Thursday, July 25, 2024

Chief Justice Mumba Malila Urges Traditional Leaders to Respect Subordinate and Local Courts


Chief Justice Mumba Malila has called on traditional leaders to refrain from interfering with the administration of justice in Subordinate and Local Courts within their chiefdoms. Speaking today at a symposium between the Judiciary and Traditional Leaders in Lusaka, Justice Malila addressed reports that some traditional leaders have been undermining court verdicts that do not align with their vested interests.

Justice Malila emphasized the importance of limiting traditional leaders’ judicial authority to traditional courts. He expressed concern over the lack of respect for formal judicial processes and stressed that such interference undermines the rule of law and the integrity of the justice system.

Additionally, Justice Malila proposed the creation of an institution within the House of Chiefs dedicated to resolving succession disputes. He highlighted the issues arising from succession wrangles, which often result in the installation of leaders who are not the rightful heirs.

“We need an institutional framework within the House of Chiefs to manage succession disputes effectively. This will help ensure that rightful heirs assume leadership roles, maintaining stability and respect for traditional governance,” Justice Malila stated.

Reacting to Justice Malila’s comments, House of Chiefs member Chief Madzimawe suggested amending the constitution or enacting subsidiary legislation to incorporate Traditional Courts into the judicial hierarchy. He believes this integration would reduce conflicts between traditional leaders and local court justices, fostering a more cohesive administration of justice.

“The amendment of the constitution or the enactment of subsidiary legislation for Traditional Courts to be recognized within the Judicial hierarchy will help bridge the gap and resolve conflicts in the administration of justice,” Chief Madzimawe told journalists in an interview.

Ministry of Local Government Permanent Secretary Nicholas Phiri welcomed Justice Malila’s proposal for the establishment of a succession wrangle resolution institution within the House of Chiefs. Mr. Phiri noted that his ministry is currently addressing about 70 percent of succession disputes, underscoring the need for a more structured approach to these issues.

“The proposal by Justice Malila is timely and necessary. Establishing an institution within the House of Chiefs to handle succession disputes will greatly alleviate the burden on our ministry and ensure more orderly transitions of traditional leadership,” Mr. Phiri commented.

The symposium marked a significant step towards strengthening the collaboration between the Judiciary and traditional leadership, aiming to enhance the administration of justice and address longstanding issues related to succession and judicial authority within chiefdoms.


    • Chief Justice chief Traditional leaders don’t jail women. There shouldn’t be any female prisons in Zambia.

  1. The best way is to abolish chiefdoms. They have become irrelevant in the morden times.
    They serve no purpose apart from being custodians and promoters of witchcraft and socery.

    • @Lundwe you must have grown as a street kid. You don’t have roots.
      Do you have a father or you abolished him?

  2. We know one chief who doesnt pay duty on goods he imports and if one complains he agitates for them to be transfered

    • Chief Justice is right
      Too much confusion when it comes to succession issues.You may find that those who are not the rightful owner of the throne(rightful clan)are the ones in front of everything as if they are the rightful owners yet they are not.

  3. Given that our Justice System has been captured by the executive, what the CJ is saying indicates a big risk. Our Chiefs are the custodian of the land and there job is to work with the govt of the day. However they need to be independent and the customs that they keep deserve to be respected. Leave the chiefs alone for now and let them do their job

  4. African lawyers have been too lazy to come up with African-focused legal systems. They think what they learn in Universities dropped from heaven and therefore cant be tampered with.
    Yet the colonial master just imposed his cultures on us via these laws. African lawyers end up leading the social disrespect for African customs and cultures by most academics or those of us pretending to be “civilised because we went to Western school”

    • What stops Africans from initiating their own norms in the various sectors of human endeavour? Lack of initiative; expecting everything to come from Europe.
      Just ask yourselves why we are even scared to drop their white wigs. I very much support the CJ’s proposal for ” the creation of an institution within the House of Chiefs dedicated to resolving succession disputes”
      It would be revolutionary and progressive. The quicker we do it the better.

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