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Breaking News - 21st February 2016

Despite High Court Ruling, the BRE reject Josiah Litia Nyumbu as Chief Chiengele of Nañoko area in Mongu


Despite High Court Ruling, the BRE reject Josiah Litia Nyumbu as Chief Chiengele of Nañoko area in Mongu


The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has said it would soon install a new chief Chiengele as per tradition.


BRE spokesperson Induna Katema, Moowa Zambwe, explained that the tradition had its way of dealing with customs and is not dictated to by Zambian courts.


The Zambian higher court has ruled in favour of Josiah Litia Nyumba’s appeal against his dethronement by the Barotse Royal Establishment, and consequent degazetting as a chief by the president of Zambia on 29th May 2015.


‘‘When we read the High Court judgment that ruled in favour of Chief Chiengele, actually the courts of law did not include us as traditional leaders, but it targeted the State.


‘‘In this case we are patiently waiting to hear the stance of the Government through the office of the Attorney General because we are not a party to the lawsuit that resulted in the judgment that cleared Chief Chiyengele,” he said in a statement to Zambia’s Daily Nation tabloid.

Induna Katema said it was unfortunate that Chief Chiengele was claiming that he represented the Mbunda speaking people when Western Province (Barotseland) chiefs represented all the people living under their jurisdiction regardless of tribe, a practice that has been enforced since time immemorial.


“What is saddening is that some chiefs want to divide people by tribe, and if it were so then it means most of the chiefs are not going to be in a traditional hierarchy, but the case at hand is that all the chiefs are the same and representing all the people,” he said.

Induna Katema said Western Province accommodated all the chiefs and that the issue of tribe in the area was not a priority.

He appealed to Government to investigate the operation of the judiciary which was a backbone of democracy, adding that issues that confront the judiciary were enormous.

Meanwhile, the BRE is reported by some sources to have further advised Mr. Josiah Nyumbu, together with his friends and the Lusaka high court judge, to find a place else where they could create a Mbunda kingdom not in Barotseland, because as far as Barotseland is concerned the BRE is the official process through which all chiefs in Barotseland, including chief Chiengele, were installed or dethroned and not courts of law.


But the disputed and recently constituted ‘Mbunda Royal Establishment’ condemned the BRE and said they must respect public institutions of high standing such as courts of law which constitute the judiciary.


‘Mbunda Royal Establishment’ spokesperson, Kennedy Mubanga, said it was not fair for the BRE to have called for an ‘indaba’ to deliberate on a judgment in a case of Chief Chiengele.

“We therefore wish to once again call upon the Government to urgently resolve the deadlock on the Barotseland Agreement 1964 through the only legitimate and democratic means of resolving disputes,” he said.


In a twist of events, however, the Cheke-Cha Mbunda Cultural and Writers Association have disowned the ‘Mbunda Royal Establishment’ arguing that it is not possible to have two royal establishments in one Kingdom.


Speaking through their chairman, Ndandula Libingi, the association has argued that the reason that the Mbundas had their own monarchy in Angola was evident enough, and therefore, it would be impossible to have two kingdoms in the same area, thus, it would not be proper to have both the Barotse and Mbunda Royal Establishments in one kingdom.


“The cardinal point is that as Chief Chiengele is one of our traditional leaders, we will continue supporting him in matters of consensus, but however, we are still opposed to non-consensus issues such as the ‘Mbunda Royal Establishment’ and its ‘Mbunda Royal Council’ in Zambia.


“That is so because all the other Mbunda chiefs were not consulted and are, therefore, not involved. Further, Mbundas have no such spokesperson (Kennedy Mubanga), because Mbunda people in Barotseland have seven Mbunda chiefs with their separate chiefdoms and none is more senior over the other,” he said in a statement posted on social media network, BBN.

Mr Libingi said as much as all the chiefs should be supported, it was also important to follow traditional guidelines.


He said the association objective was to revive, promote and protect the cultural heritage and traditions of the Mbunda speaking people.


The High Court ruled and reinstated Josiah Litia Nyumbu as Chief Chiengele of the people of Nañoko area (Mongu) last month after he was dethroned by the Barotse Royal Establishment in 2014 and consequently degazetted as chief by Zambian president Edgar Lungu for alleged insubordination in May 2015.







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