Lusaka ~ Wed, 12 May 2021
By Brightwell Chabusha
Wrangles in the opposition UNIP have continued as party Secretary General Lazarous Mwiche seeks an order of injunction to restrain former president Tilyenji Kaunda and his team from interfering with the running of the party.
According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Mr Mwiche wants the court to order Mr Kaunda, party former vice president Njekwa Anamela, Mr Alfred Banda and six Others to stop obstructing members from contesting the August 12 General Elections.
He further demanded that the court should order the former party president and others to allow new UNIP president Bishop Trevor Mwamba and members of the Central Committee to formalise the change of office bearers at the Societies Registry.
In this case, the Secretary General also cited Mr Henry Muyoba, Mr Manuel Ngambi, Mr John Sandwe, Mr Wilfred Mfune, Mr James Kabuyana, Mr Fraser Kaonga and Ms Rosemary Banda.
Mr Mwiche stated that all the defendants are UNIP members who previously held certain positions of leadership at varying levels and periods from 2001 to 2021.
He indicated that UNIP previously held its last National Congress in 2000 in Ndola, Copperbelt.
“The party under the Tilyenji Chanda Kaunda leadership illegally held office for periods ranging between 16 and 20 years and between 2000 and 2005 respectively without holding a party congress thereby causing discontentment and frustrations in the general membership of the party leading to the commencement of a legal action by party members under cause number 2019/HP/1337 in 2019,” Mwiche said.
He said on August 22, 2019, Lusaka High Court judge Wilfred Muma granted the plaintiffs in cause 2019/HP/1237, an interim injunction which restrained Mr Kaunda and team from conducting any duties as members of the central committee except the role of jointly organizing a party congress in conjunction with the interim central committee as guided by the Chief Registrar of Societies.
Mr Mwiche stated that the party after convening several meetings and later in April 2021 proceeded to hold the party congress where Bishop Trevor Mwamba was elected president and Mike Laura as vice while himself was elected secretary general.
The plaintiff stated that since the election of the current Central Committee, the defendants, led by Muyoba and Banda have been interfering and obstructing the party leadership in its administration and management.
The Secretary General stated that the defendants have opposed the change of office bearers at the Registrar of Societies and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has denied Bishop Mwamba or any other candidates to contest the election as presidential candidate on the UNIP ticket.
“The defendants issue several press statements denouncing the party congress of April 2 – 4, 2021 and announcing the holding of an illegal party congress from May 6 and 7, 2021 and usurp the legitimacy of the elected UNIP Central Committee,” Mwiche said.
He said by reason of their obstruction and interference with the legally elected Central Committee, the defendants caused damage to the party through loss of membership and to disfranchise party members and Zambians who want to vote for Bishop Mwamba and others at the August 12 general elections.