By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
FIVE headmen have sued Chief Bunda-Bunda in the Lusaka High Court seeking an order for the abolishment of survey fees imposed on the villagers by the traditional leader.
The five claim that the survey fees imposed on the villagers by the chief through private surveyors are illegal and against the Bunda-Bunda traditions and customs.
They seek an order declaring that the decision by the defendant to remove them from their positions as headmen was illegal.
They want the court to order the defendant from dethroning, intimidating and interfering with their authority as headmen of the Bunda-Bunda chiefdom.
Mr Goodfellow Mawili Chokoleka (Headman Chikwangala), Mr Godwin Kabichi (Headman Mapulanga), Christopher Zulu (Headman Nyambi), Mr Nathan Chewe (Headman Maneya) and Christopher Ngulube (Headman Nyamakando) sued Mr Chaisa Mwanchindalo in his capacity as Chief Bunda-Bunda of the Soli people in Rufunsa.
In their claim, the five stated that Chief Bunda- Bunda breached the Bunda-Bunda traditions and customs by dethroning Chikwangala, Mapulanga and Nyambi as headmen without following procedure as per the customary rules and procedures.
They stated that their leader has taken away or threatened to collect the village registers from them without consulting the clan/families from whom they were elected.
“The defendant has been threatening, intimidating and harassing headmen Maneya and Nyamakando with dethronement. The defendant has threatened to take the village registers from them against their will and without following customary rules and procedure,” they stated.
Headman Chinkwangala and others stated that his dethronement and that of Mapulunga and Nyambi was done on personal grounds and not on grounds authorised by the customary rules and procedures in the Bunda –Bunda chiefdom. They accused the chief of taking such actions because he feels challenged by anyone who opposes his decisions.
They stated that the survey fees were opposed by the defendant, and he has been issuing certificates through a company called Medeem Surveyor contrary to the customary rules and procedures in the chiefdom which land was held under customary law.
The plaintiffs stated that the defendant has begun selling plots within the chiefdom, on land belonging to their subjects meant for their farming and livelihood acts which has the potential to leave the villagers destitute and homeless, hence abusing and exceeding his powers. They claim to have suffered mental stress and anguish as a result of Chief’s actions, thus demand damages for the inconvenience and interest at the current commercial bank lending rate.