UNIVERSITY of Zambia Dean of School of Veterinary Medicine Professor King Nalubamba has argued that he is the legitimate successor to the throne of the Nalubamba chieftaincy as all customs, practices and traditions were followed in installing him as Senior Chief Nalubamba.
This is in a matter where representatives of five out of the eight families of the Mbeza royal establishment have sued Prof Nalubamba over his selection and installation as chief Nalubamba.
Pawsen Munamooya and 12 others have sued Prof Nalubamba, Joseph Mwanambulo and Mukamadede Munamooya in the Lusaka High Court seeking an order of declaration that the selection and installation of Prof Nalubamba as successor to the throne of the late chief Bright Nalubamba was null and void.
The 13 are also seeking a declaration that Pawsen Munamooya is the rightful person eligible to ascend to the throne of chief Nalubamba in accordance with practices, customs of the Ila speaking people of Namwala district.
But in his defense, Prof Nalubamba and his co-defendants stated that the complainants were not representatives of any of the families that make up the Mbeza Royal Establishment but were individual members of the family and represent their own interests.
The defendants acknowledged that Prof Nalubamba was the son to late Chief Bright Nalubamba but denied allegations that his installation to the throne was improper or inappropriate, as the voice of the majority prevailed.
Prof Nalubamba and others said his installation as was done in accordance with all customs and tradition of the Mbeza Royal Establishment.
Mwanambulo said that he was a member of the Mbeza Royal Establishment and a validly appointed secretary since 2009, while Munamooya said he was not an ordinary member of the Mbeza Royal Establishment but the current holder of the Munamooya spirits, a spiritual medium recognised by the Mbeza Royal Establishment.
Munamooya said his actions were neither lax nor wantonly negligent.
“The defendants will at trial seek to show that the whole procedure for the identification, selection and installation of the first defendant (Prof Nalubamba) as Chief Nalubamba was done in due accordance with all practices, customs and traditions of the Ila people of the Mbeza Royal Establishment,” the defedants said.
They said that the pattern of succession of the Mbeza Royal Establishment was patrilineal as evidenced by the family tree which had been moving from father to son.
The defendants also stated that they would seek to show that the patrilineal system of ascendancy to the Nalubamba throne under the Mbeza Royal Establishment could only open up to other sons of eligible members when there was no son of the deceased chief who is available and ready to take up the throne.
“Children of the Mwachisowa family are eligible to ascend to the throne in accordance with the succession pattern by virtue of being children of chiefs,” said the defendants.
Chief Nalubamba and his co-defendants admitted that a meeting was called by the Mbeza Royal Establishment on August 18, 2019 but explained that the meeting was called by the 2nd plaintiff to select a new chief and the date of meeting was set by the Royal Establishment soon after the burial of the late chief.
“The plaintiffs will show that in keeping with traditions, the event was witnessed by village headmen from the chiefdom and that the 2nd defendant (Mwanambulo) chaired the meeting while the 3rd defendant (Munamooya) was the spirit medium,” they said.
“The defendants will further seek to show that the first defendant was named as successor by one of the installers called Mukwashi in accordance with traditional and cultural customs and practices of the Mbeza Royal Establishment.”
They added that they would prove that the identification, selection and installation of Prof Nalubamba was superintended and aided by persons who were eligible and entitled to carry out all roles necessary for and incidental to the effective his installation as Chief Nalubamba.