Dr. Nevers Sekwila Mumba takes the stand and calls Mutati’s Convention ‘a fraud’
By Dr. Cephas Mukuka
MOVEMENT for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) President Nevers Sekwila Mumba has taken to the witness stand as Prosecution Witness No.2 (PW2), to give his evidence to prove that the Mutati/Mbulakulima organised convention in 2016 was nothing but a sham and a fraud.
This was after the High Court Judge had earlier dismissed an application by the Mutati’s lawyers to subpoena the Nevers Mumba’s MMD lawyer Mr J Madaika as a witness. The judge dismissed the application as premature.
Mutati’s lawyers made two (2) applications in an attempt to further delay the proceedings. In the first one, they applied to add to their bundle of evidence letters signed by Rev R Sambo and Ms E
Chitika as National Secretary. In the second one they applied to subpoena Mr Madaika.
The defendants (Mutati & group) are fixated on arguing that Ms Zaloumis is not the National Secretary of the Party, but someone else – unnamed. How that answers the question of the legality of their convention only they know.
Dr Mumba in a calm and collected manner testified strongly that the very article that they purport to have used testifies against their illegal activities as no petitions were ever received by either the National Secretary or the National Executive Committee (NEC), but added that in the interpretation of the said article invests power in the NEC as the convenor of any convention. This means that petitions even if they are legal do not trigger a convention without the NEC resolving for such a convention.
However in this case, Dr Mumba stated that, there were never any petitions that had been received by the NEC. The petitions that were used as the excuse for holding the said convention were fraudulently generated.
Dr Mumba steadily attacked the ‘petitions’ and called them a glaring fraud. He showed province by province that the people who signed the so called petitions were not the officials of the MMD provincial executives. Starting with Lusaka Province he showed that Mr Stephen Bwalya (Former Lusaka Province PS) and not Mr Donald Chilufya is the Provincial Chairman. He patiently went province by province from were the said petitions were said to have come from and showed that grand fraud had taken place.
Lawyer for the defendants, Mr Jonas Zimba objected to the use of the term fraud, but the court let Dr Mumba use it according to how he saw it.
He also showed that the NEC resolved at its meeting of Jan 30, 2016 that the MMD convention would be held in 2017. Therefore any convention held before that date without a amending the earlier resolution lacks the authority required. He asserted that it is inescapable that a resolution of the NEC is obtained as the authority for any such activities and that in the absence of such a Resolution the exercise is rendered illegal .
He also argued that the discharge of the injunctions that was obtained by the party against the holding of the illegal convention did not in anyway give authority to the four defendants to do as they wished outside of the provisions of the MMD constitution.
He attacked the delegate list to the said convention and showed that it was fraudulently constructed and had nothing to do with MMD members.
He proceeded to attack the business of the illegal convntion. Starting with the agenda item No.1 the lifting of standing orders, lifting suspensions and expulsions. He argued that infact, that is an admission by the defendants that they were not in good standing with the party.
He also argued that according to article 39 of the MMD constitution, a person who is not a member of the party a can not stand for election as President, yet the sole Presidential candidate at that convention was expelled and his case was pending in the High Court. Mutati only withdrew the case of his contest for membership on 03rd June, 2016. This meant that at the time of his election at the said convention, his membership was statute barred.
Dr Mumba also questioned the funds used for the illegal convention. Quoting the MMD constitution that clearly stipulates that funding for an MMD convention is the business of the party National Executive. He asked ‘who’ funded the Mutati/Mbulakulima organised convention? The funds as captioned by two attached receipts worth k160,000 did not come from the MMD and were not paid by the National Treasurer.
In meticulous style, the MMD President showed that the Illegal convention had no blessing of the MMD (NEC).
Dr Mumba further showed that the scheme to oust him from the presidency is not new. In 2014, following the death of Late President Sata, a group who have always been frustrated that they are not at the controls of the party organised an illegal NEC meeting and purported to have expelled him. This time around the scheme was escalated culminating into the holding an illegal MMD convention with the same objective of removing him from the presidency.
The MMD President bemoaned the damages caused to the party, its members and the opportunities for political participation. He passionately remorsified about the paralysis caused to the careers of many party faithfuls by the few selfish people who use the party for personal benefit.
He has asked the court to unequivocally declare the Mutati convention illegal and all the proceedings Null and void. He has also asked the court to give an order for the reversal of the changes to the MMD office bearers at the Registrar of Societies.He has further warned of consequences for the wanton asset stripping of party property by the Mutati faction.
The matter has been adjourned for continued trial to the 1st, 4th and 18th of February. When it resumes Dr Mumba will be cross examined by Mr Jonas Zimba of Makebi Zulu and Co. Mr Zimba is Dr Mumba’s lawyer in the infamous Canadian case and has been for 6 years.