LUSAKA High Court Judge Mwape Bowa has allowed 20 MMD members to commence committal proceedings for contempt of court against MMD president Nevers Mumba and five others after they allegedly held a convention despite being served with a court order restraining them from proceeding with the same.
This is according to an order signed by Judge Bowa, Wednesday.
“Upon hearing counsel for the applicants and upon reading the affidavit of Geoffrey Mulenga filed herein, it is hereby ordered that the applicants herein be and are hereby at liberty to commence committal proceedings for contempt of court against the alleged contemnors,” read the order.
In this matter, Webby Chipili and 19 others cited Elizabeth Chitika in her capacity as MMD national secretary, Mumba, Reuben Sambo, Winnie Zaloumis, Clement Zulu and Gregory Mofu as alleged conteminors.
According to an affidavit in support of Ex-parte summons for leave to issue notice of motion for committal for breach of court order, Mulenga, who is one of the applicants, stated that he was aware that on March 20, 2020, the High Court sitting at Lusaka granted an Ex-parte order for injunction restraining the alleged contemnors from proceeding with the MMD party convention scheduled for March 20, 2021.
He stated that Chitika and Mumba who are alleged contemnors were served with the Ex-parte order of injunction on March 20, 2021, at 08:45 hours.
Mulenga stated that Mumba went on to give a press briefing to ZNBC on March 20 where he stated that this so-called injunction was a bogus injunction and further claimed that the Ex-parte order of injunction had no seal from the judge.
“The effect of the Ex-parte order of injunction dated March 20, 2021, was to to restrain the alleged contemnors herein in from holding the MMD party convention scheduled for March 20, 2021,” read the affidavit.
He stated that on March 20, it came to his attention that despite serving and directing the said two contemnors to refrain from holding the MMD party convention, they proceeded to hold the convention at the MMD party secretariat where Mumba was declared president of the MMD party and the same was reported in various media platforms.
“Sambo, Zaloumis and Zulu despite being served or being made aware of the Ex-parte order for injunction participated in the election where Zulu was the returning officer. The alleged conteminors deliberately disobeyed the said order of this honourable court,” Mulenga stated.
“The likelihood of success of the application to issue committal proceedings is very high. I believe the application will not prejudice the alleged contemnors in any material manner.”
In this matter, the 20 MMD members have asked the Lusaka High Court to declare that the extra-ordinary convention held by the Nevers Mumba-led group on Saturday, illegal and void.
The 20 further want the court to make an order and direct the Registrar of Societies to appoint an interim committee during the subsistence of the matter.
Webby Chipili and 19 others who have sued Chitika in her capacity as National Secretary for the MMD as well as Mumba further want a declaration that Mumba and his National Executive Committee (NEC) have breached the party Constitution.
They also want a declaration that Mumba and the NEC elected in 2011 and 2012, respectively, only had a five-year mandate.