There were fierce legal arguments at the Lusaka High Court yesterday when the contempt case involving Dr Michael Kaingu and others and the MMD came up for commencement of hearing.
The lawyers representing MMD president Nevers Mumba strongly argued that the circumstances restraining the NEC meeting were not legally tenable.
Mr Makebi Zulu and Jonas Zimba argued that according to the constitution, service in a civil matter could not made or heard on a Sunday, Good Friday and Christmas Days stating that in view of the constitution dictates, it was therefore irregular for the injunction to be served on the MMD.But Dr Kaingu’s lawyers Milner Katolo argued that the injunction was served on the Sunday because it was a case of emergency which could not wait and if it did, the meeting which was being restrained could have gone ahead.
Dr Kaingu, Dr Chituwo, Lucky Mulusa, Dora Siliya and Tobias Kafumokache argued against the submissions and pleaded with Judge Sikazwe to dismiss Dr Mumba’s submissions.Judge Sikazwe has since reserved the ruling to 30th May 2014. On Thursday, MMD national secretary Muhabi Lungu stated that there was no injunction served at the time the NEC meeting was taking place. Mr Lungu said the acting national secretary Mr Chembe Nyangu did not come with the injuction and neither did he announce that there was one at the time he came for the meeting which the Dr Kaingu faction has maintained was illegal.In his reply to notice of motion to raise preliminary issues for an order of committal Mr Lungu argues that the plaintiffs Michael Kaingu and Dr Brian Chituwo have not deposed that leave was sought to file and serve process on that Sunday.He says the injunction was only served later on their acting national secretary Mr Nyangu and that him and other alleged contemnors are not defendants to the main cause.He further argues that the proceedings before the court were signed at 14.35, thus confirming that at the time the meeting was convened, the order had not been delivered and served on the NEC meeting.Neither did Mr Nyangu have the said injunction in his possession at the time he came for the meeting to distribute the agenda and files.Mr Lungu has however admitted that an injunction by two vice presidents to stop the NEC from taking place was served on April 27.