THE High Court has found MMD president Nevers Mumba not guilty of contempt of court for failing to adhere to an injunction restraining him from holding the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting because there was no special leave to serve it.
This is in a matter in which MMD vice-presidents Michael Kaingu and Brian Chituwo sued acting party national secretary Chembe Nyangu and asked the court to grant them an order to prevent NEC members from convening the meeting to elect the new national secretary until determination of the matter.
High Court Judge Eddie Sikazwe said the injunction was rightfully obtained from the court but that lawyers representing Dr Kaingu and Dr Chituwo did not obtain special leave to serve the injunction.
Justice Sikazwe said Dr Kaingu’s lawyers should have obtained the special leave to serve the order on Sunday, the day the MMD intended to hold the meeting.
Justice Sikazwe said the litigants in the matter both come from the MMD and that taking into account that the party was responsible for the first mass movement which brought proper multi-party democracy in Zambia, the MMD should be the last organisation to drag itself to court over its party matters into two different camps over democracy.
Justice Sikazwe said Dr Chituwo and Dr Kaingu filed a writ of summons for an injunction to be issued at the 11th hour to stop the convention.
He said according to High Court rules, service in a civil cause cannot be made on a Sunday, Good Friday or Christmas Day but that Dr Kaingu’s lawyers stated the urgency of the matter and that it has been precedence in the Zambian courts to look at alternative laws.
Justice Sikazwe said this gap in the law allows the court to look at the English laws order 65 10 (1) (2) of the laws of the Supreme Court practice of England, the rule is to the effect that it permits the service of a process on a Sunday in case of urgency with leave of the court.
“I, therefore, find Chembe Nyangu, sued in his capacity as acting national secretary of the MMD, the president of the MMD and all the 34 members cited in these proceedings not guilty of contempt of this court,” Justice Sikazwe said.
Zambia Daily Mail