The Barotse Royal Establishment has refused to accept the summon from the Mongu High Court where the Nabiwa led group representing the people of Barotseland have sued the Litunga, the King of the Lozi people of Western province.
The Mongu High Court has since set February 24, 2017 as the date for the commencement of hearing the case in which Lozi traditional leaders want the court to compel the Litunga to abdicate.
The Litunga upon arriving in Barotseland on Tuesday summoned area Indunas on Wednesday at Limulunga Royal village in traditional and the Highest Kuta, the Mboo Kuta and the meeting was chaired by senior Induna Mukulwakashiko’.
According to information from Limulunga, out of 23 area chiefs, only nine managed to attend the meeting with 15 village Headmen and thirty 30 ordinary people who wanted to confirm whether it was true The Litunga has been summoned by Zambian court.
The Indunas were unanimous in supporting Litunga’s immunity from persecution and they vowed not allow the summons be served on Ngambela or Litunga.
Lozi traditionalists namely Nabiwa Imikendu, Litia Charles Mutemwa, Mukubesa Ilukena and Mumbisho Liswaniso stated that they were Zambians and traditional loyalists with vested interest aimed at ensuring that the Lozi tradition and custom was upheld, promoted and sustained for posterity and cultural heritage.
They stated that a wider majority of Lozis, averaging 92 per cent, was in open disapproval of his Litungaship and would want him to vacate the throne.
The applicants stated that ever since the Litunga ascended to the throne on October 13, 2000, he had been sneaking out of the palace to attend to his businesses around and outside the jurisdiction of his chiefdom without prior notification thereby putting his advisers and subjects in an awkward position.
“That under the reign of the now respondent, the Lozi traditional norms of decency and integrity have heavily been compromised with corruption, indiscipline, dishonesty and irresponsibility within the rank and file with substantive key positions in the hierarchy unfilled,” read part of the motion.
The applicants stated that the Litunga had been a stumbling block to development in Western Province.
The applicants alleged that the Litunga’s failure to seize positive opportunities of government policies in a timely fashion had continued to cost Barotseland and the entire province of the much sought after chance to “dig ourselves out of the myth associated with extreme poverty”.
They also accused the Litunga of hoodwinking unsuspecting well-wishers to donate huge sums of money and gifts towards the Kuomboka ceremony even when he knew that the event would not take place after all.
The petitioners alleged that the Litunga’s actions bordered substantially on fraud and abuse of authority of office.
They also submitted that the Litunga had neither been in touch with the people nor updated the ever-anxious masses over the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and lamentably failed to seize the rare gesture by the government taking into account the recommendation contained in the interim Report of the Mung’omba Constitutional Review Commission, which provide as follows: “The Government and the Barotse Royal Establishment must show political will to finally resolve the outstanding issue of Barotseland agreement by initiating negotiations between two parties to the Agreement.”
“It is our reasoned view that Edwin Lubosi Imwiko as such reigning Litunga of Western Province has lamentably failed in virtually all spheres of governance; WHEREFORE acting for, and on behalf of more than 90% of the Lozi people have an equitable interest of this matter at heart, DO HEREBY pray this Honourable Court to find in our favour and DECLARE that the said Edwin Lubosi Imwiko voluntarily abdicates, failing which the applicants together with the people of Barotseland be at liberty to invoke options of customary nature open to the Lozi tradition to remove the said Edwin Lubosi Imwiko on the grounds of gross incompetence and abuse of authority of office,” submitted the applicants.