Court can’t remove Litunga- Lawyers

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:35:54 +0000

 

By CHARLES MUSONDA

THE High Court has no jurisdiction to remove the Litunga because only the President is competent to  set up an inquiry to question one’s qualification or validity to hold the position of Chief, pursuant to provisions of the Chiefs Act, lawyers representing Edwin Lubosi Imwiko (the Litunga) have submitted.

In the respondents’ submissions in support of notice of intention to raise additional preliminary issues filed in the Mongu High Court yesterday, the lawyers said the application for an order to have the Litunga resign or abdicate as traditional ruler of Western province was wrongly before court.

This in a case where Nabiwa Imikendu, Litia Charles Mutemwa, Mukubesa Ilukena and Mumbisho Liswaniso have applied for a court order to have the Litunga resign or abdicate his position.

“From the foregoing we wish to submit that clearly the Applicants have resorted to a wrongful mode of commencement which is invariably premature as the Chiefs Act is explicit on the requirement that an inquiry must first be instituted by the President before the Courts can be brought in to adjudicate.

“We submit with utmost respect that this court is wanting in jurisdiction as the proceedings are wrongfully before court. We respectfully submit that the High Court of Judicature for Zambia is wanting in jurisdiction. We submit that when one wants to impugn the qualifications and validity of any person with respect to his or her position as a Chief, the competent forum is to seek administrative intervention by the President who then sets an inquiry pursuant to the provisions of the Chiefs Act,” the lawyers said.

They said it was beyond doubt that what determined the mode of commencement depended on the regime of legislation that governed the particular issue in dispute.

“We submit that the removal of a Chief who is duly recognized and validly published in the Government Gazette by the Government of the Republic of Zambia and all matters incidental thereto, is the preserve of the Constitution of Zambia Chapter 1 Volume 1 of the Laws of Zambia and the Chiefs Act.

“We submit that the Applicants have opted to invoke a wrong mode of commencement by ignoring the statutory prescribed mode contained in the Chiefs Act and in any event an action that is crafted with so many contestations cannot be determined on process instituted on originating Notice of Motion which mainly is determined by affidavit evidence,” the lawyers added.

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