The Felix Mutati MMD faction has clarified that the Supreme court’s ruling on the party’s request to have its application heard in the Constitutional Court has nothing to do with the the question of who is the legitimate party president.
At a media briefing yesterday, Raphael Nakacinda said it was wrong for the Nevers Mumba faction to claim that it’s leader Nevers Mumba had been reinstated as MMD president when the court merely deliver a ruling on the request to have the case moved from the Supreme Court to the Constitutional Court.
Nakachinda also explained that the party would write to it’s lawyers requesting them to give the full interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling before it could be given out.
“Today I woke up to a very shocking headline running in the public media, but this is total malice and contentious because in the first place, they are even quoting a judge, judge Malila who was not the lead judge in the matter. You have the right to go to the ConCourt and the ConCourt is the superior court which can be able to guide the lower courts if your fear was that you didn’t want multiplicity of cases. The reason why we applied to the Supreme court to have this matter taken to Constitutional Court is because we didn’t want a situation where we have two or more matters before the judiciary in different courts dealing with the same matter and expecting that the decision would be consistent. Can you imagine you have a matter in the ConCourt and another matter in the Supreme Court, then the Constitutional Court makes a particular decision and the high court makes another decision. Don’t you think that would embarrass the judiciary?” Nakachinda asked.
“That is basically what we are avoiding by applying that let this matter be totally referred to the Constitutional Court because this matter is a constitutional matter which will not only cure the unfortunate conduct that we have witnessed from one individual called Dr Nevers Mumba. But it will also set a precedence for MMD so that in future, non of us will be able to conduct themselves the way Dr Mumba has conducted himself. We will respect the provisions of our party constitution and there will also be precedence that will have been set by the Constitutional Court. But we think that by extension, it will also be able to cure the prevailing circumstances of having political parties who do not conduct intra-party politics but they still present themselves as people who could be entrusted with leadership. So that’s how come we are pushing that let this matter be finally resolved through the Constitutional Court to guide the conduct of political parties.”
Nakachinda asked Dr Mumba to stop manipulating the party constitution by spreading falsehoods about the legitimacy of the other MMD.
“Dr Mumba is on record of having had held a press briefing where he lifted a blank paper and said that he had obtained an injunction, which injunction had actually been denied. And the media did not take him to task over a lie that was communicated to the public. Of course the other events that have characterised his communication, you know what happened. Yesterday just over that ruling which was basically procedural, he had the audacity to address the media and say ‘I have been reinstated as MMD president’, which is a very wrong thing and that was barely hours after having been granted bail as a result of him being convicted on the basis that he had lied to a public officer. So you are convicted for lying to one person and now you are attempting to lie to the entire country, I think that should not be tolerated,” he said.
“The fact is that there is no matter in the jurisdiction of the court that has reinstated Dr Mumba as MMD president, not before, not now and the matters he was avoiding to go to the constitutional court, the same ruling of yesterday [Tuesday] which people are celebrating, without even understanding, opens the door now for us to go the constitutional court on our own and present it. And I can tell you 100 per cent [that] Dr Mumba cannot manipulate the constitution of our party. If there is a constitution of a political party that is very clear, no ambiguities, no lacunas it is the MMD constitution. That is why we have always gone to the convention every five years from the time of inception. Not even a sitting president could manipulate the party constitution.”
He emphasised that the court’s ruling was about the party’s application to have its case moved to the Concourt and nothing else.
“That application at the Supreme Court had nothing to do with whether Mutati is the right president of the party or whether Nevers Mumba should be restored or anything, it was just a procedural decision which has to do with the matter going to the Constitutional court. But in our quest to make sure that justice prevails and our democracy is cured, we are ready to spend every penny to makes sure that our democracy that we fought for and introduced in 1991, it is not wipped but upheld and in that fight we will make sure that Zambia moves forward. So what we have done is that we have also asked the chamber of our lawyers to write…because I think what is confusing the media is that the pronouncement of the ordinary court was just as brief as ‘we dismiss the application, the reasons for dismissing the application will be communicated later after we have written the entire judgment.’ So the official document from court is not yet ready,” said Nakacinda.