FORUM for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi cannot go for a third term as party leader following the Lusaka High Court’s decision to grant an injunction restraining national secretary Nathan Mulonga from amending the party constitution to allow her seek term extension.
In this case, chairman of the differently abled persons committee of FDD Bwalya Ng’andu and party deputy national secretary Kaluba Simuyemba have asked the Lusaka High Court for an injunction to restrain FDD from suspending or expelling them for challenging the third term bid by Ms Nawakwi.
Mr Ng’andu and Mr Simuyemba contend that there are manoeuvres by other members of FDD, including the president, to amend the party constitution so that Ms Nawakwi can be allowed to go for a third term
In a statement of claim in the High Court, Mr Simuyemba and Mr Bwalya Ng’andu, the FDD chairman for the differently abled persons, have stated that Ms Nawakwi was last elected president of FDD in 2005 and had served as president for more than 10 years which was against the party constitution. The duo stated that FDD had not held a convention for a decade and that in terms of the party constitution article 42 (I), the president shall hold office for a maximum period of not more than two consecutive five-year terms. Mr Simuyemba and Mr Ng’andu have said that Ms Nawakwi had served for more than 10 years as president of the FDD and was therefore ineligible to contest the position again.
‘‘We are taking the party to the convention and the constitution will be amended and people will decide whether I should continue or not,” Ms Nawakwi said.
The two are also seeking a court order to bar Ms Nawakwi from extending her presidential term. They stated that manoeuvres by Ms Nawakwi to amend the FDD constitution so that she could secure a third term were a recipe for anarchy in the party and could subject her to impeachment proceedings under article 42 (3) (a) of the party constitution.
Mr Simuyemba and Mr Ng’andu are also seeking a court order to declare their expulsion from the FDD null and void because the standing committee that recommended their expulsion was illegal.
“The plaintiffs claim for a declaration that the current president for the FDD, Ms Nawakwi, is barred from going for another term as president having served two consecutive five-year terms, an injunction restraining the FDD from suspending or expelling and/or from taking any action that will be inimical to the full enjoyment of memberships of the plaintiffs,” Mr Simuyemba and Mr Ngandu said.
But Ms Nawakwi has accused her long-time vice-president, Chifumu Banda, of having started the campaign against her so that the former Chasefu parliamentarian could assume the FDD presidency.
Ms Nawakwi has also said FDD deputy national secretary, Kaluba Musenda Simuyemba, is also part of the scheme to hound her out of the party.
Ms Nawakwi charged that Mr Simuyemba would remain expelled from the FDD and that if he together with Mr Ng’andu wanted to continue in politics, they should form their own political party. Ms Nawakwi claimed she had personally financed the campaigns for parliamentary candidates in the FDD in the last general elections and could not continue taking care of their financial affairs.
Ms Nawakwi claimed that Mr Simuyemba was on a wanted police list for allegedly selling a laptop belonging to the FDD.
“I know this is the work of Mr Chifumu Banda who wants to knock Nawakwi from the FDD presidential race so that he can be unopposed at the coming convention. Tell Mr Banda that the FDD is a party that is strong and they should not be scared of the convention. ‘‘We are taking the party to the convention and the constitution will be amended and people will decide whether I should continue or not,” Ms Nawakwi said.