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Court dismisses case against Mpezeni

THE Lusaka High Court has struck out the matter in which a Chipata resident Aaron Jere dragged paramount chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province and three other chiefs to court for allegedly suspending him from discharging his duties as acting chief Kapatamoyo. High Court judge Sharon Newa on May 3 dismissed the matter for want of prosecution.

“On March 27, 2019, I struck out the matter from the active cause list with liberty to restore within 30 days, failure to which the matter would stand dismissed for want of prosecution. The matter not having been restored, it is hereby dismissed,” justice Newa ordered. Jere sued Mpezeni, chiefs Madzimawe, Mnukwa and Levy Jere, the acting chief Kapatamoyo, for allegedly suspending and barring him from discharging his powers as acting chief Kapatamoyo.

Jere wanted the High Court to stop the intended installation of another chief to replace him pending determination of the matter. The applicant was also seeking an interim order to declare him as duly installed chief Kapatamoyo, to resume and continue executing his official duties adding that he should be entitled to all benefits. Judge Newa, however, refused to grant Jere an order of injunction to remove the newly installed chief Kapatamoyo, saying the application had been overtaken by events because the fourth defendant had already been installed as chief.

“I decline to grant the order of injunction and dismiss it. I direct that costs be in the cause,” ordered judge Newa.

In his statement of claim, Jere claimed that Mpezeni arbitrarily and illegally suspended and removed him from performing his duties and exercising powers as chief Kapatamoyo on May 5, 2013 without a reason. He said Mpezeni illegally caused a transfer of K20,033.00 from his personal account to Levy Jere, the purported acting chief Kapatamoyo, on the pretext that he had removed him from the position and that he should lose everything he gained. He claimed that Mpezeni further caused his Toyota Prado, which was given to him by Sable transport Limited as a gift to be illegally seized when it had been in his custody since 2013.

Jere also contended that Mpezeni illegally directed Chipata Municipal Council to stop giving him subsidy and further directed that the same be paid to Levy. According to an affidavit in opposition, Madzimawe said the complainant’s suspension was done in line with Ngoni customs and procedures, and that the plaintiff never challenged the suspension until 2017 when he was replaced.

“I wish to state that this application has been overtaken by events as the plaintiff never sought any injunction when he was first suspended in 2013 and that a new chief has since been installed as at 14th day of October 2017,” said Madzimawe

He said all the traditional instruments of power had been given to the new chief and that there was nothing warranting an injunction at this stage.

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