Succession wrangles in the Mushili Chiefdom of the Lamba People of Masaiti District on the Copperbelt have taken a new twist with Hector Mpengula challenging the earlier selection and installation of Joyce Katampi as Senior Chief Mushili.
Mrs. Katampi’s selection as Senior Chief Mushili was earlier last year challenged by Kenneth Mpengula who later died on 16th May 2022.
After Mr. Kenneth Mpengula’s death his young brother Hector has said he is now the new Senior Chief Mushili.
A member of the royal family Ully Joseph Mwambana in the company of Mr. Mpengula on Tuesday visited several media outlets on the Copperbelt to issue a statement that Queen Mothers have announced Hector Mpengula as new Chief Mushili after the death of his brother Kenneth.
Mr. Mwambana, the former Masaiti District Commissioner, said Kenneth Mpengula will be unveiled to the Lamba people in due Course.
Mr. Mwambana said Ms. Joyce Katampi has never been selected as Chief Mushili by the Queen Mothers.
“The Queen Mothers of Ntenke, Nkana and Lubunga wish to inform the Lamba speaking people of the Mushili Chiefdom and those living outside the chiefdom that following the demise of the late Kenneth Mpengula on 16th May, 2022 they declared the chieftaincy vacant and on 19th June, 2022 a new chief by the name of Hector Chonta Mpengula was selected at the meeting held in Camera at Chief Nkana’s palace in Lufwanyama District,” Mr. Mwambana said.
But when contacted for a reaction to Mr. Mwambana’s statement, Mrs. Katampi said she is the duly selected Senior Chief Mushili and was already on the throne leading the people.
“Hector Mpengula was not even there among the nominees during the selection process according to our traditions. I won, I got 14 votes, and the late Kenneth Mpengula got four votes and lost. He took the case to the High Court and I won. The High Court ruled that I was the chief because I was given the instruments of power and that Mr. Mpengula could not be granted the injunction against my selection as Chief Mushili. Mr. Ken was told to appeal the High Court ruling which he didn’t do until his death. Now just three sisters are the ones who are against me, the rest of the majority are with me and I am working. I have security and the flag is at my residence,” she said by phone.
Meanwhile, member of the Mushili royal family Webby Kabunda has warned Mr. Mwambana against parading Mr. Hector Mpengula as Chief Mushili.
Mr. Kabunda said the succession process was concluded a long time ago and Joyce Katampi is the legitimate Senior Chief Mushili.
“No one chose those who came there (Hector Mpengula). Speaking as the ones who were caretakers in the chiefdom we are not aware of what Mr. Mwambana is doing. We selected Madam Joyce as the chief. As the Mbushi clan we have handed over power to Madam Joyce she is the Senior Chief Mushili. Mr. Mwambana is just committing a crime,” Mr. Kabunda said.
Wrangles in the Mushili Chiefdom emerged after the death of Chief Mushili – Jelly Lwebesha on January 31, 2021 at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.
The late Senior Chief Mushili Lwebesha ascended to the throne in 2007 and was recognised as chief on September 18 in the same year.