By Nation Reporter
The PF government should immediately release the Barotse activists unconditionally and use dialogue to resolve the issues surrounding the Barotseland Agreement 1964 by engaging them on a round table discussion, a civil rights activist Brebner Changala has charged.
Changala said the government should not use force and intimidation to resolve issues in the country against opposing minds.
He observed that the Barotse issue had never been more sensitive now than because the PF and President Michael Sata promised people that they would sort out the agreement issue within 90 days of elections and got votes from Western Province on that basis.
The civil rights activist said it was incumbent upon President Sata to engage the agreement activists and find a lasting negotiated solution.
He said throwing them in jail and charging them with a non-bailable offence was not the solution.
He observed that when PF came to power, it forgave all the political prisoners that were arrested by the MMD government but wondered what had changed for the PF leadership had gone this route.
“This is the worst kind of hypocrisy and I therefore demand in the interest of justice fair play and equity that these activists must be released without any conditions.
“The government should call for a conference and sort out this and we also demand that it should release the findings for the Rodger Chongwe Commission of Inquiry report immediately. If the report is released it may clear some of the concerns and anxiety that had eroded the people in Western Province,” Changala said.
He said the silence on the part of the government only contributed to the confusion and that it was the government’s duty to restore order by engaging into dialogue.
Changala said it was unfair that the government had slapped a treason charge on the activist in view of the nature of the problem.
He said it was an abuse of rights for the authorities to pretend that all was well by labelling the activist rebels.
The only way he said, was to call for a meeting as soon as possible and discuss once and for all the matter.
He said the situation was more complicated as the constitution conference could not even discuss the matter as they had realised that it was a critical issue.