Masubia Traditional Authority given three months to elect a chief

Martin Endjala

Minister of Urban and Rural Development Erastus Uutoni, has given the Masubia Traditional Authority three months to choose one candidate for the chieftainship position which has been vacant since the death of former chief Munitenge Kisco Liswani III in July 2021.

Uutoni wrote to Masubia Traditional Community Head Princess, Sinte Maiba, earlier this month, informing her about the outcome of the ministerial investigations in the chieftainship succession dispute which was carried out between 05 to 18 December 2022 and 15 to 20 May 2023.

The minister informed Maiba that, the investigating committee revealed that according to their observations, the dispute erupted due to the absence of a Natamoyo in the Masubia Traditional Authority, who is mandated to initiate the first Royal Family’s meeting after the death of the chief and spearhead discussions related to chieftainship succession.

He said the Masubia Royal Family is divided into four Royal Houses namely the Mahundu, Kasika, Ngoma and Bukalo and that each house must agree on one candidate. The rightful heirs to the throne of Masubia Traditional Authority are the only surviving Princesses Sehwe and Sinte Maiba who are not able to ascend to the throne due to their ill health.

Therefore, the two Princesses are the authorised Royal Council members Kaziba Kabusimwine of the Masubia Royal family to designate a chief in consultation with their cousin Munitenge Moffat Nkonkwena Sinvula Maiba who reigns in Botswana and other elders in the royal family.

“Out of the four applicants, two applicants, Mr Gilbert Muhongo Mutwa and Mr Trevor Chiswaniso Maiba are from the patrimonial lineage while the other two applicants Mr James Kabati and Mr Frederick Nalisa-Nalisa are from matrimonial lineage.

“According to the Customary Law, Volume 1 of 2010, it is stated that “By Traditional Law, the Masubia are a Patrimonial society. Thus, the family heritage is administered by the male side of the family lineage,” explained Uutoni.

He said that Masubia Customary Law and tradition do not have age restrictions for ascending to the throne.

Adding that the majority of Masubia community members interviewed during the investigations are in support of Gilbert Muhongo Mutwa and Trevor Chiswaniso Maiba, while a few are in favour of James Kabati Maiba.

“Some community members said all they need was a chief and the Royal family should sort out their differences and choose one among the nominated candidates to be designated as their chief. The committee sensed fear in some community members who were not free to speak, claiming that commoners have no right to comment on royal family succession matters. All the community members interviewed confirmed that Masubia succession bloodline was Patrimonial,” he said.

The minister added that as per the Masubia customary law, the qualified candidates to ascend to the throne of Masubia Traditional Authority are Gilbert Muhongo Mutwa and Trevor Chiswaniso Maiba who are both from the patrimonial lineage.

Although the two are the qualified candidates among others, the power to designate a chief lie with the authorised royal family members, who in terms of Masubia customary law, have jurisdiction to designate the rightful candidate who is fit and proper to ascend to the throne.

“In order for the Government to ensure that Masubia Traditional Authority upholds, promotes, protects and preserves the culture, tradition and traditional values of its community, the authorised royal family is hereby afforded an opportunity of three months to come up with one candidate, if they fail to do so, the matter should be referred to the Masubia Chief’s Council to spearhead the process of designation and report back to the Minister through the Regional Governor,” concluded Uutoni.

Related Posts