The convention dispute in the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) has now gone to the Constitutional Court.
Three estranged MMD parliamentarians have challenged a resolution by a NEC last week not to hold a convention and they have also challenged the credentials of NEC members who made the decision.
The petitioners, Felix Chipota Mutati, Member of Parliament for Lunte constituency, Elijah Julaki Muchima, Member of Parliament for Ikelengi and Anne Munshya Chungu Member of Parliament for Lufwanyama have complained that the NEC decision not to hold a convention was contrary to the provisions of Article 60 of the Constitution as amended by the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act No.2 of 2016 and Article 14 of the constitution of the MMD.
They added that the tenure of the president and that of the NEC members who were elected at a regular convention were co-terminus and as such the convention should be held on or before of April 11, 2016.
They have asked the court for declaration that the current composition and appointment of the NEC and its members was not in accordance with MMD’s constitution and consequently meetings of the NEC did form a coram.
They want a declaration that Mr Mbulakulima should not infringe the rights of the members of MMD who are advocating for the holding of the convention in accordance with the constitution of Zambia and MMD’s constitution.
The petitioners also submitted that the proceedings of the meeting were in total defiance of the democratic principles that were set out in the Party’s constitution which guaranteed the petitioners rights to participate in meetings as read together with the provisions of Article 60 of the Zambian constitution adding that members of the Party who included Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa were intimidated and experienced physical violence at the hands of the Mr Mbulakulima party Cadres.