LAWYERS representing Chief Chiengele have demanded that Government withdraws its decision to degazette him as traditional leader of the Mbunda-speaking people of Western Province within 48 hours.
In a letter written to both the permanent secretary and acting Western Province Chiefs and Traditional Affairs officer by Chief Chiengele’s lawyer, Milner Katolo of Milner Katolo and Associates, the law firm has advised that the Supreme Court of Zambia on June 2, 2015, confirmed the injunction that was granted by the High Court on December 19, 2014, which allowed Mr Josiah Nyumbu right to continue as Chief Chiengele.
However, on 5th June, 2015 Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Permanent Secretary Michael Pwete wrote to the office of the permanent secretary of Western Province, instructing the provincial leadership that Josiah Mubukwanu Litia Nyumbu was no longer recognized as Chief Chiengele.
And on June 10, 2015, acting Western Province Chiefs and Traditional Affairs officer Akashowelelwa Mutaba wrote to the traditional leader instructing him that he was no longer recognized as a chief.
The letter was accompanied by SI number 29 of 2015 from the office of the Republican President.
Mr Katolo said the order of injunction granted to Chief Chiengele powers to perform his chiefly duties unhindered until the matter was resolved in the High Court, saying Chief Chiyengele would ignore the aforesaid letters as they were null and void considering that he was given an injunction by the Supreme Court.
“Our specific demand is that you immediately withdraw or cause to be withdrawn the said letters and this must be done within 48 hours of receipt of the letters, failure which we shall be left with no option but to cite you for contempt of court and you risk being sent to prison,” part of the letter read.
Mr Katolo further said all the allowances and emoluments and benefits for Chief Chiengele should be restored immediately until the matter was fully determined in the High Court.
He said the move taken by the Government to have written a letter of withdrawal of Chief Chiengele as a chief when the matter was in court was subjudice amounting to serious interference with the course of justice.
Chief Mwene Chiengele sued the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) in the Lusaka High Court after the BRE dethroned him for alleged insubordination and the matter is before Justice Mwila Chitabo. Late last year, the BRE dethroned the former chief Chiengele and his entire Kuta of the Mbunda people in Limulunga District of Western Province, for allegedly being disloyal to the Litunga by raising himself to the level of a king.
But Chief Chiengele rejected the move and filed an injunction in the High Court which was granted to him on December, 19, 2014 and the case is due to come up for trial on August 6, 2015.