Masubia chieftaincy tussle heads to court

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Masubia chieftaincy tussle heads to court

Gilbert Muhongo Mutwa, one of the three people claiming to be the rightful heir to the throne of the Masubia Traditional Authority, has taken the matter to the High Court for determination. 

Mutwa is the eldest son of late Masubia chief Josiah Mutwa Moraliswani II, who died in 1996 and was replaced by his brother Kisco Maiba Moraliswani III, who succumbed to Covid-19 in July 2021.

He claims the Masubia Traditional Authority chieftaincy has followed and follows a patrilineal succession. Thus, him and his cousin Sinvula Bartholomeu Maiba, who supports his claim, are the only ones who have the rightful claim to the throne. 

However, Fredericks Nalisa and James Maiba are also claiming to be the rightful heirs. 

Mutwa says he has since been nominated for the chieftaincy by the Ngoma Royal House, which is one of the three houses within the Masubia Traditional Authority. The other two royal houses are Kasika and Mahundu.

Despite his nomination, the Masubia Traditional Authority has refused to accept his application for designation as chief, says Mutwa.

“Currently, there are no descendants from the patrilineal lineage of the former chief in the Kasika and Mahundu royal houses. This disentitles all from the former and latter royal houses to the chieftaincy of the Masubia Traditional Authority,” explained Mutwa.

He further indicated that the coronation of either Nalisa or Maiba would be illegal as they have not been designated as chief by the Masubia Traditional Authority, nor did the Minister of Urban and Rural Development approve any designation. 

Thus, he now seeks a court order reviewing and setting aside the traditional authority’s decision to decline his designation application as well as the governor’s refusal to sign his application to be declared null and void.

 He also seeks for the matter to be referred back to the traditional authority.

Nalisa, who is opposing the application, said he was nominated by the Mahundu Royal House and endorsed by the surviving children of the late chief Maiba, and his designation is known by the traditional authority.

“At no point did I nominate myself or request the elders of the royal family, or even a cousin, to nominate me,” stated Nalisa.

He further indicated that there was an assessment of credentials and qualities, of which the final decision came from the oldest general of the royal family known as the royal council.

Nalisa has since asked the court to have the representatives from the three royal houses as part of the proceedings. He noted that they are responsible for the nomination process and without them, no coronation can take place. 

The matter is currently before judge Thomas Masuku.