SENIOR Chief Nsefu of the Kunda people of Mambwe district in Eastern Province has charged that he dethroned chief Kakumbi because he conducted himself in a way that exhibited insubordination, which is contrary to the people under his chiefdom.
In his affidavit in opposition to an interim injunction sought by John Kapepa, chief Nsefu said the injunction being sought has been overtaken by events and was therefore, untenable as Kapepa was no longer recognised as chief Kakumbi following his dethronement.
But Kapepa in his reply to Nsefu has argued that nothing has been overtaken by events as he is still on the throne as chief Kakumbi.
This is in a matter where Kapepa has sued chief Nsefu challenging his overthrow as chief Kakumbi for allegedly refusing to sanction the illegal allocation of land in his chiefdom by the senior chief.
Senior Chief Nsefu denied illegally allocating land in chief Kakumbi’s chiefdom, claiming that chief Kakumbi reported him to the Anti-Corruption Commission on bogus allegations of corruption as a way of strong-arming him to rescind his decision to rmove him from the Kakumbi throne.
“The letter dated December 28, 2019 had the immediate effect of dethroning and removing the plaintiff from the
position of chief Kakumbi, which position I installed upon him on the basis that he had conducted himself in a way that exhibited insubordination and contrary to the interest of the people under his chiefdom,” Senior Chief Nsefu stated.
“I have, with other Kunda chiefs namely chief Malama, chief Mkhanya, chief Jumbe and chieftainess Msoro heard the plaintiff on several occasions and tried to help him to live in harmony with his subjects but all efforts so far have proved futile and even his own headmen do not want him as chief. The plaintiff was on November 16, 2019 called for hearing of issues relating to land allocation in his chiefdom where the plaintiff was warned and charged traditionally.”
Nsefu argued that the Kakumbi royal establishment and the chief Kakumbi electoral college have no bearing on his decision to remove Kapepa as chief.
He stated that under the African customary law, Kapepa ceased to be entitled to hold the office of chieftainship following his dethronement.
He stated that the action to dethrone Kapepa was not illegal but followed customary law and authority endowed upon him as senior chief.
However, in an affidavit in reply, Kapepa, through his lawyers Gilbert Phiri and Kombe Kapamba, said that senior chief Nsefu does not have the authority to dethrone him.
He stated that his application for injunction has not been overtaken by any events but still viable and he was still in office as the reigning chief Kakumbi ,duly degazetted and executing his duties with the support of the Kakumbi royal family.
Kapepa denied exhibiting any insubordination and neither has he acted contrary to the interest of the people in his chiefdom.
He insisted that he swang into action to stop chief Nsefu’s illicit allocation of land in his chiefdom without his consent.
He also refuted assertions that he has been heard on allegations levelled against him.
“I still remain chief Kakumbi until ordered otherwise by the court,” said Kapepa.