Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Lusaka Police search Nevers Mumba's house

Lusaka Police search Nevers Mumba's house
By Allan Mulenga, Namatama Mundia, Roy Habaalu and Mwala Kalalu
Tue 04 Dec. 2012, 15:00 CAT

POLICE officers yesterday surrounded MMD president Nevers Mumba's house in Lusaka's Kabulonga area to search for cadres that beat up party national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe on Saturday.

And Registrar of Societies Clement Andeleki says Rupiah Banda is still MMD president. The officers surrounded Mumba's house while MMD National Executive Committee members were having their meeting shortly after midday.

However, Mumba's wife Florence prevented the officers from entering her house. This was after Mumba allowed police officers to conduct a search without a warrant after reaching an agreement.

Mumba told the officers, led by Christopher Mumbuna, that he had spoken to the Inspector General of Police and that the people they were looking for were not present.

But Mumbuna refused to believe Mumba and insisted that he had seen Scorpion Kadobi and Bowman Lusambo inside the yard.

"We don't operate like that. I can't believe what's coming from Dr Mumba. I've seen the people I am looking for," said Mumbuna.

After searching the vehicles and outside of his residence in Middleway 17C Kabulonga, police found a metallic bucket and a plank believed to have been used by the duo to escape.

Later, Florence, who was taking pictures of the officers using her mobile phone, refused to let the officers inside the house.
Mumba pleaded with his wife to allow the officers to search, but Florence stood her ground.

"The madam has the last say. You can't search my house without a warrant. Go back get a warrant and come back. Baby (Mumba), no you can't," an emotional Florence said after consulting her husband.
Mumba tried to call her "baby" in a bid to calm her. "Don't 'baby' me!" exclaimed Florence.

Police later returned with a warrant and continued with the search.
However, the people they were looking for had already fled.
Maj Kachingwe reported Mumba, Lusambo, Kadobi and two others for assault. And Andeleki has given the MMD up to Thursday to settle the outstanding balance of K90 million or face de-registration.

In an interview yesterday, Andeleki said the MMD had not notified the registrar about the new office bearers of the party and even their shifting to new offices in Rhodes Park.

"...change of leadership you do not just sign forms, there are standard forms. They have not even done anything from May 25th 2012. You can imagine! And the law states that within 14 days, they should notify the registrar, but they haven't.

In September, I wrote them a letter to say 'you people it is an offence when you don't notify the Registrar of Societies about the change in leadership. When I punish you again, you will be saying that Andeleki is PF, but I have a duty to enforce the law'," he said.

Andeleki said the MMD had also breached the societies Act by not informing the registrar about the change of location.
"They have changed their offices. They have not notified our office. Again it constitutes an offence," he said.

Andeleki accused the MMD leadership of failing to run the party properly.

"The problems with certain leaders, they don't know how to run these organisations. Instead of asking, they just do things the way they think. There is no such a letter," he said.

Asked on Mumba's claims that he had notified him over the change in leadership of the Reform Party, Andeleki said Mumba was lying.

"He should bring those documents because there are no documents, my brother. You don't just write a letter to the Registrar to say, 'I want to close the party'. You have to bring minutes, resolutions and you must show what you owe. You can't just write a simple note to the Registrar of Societies' office. There are procedures."

And Andeleki warned the MMD of deregistration if the party fails to pay the K90 million owed to the institution by Thursday.

"There is indebtedness in MMD; They are in debt of K90,890,000. This is the old bill that MMD has never paid. They were deregistered, they paid something over four months down the line. They can't still pay our money, and the problem has remained the same.

Nothing has changed. We have been talking with the national secretary. We have talking to Dr Nevers Mumba. He was saying he will sort it out," said Andeleki.

And Maj Kachingwe has asked the Lusaka High Court to declare the election of Mumba as MMD president null and void.

Maj Kachingwe said if Mumba's actions of purporting to be MMD president were left unchecked, the MMD would suffer a crisis and possible de-registration.

Maj Kachingwe said Mumba was inducing a culture of violence in the MMD because he sent thugs to harass and beat him when communicating the invalidation of his election as MMD president during a press briefing at the party secretariat last Saturday.

This is in a matter where Maj Kachingwe has taken Mumba to court over the ongoing leadership wrangles in the former ruling party and he has since asked the court to restrain Mumba from performing his duties and functions as party president because he was unqualified.

In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court principal registry yesterday morning by Maj Kachingwe's lawyer, Hobday Kabwe, he said the court should declare Mumba's election null and void.

He said this was on the ground that Mumba was, at the time of the election, a person not qualified for election to the position of MMD president.

Maj Kachingwe said he was the chief executive officer of the party, constitutionally mandated to supervise, coordinate and render effective administration of the day-to-day activities of the party.

"The office bearer is to maintain a register of the party's members," he submitted. "On or about October 2012 arising from the duties of the National Secretary, the plaintiff sought to file statutory returns with the Registrar of Societies, who refused to accept the party's filing of the statutory return citing the anomaly that the defendant who appeared as the MMD party president was still the party president of the Reform Party RP as per records filed with the Registrar of Societies."

Maj Kachingwe said in line with his mandate to ensure efficient administration of the day-to-day activities of the MMD, he informed Mumba of the Registrar of Societies' position that the filing of the party's statutory returns and notice of change of office could not be accepted in view of the anomaly referred above.

"Despite the plaintiff's advice to the defendant, on his urgent need to resign his position as RP president in order to let the Registrar of Societies accept the party's statutory returns and notice of change of office bearers, the defendant remained adamant," Maj Kachingwe stated.

"On or about 16th November, 2012 the Registrar of Societies issued the MMD party with the last warning to end on 7th December, 2012 to file notice of change of office bearers and annual returns."

He submitted further that Mumba's adamancy left the MMD in a precarious position and that he was left with no option but to invalidate Mumba's election as MMD president in the interest of saving the party.

And Maj Kachingwe, who expressed surprise at his harassment by the cadres, described his expulsion from the MMD by Mumba as a counter-reaction but that Mumba did not have the power to expel him as his election as party president had been invalidated as per the provisions of the MMD constitution.

He said the invalidation of Mumba's election was significant to the preservation of the tenets of democracy and that Mumba was inducing, persuading and promoting a culture of violence within the party and was also procuring thugs to break the law by beating innocent members of the party.
"The defendant is doing all these things with impunity and full knowledge that he has no powers to effect an expulsion on any member, let alone any disciplinary action.

And if his actions to purporting to be MMD are left unchecked, the major opposition party in the current democratic dispensation will suffer crisis and the possibility of de-registration and other unspecified actions by the Registrar of Societies will be higher," Maj Kachingwe said.
He prayed to the court to declare the invalidation of Mumba's election as MMD president as valid and a further order to quash and cancel any instructions, directions and decisions made or given by Mumba on or about November 30, 2012 or shortly thereafter purporting to expel him from the MMD.

"An order or injunction to restrain the defendant until final determination of the matter for the time being or until further order of the court from performing or purporting to perform the functions and duties of the party presidency, or acting and/or purporting to act as party president for the MMD," said Maj Kachingwe.

Later, Maj Kachingwe's lawyer Kabwe said Mumba had refused to sign a writ of summons and the statement of claim filed in court.
"Even if he has refused to sign, according to the trite, the injunction is binding and we expect him to abide by the law. That is all I can say for now," said Kabwe.

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