STEVEN Nyirenda was and is the duly elected president of the National Restoration party (NAREP), insists NAREP national chairperson Jimmy Mubambwe.
And Mubambwe has submitted that Nyirenda, himself and the two other plaintiffs have no issue or interest with who the beneficial owner of Plot No. 2386 Tuleteka road which houses the party secretariat, or his rights over the property.
He says they rather have an issue with the use of the same party secretariat by the newly appointed party leader Charles Maboshe and his group, purporting to be the legitimate party officials.
In this matter, Nyirenda and three others have sued Maboshe and other party members in the Lusaka High Court, seeking a confirmation and declaration that Nyirenda was duly elected as NAREP president.
Nyirenda and the others further want a declaration that the decision purportedly passed by the defendants that Nyirenda is no longer NAREP president be declared null and void, as well as, damages for breach of party constitution.
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.
However, Maboshe and his group are also counter-claiming a declaration and order that Nyirenda was never duly elected as party president as he is ineligible to assume any elective position at any level of the party in accordance with their party constitution.
Maboshe and others are further counter-claiming among others, a declaration and order that the decision of the party’s National Executive Committee of August 15, 2020 to remove Nyirenda as party president was valid and in line with the provisions of the party constitution.
But according to an affidavit in reply to the affidavit in opposition to summons for an order of interim injunction filed recently, Mubambwe stated that Nyirenda was and is the duly elected president of NAREP.
He further stated that the party constitution did not provide for appointment or termination of national secretary.
Mubambwe added that Banda was the rightful national secretary who was interviewed by the party president, Nyirenda and also by the vice president, Maboshe and chief administration of the Party.
He further stated that there had been no change of office bearers at the Registrar of Societies as the name still appearing as national secretary was still that of Mabvuto Mwanza as at August 14, 2020.
“That in fact, the second defendant (Ngulube) is not the Secretary General of the party as he was appointed party vice national chairperson in the first NEC meeting of Nyirenda’s administration and was ratified as such,” read the affidavit.
Mubambwe stated that Ngulube and others did as a matter of fact follow Nyirenda in Siavonga for purposes of recruiting him as a party member and also as NAREP’s presidential candidate.
He added that he was advised by Nyirenda that in the process of recruiting him (Nyirenda), Ngulube together with his spouse borrowed K30,000 which still remains unpaid to Nyirenda.
“The plaintiffs have no issue or interest with who the beneficial owner of stand 2386 Tuleteka road Lusaka or his rights over the property, but rather have an issue with the use of the same by the defendants purporting to be the legitimate NAREP officials and holding gatherings perpetuating illegalities,” read the affidavit further.
Former NAREP president Elias Chipimo Jr had stated in an affidavit in opposition to summons for an order of interim injunction, that he was the beneficial owner of the Plot No. 2386 Tuleteka road, Lusaka, which housed the party secretariat and agreed that the party could use the property while he seeks an appropriate purchaser.
He stated that the plaintiffs had no right whatsoever to seek the indulgence of the court to bar any parties he had permitted to use his beneficial property on terms he deem fit and proper as the beneficial owner of the said property.
“That I now seek the indulgence of this honourable court to vacate the injunction in this matter as it affects my interest as the bonafide owner of the said plot No 2386, Tuleteka road, in Lusaka which I intend on selling once I receive an acceptable offer,” stated Chipimo.