Meanwhile, scores of Mongu residents and other interested parties braved the morning rains with a view to follow the judicial proceedings which only took place in the chambers before a magistrate.
Although some carried placards denouncing Lubosi Imwiko II, the crowd was largely peaceful in the presence of dozens of Zambia police officers that had been assigned to enforce law and order.
Last night, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Stunwell Lungu, had appealed to the general public, especially those who wished to attend the Court Session, to allow the due process of law to take its course.
"As you are aware, tomorrow, the 24th of February, 2017, is the date for the Court Case in which the Litunga was sued by four Zambians. Therefore, we appeal to the general public to allow the due process of the law to take its course.
"I wish to announce that Zambia Police will, tomorrow, deploy enough officers to ensure law and order prevails. Let those who will attend the court session make sure they don't interfere with the court process," stated Mr. Lungu in his appearance on Mungu FM Radio at 20:30 hrs yesterday, in which he further appealed to the general public to go about their business as usual.
In this unprecedented case, four Zambian Lozi traditionalists, Nabiwa Imikendu, Charles Litia Mutemwa, Mukubesa Ilukena and Mumbisho Liswaniso Mulele have sued Lubosi Imwiko II in his capacity as the Litunga of Western Province for alleged gross incompetence and abuse of authority of office.
The applicants stated that ever since Lubosi Imwiko II ascended to the throne as Litunga on October 13, 2000, he had been sneaking out of the palace to attend to his personal 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 their originating notice of motion filed in court on 3rd February 2017.
The applicants stated that the Litunga had been a stumbling block to development in Western Province.
They 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”.
The applicants 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 who 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.
However, the Barotse Royal Establishment immediately rubbished all 19 allegations of incompetence and fraud raised by the quartet declaring them as desperate men bent on settling personal scores with the Litunga in the name of the people of Barotseland.