The High Court in Mzuzu has stopped the installation of Masabane Jere as Inkosi Mzikubola after another person, Zoba Jere, claimed that he is the rightful heir to the throne.
The injunction, which was filed by lawyer Christon Ghambi, is against the Attorney General, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mzimba district commissioner and Masabane Jere.
“It is hereby ordered and directed that an order of interlocutory injunction [is granted], restraining the defendants, by themselves or their agents or servants or whosoever from installing Masabane Jere as Traditional Authority until the final determination of this matter or until a further order of the court,” reads the order in part.
Among others, the order asks crown prince M’mbelwa V, Inkosi Mtwalo and Inkosi Mpherembe to summon Zoba Jere and Masabane Jere to the hearing according to tradition. What will be discussed and agreed should be reported back to court within 30 days.
In an interview on Wednesday, Zoba Jere said he took an injunction claiming he is the rightful heir.
“The chieftaincy was in the family of Zoba Jere and the late Inkosi Mzikubola was a caretaker chief. We want the chieftaincy to return to the rightful family.
“The late Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa V knew about the issue and directed that the name of Masawane Jere be withdrawn. I had no choice but to take an injunction,” said Zoba Jere.
But Masabane Jere dismissed claims that his father, the late Inkosi Mzikubola, was only a caretaker chief.
“My father was installed in 1959 and died in 2000. How could he be a caretaker for all those years?” asked Masabane Jere, a former district commissioner.
Former president Bakili Muluzi recommended that Masabane Jere be installed Inkosi Mabilabo in 2004. However, he could not be installed then as he was in the civil service.
Inkosi Mpherembe confirmed on Wednesday that there was an injunction against Mzikubola installation.
He, however, said they are meeting to resolve the matter.
Mpherembe also confirmed that the late M’mbelwa suggested that the name of Masabane be withdrawn.
“However, the decision was made before hearing the other side. We feel that both sides should be heard and a proper solution be found,” said the chief.