Sinyinda and 83 Barotse Treason Detainees in Court Friday

treason_chargedThe case in which former Barotse Royal Establishment Ngambela Clement Wainyae Sinyinda and 83 other Barotse accused of attempting to secede Western province from the rest of Zambia, will October 25, 2013 come up for another mention.

The Zambian Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) is yet to issue instructions on how to proceed with the case.

With some of them having been detained since August 14, 2013, and yet without trial, anxiety is mounting from both Barotseland region and the rest of Zambia, with many calling for their unconditional release, as the charge they are slapped with is widely viewed as outrageously harsh, and a serious infringement of their human right of political conscience and expression.

The state recently applied to have the continued hearing transferred from Mongu, the alleged place of the criminal felony, to Mumbwa citing possible mass uprising in the provincial capital.

However, in his ruling, Judge Evans Hamaundu on October 16, 2013, cited insufficient court capacity in Mumbwa, and opted that the case be transferred to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, where he said enough capacity existed even for possible continued treason trial in the high court of Zambia, should the DPP instruct that the matter proceed that way.

Meanwhile, the 84 Barotse Treason detainees are reported to be denied visitors. This came to light as three members of the Zambian parliament on Monday, October 20, 2013, got the shock of their lives when they were denied permission to see former Barotse prime minister Clement Sinyinda and the other 83 activists currently detained at Mwenbeshi prison in Lusaka.

Senanga MP Likando Mufalali, Sesheke MP Siyauya Sianga and Kaoma MP Carlos Anthonio said they were surprised by prisons officials’ action because inmates were by law allowed to receive visitors.

Mufalali said that he was shocked by the utterances of the security officers who blocked them from visiting the activists. He wondered why the officers were behaving in such unprofessional manner.

“We had requested for 19 MPs to visit former Ngambela who is former Senanga MP but to our surprise we were not allowed to see him because the officers were reported to have received instructions from the top leadership not to allow us to see him.

We were told to wait for the officers to consult the commissioner, and we kept on waiting from 11 hours up to 16 hours but to no avail,” he said.

Mufalali said that the relevant authorities at the prisons must revisit the United Nations Standards minimum rules, and the prisons Act for the treatment of prisoners.

He said that what was happening in the prison was contrary to the prisons Act, and was inhuman and degrading.

The MP demanded for an explanation from relevant authorities on why they were not allowed to visit the detainees, adding that in the case of former Ngambela and other inmate they were not supposed to be at Mwembeshi because they were just detainees and not yet convicted by the courts of laws