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Court dismisses case against Nawakwi

NAWAKWI

CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka
THE High Court has refused to commence contempt proceedings against Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) national secretary Nathan Mulonga and party president Edith Nawakwi for disobeying a court order stopping them from amending the opposition party’s constitution on grounds of procedural impropriety.
This is in an application for leave to commence contempt proceedings against Mr Mulonga for alleged disobedience of an ex parte order by the court.
Bwalya Ngandu and Kaluba Simuyemba have sued Mr Mulonga asking the court to stop him, Ms Nawakwi and other party officials from amending the FDD constitution to allow Ms Nawakwi to go for a third term.
They also want the court to stop the respondents from suspending, expelling or stopping them from full and free enjoyment of their membership of the FDD and to exercise their duties as leaders in the party.
In her ruling yesterday, High Court judge Annie Banda-Bobo dismissed the application for leave to commence contempt proceedings on grounds that the ex parte order stopping Mr Mulonga and the other officials from holding a meeting to amend the FDD constitution was not personally served on Mr Mulonga.
Mrs Justice Banda-Bobo said the penal notice of the injunction order did not comply with order 47, rule seven (4) because it was not prominently displayed on the front page of the order.
“While I appreciate what Mr Ng’andu said that the order of injunction contained the necessary warning of the consequences of the disobedience, this warning is not prominently displayed on the front page of the order,” she said.
Mrs Justice Banda-Bobo found that on the issue of personal service, it was clear that there was no compliance with procedural rules on service of process and that High Court orders are clear that there must be strict compliance with their provisions.
“It is because the liberty of an individual is at stake, and such liberty cannot be curtailed without exercising that care. Service, it was determined was effected on the registered office of the FDD and not on the respondent, who was sued in a representative capacity,” she said.
Mrs Justice Banda-Bobo said she could not grant permission to commence contempt proceedings because the application was improperly before her and, thus, dismissed it.


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