Chief Kakumbi of the Kunda speaking people of Eastern Province says senior Chief Nsefu’s decision to remove him from the throne for alleged insubordination, violence, arson, among other reasons, is null and void.
Chief Kakumbi, whose name is John Kunda Kapepa, is further demanding an apology and retraction of what he terms false and reckless allegations against him by the senior chief, failure to which he would consider legal options at his disposal to vindicate himself.
On December 28, 2019, senior Chief Nsefu wrote a letter to Kapepa notifying him that he had with immediate effect removed him from the position of Chief Kakumbi.
He stated that from the time he was installed, the Kunda Royal Establishment had sorted out more than fifty cases of his involvement in many “horrible cases”.
“Just to remind you, among other cases are setting ablaze the women’s shelters and benches at Kakumbi old palace turn off, of which you were charged eight goats; torturing your own subjects by denying them consent letters to electrify their homes, totally ignoring the Rural Electrification Programme being promoted by the government of Zambia. Among other cases, you have been refusing to give consent to land to fellow Zambians for shops, guest houses and tourism facilities which were to be considered as development by yourself in your area,” Chief Nsefu stated.
“With your own powers, you have been demolishing houses, other structures of non-Kunda tribes and even chased them away, causing them to go back to their…chiefdoms, ignoring the One Zambia, One Nation motto for safeguarding your selfish and greedy behaviour. I have with other chiefs tried to help you live in harmony with your subjects but you have totally failed to do so.”
But in a letter dated January 6, 2020 written to senior Chief Nsefu, chief Kakumbi’s lawyer Gilbert Phiri of PNP Advocates stated that the entirety of the allegations contained in the senior chief’s letter were pointedly lacking in veracity hence the apparent failure to tabulate the alleged fifty cases levelled against him.
He stated that very grave and serious allegations which border on defamation of their client’s character had been raised in the subject letter, which cannot be substantiated at all.
“Following from this, we are in further receipt of instructions to demand an apology and retraction of the spuriously false and reckless allegations against our client within seven days, failing which our client will consider legal options at the disposal to vindicate his name,” Phiri stated.
He stated that as a senior Chief vested with serious responsibilities in traditional matters, it was not doubted that senior Chief Nsefu was a fountain of immense wisdom and was further invested with the requisite knowledge regarding the procedure.
Phiri added that the manner of removing a chief from the throne had not been followed in the case.
“As such, your purported action is therefore null and void,” Phiri stated.
He stated that his client had been made aware that the actual reason for his purported removal was because he had successfully thwarted senior Chief Nsefu’s predilection of land allocation in his Chiefdom without his knowledge and consent.
Phiri further stated that chief Kakumbi was aware of senior Chief Nsefu’s repeated acts of receiving money from unsuspecting investors and business persons to whom he had allegedly proceeded to allocate land in Kakumbi’s Chiefdom.
He stated that his client’s refusal to bless such acts was what had resulted in his present predicament.
Phiri urged senior Chief Nsefu to stop interfering in the execution of chief Kakumbi’s duties forthwith and further advised the senior Chief to work together with chief Kakumbi to spur development in the Chiefdom.