24 January 2013

Zambia: Namugala Expelled From MMD

MMD Mafinga Member of Parliament (MP) Catherine Namugala has been expelled from the opposition party.

This will result in yet another by-election as two other polls will be conducted in Mpongwe and Livingstone on February 28, this year.

Ms Namugala has been expelled along with MMD Lusaka Province chairperson Mary Tembo for being 'inimical' to the interest and values of the party

MMD vice-president for politics Michael Kaingu announced the expulsions at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday.

But Ms Namugala, flanked by ousted national secretary Richard Kachingwe at another media briefing, said the decision was a 'fraud' and would not be recognised.

"I'm wondering who has expelled me because I have not received any letter from the party national secretary Major Kachingwe who was duly elected. The decision from the National Executive Committee (NEC) to expel me is a fraud because Nevers Mumba is not MMD president," she said.

Maj Kachingwe said as MMD national secretary, he had written to the Speaker of the National Assembly informing him that the Nevers Mumba-led MMD had no right to expel Ms Namugala.

He said Dr Mumba was running an illegal body.

Dr Kaingu said Ms Namugala has since been replaced as women's chairperson by former Patriotic Front (PF) Matero MP Faustina Sinyangwe.

"Yesterday (Tuesday) NEC met at Chrismar Hotel where we discussed several important issues concerning our party. We made a resolution as NEC that Ms Namugala and Ms Tembo be expelled from the party with immediate effect," he said.

He said acting MMD national chairperson Kabinga Pande and party chairperson for elections Kenneth Chipungu, who is Rufunsa MP, had been confirmed in their positions while acting party national secretary Kapembwa Simbao had also been confirmed as a NEC member.

Ms Namugala and Maj Kachingwe on Tuesday formed a parallel structure announcing a new secretariat.

Dr Kaingu termed the action by the two as unlawful and that law enforcement wings should step in.

"If you go to the Registrar of Societies, the only MMD address you will find is this one where we are and not that illegal structure along Bwinjimfumu Road.

"Those who want to leave can call themselves any names like puppies... we don't care about those leaving or have left us because we have our elected party president Nevers Mumba," he said.

Meanwhile, the Lusaka High Court has denied granting Ms Namugala an injunction to restrain her expulsion from the opposition party.

Ms Justice Fulgeance Chisanga told lawyers representing MMD when the matter came up in chambers for inter-parte hearing yesterday that Ms Namugala was not issued an injunction to block her expulsion.

This was after one of the defendant's lawyers Sunday Nkonde informed the court that they were confused with a mistaken view widely reported in the media that Ms Namugala had been granted an injunction.

Ms Namugala is also challenging the appointment of Kapembwa Simbao as acting national secretary.

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