Chief Munyumbwe in court over ‘fraudulent’ 1965 ascension to the throne

NEWLY selected chief Munyumbwe Patrick Nchimunya has sued chief Munyumbwe of the Tonga speaking people of Gwembe district, Bernard Milambo Hanyimbo and his son Harry Milambo, for refusing to relinquish his position following his impeachment.

The plaintiff has also cited the Attorney General in the matter.

In his statement of claim, Nchimunya said sometime in 2020, upon his return to his village during a meeting, which was convened with the elders of the “Ba Zyamba” royal clan, it was discovered that chief Munyumbwe fraudulently and deceptively procured the position of chief Munyumbwe in 1965.

He said particulars of fraud and deception were that Munyumbwe married Veronica Hakalinda Munyumbwe, the granddaughter of the late chief Bolt Mulomo Munyumbwe.

Nchimunya stated that the throne at all times belonged to the “Ba Zyamba” royal clan and the said Bolt Mulomo Munyumbwe was from the clan but Milambo was from a “Mukonka” from the “Ba Konka” clan.

He stated that upon the death of the previous chief in 1965, chief Munyumbwe held himself out to the authorities of the time as the prince (son) of chief Bolt Mulomo and concealed his real identity and family tree.

“Hanyimbo concealed from the authorities of the time in 1965 that he was from a Mukonka from the Ba Konka clan and held himself out as belonging to the Ba Zyamba clan as was the late chief Bolt Mulomo,” Nchimunya said. “By reason of the fraud and deception, government in the government gazette in 1965 published the recognition of Hanyimbo as chief Munyumbwe.”

Nchimunya claimed that Hanyimbo had been incapable of performing his duties as chief Munyumbwe on reasons that he has and had been indisposed for a long time and he has since handed the responsibilities to his son to act on his behalf as he grooms him to take over the office.

He says by a letter dated December 8, 2020 copied to the Attorney General in his capacity as chairperson of the Ba Zyamba royal clan and its secretary, Davy Munyumbwe demanded that Hanyimbo vacates the throne or face impeachment process by the council for not being eligible to be chief because of his lineage.

Nchimunya said on February 12, 2021, the Ba Zyamba traditional council convened a meeting to begin the process to impeach Hanyimbo from the throne but the latter did not attend the meeting but sent his retainer.

He said the council of elders, headmen and members of the Ba Zyamba clan unanimously resolved to impeach Hanyimbo from the throne because he did not qualify and refute the allegations that he was a Mukonka and his lengthy stay was illegal.

The said decision was communicated to government to withdraw Hanyimbo’s entitlements.

Nchimunya said on April 28, 2021, he was selected by the Ba Zyamba clan as the lawful chief Munyumbwe of the Tonga speaking people to take over from late chief Mulomo and he communicated to government by a letter dated May 10, 202.

He said by a letter of reply dated March 23, 2021, which he received on June 21, 2021, government refused to withdraw the instruments of power from Hanyimbo, defending him as the incumbent chief to the throne.

“Government has no power under law to recognise Hanyimbo as chief nor does he have power to overrule the decisions of the traditional leadership with regards to the impeachment or selection of chief Munyumbwe or any chiefdom as those issues are governed by the customs and traditions of the Tonga speaking people of Gwembe district,” Nchimunya said. “By letter of demand dated June 21, 2022, the plaintiff demanded the Attorney General to retract his decision in seven days within which to do so but he has remained mute.”

Nchimunya wants a declaration that Hanyimbo fraudulently assumed the throne of chief Munyumbwe of the Tonga speaking people.

He is seeking a declaration that Hanyimbo’s continued stay on the throne was null and void ab initio.

Nchimunya wants a declaration that he was the dully selected chief Munyumbwe.

He also wants an order nullifying government’s decision to recognize Hanyimbo as chief.

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