MMD National Secretary Reverend Reuben Sambo has expressed anger at the attempt by a Felix Mutati cadre named Phiri, to shoot MMD National Treasurer Mrs. Elizabeth Chitika- Molobeka, in a botched and clumsy daylight attempt to forcibly retrieve the party vehicle she was driving, which is part of a large contingent of party vehicles which were rightfully returned to the MMD by the police late last year after having been unlawfully confiscated by the PF soon after the 2011 General Elections.
The incident happened late Friday afternoon, 30th September, 2016 when Mrs Molobeka was driving to her home in Jesmondine and a vehicle driven by Phiri suddenly overtook her and blocked her, forcing her to squeeze through a narrow space to flee at breakneck speed towards Kaunda Square police station when she quickly realized she was being chased by armed robbers wanting to steal her vehicle.
She heard shouts of ‘shoot her! shoot her!’ from someone in the car with his head outside in the car driven by Phiri.
In the fast car chase that ensued, Mrs Chitika-Molobeka hit into a light truck from behind which she failed to avoid thus causing the damage to the front of her vehicle pictured above. A taxi driver who witnessed the entire incident, quickly offered to take her, the truck driver and his colleague along with Phiri to Bennie Mwiinga police station in PHI. On the way there, Phiri suddenly turned into another road and sped off in an attempt to escape but the taxi driver gave chase and forced him to follow them the police station and during questioning, confessed to having a gun and mounting a road block to capture Chitika-Molobeka in a effort to grab the vehicle.
The police informed Phiri that mounting a road block by any unauthorised person is a serious traffic offence for which he would be charged. He would also be charged with dangerous driving likely to endanger other road users. At this point a large group of unruly and noisy cadres arrived and caused tremendous commotion which forced the police officers to ask Mrs Chitika to leave and return on Monday to formally lodge a statement on the incident.
The Mutati faction has been locked in a vicious and bitter party leadership struggle with MMD President Dr. Nevers Mumba since last year as the 2016 General Elections approached. The challenges between Mutati and Dr. Mumba first started in 2012 when Dr. Mumba came from outside and won the MMD presidency by landslide victory against Felix Mutati during the MMD Convention of 2012. Felix Mutati was eventually expelled from the MMD for gross misconduct. He challenged his expulsion in the Lusaka High Court, but the court upheld his expulsion early this year and as far as the MMD is concerned he remains expelled from the MMD.
The Supreme Court recently quashed the Lusaka High Court ruling that the Mutati faction used to justify holding the illegal party convention in Kabwe which installed Mutati as president of the MMD unopposed. The Court has ordered the matter back to the lower court for proper determination. The matter is yet to be heard.
The issue of party vehicles has been at the centre of bitter wrangles in which the Mutati faction led by suspended former Party Spokesperson Raphael Nakacinda have gone on a frenzied nation-wide rampage forcibly grabbing party vehicles from MMD provincial structures.
In October last year former MMD Party Spokesperson Muhabi Lungu was charged with stealing such a vehicle after he was expelled from the party. After the party opened a docket for the stolen vehicle, Mr. Lungu quietly returned the vehicle to Woodlands police station which was eventually returned to the party and the matter dropped. This same vehicle was recently forcibly grabbed from a senior MMD official in a daring daylight robbery in Kabulonga.
The Mutati faction led by suspended Nakacinda purportedly justify the grabbing of these party vehicles allegedly on instructions from former President Rupiah Banda as they say were bought while he was President of MMD. Several vehicles have so far been grabbed and their whereabouts unknown.
MMD Party National Secretary Reverend Reuben Sambo has said the behaviour of the Mutati faction is part of the wider lawless culture obtaining under the current regime. He confirmed that the party is preparing to sue cadre Phiri for endangering Mrs Molobeka’s life.