The Lusaka High Court has thrown out a matter in which a Chipata man had sued Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni and three other chiefs, for allegedly suspending and stopping him from discharging his duties as acting chief Kapatamoyo, a position which is already filled by Levy Jere.

Lusaka High Court Judge Sharon Newa dismissed the matter in chambers on May 3, 2019, for want of prosecution.

“On March 27, 2019, I struck out the matter from the active cause list with liberty to restore within 30 days, failure to which the matter would stand dismissed for want of prosecution. The matter not having been restored, it is hereby dismissed,” Judge Newa ordered.

In this matter, a Chipata man, Aaron Jere, had sued paramount chief Mpezeni IV, chief Madzimawe, chief Munukwa and Levy Jere (acting Chief Kapatamoyo), for allegedly suspending and stopping him from discharging his duties and exercising power as acting chief Kapatamoyo.

Jere had asked the Lusaka High Court to stop the intended installation of another chief to replace him until the matter was determined.

He had further asked the Court for an interim order that would enable him as duly installed chief Kapatamoyo to resume and continue executing his official duties and that he should be entitled to all benefits.

However, Judge Newa declined to grant the order of injunction to remove the newly-installed chief Kapatamoyo, saying the application had been overtaken by events as the fourth defendant had already been installed as chief.

“As regards the granting of the injunction to restrain the fourth defendant from performing the office of the chief Kapatamoyo, this has been overtaken as the fourth defendant has been installed as chief. I decline to grant the order of injunction and dismiss it! I direct that costs be in the cause,” she had ruled.

Jere had previously stated that he was installed chief Kapatamoyo by Mpezeni.

According to him, Mpezeni arbitrarily and illegally suspended and removed him from discharging duties and exercising powers as chief Kapatamoyo on May 5, 2013, without any cause.

He stated that Mpezeni illegally caused a transfer of K20,033.00 from his personal account to Levy Jere, the purported acting chief Kapatamoyo, on the pretext that he had removed him from the position and that he should lose everything he gained.

Jere stated that Mpezeni further caused his Toyota Prado, which was given to him by Sable Transport Limited as a gift, to be illegally seized when it had been in his custody since 2013.

He also stated that Mpezeni illegally directed Chipata Municipal Council to stop giving him subsidy and further directed that the same be paid to Levy.

But in an affidavit in opposition, Chief Madzimawe stated that Jere’s suspension was done in line with Ngoni customs and procedures, adding that the plaintiff never challenged the suspension until 2017 when he was replaced.

“I wish to state that this application has been overtaken by events as the Plaintiff never sought any injunction when he was first suspended in 2013 and that a new Chief has since been installed as at 14th day of October, 2017. All the traditional instruments of power have been given to the new chief and, therefore, there is nothing to injunct at this stage,” read the affidavit.