In this case, Dr Mumba’s group dragged Mutati’s faction to court, seeking the court’s intervention in declaring the latter’s presidency illegal.
But in their defence, Mutati’s group, through their witness Godfrey Mapili, who is Lundazi district chairman, said the party does not recognize Dr Mumba as the MMD president because he was elected alone as the entire NEC had already been elected in 2011 at the general convention in Kabwe.
Mapili has described Dr Mumba’s claims as the party’s president as not only sad but shocking.
“Dr Mumba was elected in a series of provincial conventions, which has never happened before as the election of a President in our party is done through a convention, meaning the entire party across the country gathers in one place to vote for their leader,” he said.
Mapili recalled that after his election in 2012, Dr Mumba visited Lundazi and as District Chairman, he received him and went to pay a courtesy call on the Chief.
He said they later had a meeting with some party officials, which was unfortunately cut short because the police allegedly teargassed them and they immediately went to the party’s district office.
The witness said the next day after having talks with some district officials, he then advised Dr Mumba to call for a convention so that the people can elect their leaders because he had his own “strange delegation” which was visible for the officials to see that their leader could not work with the entire Lundazi district leadership.
“Dr Mumba was not happy with me that I challenge him to call for a convention so that he can have leaders elected by the party around him and not handpicked. He then ordered me to go on radio and retract my statement, a thing I unfortunately couldn’t do as the sentiments were not mine alone but collective with my entire district executive. As time went on, we heard of suspensions, expulsions and a growing number of nominations and replacements into NEC, a thing that greatly injured the party and to our surprise in January 2016, we heard from our provincial Chairman Mr Jacob Mwanza that the NEC had resolved to hold the general convention in 2017 and not in 2016 as it should have been. We told the chairman that as Eastern Province, we are not in support of that as the party has hundreds of thousand of members and 42 people cannot come up with such a decision and expect the rest of us to follow suit. We petitioned NEC to call for a convention in 2016 as their mandate will be expiring in that same year,” Mapili said.
He has wondered why Mutati’s leadership is in Court and why the Court was entertaining Dr Mumba.
“So why are we here in court? Why are you the court entertaining this man (Dr Mumba) because even the people who have brought us here, this woman Winnie Zaloumis, is not MMD. We don’t know her and we have never elected her but was just picked by Dr Mumba from the streets,” said Mapili.