MMD leader Nevers Mumba says he feels terrible about Felix Mutati’s dismissal because he was also fired as vice-president.

And Mumba has urged Mutati, who is a rival MMD faction leader, to thank President Edgar Lungu for having given him an opportunity to serve as a minister.

He was speaking after attending the a court hearing in a matter in which his MMD’s faction acting National Secretary Winnie Zaloumis sued Mutati, Mwansa Mbulakulima, Raphael Nakacinda and George Kangwa in the Lusaka High Court, challenging the legality of the convention that was held in Kabwe that elected Mutati and others into office.

He said none of his members were celebrating Mutati’s firing because it was unchristian and inhumane to do so.

“Concerning the firing of Mr Mutati, none of my team members is celebrating his loss of a job. It will be unchristian, inhumane for us to celebrate that. Maybe you young people that have never been fired from those high profile jobs can joke about it. I was vice-president, I was fired, I know how difficult it is. We sympathize with him, we sympathize with his family and we wish them well as they get guided to move on further,” Mumba said.

Mumba said all Mutati needed to do now was to thank President Lungu for the opportunity he was given to serve as a minister.

“We feel terrible about his being fired but these jobs are not permanent features in our lives. They appoint and the President dishonors you with a disappointment and we should all be grateful if we were given an opportunity out of the 15 million Zambians to serve as a minister. All he needs to do is to thank the President for the opportunity he gave him,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mumba said he was delighted that trial involving MMD leadership wrangles had started.

“We are very delighted as a party that the days for trial on this very long journey are here now. We are yet to get out of these storming waters and begin to mobilise our party immediately the court case is behind us. It’s been a long journey because there’s been a lot of adjournments, applications from our colleagues who did not want trial to start,” he said.

“The court is asking our colleagues two questions, where did they get the authority to hold a convention without the National Executive Committee of the party giving it a go ahead? An irregularity that really is equated to a coup d’etat. If they had done this to PF government, these defendants would be in Mukobeko on a charge of treason. But it’s only because we are an opposition party that they are still around because to remove a legitimately elected president and National Executive Committee, is an offence in our constitution. So we are very hopeful, we have started the trial.”

He clarified that MMD did not get into an alliance with PF.

“Let me clarify something, MMD did not get into that alliance. Whatever Mr Mutati did had no blessings of the National Executive Committee. Whatever they did as a faction was a creation of leadership in their own minds. So it’s not MMD,” said Mumba.