THREE MMD members of parliament have petitioned the Lusaka High Court, seeking declarations that their purported expulsion from the party is illegal.
Muchinga member of parliament Howard Kunda, Mkaika member of parliament Peter Phiri and Serenje Central member of parliament Maxwell Kabanda have individually petitioned the Lusaka High Court, citing Elizabeth Chitika in her capacity as MMD national secretary as the respondent.
The three lawmakers are seeking a declaration that their purported expulsion by the party dated August 18, 2020 is ultra vires Articles 1(3), 2, 11, 20 and 21 of the Constitution of Zambian as amended by Act No. 2 of 2016, therefore void and of no legal effect.
Kunda, Phiri and Kabanda further want a declaration that any purported suspension of them which violates the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Zambia be declared null and void ab initio, as well as, a declaration that their purported expulsion from the party was illegal by reasons of procedural impropriety and absolute defiance of the established rules of natural justice.
They further want a declaration that a member of parliament’s duty to represent the interests of the constituents relating to the constituency he/she represents is greater that his/her duty to a political party he/she represents.
The three are further seeking a declaration that the proceedings and resolutions of the National Executive Committee (NEC) through the meeting held on June 20, 2020 be declared null and void ab initio.
In their separate petitions filed in the Lusaka High Court, Kunda, Phiri and Kabanda stated that sometime in 2016, the MMD leadership announced that the party was going to work with and form an alliance with the Patriotic Front in the elections that were to be held on August 11, 2016.
They stated that in the same year, the MMD leadership issued them with adoption certificates to stand as members of parliament for their various constituencies for which they were elected as MPs under the MMD tickets after the August 11, 2016 elections which also saw the PF party form government that very year.
Kunda, Phiri and Kabanda stated that after PF won the 2016 presidential elections, the then MMD party leader Felix Mutati was nominated as member of parliament by President Edgar Lungu and he was subsequently appointed Minister of Finance as the two political parties were in an alliance.
They further stated that following their election to parliament under the MMD, they had been representing the people in their constituencies as required of any MP.
The three, however, stated that they started experiencing problems with the MMD leadership led by Nevers Mumba after the judgement of the High Court which declared Mumba as the MMD president and not Mutati.
“Consonant to the above, the petitioner (s) started receiving calls from the current MMD leadership asking them among other things that they should make donations to the party. The petitioners informed the MMD leadership that they were channeling their funds towards party mobilization in their constituencies and that there was no provision in the party constitution making payment of donations mandatory,” they stated.
Kunda, Phiri and Kabanda stated that the party or party leadership had never communicated to them that they have stopped dealing with the PF and that the alliance entered into by the parties had been terminated.
They stated that in June this year, a meeting was held where accusations levelled against them were discussed on the basis that they had failed to comply with the party decisions, resolutions and directives among others.
Kunda, Phiri and Kabanda stated that on August 18, 2020 the party wrote to them informing them of their expulsion from the party.
They stated that their expulsion from the party was well calculated and deliberate as they were at no point in time served with the letter or allegations levelled against them nor served with a letter to attend any disciplinary meeting.