By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA
SENIOR Chief Sikoongo of the Tonga speaking people has sued his former deputy chief and a representative for allegedly selling land to foreigners while he was unwell.
In this matter filed in the Lusaka High Court, Senior Chief Sikoongo (Isaac Muzokela) cited Peter Choonga (former deputy chief) and Jethro Mandeva (former representative) as defendants.
Chief Sikoongo whose chiefdom covers Chirundu and Siavonga districts said that he was unwell for some time after being diagnosed with cancer and was in and out of hospital.
He stated that the traditional group called Bana Mainga chose Mr Choonga as his deputy chief to represent him in carrying out duties in the chiefdom.
The chief said Mr Choonga was given conditions of how to operate as a deputy chief and on certain issues he (Senior Chief Sikoongo) was to be the final authority and signatory on land transactions.
But Mr Choonga and Mr Mandeva allegedly took advantage of the Chief’s sickness and started selling land to foreigners, contrary to conditions and constituted their own committees to the detriment of the chiefdom.
The duo allegedly engaged in transactions of big pieces of land and foreigners were issued land certificates without the chief’s knowledge.
He was informed of the defendant’s misdeed from the masses within the chiefdom and Bana Mainga but he could not do anything as he was sick.
Senior Chief Sikoongo stated that the defendants had continued to be masquerading as deputy chief and representative even after knowing very well that they ceased to hold such posts immediately after the dissolution of their committees and suspensions of their duties.
He stated that after his recovery, his son Israel, was appointed to assist carrying out the duties of the chiefdom but the defendants protested despite the approval from Bana Mainga.
He said since Mr Choonga and Mr Mandeva were dropped from their positions, they had been fuelling confusion and conducting clandestine meetings to discredit his governance.
He wants an order to stop the duo from masquerading as deputy chief Sikoonga and a representative of Senior Chief Sikoongo.
The traditional leader also wants an order to stop the duo from conducting any clandestine meetings or to issue land ownership certificates.
Senior Chief Sikoonga wants an order compelling the former deputy chief to surrender the motor vehicle, Toyota quantum no. AIB 5170, white in colour, village registers, blank land ownership certificates, the stamp and the seal to the chief’s council.
He further wants an order that the certificates issued by the defendants without his consent to be declared null and void as well as an order compelling them to account for the illegally allocated land.
Other claims include damages, interest and costs.
By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA