EXPELLED National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Steven Nyirenda and three others have dragged the newly appointed party leader Charles Maboshe and others to court seeking a confirmation and declaration that the former was duly elected as NAREP president.
Nyirenda and the others further want a declaration that the decision purportedly passed by the defendants that he is no longer NAREP president is null and void, as well as, damages for breach of party constitution.
They also want an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from interfering with the party’s administration and governance and further, an order of injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from using the party secretariat premises.
Nyirenda, NAREP Secretary General Ezra Banda, the party vice president Mwelwa Ngosa and national chairperson Jimmy Mubambwe have sued Maboshe, the party vice chairperson Ezra Ngulube and other party members, Maybin Kabwe, Frank Sichone, Evelyn Malongo, Susan Chipeta and Thomas Kayola, as defendants.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, August 17, 2020, Nyirenda, Banda, Ngosa and Mubambwe stated that on Saturday, August 15, 2020, around 10:00 hours, NAREP scheduled a meeting for the National Executive Committee (NEC).
They stated that the agenda of the said meeting was to adopt the newly appointed NEC members and matters arising from the previous NEC meetings.
The plaintiffs stated that before the said meeting, Mubambwe requested for a copy of the minutes from previous NEC meetings from Maboshe for purposes of identifying NEC members but the same was not honoured.
“The plaintiffs contend that due to the failure to produce the said minutes, Mubambwe raised a concern as to the identity of NEC members considering that the meeting had in its attendance individuals who were not NEC members or rather NEC members whose ratification was pending,” read the claim.
The four stated that following the concerns by Mubambwe over the identification of NEC members, a disagreement arose between them and the defendants which resulted in the exchange of vulgar language and saw the defendants walking out of the meeting.
“The plaintiffs will at trial produce evidence that in fact, the defendants prior the arranged NEC meeting which was scheduled for August 15, 2020, had a parallel meeting and its main agenda of that meeting was to ratify the new NEC members and adopt that NAREP joins the Zambia Opposition Alliance for 2021,” read the claim.
The plaintiffs stated that in fact, they would show proof that the reason for the division in the party was that the defendants wanted the party to join the said alliance for purposes of the 2021 elections.
They stated that they would at trial demonstrate that the leadership of the party had different ideologies of governance from the said alliance.
The plaintiffs stated that after the failed NEC meeting which was scheduled for Saturday, the defendants regrouped on the same day and purportedly resolved that Nyirenda was no longer party president and appointed Maboshe as a replacement.
They stated that they shall further produce evidence that Sichone issued a misleading statement regarding Nyirenda’s presidency which had now found itself in the print and electronic media.
The plaintiffs stated that to their knowledge and perusal of the NAREP constitution, they shall produce evidence to the effect that there was no provision for removal of a sitting president through a vote of no confidence other than what was indicated under Article 37 of NAREP constitution.
They added that no justifiable reasons had been advanced against Nyirenda to warrant his removal from office as indicated by the defendants.
“In fact, the plaintiffs contend that Nyirenda was duly elected as president of the party on November 14, 2019 by the Supreme body of the Party which is the National Convention under Article 43 and 47 of the party’s constitution and that its decision binds all organs of the party including the defendants,” read the claim.
The plaintiffs stated that the action taken by the defendants was frivolous and had affected the goodwill of the party and its leadership.
They added that as a result, the party and the plaintiffs had suffered damages.