Minister of Sports, Francis Kasaila, and others have conceded to the High Court in Blantyre that they meddled in the succession of the Traditional Authority Ngabu chieftaincy and are seeking an out of court settlement.
Kasaila, who is also Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson and Nsanje Central Member of Parliament, was sued for interfering in the chiefdom alongside Nsanje District Commissioner, Senior Chief Tengani and Traditional Authority (T/A) Chimombo.
They wanted to install Steven Chakuuma as T/A Ngabu, before the High Court granted an injunction to Tony Chapo in March stopping Kasaila and the four others from necessitating Chakuuma’s inauguration.
Nyasa Times has learnt that during the hearing of the continuation of the injunction on Friday, the court heard that the accused had reversed their decision to install Chakuuma.
Through their representative, Senior Chief Tengani, the court was told that the T/A Ngabu royal families could go ahead and choose their preferred successor to the throne according to their Sena Customary Law.
However, lawyer for Chapo and the T/A Ngabu royal families, Kuleza Phokoso, asked the court to continue the injunction as the parties would be discussing the settlement out of court as Chapo had been facing intimidation on the matter.
In an interview after the court session, Phokoso indicated that it had been the position of his clients all along that the imposition of Chakuuma constituted meddling in the successions of the T/A Ngabu throne.
He further asserted it was a violation of T/A Ngabu succession rules – Sena customary law – and that the involvement of outsiders (Kasaila and colleagues), who were not part of the royal families was illegal and null and void.
“The concession by the defendants in court has vindicated our position,” Phokoso said.
“Nevertheless, as the court rules allow Alternative Dispute Resolution, this means the T/A Ngabu Royal families are now free to engage in mediation with the defendants, discuss and agree the settlement terms after which the matter will stand withdrawn and they can happily choose their preferred successor in line with Sena Customary law,” he explained.
Justice Jack Nriva has since continued the injunction whilst giving both sides 14 days to discuss the settlement.
According to court documents, the T/A Ngabu chieftaincy is made up of the Kanyama, Kamembe and Ngabu families.
The throne fell vacant on the death of Frank Wolesi from the Kamembe family.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :