People suing the Litunga have no locus standi - Defense Lawyers

26 February 2017
Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II, during the 15th Anniversary Ceremony of his Coronation in Limulunga Royal Village, 2015

FOUR prominent Lozis who have sued the Litunga of Western Province for alleged failure to govern have no locus standi to commence an action for and on behalf of over 90 percent of all Lozi people in the Republic of Zambia, one of the Litunga’s lawyers has told the Mongu High Court.

The high-profile case failed to take off in the Mongu High Court on Friday in a dramatic turn of events and the respondent’s lawyer Christopher Mundia has asked the court to dismiss the matter for incompetence.

“The applicants have further not provided their addresses for service in conformity with the rules of procedure and practice, and as such rendering this action incompetent. I now crave the indulgence of this honourable court that this matter be dismissed for incompetence,” said Mr. Mundia.

A senior Mongu High Court official told Zambia’s Daily Nation in a telephone interview from Mongu that the matter came up on Friday morning before the Deputy Registrar who did not have jurisdiction to preside over the case and referred it to the Lusaka High Court Judge-in-Charge for allocation to a High Court judge who might be required to travel to Mongu to hear the case.

This is in a case where Nabiwa Imikendu, Litia Charles Mutemwa, Mukubesa Ilukena and Mumbisho Liswaniso have sued Litunga Edwin Lubosi Imwiko in his capacity as ruler of Western Province, seeking an order that he resigns or abdicates his role as traditional ruler.

And another lawyer for the Litunga, Sakwiba Sikota, has argued that the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear and determine the matter was questionable as allegations imputed therein were against a constitutionally created office of the Litunga of Western Province.

“The applicants’ affidavit contains extraneous matters and is mostly based on hearsay. In the premise the said affidavit offends the High Court Act. Neither the Attorney nor the Local Government authorities have given the applicants the right to raise issues of State land, markets or bus stops on their behalf.

‘‘The applicants have no locus standi to raise some of the issues set out in their application. I humbly pray that the originating notice of motion be set aside for irregularity,” Mr. Sikota said in his affidavit in support of notice to raise additional preliminary issues.

SOURCE: Daily Nation, Zambia.

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