NEWLY appointed Chief Shakumbila, Netta Shakumbila, and two others have submitted to the Lusaka High Court that Patrick Chibamba ceased to be Senior Chief Shakumbila of the Sala people in Mumbwa District on October 11, last year, when he was dethroned on account of gross misconduct.
They add that Chibamba was properly and lawfully removed from the throne for gross misconduct by the Shakumbila Royal Family.
Meanwhile, the three have asked the court not to grant Chibamba an order of interim prohibitive injunction to prevent what he perceives to be further interference with his chieftainship.
They have argued that this is not a fit and proper case in which the court should exercise its discretion to grant Chibamba an order of prohibitive injunction.
In this matter, Chibamba has sued the newly appointed Chief Shakumbila, Netta Shimwambwa; Ackson Shibalanga who is senior headman Chipwaya and current Chairman of the Shakumbila Royal Establishment; and Edgar Mwambula who is senior headman Mwambula and a senior member of the Shakumbila Royal family, as defendants.
Chibamba is seeking a declaration that the attempt to dethrone him by the defendants is 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 is 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.
However, according to an affidavit in opposition to summons for an order of interlocutory prohibitive injuction filed on January 25, 2021, Mwambula on behalf of the other defendants stated that it was the royal duty of all members of the Shakumbila Royal Family to select the Chief to preside over the Chiefdom and to remove the chief whenever he failed to safeguard the interests and aspirations of his subjects.
He further stated that he was reliably advised by his advocate and verily believed that as an injunction was not available in circumstances where Chibamba was seeking damages, the injunction would not in any way serve the interest of justice in the present case.
“As the plaintiff (Chibamba) has already been removed from the throne at the time he commenced these proceedings on November 9, 2020 as evidenced by the letter dated October 13, 2020 coupled with the fact that one of the reliefs the plaintiff is seeking from this honourable court is ‘damages’, I am reliably advised by our advocate and verily believe that this is not a fit and proper case in which this honourable court should exercise its discretion to grant the plaintiff an order of prohibitive injunction to prevent what the plaintiff wrongly perceives to be further interference with his chieftainship,” Mwambula stated.
And in their defence, the three stated that Chibamba ceased to be senior Chief Shakumbila on October 11, 2020 when he was dethroned by Shakumbila Royal family on account of gross misconduct.
“The defendants deny that the plaintiff is still the reigning and fully recognised senior Chief Shakumbila to this day as alleged in the statement of claim and will aver that the plaintiff ceased to be senior Chief Shakumbila of the Sala people of Mumbwa district on October 11, 2020 when he was dethroned by Shakumbila Royal family on account of gross misconduct,” they stated.
The defendants stated that on October 29, 2020, way before Chibamba commenced the proceedings and obtained an ex parte order of injunction, the Shakumbila Royal family selected Netta as the new senior Chief Shakumbila to replace Chibamba in a accordance with the traditions and customs of the Sala people of Mumbwa district.
The trio denied that Chibamba had held the position of senior Chief with diligence and that he had served his people under his chiefdom with dignity from the time he was enthroned as alleged in his statement of claim.
They stated that they would aver that prior to his removal as senior Chief Shakumbila, Chibamba conducted himself in a manner not befitting of a senior Chief.
The defendants also denied interfering with Chibamba’s execution of his duties when he was removed from the throne.
They stated that the Shakumbila Royal Family followed the customary procedure when removing Chibamba from the throne contrary to his assertion that he was removed without the involvement of the Royal Establishment and without due regard to the customs and traditions of the Sala people.