Northwestern Province MMD provincial chairman Danny Mikosa has told the Lusaka High Court that Nevers Mumba allegedly threatened to crash his head if he continued advising people in the province to call for a party convention.
The defence witness further told the court that he would be aggrieved if Mumba was given authority to be the MMD president because the party was formed by different people, who had the powers to choose who should lead the party.
This is after a defence lawyer, Jonas Zimba asked the witness to give his reaction if the court was to rule that Mumba was still party president.
This is in a matter in which Winnie Zaloumis, in her capacity as MMD acting National Secretary for the Nevers Mumba led-MMD sued Felix Mutati, Mwansa Mbulakulima, Raphael Nakacinda and George Kangwa in the Lusaka High Court, challenging the legality of the convention that was held in Kabwe that elected Mutati and others into office.
The Mutati’s lawyers opened their defence last week when Nakachinda testified as first witness.
When the matter came up for continued defence before High Court judge Sharon Newa, Monday, Mikosa as second witness told the court that he was also castigated and called a bad person by other party Chairmen in Mumba’s presence for demanding that NEC respects the party Constitution that demanded the holding of a convention.
The 46 year-old witness, who is also a farmer, testified that he was a bonified member of MMD since 1991 and held different positions.
He told the court that MMD went for conventions after five years, not only at top leadership but grassroots level.
Mikosa said the first convention for MMD was in 1991 when the party Constitution was being drafted.
The witness testified that at the venue of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at Mika convention centre on January 30, 2016, Prof Geoffrey Lungwangwa was manhandled and was lifted out of the venue forcefully.
Mikosa said the NEC meeting had between 42 and 54 attendants and that Mumba did not give the vice-chairperson Edgar Kembe a chance to chair the meeting.
He claimed that Mumba announced the meeting’s agenda on behalf of the National Secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima and ordered that only two issues would be discussed, the national convention and how they would work with the PF.
Mikosa said that Mumba directed NEC members not to comment on the matter but only allowed provincial chairmen.
He said during deliberations, some provincial chairpersons supported him by saying his term would elapse in five years but he (Mikosa) objected saying he should only conclude Rupiah Banda’s term and the party would proceed to a convention.
Mikosa said those that voted against the convention were 37 and those who voted for the convention were five.
He claimed that after voting, Mumba called for a tea break and during the break he was castigated for not voting against the convention.
And the witness said he received petitions from Northwestern Province party membership to convince NEC to call for a convention in 2016 because they wanted a new leader other than Mumba.
Mikosa told the court that the convention that ushered in the new leaders of the party was legal because it was acted upon according to the party constitution.
He further said it was not true that Mutati and the others were not MMD members because there was reconciliation with those who were chased from the party and therefore, were free to contest positions at the convention, hence their election as new leaders.
The witness narrated that after the NEC meeting, a briefing was held at the party Secretariat where Mumba announced that the NEC during the meeting, had resolved that he would continue leading the party for five years.
He said Mumba also announced that provincial chairmen would be given vehicles.
The witness claimed that as he was being handed his vehicle, Mumba warned him not to mislead people of Northwestern that a convention would be held, failure to which he would crash his head.
“We went to the party secretariat in Kabulonga where there was a press briefing. There Dr Mumba announced that there had been the national executive committee meeting. He continued to say that ‘in the meeting we had resolved that Nevers Mumba should continue leading the party for five years’. After the press briefing, he made an announcement to say he is going to give Hillux vehicles to all provincial chairmen,” Mikosa said.
“After I was given my vehicle, I later sneaked. I didn’t even know where I will spend the night for fear that I may be crushed.”
He further testified that the convention was called for by members of the MMD.
Mikosa added that delegates were always chosen in all provinces before a convention was held and members were identified by membership cards which were issued to them.
In cross examination by Jeah Madaika, the witness apologized for telling the court in his evidence in chief that late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa was elected as party president in 2001, as Chiluba was still President of MMD when the third republican president was chosen to represent the party during the general elections.
He clarified that Mwanawasa was elected as party president in 2005.
Trial continues today.