PARAMOUNT Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi has asked the Lusaka High Court to throw out a matter in which a man claiming to be from the senior Royal Family of the Chewa Royal Establishment has sued him, seeking an order that he was wrongfully selected and installed as Chief Gawa Undi.
The Gawa Undi of the Chewa people of Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, wants the said matter dismissed on ground that Christopher Phiri does not want to prosecute his claim for a period of almost 10 months now since he sued him.
This is according to an affidavit in support of summons for an order to dismiss the action for want of prosecution filed recently by the chief’s lawyer, Sebastian Zulu, SC.
Zulu stated that on November 10, 2020, he conducted a search in the High Court principal registry and discovered that Phiri had not taken any further action to prosecute his claim.
“I verify believe that the plaintiff (Phiri) does not want to prosecute his claim for a period of almost 10 months now and that this Honourable Court is entitled to dismiss this action pursuant to the High Court (Amendment) Rules, 2020,” read the affidavit.
In this matter, Phiri has sued Fredrick Daka, the current Kalonga Gawa Undi Mukhomo the fifth, further seeking an order that the Gawa Undi was to come from the senior Royal Family instead of the Junior Royal Family hence Daka’s failure to oversee the Chewa Kingdom.
Phiri further wants an order that Daka’s appointment as Gawa Undi is null and void for irregularity, as well as, an order that the Chewa Royal Establishment selects another person from the senior lineage to be selected and installed as Gawa Undi.
In a statement of claim filed on February 19, 2020, Phiri had stated that after the death of Kalonga Gawa Undi Chibvunga, Daka was installed as Kalonga Gawa Undi in complete disregard to the laid down traditional procedures.
He stated that if the custom was followed, the potential heirs to the throne were himself, Gabriel Sakala, Tyson Phiri and Fedelis Sakala.
Phiri stated that at the moment, there were still several potential heirs to the throne who were from the senior family as such one wonders why anyone of the potential heirs was not selected and installed.
He stated that the wrong selection and installation of the wrong person had caused a lot of dissent from the junior chiefs in the Chewa chiefdom hence his failure to organize the chiefdom properly.
Phiri claimed that Daka had not been staying at the palace of the Chewa chiefdom at Mukaika in Katete district but had opted to be living in Lusaka, a fact that further demonstrated that he had no interest in the affairs of the Chewa chiefdom owing to his wrong installation as Kalonga Gawa Undi.
But in his defence and counterclaim filed on March 3, this year, Daka denied Phiri’s claims, stating that none of the alleged heirs to the Undi throne namely; Christopher Phiri, Gabriel Sakala, Tyson Phiri and Fedelis Sakala were members of the Undi Royal family.
He stated that after the death of Kalonga Gawa Undi Chibvunga, he was installed as Kalonga Gawa Undi and that the ‘Mbumba’ have the power to select and did select him to become Kalonga Gawa Undi.
The Gawa Undi further stated that Phiri had been asked to furnish his family tree in order to ascertain whether it was true that he belonged to the alleged senior Undi Royal Family, but he declined to do so.
Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi is also counter claiming a declaration that Phiri is not a member of the Undi Royal Family and is not entitled to succeed to the Undi throne.
He further wants a declaration that he was validly selected by the ‘Mbumba’ of the Undi Royal Family to succeed to the throne, and a declaration that he was validly installed as Kalonga Gawa Undi Mkhomo the fifth, in accordance with the Chewa customary law of succession.
Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi also wants an injunction to restrain Phiri from holding himself out as the heir to the Undi throne or from in any way destabilising or undermining his authority.