Court stops GBM expulsion

The Lusaka High Court has stopped the Patriotic Front (PF) from expelling former Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba from the party.

Lusaka High Court Judge Nicole Sharpe Phiri yesterday granted Mwamba, popularly known as GBM an injunction restraining the PF from expelling its Kasama Member of Parliament from the party on grounds that he (Mwamba) had not been charged with any offence.

Mwamba has become a pariah in his own party and State investigative agencies have since launched investigations into a Zesco contract over which he was cleared when he was serving as Defence Minister.

Mwamba has said the Zesco contract over which he was facing investigations was not awarded to Arizona Marketing and Distribution.

Early this week, Mwamba applied to the High Court to grant him an injunction to restrain the PF from expelling him challenging that the expulsion had not been officially communicated to him.

Last week, the Northern Province PF executive committee recommended the expulsion of Mwamba barely two months after he resigned his ministerial position after President Michael Sata dared him to choose between Paramount Chief Chitimukulu and his political job.

Judge Kaoma ruled that it was true that Mwamba had not been afforded an opportunity to be heard in relation to his expulsion and that the purported expulsion was null and void.

She stated that in any club, the principles of natural justice of members being afforded an opportunity to answer allegations against them must be observed at all times.

She stated that Mwamba had not been given any formal charge on any purported misconduct hence defeating the principles of natural justice.

Mwamba told the court that the Northern Province PF executive Committee announced his expulsion from the party before officially informing him about the decision.

“It is hereby ordered that the defendant (PF) either by themselves or their servants or agents, as the case may be are hereby restrained from expelling Mwamba from the Patriotic Front until this matter is disposed of or further order of this court.  Not only has Mwamba’s expulsion from the PF not been communicated to him but also he has not been formerly charged for any misconduct. Essentially, Mwamba’s contention is that he has not been afforded an opportunity to be heard in relation to his expulsion from the party. I am satisfied that the plaintiff (Mwamba) has established a prima facie or a good arguable claim against his expulsion,” Judge Phiri ruled.

Mwamba has maintained that he has not committed any crime against the party insisting that resigning from a ministerial position was not a crime.

Mwamba said that he has exhibited a lot of respect for President Sata since resigning and that he would remain loyal to the President and the party.