Chieftainess Mwape of the Nsenga people of Eastern Province has dragged 12 subjects to court for conspiring to remove her as the duly-gazetted and recognized chief.
Chieftainess Mwape is demanding for a declaration that she is duly elected saying her subjects’ actions have caused her considerable grief, stress and had brought her name into disrepute.
She has sued Gerald Mulowa as first defendant; Grace Phiri; Catherine Mulowa-Tembo; Abelina Njobvu; Belia Mulowa-Daka; Falesi Phiri-Tembo; Charles Sakala; David Mulowa; Diana Njobvu; Naomi Phiri-Simfukwe; Malita Zulu; Dinah Zulu and Vainess Zulu-Daka.
In statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Tuesday, Chieftainess Mwape stated that she was a corporate sole and duly-gazetted Chieftainess of the Nsenga people of Nyimba District in Eastern Province, having been recognized under Statutory Instrument No. 124 of 2003, on October 17, 2003, by the late President Levy Mwanawasa.
She stated that the first defendant, Gerald Mulowa, was a subject of her chiefdom though not resident in the chiefdom, who was now holding himself out as Chief Mwape.
Chieftainess Mwape stated that the defendants were subjects of her chiefdom though the third, fifth, eighth and tenth defendants were not residents in the chiefdom and had purported to constitute themselves as the Mwape Royal Establishment.
She disclosed that on July 24, 2018, the defendants met and conspired to remove her as duly-gazetted and recognized chief of the Nsenga people.
Chieftainess Mwape stated that the defendants purported to appoint the first defendant to act in her position and proceeded to inform her that she neither had the backing of the community nor the so-called Mwape Royal Chieftainess Establishment.
She further stated that defendants further informed the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, among other relevant government institutions, of their purported decision to remove her as Chieftainess.
Chieftainess Mwape stated that the defendants had been frequenting her palace to demand for meetings with her, without notice or agenda, and had sought to cause confusion in her chiefdom.
“The defendants have been frequenting the plaintiff’s official palace to demand to hold meetings with her, without notice nor agenda, and have generally sought to cause confusion and strife within the chiefdom and to destabilise her. The first defendant threatens and intends, unless restrained by the court, to continue to hold himself out as Chief Mwape, while the rest of the defendants, together with the first defendant, continue to illegally hold themselves as the Mwape Royal Establishment,” read the statement of claim.
She further stated that the actions of the defendants do not even have the blessing nor support of the headmen and indunas of the chiefdom.
Chieftainess Mwape lamented that the actions of the defendants had caused her considerable grief and stress and had brought her name into disrepute.
She now claims for a declaration that she the duly-constituted and gazetted Chieftainess of the Nsenga people, a declaration that the actions of the defendants to appoint the first defendant as Chief Mwape are null and void, an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants from interfering with her duties as Chieftainess Mwape, damages, costs, and any other reliefs the court may deem fit.