Nevers Mumba’s MMD faction have distanced itself from last Saturday’s card renewal exercise hatched by Works and Supply Minister Felix Mutati, and insists that the meeting held in Chipata was illegal.

In a statement, team spokesperson Cephas Mukuka insisted that Mutati remained an expelled member of the MMD as per the court’s ruling, and that anyone who recognised him as MMD president was undermining the courts of law.

Mukuka added that the purported renewal exercise had earlier been cancelled by the police command in Eastern Province, but that a named minister granted Mutati and his team permission to conduct the “illegal” meeting using the advantage of being in government.

“On Saturday, 29th September, a meeting was held at Mpezeni Grounds in Chipata under the auspices of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) at which Hon. Felix Mutati, Minister of Works and Supply, spoke and fronted himself as president of the MMD. We wish to restate our party’s position that Mr Mutati remains an expelled member of the party, whose expulsion was confirmed by the High Court in March, 2016. He is not the president of the MMD. Anyone who insists on calling him president of the MMD is undermining the courts of law. We further wish to state that the said meeting was not an MMD gathering, but an illegal event meant to undermine the courts of law. We, therefore, distance our party, the MMD, from the desperate efforts of a few selfish and desperate individuals who believe that they can abuse and disregard the courts because they hold a position in government as the case with Mr Mutati,” Mukuka stated.

He further added that the desperation from Mutati’s group was meant to frustrate the upcoming court process by causing as much confusion as possible before the courts could finally pass the final judgment.

“We further wish to commend and confirm that the police high command had rejected the group’s application for a permit, citing the fact that it would be contemptuous for the meeting to proceed when the subject of the MMD was a live matter in court. They advised Mr Mutati to be patient and wait for the court’s final determination of the case in the month of October when the case comes up for final determination. As a party, we are deeply concerned at the action of a named Minister, who single-handedly reversed the well-researched, legal position of the police and gave the illegal group permission to proceed with the meeting,” stated Mukuka.

“It is clear to see that the desperation of Mr Mutati is meant to frustrate the upcoming court process by causing as much confusion as possible before the courts pass the final judgement on why he continues to front himself as leader of the party when MMD has a legitimate leadership under Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba. As a party, we condemn the blatant disregard for the law by the impostors who held the just-ended meeting in Chipata, and we further appeal to the Minister, who overturned the well-informed decision of the police to peruse through the papers at court, to get a clear understanding of the status of the MMD. May the rule of law guide our nation.”