Chipata High Court enters default judgment in chief Jumbe succession challenge


THE Chipata High Court has entered a judgment in default of appearance in a matter where the Mchacha family had contested senior chief Nsefu’s selection of Oswell Zimba as chief Jumbe of the Kunda people in Mambwe.

The Mchacha family dragged senior chief Nsefu and Zimba as first and second defendants, respectively, to court seeking declaration that Sainani Phiri is the rightful heir to the throne of chief Jumbe and an order directing the defendant by himself, servants, agents or whosoever to comply with the customs of the Kunda people in appointing or selecting the next chief Jumbe.

When the matter came up before Chipata High Court registrar Jennifer Bwalya, counsel for the plaintiff, Yvonne Namachila from Legal Aid, applied for judgment in default of appearance pursuant to order 12 of High Court rules.

“We rely on summons and affidavits filed on 13 September 2017. We further rely on the affidavits of service filed on the 20 September 2017, the writ of summons and the statement of claim were served on the defendants on 18 August 2017. Despite them (defendants) being aware of this matter, they have lamentably failed to enter appearance and defence, hence our application,” Namachila applied.

Justice Bwalya then entered a default judgment.

“Having heard counsel for the plaintiff and on being satisfied that the writ of summons and statement of claim were dully served on the defendants, and on perusal of the affidavits in support of summons for entry of judgment in default of appearance and on being satisfied that the defendants were dully served with this application and that they have neither entered appearance nor filed an affidavits in opposition to the application, I hereby grant the plaintiff’s application and judgment in default of appearance is accordingly entered,” said justice Bwalya.

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