Police in Lusaka yesterday clobbered a group of cadres from the Felix Mutati-led MMD faction before arresting nine of them for attempting to disrupt a press briefing which was being addressed by rival faction president Nevers Mumba at his Kabulonga residence.

And the arrested cadres pleaded for mercy from the ruthless police officers who pounced on them, complaining that the ‘bosses’ who hired them did not disclose the nature of assignment they were to undertake. They explained that they were picked up in a minibus on the pretext that they were going to attend a funeral.

Meanwhile, Nevers Mumba has appealed to the High Court against both his sentence and judgment by the Lusaka Magistrate court, saying the sentencing was malicious and that the judgment was just a political action because it had no legal standing.

A horde of cadres from the Mutati-led faction stormed Mumba’s residence yesterday morning and started banging on the gate before picking a quarrel with Mumba’s supporters from the UPND.

Mumba’s security then called the police who arrived promptly and started beating the intruders, most of whom were drunk.

Some of the cadres escaped upon seeing the police, but the officers managed to nab nine of the culprits who complained that their mobilisers misled them into believing that they were going to a funeral house.

Mumba, whose sympathisers from the UPND were outnumbered by Mutati’s cadres, condemned the incident and commended the police for intervening.

Speaking earlier, the MMD leader said he was convicted wrongly.

“On the 28th of March, 2018, the nation received the news of my conviction and subsequent sentencing to three months simple imprisonment. The charge being giving false information to a public officer or in short, for lying. This charge however, is not the one that they have maintained on their conviction notice. But the acquitted charge of criminal trespass. I believe this incarceration has left me a better person in many ways and definitely not a bitter one. There is absolutely no strain or bitterness in my heart. I thank the Lord for allowing me yet another prison experience, as this is not the first time I have been imprisoned. I think prison has been introduced to me more efficiently since the Patriotic Front came into power. Under the President Michael Sata prison almost became my second home. So it is not unique for me to be in prison, the only difference this time was that it was a little longer than usual,” Mumba said.

MMD faction leader Nevers Mumba addresses the press at his residence in Lusaka on April 12, 2018 – Picture by Tenson Mkhala

He said while in prison, God instructed him to pray for President Lungu.

“My faith was tested, one of them was during my time of prayer in prison, I felt the Lord telling me to pray for the country, which I did then he asked me to pray for President Lungu which I did, although my heart was lost because I did not know what God wanted me to do. I was further instructed to pray for the convicting judge Honourable Simusamba because of the manner in which he conducted himself. The most cardinal thing for me was to forgive. I accepted the consequences of his judgment and that is why I obliged to go to prison. But the constitution which empowers the judge to rule as he feels, also gives me power to challenge the judgment when it is flawed, that’s the beauty of democracy,” said Mumba.

“I wish to state that I have disagreed with the Magistrate’s ruling together with the sentencing, both were malicious in my view and had no bearing on the facts of the case. The judgment had no legal standing, it was basically a political action. Since I never lied to any officer as alleged by the Magistrate, it would be irresponsible on my part to be quiet because then I would be entertaining the hosting of immorality which I have called to deal with. It is for this reason that I have decided to appeal to the High court against both the judgment and the sentence. And it is also for this reason that my lawyers have written a very strong letter of complaint to the Chief Justice as regards the conduct of the Magistrate. I also wish to announce that I have also written a letter of complaint to the Judicial Complaints Commission outlining professional misconduct.”

Meanwhile, Mutati’s MMD national secretary Raphael Nakacinda said he was going to bail out the arrested cadres.

“I have received news that there are youths who went to try and confront Dr Mumba over his continued lies and deceit and I am told they found UPND cadres there who intercepted their transport and called the police for them. I have not received a comprehensive report, but what I can just say is that our members across the country are really upset with the conduct of Dr Mumba. I have been managing a very difficult [situation] where our members have been seeking to go and confront Dr Mumba at his House. Every member of the party that may be entangled with the law in any form for as long it is not criminal but political, we definitely have a duty to make sure that they have a fair adjudication before the law. So as national secretary, I have a duty to make sure that we find out what that is all about. And if they went there out of their commitment to the party, we definitely are obliged to make sure that they are bailed out,” said Nakachinda.

“I am not justifying anything but all I am saying is that our members across the country are upset at the continued lies and deceit by Dr Mumba. I don’t know where the press briefing was, whether it was in his bedroom or sitting room or wherever, but you know that officially, the office of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy is in Kabulonga. So if D Mumba has continued masquerading, you don’t expect members of the party just to take that kindly. So if the youths went to Dr Mumba’s house out of emotional rage to try and confront him, I have an obligation as national secretary to bail them out and counsel them that there is a way in which matter are resolved and they need to be patient.”