THE Lusaka High Court has granted four expelled MMD members of Parliament and another party member based in Livingstone an ex parte injunction restraining MMD national secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima from expelling or suspending them from the party.
The MMD legislators are Levy Ngoma (Sinda), Felix Mutati (Lunte), Kabinga Pande (Kasempa) and Kenneth Chipungu (Rufunsa). The fifth one is Mathews Jere, a senior party official in Livingstone.
High Court Judge Isaac Chali ordered Mr Mbulakulima not to harass or intimidate the four lawmakers and Mr Jere.
He said Mr Mbulakulima should not interfere with membership and privileges of the parliamentarians and Mr Jere until the matter was determined by the court.
“Upon hearing counsels for the plaintiff and reading affidavit filed by the plaintiffs in support thereof, it is hereby ordered and directed that defendant is restrained whether by himself or his servants or agents or whomever, from suspending and expelling or otherwise dismissing or alienating the plaintiff from being a member of the MMD or from harassing or intimidating the plaintiff in any manner whosoever until the full determination of this case.
“And interfering with the enjoying of the plaintiffs’ membership and privileges of belonging to the MMD until the full determination of this case,” Judge Chali said.
Mr Justice Chali set March 4 as the date for inter-parte hearing of the injunction.
Recently, Mr Mbulakulima suspended several MPs and other senior party members for allegedly supporting other political parties in the January presidential elections.
In their statements of claim filed individually in the court, the lawmakers were asking the court to declare their purported expulsions illegal, null and void.
They said they were asking the court to make a declaration that they were still members of Parliament and bonafide members of the former ruling party.
They contend that Mr Mbulakulima did not only breach the provisions of MMD constitution but also the rules of natural justice.
They said the decision to expel them was contrary to the disciplinary procedure as enshrined in the MMD’s constitution.
They said they were not informed of the allegations levelled against them and that they were never informed of the convening of the meeting where the decision of their purported expulsion was arrived at.
And Mr Mutati said his endorsement and support of another presidential candidate in the election infuriated some sections of the MMD.
He said following the loss of MMD presidential candidate Nevers Mumba, Mr Mbulakulima issued a statement expelling him and other MPs from the party.