Thursday, January 17, 2013

MMD suspends entire Copperbelt provincial executive committee

MMD suspends entire Copperbelt provincial executive committee
By Allan Mulenga and Agness Changala
Thu 17 Jan. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE MMD has suspended the entire Copperbelt provincial executive committee. But Copperbelt Province MMD chairperson Joseph Chilambwe says the real fight to kick Nevers Mumba out of MMD had started.

And suspended MMD chairperson for women affairs Catherine Namugala has applied for an injunction to restrain party's acting national secretary Kapembwa Simbao and the MMD, from expelling her.

MMD deputy national secretary Chembe Nyangu yesterday suspended the entire Copperbelt provincial executive committee with immediate effect.

Nyangu said the party had appointed provincial secretary Tryson Simukoko to take care of the province for administrative purposes.

Nyangu said the committee had been suspended for indiscipline.
But Chilambwe accused Nyangu of being used by Mumba and Dora Siliya to champion their selfish interests.

He said people on the Copperbelt would not be cowed into supporting Mumba's failed leadership.

"You know the people he is playing with are the owners of the party. This is where the party has been built. We should thank them for what they have done, it is the end of Nevers Mumba on the Copperbelt," he said.

"We don't care about the suspension. This is now the real fight. I am still the chairman on the Copperbelt and my people at the province and at district level will continue working and we will continue fighting for the good cause of our party. Even if they do that, those are the kicks of a dying horse. Mumba will never resuscitate the party, but he will see what will follow."

Chilambwe urged Mumba to respect the wishes of the people and step aside as party president.

"Those who will remain with Mumba, they will remain and we will forge ahead. It a silly thing for a seasoned politician to behave the way they have behaved. How do you suspend without even letting the people you are suspending know? We are still talking about the constitution in MMD, where somebody can just wake up in the morning and suspend people," he said.

Chilambwe accused Nyangu of being used by people like Siliya and Mumba to champion their agenda.

"We should follow what the people outside there are saying. The people outside there if they say 'no we don't want you' because they are the voters; these are the people who are holding the party together. We want to have a real leader because you can't be a leader without the people. Let us see who is right and wrong. The people out there will judge. We knew where it was going, even before when Dora Siliya was calling us disgruntled. Dora Siliya was not there when we were fighting for democracy in this country. She was working for ZNBC and she never fought for anything. She just jumped into the bandwagon and she became the spokesperson," said Chilambwe.

And Namugala, who is also MMD Mafinga member of parliament, has asked the court to determine whether the election of Simbao is legitimate.

In this matter, Namugala has sued Simbao in his personal capacity as the first defendant as well as in his capacity as MMD acting national secretary.

According to documents filed in the Lusaka High Court principal registry on Monday, Namugala stated that Simbao and the MMD, through Mumba's group in the national executive committee (NEC) had hatched a plan to expel legitimate members including herself for standing up to protect the
party's constitution.

She stated that she was reliably informed that Simbao and Mumba's faction, in the name of disciplinary committee, had decided to expel her for standing up for her rights as a member of the party as per Article 9 of what was in their constitution.

"That if I am expelled, the decision of the defendants shall have serious repercussions to the nation as there will be a by-election," Namugala stated. "That further my legal proceedings will be academic as I will no longer be a member of the party I love so much of which I am standing up
to protect the constitution."

Namugala urged the court to grant her an interim injunction to restrain the defendants or other agents or servants or whatsoever from expelling her until the determination of the matter.

And Namugala stated that the meeting of the NEC of December 3, 2012 at which Simbao was elected, did not form a quorum and as such was illegal and null and void according to Article
18(2) of the MMD constitution.

She stated that the proceedings and adoption or appointment of Simbao as acting national secretary was null and void because apart from failing to form a quorum, the NEC meeting was attended by non NEC members.

Namugala contended that the NEC had no power to appoint or elect Simbao as acting national secretary which power was deposited only in the convention Article 20 (5) which recognised the deputy national secretary of the party to deputise the national secretary.

She stated that on December 24, 2012, Simbao wrote her a letter of disciplinary action in which he purported to act in pursuant to powers vested under him under Article 46 (i) and 3(3) of the party constitution when he was not a national secretary or deputy national secretary elected by the party convention.

Namugala also stated that the party's constitution had no provision of
acting national secretary nor did it recognise such position save for the deputy national secretary.

She stated that Simbao purported to charge her with two offences which she replied to, despite him being there illegitimately and unconstitutionally.

Namugala stated that as a result of the above, she has asked the court for an injunction to restrain Simbao and the party from expelling her.
She has asked the court for an order to nullify the appointment of the
Simbao as acting national secretary and a further order to nullify the
purported NEC meeting of December 3, 2012 and its proceedings as null and void because of its failure to form a quorum.

Namugala further asked the court to award her costs and any other relief the court may deem necessary.

Namugala stated that the party had been having problems with Mumba and his group which had been disregarding the constitution.

Meanwhile, Lusaka High Court judge Fulgence Chisanga has set January 23, 2013 as date for inter-parte hearing.


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