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Regional News of Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Source: The Guardian post Newspaper

Kombone Bakundu chieftaincy dispute generates fire works

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The population of Kombone Bakundu, a village in Mbonge sub-division along the Kumba-Mundemba highway, was taken aback last Monday when an irate crowd of youth invaded the village and set ablaze the house of a certain Mesue Kingsley who is a municipal councillor of Mbonge and aspirant to the throne of Kombone Bakundu.

According to independent observers in the village, the root cause of the mob action dates back from when chief Sakwe Daniel of Kombone Bakunda passed on. The late chief’s son, Eric Sakwe Odza, had already been tipped to succeed him as traditional ruler.

Villagers told this reporter that following a series of consultative talks held by the divisional officer for Mbonge, Sombe Simon, it had been unanimously agreed by the king makers of Kombone that the late chief’s son will succeed him until recently when Kingsley Esue also indicated his willingness to take over the throne.

During one of the consultative meetings, the DO is reported to have stressed on the respect of the 1972 chieftaincy law which states partly: “...in a family where the chief has a successor, the successor will take over the throne in his demise. But in a situation where there is no successor, the king makers will then present candidate(s) who will later be elected if more than one candidate is presented’’. As such, the DO sustained that since the late chief had a son; it was but obvious for him to take over. However, when the apparent heir to the throne was presented, some of the king makers protested and formed a pro-Kingsley Esue camp.

Worthy of note is the fact that some villagers accused Kingsley Esue of not having even a plot in the village and living in a house which he rented. As such, the group of aggrieved villagers say the ‘stranger’ cannot be their chief.

Some of the youth who are accusing the civil administrator of not applying the law, faulted the DO for allowing the king makers to go in voting when the choice of successor had already been arrived at.

To make matters worse, Kinsley is said to have been boastfully parading the village with a prefectural order, claiming he was merely waiting for installation. Some elites of the village who begged not to be named said some overzealous politicians in Mbonge were using their financial power to see that Kingsley is crowned chief of a village.

It is against this backdrop, the angry youths stormed the rented apartment of Kingsley Mesue and reduced it to nothing while chanting songs bearing the message: “He is a stranger and can not be chief”.

Amidst these flaring tempers, all attempts by this report to get the reaction of the ‘purported chief-to-be’ proved futile. When we tried to accost Mesue, he was very busy, filing a complaint to Meme SDO.

In the mean time, it is not yet clear if Kingsley has given up the fight for the throne now that he is homeless. But the heir apparent, Sakwe Eric has vowed not to give up the throne.

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