Investigating the causes and effects of chieftaincy succession disputes: a case of the Lungu of Mpulungu district of Zambia’s northern province.
MetadataShow full item record
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the causes and effects of chieftaincy succession disputes of the Lungu of Mpulungu district of Zambia’s Northern Province. The study sought to fulfil the following objectives: To verify the existence of chieftaincy succession disputes; to establish the causes of chieftaincy succession disputes; to investigate the effects of chieftaincy succession disputes; to suggest the possible ways of how chieftaincy succession disputes can be resolved among the Lungu of Mpulungu district of Zambia’s Northern province. A qualitative as case study methodology was used to gather data for this research. Data was gathered using semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews/discussions. This research study was guided by the Power theory. Research participants included: The Chief of the Lungu, the Headmen, the Indunas, the subjects, and government representatives at the Ministry of Chiefs with the sample size of 34 participants. The findings of the study were as follows: It is clear that the chieftaincy succession disputes exist in the Lungu chiefdom. On the causes of chieftaincy succession disputes in the Lungu chiefdom it was established that, the Malaila chiefdom (Chitoshi, Chisheta, Mukupa Kaoma) are encroaching into the Lungu chiefdom disregarding the 1957 agreement which stipulated that succession of Lungu chiefs should be sons and not nephews whenever they die or are expelled. The Lungu chiefdom has not been given autonomy to decide their own indigenous chief other than imposing a chief for them whom they don’t want and this is contributed by political interference. The effects of chieftaincy succession disputes in the Lungu chiefdom caused injury to people and destruction of public and private property and human lives are lost. The conflict also compelled some people to exit from the chiefdom, and also tainted the image of the chieftaincy institution. The study concluded that the possible ways of how chieftaincy succession disputes can be resolved in the Lungu chieftaincy once and for all, is by following the 1957 agreements which stipulates that, the succession of Lungu chiefs should be sons and not nephews whenever they die or expelled. This should be resolved by means of consensus building with the support of the government. Also the resolution must address the issues of autonomy because the Lungu are feeling as if they are ruled indirect by imposing a chief for them from other chiefdoms. Arising from the findings and discussions that addressed all the objectives, this study made the following recommendations: Consensus based workshops should be organized for chiefs regarding the content and interpretation of the succession guidelines with the government levelling the playing field. The 1957 agreement and 2006 resolution must be upheld for future succession of chiefs in the Lungu chiefdom. Chieftaincy succession disputes can be resolved by means of consensus building by bringing all the parties involved such as the Malailas, the Sinyangwes and the Sikazwes and other key stakeholders with the support of the government. Finally, the National House of Chiefs should come up with a code of conduct on the succession guidelines whether patrilineal or matrilineal. The National House of Chiefs should also liaise with the Regional Houses of Chiefs to monitor the activities of chiefs in the regions so as to be kept informed of what chiefs are doing.
The University of Zambia