DETHRONED Senior Chief Shakumbila, Patrick Chibamba, has asked the Lusaka High Court to allow him to serve court process on newly appointed successor, Netta Shimwambwa, and two others, by way of advertisement in a newspaper, in a case in which he is challenging his removal from the throne.
Chibamba claims that Shimwambwa, Ackson Shibalanga and Edgar Mwambula are in hiding somewhere in Lusaka and could not be found, adding that in the premises, he was unable to effect prompt personal service on them.
In this matter, Chibamba has sued Shimwambwa, Shibalanga and Mwambula, seeking a declaration that the attempt to dethrone him by the defendants was illegal and contrary to the procedure prescribed by the customs and traditions of the Sala people and in breach of rules of natural Justice.
He also wants a declaration that he was the current and reigning Senior Chief Shakumbila and an order of interim prohibitive injunction directed to the defendants to restrain them, their servants, agents or whomsoever from continuing to interfere with the execution of his chiefly duties or his administration of the Shakumbila Chiefdom and further attempting to dethrone him as Chief Shakumbila.
Chibamba has now applied to serve the court process on the defendants by way of substituted service, particularly by advertising once in a wide circulating daily newspaper or otherwise.
According to an affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for an order to serve court process by substituted service, Mzondi Mwanza, one of the lawyers representing Chibamba, stated that personal service of the originating process, the application for an Interim Injunction as well as the Ex-parte Order of interim Injunction, had not been effected on the defendants as they could not be located.
He added that attempts to locate them had proved futile.
“I am further reliably informed by the plaintiff (Chibamba) that the defendants are in hiding somewhere in Lusaka and they cannot be found. In the premises, the plaintiff is unable to effect prompt personal service on the defendants and as such, this is a fit and proper case for the Court to grant an Order for Substituted service to serve the Court process on the defendants herein,” Mwanza stated.
He stated that the interest of justice would best be served by the grant of such an Order and that the same does not prejudice the defendants in any way.
And in the skeleton arguments in support of the said application, Chibamba stated that the Court had the jurisdiction to grant an Order for substituted service where a party could not be located to effect prompt personal service.
“We submit that the interest of Justice will best be served by the grant of such order as it will save on wasting of the Court’s time to try and find the defendants who are reasonably believed to be in hiding. It is therefore our prayer that the Court grants such Order to effect service and that costs of this application be in the cause,” Chibamba stated.
In his statement of claim, Chibamba had stated that he was installed as the Senior Chief Shakumbila in 2007, following the death of Chief Moses Shandapu Shakumbila.
He stated that the standard customary procedure of the Sala people was followed in consultation with the Royal Establishment Committee when inaugurating him as Senior Chief Shakumbila.
Chibamba stated he was still the reigning and duly recognized Senior Chief Shakumbila to this day and that this had been confirmed by a letter from the Royal Establishment and further by a Supreme Court judgement between himself and Shimwambwa.