Too many heirs to this traditional Zambian throne

ZAMBIA’S courts have been wrestling with how to resolve a dispute over a “novel situation”: too many contenders to the throne of Chief Kapijimanga, leader of the country’s Kaonde people. The high court proposed an unusual remedy for this dilemma, namely that all subjects should be involved in considering the way forward. But this apparently democratizing approach was overturned on appeal with the supreme court finding that the electoral college of royal family members traditionally made such decisions – not their “subjects”.

Read the judgment here

BY tradition, for a year after the death in 2008 of Ostralia Katuka, Chief Kapijimpanga IV, no new leader was installed over Zambia’s Kaonde people of NorthWestern Province. But behind the scenes a number of family groups engaged Sandangombe, the “kingmaker”, to discuss who they thought should succeed to the throne.

When a high court judge and counsel litigate against each other – the Zambian experience

A full-on fight between judge and counsel is never good to see, and if it spills over into angry and frustrated litigation against each other, it is far worse. When just such a fight broke out earlier this year between a high court judge in Zambia and a prominent Lusaka lawyer, the local media was full of the scandalous story. Realizing the significance of the matter for the judiciary, its independence and public perceptions, the Chief Justice appointed a team of three high court judges to hear the latest round in the dispute.


Read the judgment here

JIFA alum, Judge Derrick Mulenga of Zambia, delivers important workers' rights decision

WHEN does a union dispute become, fair and square, an issue of human rights and a test of the constitution? A recent decision by Judge Derrick Mulenga in Zambia’s high court makes a strong statement about this question: the court said the right of workers to belong to a union of their choice involved fundamental rights. These were constitutionally protected and part of an employee’s human rights.

This article first appeared in LegalBrief

THE case landed in court because management of the company concerned refused to give official recognition to an additional trade union, and raised a number of reasons why it would not allow workers to join.


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