Urban and rural development minister, Peya Mushelenga and the Shambyu Traditional Authority have suffered defeat in court when the minister’s decision to call for an election in order to put to a stop the Shambyu succession wrangles was revoked.
The election had been scheduled for this coming Saturday and had been seen by the two as the way out of the succession struggle between the Mwengere and Mukwahepo clans of the Shambyu.
The court’s decision is a major preliminary triumph for Maria Haindaka, a Mukwahepo choice and aspirant to the throne, who had rejected the decision by the minister to have an election held in order to come up with the next Shambyu chief, and had instead called for a strict adherence to the Shambyu customary law.
Such a law calls for the nomination process of the next chief to be put solely in the hands of elders who identify potential successors, have them groomed, and if they are many are voted for by the raising of hands by the Shambyu people alone.
Mushelenga and the Shambyu Traditional Authority have been ordered to pay the costs occasioned by their opposition of the granting of the interim order while such costs are to include the costs of one instructing and two instructed counsel.
The case has so far been postponed to 31 October 2018 at 08:30 for status hearing.
Speaking to The Villager soon after the court session, spokesperson for the Mukwahepo house, Raphael Sinkumba said, “The relief was coming because it was long overdue. A lot of mischief had been done by the current chief council which is the illegal.”
“So by winning this first line it means a lot to the royal family because the judge has seen clearly that elections should be done within the royal family,” he said.
Pressed on whether this meant the election of the chief by the elders would go smoothly, he admitted that the road will be tough ahead.
“I don’t think the other party will come easily on board because they had been sidelined by the non-royal family members but as the court has ordered, they have to come aboard,” he said.
He said, the current chief, Sophia Mundjembwe Kanyetuwho had been running affairs in the clan will have to stop in light of the latest court victory against her.