NEVERS Mumba has ducked the MMD presidency after bailiffs pounced on him demanding settlement of outstanding legal fees for his contempt of court case in 2013, saying he accumulated the bill while he was serving as president of the party but that there was a new structure in place which should deal with the matter.
Party national secretary Raphael Nakachinda yesterday told the Daily Nation that on Thursday afternoon bailiffs pounced on Dr. Mumba demanding K100,000 in legal fees which he failed to settle since 2013 but that he instead directed them to the MMD secretariat, saying it was in the best position to respond to their demands because he was no longer MMD president.
Mr. Nakachinda explained that the bailiffs then went to the secretariat with instructions from Dr. Mumba to engage the new leadership since he no longer was party president. Dr Mumba allegedly said while he was the one who accumulated the debt, the party had exchanged hands and therefore he could not be held accountable for its debts.
“Dr. Mumba left some debts when he was still the MMD president and yesterday (Thursday), we received a contingent from the bailiffs pursuing their legal fees which the party incurred in 2013. Initially, they had gone to Dr. Mumba with a warrant of distress but he directed them to go to the secretariat to recover their money, saying while he accumulated the debt he was no longer in office,” Mr. Nakachinda said.
He explained that the MMD had no problem with settling the debts that it accumulated under the previous leadership because it was under obligation to do so just like Dr. Mumba himself offset the debts he found in office at the time he became party president.
Mr Nakacinda however said the MMD will only do so once Dr. Mumba himself owned up and openly surrendered the presidency as he was playing double standards on the matter. He said not long ago during a joint press briefing with the UPND, Dr Mumba was still masquerading as the MMD president even when a new legitimate leadership was ushered into office last year.
“We do not have a problem with settling the debt which he accumulated. After all, he also offset the debts which were left by his predecessor when he became party president but our problem is his lack of consistency. Not long ago, he went to a UPND briefing where he maintained that he was still the MMD president.
“We will pay the money owned as long as he owns up and accepts that there is a new leadership in place that should see to it that all debts owned by the party are paid. We cannot fail to pay this debt but we want him to come out in the open and declare that he is no longer the MMD president and then we shall pay,” he said.
Mr Nakacinda said Dr. Mumba’s failure to pay the legal fees and his consequent directive to the bailiffs to take their grievances to the MMD secretariat was an indication that he had conceded defeat through the convention which he attempted to block.
And MMD national treasurer Christopher Banda has charged Dr. Mumba must show leadership and pay the debt he owes George Kunda and Company in legal fees if he is still party president as he claims to be.
Mr. Banda said it was interesting that Dr. Mumba has now realised that he was no longer a party president and therefore could not settle the bill.
He said Dr. Mumba’s conduct of refusing to settle the debt which has since attracted a High Court judgment in favour of George Kunda and Company was a clear testimony that it was not his mandate to pay it as he was not MMD president.
Mr. Banda said it was important for Dr. Mumba to cease using the party name in his illegal political activities.
He challenged Dr. Mumba that in the same spirit he was canvassing the country telling people that he was MMD party president, he should pay the bill if he was still the leader of the former ruling party.
“I am challenging Dr. Mumba to pay the legal fees if he is still MMD president failure to which he should stop masquerading as party president,” Mr. Banda said.
“As a man of the collar, it is time he did the correct thing and restore his integrity by either paying the debt he owes the law firm or ceases to claim to be party president, “he said.