Masheke, Saki show support to 84 Barotse Treason Accused, as another scheduled Court day goes begging

Former Zambian Prime Minister and Army Commander Gen. Malimba Masheke and prominent Lusaka Lawyer Sakwiba Sikota were among many who attended the scheduled court appearance of the 84 Barotse Treason detainees which has again failed to take place due to none availability of the Court case Documents from Mongu Magistrate court.

The Government today allegedly failed to bring the court case files from Mongu ,where the case was transferred from, to Lusaka after the Zambian government applied that Mongu was no longer conducive for the continued hearing of the case involving 84 Barotse independence activists, including Clement W. Sinyinda,  former Ngambela (Ngambela) of Barotseland, due to the likelihood of a popular revolt by the people who now regard the treason accused as heroes of their struggle for Barotseland independence.

Treason charge is punishable by death upon conviction under Zambian laws.

Meanwhile the case has been adjourned to Friday, the November 1, 2013, this week. Last week Friday 25th the case had again failed to take place because the Zambian government allegedly failed to bring the accused to court for their scheduled court appointment due some undisclosed reasons.

Today’s latest adjournment, among countless other adjournments before it, mean that some of these detainees have been in Zambia’s incarceration for close to three (3) months already, without trial, having been arrested on the 14th of August 2013. Zambia’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), however, seem not to be sure of how or maybe is unwilling to proceed with the now ‘high’ profiled case.

The mostly Linyungandambo members were arrested and charged with treason after they were found, or suspected to have been, celebrating the publicly announced swearing-in of the Barotseland administrator General Afumba Mombotwa, and his eventual public naming of a provisional government in Barotseland on the 14th and 15th August 2014 respectively.

Sinyinda, on the other hand, was arrested for his role as chairman of the Barotse National Council (BNC) of 26th – 28th March 2012 which resolved to accept the abrogation and annulment of the Barotseland Agreement 1964, which in the opinion of the Barotse people, essentially freed Barotseland from the government of Zambia.

Sinyinda presided over the said BNC gathering was organized by Barotseland liberation movements such as Linyungandambo, Barotse Freedom Movement (BFM), MOREBA and others, in his capacity as Ngambela (Traditional Prime Minister) of Barotseland.

The meeting was partly sponsored and fully sanctioned by the Zambian government who also participated at the said BNC with representation from government, armed and security force chiefs, as well as foreign and international missions accredited to Zambia, among many others.

The Barotse detainees were again not brought in from Lusaka’s Mwembeshi Maximum prison, and that there seemed to have been an attempt to make many people at the courts miss out on the announcement of the new set date, as the date was announced immediately at 09:00hrs in court room number 1. However, many Lozis who had already arrived by then to give  support.

As with the previous court adjournment, many complained at the news of yet another adjournment.

“kanti kin`i habalubona bukuba cwana? Basaba sikamani? Ndate habana sabona fa! hakuna taba yeliteni. Cwale bapalelwa cwani kulu faa mushabati waluna?” one was heard saying in siLozi meaning “why are they fooling us? what are they afraid of? They (Zambia) are failing to establish a case and should give us our country (Barotseland)!”

The correspondent said other issues on the lips of the support was the 14 days ultimatum which Hon. Afumba Mombotwa gave to the Zambian government to vacate Barotseland which ends tomorrow, Thursday, 31st October 2013, and its possible implications to the Zambian Government.

Many supporters continued coming to the court premises for the hearing even up to around 11hrs, and vowed to continue coming to the court sessions up to the end of the case. Some had come all the way from Barotseland.

Court case mention continues on Friday, 2013 at 09:00hrs