A FACTION that has revolted against UNIP president Tilyenji Kaunda and his vice Njekwa Anamela has branded Zambia’s first ruling party’s central committee moribund that should not perform party functions.
Two UNIP members have since dragged Mr Kaunda and Mr Anamela to court demanding that the duo must be stopped from performing party functions because the mandate of the central committee, the highest decision-making organ, had expired and the two were operating illegally. Bupe Banda and Stephen Tambulukani have filed an injunction in the Lusaka High Court on behalf of other UNIP members to restrain Mr Kaunda and Mr Anamela along with Kenneth Kaira, who is the party secretary general, from pursuing and executing any activities relating to UNIP as there was no central committee to govern the party.
In the statement of claim, Mr Banda and Mr Tambulukani have demanded that Mr Tilyenji with his executive should not be allowed to conduct any activities relating to the party because that was contrary to the party constitution. They argued that UNIP has had no elected central committee and provincial committees since 2005, and therefore the leaders could not be allowed to superintend over the former ruling party’s activities.
The plaintiffs further argued that if the defendants were not restrained from pursuing and executing their plans, it would cause anarchy, chaos and confusion in UNIP because nobody would adhere to the norms or requirements of the party constitution.
Mr Banda and Mr Tambulukani claimed that a declaration to hold another national council by Mr Tilyenji and his executive was illegal because the mandate of the current executive had expired.
UNIP has in the past few months been engulfed in internal wrangles with some members led by expelled national chairperson Beatrice Kayuni demanding for the removal of Mr Kaunda as party president and Mr Anamela as vice president and have since called for a general conference to elect new leaders.
Ms Kayuni insisted that the task for the members was to unite and rejuvenate the party, which was believed to have gone to sleep under the current leadership.
She argued that there were no duly elected members of the structures as according to the party’s guidelines, alleging that the current officers in the party structures had been appointed by the president without the participation of the members.