MMD presidency in limbo

THE presidency of the MMD still hangs in limbo following Nevers Mumba’s Supreme Court appeal that maintained that he was still in-charge of the former ruling party and not Felix Mutati who was given power by an illegal convention in Kabwe.

Dr. Mumba in his appeal has told the Supreme Court to declare that the decision made by High Court Justice Eddie Sikazwe to dismiss an application against the stay granted to Mr Mutati to hold the convention was illegal, null and void as there was no prior hearing.

And Supreme Court Justice Royda Kaoma said she was surprised at the High Court’s dismissal of an application to restrain the former Lunte Member of Parliament from holding a convention at which Mr Mutati was elected as the party’s new president without a hearing.

According to the memorandum of appeal filed before Court by MMD deputy national secretary Winnie Zaloumis, Dr Mumba challenged the action of the High Court Judge Eddie Sikazwe when he dismissed the application for interlocutory injunction.

Ms Justice Kaoma, sitting with Justices Nigel Mutuna and Michael Musonda, held that it was surprising that the learned judge in the lower court could make such a decision which was not part of the application before his court.

Ms Zaloumis submitted before court that the learned judge erred in law and fact when he, after undertaking to deliver a ruling on the interlocutory applications before him, proceeded ex proprio motu, to dismiss the entire action.

However, in his response, Mr Mutati through his lawyers Eric Silwamba SC agreed with the appellant that the High Court Justice Sikazwe did not conduct the hearing correctly and that it would be fit for the matter to be remitted to the lower court.

Mr Silwamba said they were concerned that he matter would be moved back to the High Court and requested that the court appointed a different Judge to hear the case.

“We are in agreement that the learned Judge in the High Court did not conduct the hearing correctly and quiet clearly this is a fit and proper case which should be remitted back to the court below.

“And that maybe we pray for your indulgence that in remitting the matter back to the High Court, this court may pronounce itself on the jurisdiction of the puisine judge,” he said.

Ms Justice Kaoma said they were shocked that both counsel agreed to the improper manner in which the ruling came out, but that the Supreme Court would reserve judgment to August 3, 2016.

“To the extent of concession made, that the judge from the court below should not have dismissed the entire application, we set Wednesday 3rd August 2016 for judgment. We hereby allow the appeal,” Ms Justice Kaoma said.

Earlier, Dr Mumba’s legal team lead by Jeah Madaika in their submission prayed that the court may declare that Mr Mutati and his team, having been expelled and suspended from the MMD had no rights, power or authority to represent the party, or call for a convention thereof.