By Mwaka Ndawa
FORMER NAREP president Elias Chipimo has asked the Lusaka High Court to discharge the injunction restraining acting vice-president Charles Maboshe and others from using the party secretariat in Rhodes Park as he intends to auction it.
In an affidavit in opposition sworn by Chipimo and former secretary general Ezra Ngulube to the injunction granted in favour of Stephen Nyirenda restraining Maboshe and others from interferring with his presidency, Chipimo says the property subject to the proceedings is his personal property which he allowed the defendants to use on conditions he had privately agreed with them before selling it following his resignation from the party.
“The plaintiffs have no right whatsoever to seek the indulgence of this court to bar any parties I have permitted to use my beneficial property being plot no. 2386 Tuleteka Road, Lusaka,” Chipimo said.
“I now seek the indulgence of this court to vacate the injunction in this matter as it affects my interest as the bonafide owner of the said plot 2386, Tuleteka Road which I intend on selling once I receive an acceptable offer.”
Ngulube added that the plaintiffs have not gone to court with “clean hands” and are not entitled to the injunction they are seeking.
Meanwhile, the defendants have submitted that Nyirenda has never been considered as president of NAREP through an election or appointment.
This is in a matter where Nyirenda, together with NAREP secretary general Ezra Banda, Mwelwa Ngosa and Jimmy Mubambwe have sued Maboshe, Ezra Ngulube, Maybin Kabwe, Frank Sichone, Evelyn Malango, Susan Chipeta and Thomas Kayola in the Lusaka High Court seeking a declaration that he (Nyirenda) was duly elected as National Restoration Party president.
Nyirenda and others want a declaration that the purported decision by the defendants to fire him be declared null and void.
The plaintiffs also want an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants, or their agents from interfering with the party’s administration and governance.
They are further seeking an order of injunction prohibiting the defendants and their agents from using the party secretariat premises situated at Plot no. 2386 Tuleteka Road.
But in their defence and counterclaim, the defendants say Maboshe is now the legally appointed acting president of NAREP as Nyirenda has never qualified to be elected to the position of party president as he does not qualify to be elected to any position in the party, at any level as Article 25 of the party constitution demands membership of at least one year before seeking office to any elective position of the party.
Maboshe and others said that they have never discussed or proposed any ratification of the Opposition Alliance contrary to what is alleged by Nyirenda, but the divisions in the party have been on the account of the latter’s ineligibility to hold the position of party president, his dubiously unilateral seizure and control of party bank accounts.
The defendants said Nyirenda had breached the party constitution as he appointed his own personal assistant as a signatory to the accounts of the party for the purposes of receiving funds from unknown donors without scrutiny in line with the financial charter of the party.
They claim that Nyirenda is divisive and that his unauthorised xenophobic and extreme ideologies are completely foreign to NAREP ideologies and core values essential to leadership as provided for in the party constitution.
The defendants confirmed that they replaced Nyirenda with Maboshe, claiming that they legally met at the party secretariat and passed a vote of no confidence and expelled Nyirenda in a legitimate quorum.
Maboshe and his co-defendants confirmed that Sichone issued a statement announcing the decision of the National Executive Committee to immediately remove Nyirenda from his purported position of party president which he was illegally occupying.
They said Ezra Banda has never been the National Secretary or Secretary General of NAREP as he is one of the three individuals unilaterally and illegally appointed by Nyirenda to the said position in the last eight months and cannot commence the action against them in any representative capacity of NAREP.
They said the property subject to the proceedings being plot no.2386 Tuleteka Road is not a registered property of NAREP and that the plaintiffs are wholly deficient of any claim to the property whose owners have permitted the party to use to specifically agreed conditions until it is disposed of by way of sale an arrangement entirely unknown to Nyirenda who is a stranger to the party.
“The entire action is incompetent and premised on reliance by the plaintiffs on a draft party constitution which has never been adopted by NAREP, its NEC or any of the members. The plaintiffs are in fact not entitled to any of the reliefs they now seek and that this entire action is wholly incompetent and frivolous,” Maboshe and others said.
In their counterclaim the defendants want an order that the decision of the National Executive Committed dated August 15 to expel Nyirenda was valid with the provisions of the party constitution.
They want a declaration that the appointments made by Nyirenda and others be nullified.
The defendants also want an order compelling Nyirenda, his employees and agents to hand over control of all NAREP bank accounts to the right party officials in line with the financial charter of the party and that Nyirenda should also render an account of all money received on behalf of the party from the time he illegally assumed the position of party president.