lawyers.
However, Dr Nevers Mumba’s lawyers, Jean Madaika and Mulambo Haimbe objected to the application, saying it was a well-calculated move between Nakacinda and Zimba meant to frustrate the proceedings.
Judge Newa refused to adjourn the matter and directed that Zaloumis, the witness on stand, proceed with her testimony.
She added that they would adjourn the matter at the point of cross-examination and whether Nakacinda would have lawyers to represent him or not, the matter would proceed on Wednesday.
In her testimony, Zaloumis informed the court that Nakacinda, Mutati and others, held an illegal convention in May, 2016, which ushered them as new office bearers despite more than half of MMD members having resolved that the convention should be pushed to 2017.
She said that there was no National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that allowed them to hold the illegal convention.
Zaloumis further said Mutati and others even went as far as the Registrar of Societies and changed the names of MMD office bearers.
She added that they were using the same to prove that they were the legal office bearers of the party.
She denied that the Mutati-led faction had received a petition from MMD provincial offices to hold a convention in 2016, saying that even if there was such a petition, it would still require NEC to call for the convention.
The matter continues, Wednesday.