13 representatives of five families of the Mbeza Royal Establishment of Chief Nalubamba of the Ila people have insisted that Professor King Nalubamba, the newly installed Chief Nalubamba, is not eligible to ascend to the throne of the Mbeza Royal Establishment.
The 13 have submitted that in the wrongful naming and selection of Professor Nalubamba as purported chief, the practices and traditions of the Ila people were not followed and the voice of the majority was suppressed.
In this matter, 13 representatives of the five families out of the eight families that make up the Mbeza Royal Establishment of Chief Nalubamba of the Ila people of Namwala, Southern Province, are challenging the selection and installation of Professor Nalubamba, a University of Zambia (UNZA) Dean in the School of Veterinary Medicine, as the new Chief Nalubamba.
Pawsen Munamooya and 12 others are seeking an order declaring that the selection and installation of professor Nalubamba as successor to the throne of the late Chief Bright Nalubamba, was null and void.
The 13 who have cited Professor Nalubamba, Joseph Mwanambulo and Mukamadede Munamooya as defendants, further want an order declaring that Pawsen Munamooya is the rightful person eligible to ascend to the throne of Chief Nalubamba in accordance with practices and customs of the Ila speaking people of Namwala district.
The 13 plaintiffs stated that Professor Nalubamba is late Chief Bright Nalubamba’s son and thus cannot according to their practices, customs and traditions ascend to the throne because the chieftaincy moves to a different son’s line after the death or otherwise of an incumbent chief.
But Prof Nalubamba and his co-defendants’ in their defence filed in November, last year, stated that the plaintiffs were not representatives of any of the families that make up the Mbeza Royal Establishment, but were individual members of the family and represented their own interests.
The three defendants admitted that Prof Nalubamba was the son to late Chief Bright Nalubamba but denied any suggestion that his installation to the throne was improper or inappropriate.
They stated that they would show at trial that the installation of Prof Nalubamba was done in due accordance with all customs and traditions of the Mbeza Royal Establishment.
But in a reply to the defendants’ defence, Munamooya and 12 others have insisted that they constitute five out of the eight families that constitutes the Mbeza Royal Establishment.
They stated that the installation of Prof Nalubamba to the throne of the late Chief Nalubamba was improper and contrary to the customs and traditions of the Mbeza Royal Establishment.
The plaintiffs reiterated that the other defendants, Mwanambulo and Mukamadede were mere members of the Mbeza Royal Establishment and that Mwanambulo did not in any way hold the purported position of the secretary of the Mbeza Royal Establishment.
They added that Mukamadede performed the act of an installer of a chief, which act lies in the preserve of a particular group of people of the Mbeza Royal Establishment.
“The actions of Mukamadede were lax and or in wanton neglect and that the whole procedure of succession as per customs and traditions of the Mbeza Royal Establishment were not followed in the wrongful selection and installation of Professor Nalubamba as chief of the Mbeza Royal Establishment,” read the reply.
The plaintiffs stated that the pattern of succession of the Mbeza Royal Establishment was not patrilineal as alleged by the defendants, adding that the defendants seem to be making a mockery of themselves by disputing the existence of the eight families that constitutes the Mbeza Royal Establishment, a contention which they already admitted in their defence.
“The system of ascendancy to the throne of the Mbeza Royal Establishment strictly speaking is not patrilineal and thus, cannot move from father to son. Any form of patrilineal tendencies are not in stern accord with the customs and traditions and the same only manifested by some form of dictatorship contrary to the customs and traditions of the Mbeza Royal Establishment,” they stated.
“Rotational practice of succession to the throne of the Mbeza Royal Establishment is documented and does not in any way contemplate that a son to an immediate past chief can ascend to the throne of the Mbeza Royal Establishment.”
The plaintiffs submitted that Professor Nalubamba was not eligible to ascend to the throne of the Mbeza Royal Establishment as the succession system was rotational and excludes the son of an immediate past chief.