BY NEWTON SAMAKAYI
The Daily Nation of 16th November, 2012 carried a story that His Excellency the President Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata had stripped senior Chief Kalindawalo (Everson Mumba) of his position as Senior Chief through statutory instrument No.77 of 14th November, 2012.
There was no background information leading to this action by the President except to say that there had been wrangles in the Chiefdom since the time of late President Mwanawasa. It was also alleged that President Mwanawasa was in the process of acting on this issue but he passed on and that President Banda could not, because he was busy preparing for 2011 elections.
This article made a very interesting reading to me because I know this issue of Senior Chief Kalindawalo. The issue is that when the Senior Chief Kalindawalo died at some point, the heir to throne was working in Zimbabwe and he refused to leave his job for the position of a Chief. There was no one from the family in Zambia who could have ascended to the throne. So a caretaker ascended to the throne. After the caretaker died his grandson took over and the family that should have provided a Chief was still not ready.
It happened that when the grandson who was the second caretaker died, his uncle took over ignoring the owners of the Chieftaincy. When the third caretaker died, at this point the owners were now ready to ascend to the throne but the lineage of the caretakers also wanted to consolidate themselves for the Chieftaincy, so a contest ensued. The matter was taken to high Court, thereafter the Supreme Court, and the ruling was in favour of Everson Mumba who is now Senior Chief Kalindawalo.
It should be noted that President Mwanawasa and President Banda respected the rule of law by letting the Courts adjudicate this matter. This was in line with MMD’s Policy of non interference in traditional matters.
Arising from the above, I don’t understand how the Republican President can remove Everson Mumba from the throne. Senior Chief Kalindawalo is protected by the Supreme Court ruling and his ascendance to the throne can no longer be challenged in this country by anyone or any organ.
The Statutory Instrument that removed Everson Mumba from the throne is therefore, illegal.
The Statutory Instrument is illegal in two ways:
(i) There was no Commission/Committee of the house of Chiefs recommending, among other things that Everson Mumba be removed from the Throne for any reason.
(ii) The Statutory Instrument N0. 77 of 14th November, 2012, usurp the powers of the Judiciary, as there is a ruling by the Supreme Court supporting the incumbent Everson Mumba, Senior Chief Kalindawalo to be on throne.
(iii) As MMD, we wish to state that the Statutory Instrument N0.77 of 14th November, 2012, be withdrawn and further advise that Prof. Luo Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs should not even travel to Petauke, wasting tax payers money to convene meetings of village Headmen and elders. She has no business whatsoever, in the selection of Chiefs, as this is a preserve of the Royal Establishment and the electoral college of the Kalindawalo Chiefdom.
(iv) We feel that Government has no basis to remove Everson Mumba from the throne, unless it is now PF Government policy to remove chiefs without the due process of the provisions of the Chiefs Act or any other law. We consider Government action as a clear case of abuse of office motivated by the desire to gain politics mileage.
In this regard, the Chairman House of Chiefs should come out clear on this matter and the Law Association of Zambia is indicted to provide guidance.
NEWTON SAMAKAYI IS THE MMD CHAIRMAN – LOCAL GOVERNMENT & HOUSING