THE Lusaka High Court has consolidated matters involving five MMD members of Parliament and another senior party official who were expelled because issues they raised are similar and related.
The affected members had sued MMD national secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima, separately and had applied for injunctions to restrain the MMD from expelling them, which they were granted.
High Court judge Isaac Chali consolidated the matters when they came up for interparty hearing on Wednesday between the legislators, the senior party official, and Mr Mbulakulima.
This is in the matter in which the parliamentarians – Kabinga Pande (Kasempa), Levy Ngoma (Sinda), Felix Mutati (Lunte), Situmbeko Musokotwane (Liuwa) and Kenneth Chipungu (Rufunsa) and Mathews Jere, a senior MMD party official based in Livingstone – are seeking the intervention of the court in the dispute.. Earlier, Mr Mbulakulima filed a memorandum of appearance which needed to be endorsed by the deputy registrar.
Mr Justice Chali adjourned the matter to June 9, 2015 for hearing and ordered Mr Mbulakulima to file submissions before that and then the complainants would respond to them within two weeks.
The parliamentarians argue that their purported expulsion was contrary to the rules of natural justice as they were not given a fair hearing and opportunity to defend themselves.
They asked the court to declare their purported expulsions illegal, null and void, and declared that they were still members of Parliament and bonafide members of the former ruling party. They contend that Mr Mbulakulima has not only breached the provisions of MMD constitution but also the rules of natural justice. They said the decision to expel him was contrary to the disciplinary procedure as enshrined in the MMD’s constitution.
They claimed that they were not informed of the allegations levelled against them and that Mr Mbulakulima did not inform them of the convening of the meeting where the decision to expel them was arrived at.
They said following the loss of MMD presidential candidate Nevers Mumba, Mr Mbulakulima issued a statement expelling them from the party.
They said they should not be expelled from the party for endorsing and supporting a presidential candidate of their choice.