BARELY a week after they discontinued a case against their “expelled” leader, the Joseph Akafumba-led NDC have again dragged Chishimba Kambwili to the Lusaka High Court, seeking an injunction to restrain him from masquerading as NDC president or purporting to transact any business in the party’s name.
Bridget Atanga, suing in her capacity as NDC secretary general, wants a declaration that the gathering held by Kambwili and his cohorts on February 27, 2021, in Luanshya District, which purported to suspend some party members including herself, is null and void ab initio and, therefore, of no effect for having been convened and held in the absence of any party constitutional provision.
She also wants a declaration that any purported resolutions of the said gathering are null and void ab initio as well as a declaration that having ceased to hold the temporary position of interim president of NDC, and not being among the list of office bearers of the party registered with the Registrar of Societies, Kambwili has no mandate to transact any business of NDC.
According to an affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for an order of interim injunction filed in the Lusaka High Court, Wednesday, Atanga stated that Kambwili was a former interim NDC president and that the party was registered with the Registrar of Societies on September 17, 2017.
She stated that at the time of the registration, the promoters of NDC lodged a constitution of the party with the Registrar of Societies, and that in terms of Article 34 of the party constitution, the said constitution would only take effect or become operational immediately upon its adoption by the national party congress of the party made up of about 10,000 delegates.
Atanga stated that to-date, NDC had not held its congress and that the party constitution has never commenced, taken effect or become operational.
“The High Court of Zambia, in the case of Mwenya Musenge (suing as the secretary general of NDC) vs Chishimba Kambwili and Bridget Atanga cause No. 2019/HP/0673 pronounced itself to the effect that NDC had no constitution. Attempts were later made to register a new constitution with the Registrar of Societies, but to-date the said constitution has not been registered,” she stated
Atanga added that the NDC, therefore, has no constitution currently.
She further stated that on February 24, 2021, Kambwili, in the presence of the vice-president of the party Rikki Joseph Akafumba and other senior members of the party, informed her that he (Kambwili) should be counted out of the decision-making process of the party and that the defendant, thereby, ceased to hold his temporary position as interim party president.
Atanga stated that, however, on February 27, 2021, despite having ceased to hold the temporary position of interim president of the NDC, Kambwili and his cohorts held a gathering in Luanshya purporting that the said gathering was a central committee meeting of the party when in fact not.
She stated that Kambwili further purported that the gathering was in accordance with the constitution of the party despite the fact the party had no registered constitution at the material time.
“The gathering was largely attended by Luanshya-based sympathisers of Kambwili and lacked the reasonably expected composition of the vice-president, national chairman, secretary general and deputy secretary general. After the gathering, the defendant, while flanked by his cohorts, held a press briefing at which briefing he purported that his illegal gathering had resolved to suspend some members of the party, including myself,” Atanga stated.
She stated that she was advised by her lawyers and verily believed that the gathering organised by Kambwili and the purported resolutions of the said gathering were now null and void ab initio.
Atanga stated that Kambwili ceased to hold the temporary position of interim president of the party on February 24, 2021, and, therefore, had and still has no legal mandate or locus standi to transact any business of the party, including convening any gathering or suspending any member of the party.
Last Friday, Atanga sued Kambwili seeking, among others, a declaration and order that Kambwili was properly expelled from the NDC where he served as interim president.
She, however, discontinued the same matter on March 1.