DEPUTY Senior Chief Tafuna of the Lungu people of Northern Province has dragged Senior Chief Tafuna to the Lusaka High Court seeking a declaration that he is the only person on the throne until the Lungu Royal Establishment appoints a successor in accordance with their tradition.
Cosmas Tafuna Sikazwe, who has sued Mathews Makungu Siame and the Attorney General, further wants a declaration that Siame’s appointment as senior chief Tafuna at the direction or presence of government and without the consultation or involvement of the Lungu Royal Establishment, Chiefs, the custodians of the Lungu Customs, Tradition and Culture and without following the 1957 Succession Agreement and as agreed in 2006, is null and void.
He also wants a declaration that the meeting that sat to allegedly select Siame as senior chief Tafuna did not constitute an electoral college, which is required to choose senior chief Tafuna.
Sikazwe wants an order or declaration that no other person apart from the Lungu Royal Establishment chaired by chief Chinakila was allowed in accordance to the culture to install a person as senior chief Tafuna.
He has also sought an order for an interim injunction to restrain Siame from acting as senior chief Tafuna or carrying out duties of senior chief Tafuna away from the Isoko Palace where he is based and is in charge of the palace and the entire Tafuna chiefdom.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Sikazwe, who is also the acting senior chief Tafuna, stated that Siame was a Mambwe by tribe who with the help of House of Chiefs and chiefs from Tabwa area allegedly and wrongly installed him (Siame) as senior chief Tafuna.
He added that Siame had failed to take over the instruments of power from him and had also failed to go to the Isoko Palace the official residence for senior Chief Tafuna where he (Sikakwe) resides.
Sikazwe stated that the succession of the Lungu tribe was vested in the Lungu Royal Establishment chaired by chief Chinakila, who after following customs, culture and tradition of the Lungu people, appoints the sons to the throne of any chiefdom within the Lungu Kingdom.
“From as earlier as 1957, the Lungu people, through their respective chiefs, agreed in writing on how they will be succeeding chiefs in the Lungu Kingdom, namely that the sons shall succeed their fathers. As a result, the Lungu chiefs in 2006, and to avoid disputes when succession of a chief arises, they agreed in writing rectifying the 1957 Succession Agreement through patrilineal,” read the statement of claim.
Sikazwe stated that in 2013, the Lungu Royal Establishment appointed him as acting deputy senior chief Tafuna and at the same time he was also appointed as acting senior chief Tafuna, which position he holds to-date.
He added that his appointment as deputy senior chief Tafuna was acknowledged in writing by government and later House of Chiefs although the House of Chiefs misunderstood the two appointments of acting deputy senior chief Tafuna and that of acting senior chief Tafuna.
Sikazwe stated that the House of Chiefs interpreted the two to be the same when the two were not.
He further stated that from the time the instruments of power were handed over to him, he had not handed the same to anyone because the Lungu Royal Establishment, which appointed him in the acting capacity, had not appointed any other person to take over from him in accordance with the Lungu customs, traditions and culture.
“The alleged appointment of Mr Siame is contrary to the Succession Agreement, customs, traditions and culture of the Lungu people and that the said appointment of Siame was aided by some chiefs from Tabwa tribe, who, unfortunately, erroneously settled for Siame, who hails from the matrilineal lineage, which is available in Tabwa land and not in Lungu land,” read the statement of claim further.
“The recommendation of the House of Chiefs that the Lungu chiefs follow matrilineal is erroneous and contrary to what the chiefs themselves agreed in writing in 1957 and ratified in 2006.”
Sikazwe argued that the House of Chiefs had no power to remove him from the position of deputy chief Tafuna to which he was appointed by the Lungu Royal Establishment in accordance with their customs, traditions and culture.
He added that from the time Siame was allegedly appointed as senior chief Tafuna, he had not gone to Isoko Palace, but was alleged to have set up his own palace away from the palace, which the forefathers set up and he had started making new date stamps creating anarchy in the chiefdom where now the chiefdom had two different date stamps.
Sikazwe stated that despite him and the Lungu Royal Establishment making several requests to Siame, the House of Chiefs and government official to follow the culture of the Lungu people, Siame had failed, neglected and refused to follow what was agreed.
He added that as a result, the chiefdom on which he presides was degenerating to higher level of being ungovernable.