March 21, 2017
Photo by The Barotseland Post
The current Litunga of Barotseland, a traditional constitutional monarchy with a long history, was asked to abdicate. His critics accuse the monarch, Lubosi Imwiko II., of “gross incompetence”. As the royal court rejects these accusations, the case has been remitted to the Constitutional Court.
Below it is an article published by the Barotseland Post:
The Lusaka High Court has referred the matter in which three Lozi traditionalists want Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II to abdicate for gross incompetence and abuse of authority to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) of Zambia.
Judge Getrude Chawatama in her ruling delivered yesterday, 15th March 2017, said that she had considered the submissions and found that the case needed to be handled by the Constitutional Court for determination.
“I am of the view that this is a matter which is proper for the exclusive jurisdiction of the Constitution as provided by Article 128. Where a question relating to constitutionality arises in a court, the person presiding in that court shall refer to the Constitutional Court. I hereby refer this matter to the Constitutional Court,” ruled judge Chawatama.
The lawsuit was initially filed in the Mongu High Court and later the file was sent to Lusaka for allocation.
However, the Litunga’s lawyers have argued that allegations on their client question the competence of the Litunga who holds a constitutionally created office of Litunga. This matter raised by the defense is what must now come for determination before the ConCourt.
According to an affidavit in support of originating notice of motion filed in the Mongu High court on 3rd February 2017, against Litunga Imwiko Lubosi, Nabiwa Imikendu, Litia Charles Mutemwa, Mukubesa Ilukena and Mumbisho Liswaniso stated that they were Zambians and traditional loyalists with vested interest aimed at ensuring that the Lozi tradition and custom was upheld, promoted and sustained for posterity and cultural heritage.
They stated that a wider majority of Lozis, averaging 92 per cent, was in open disapproval of his Litungaship and would want him to vacate the throne.
But the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) immediately rubbished the litigation as a work of individuals that had personal differences with the embattled Lubosi Imwiko II.
“The first one (first petitioner - Nabiwa Imikendu), he was holding a senior position in the BRE and he misdirected himself, therefore he was fired and now he is feeling there is nobody who can become Imbwae except himself. What is so special about him? If he were special, he wouldn’t have done that wrong. The next person is Charles Mutemwa, he has been fighting tooth and nail to find a position in the BRE but because of his personality, he was found to be unqualified and for that, he has built something, he doesn’t like the BRE. Another one, Mumbisho Liswaniso, was actually an induna in the Sir (Saa) Kuta. He, too, like the first one, involved himself in other things and he was demoted. The fourth person they have hooked [is] a young man called Mukubesa Ilukena; he does not know why he has involved himself in such kind of nonsense. These are personal attacks they have for BRE just because of what they have failed to obtain,” Induna Imandi was quoted by The Mast newspaper edition of 4th February 2017, declaring that none of the 19 allegations of incompetence and fraud raised by the quartet had credibility.