Charging the Barotse activists with treason is not the best way to go with the matter because the issue at hand is not the matter of showing power, but the involvement of the affected parties, former prime minister during UNIP regime, General Malimba Masheke has said.
General Masheke said in an interview that using power at the expense of dialogue on issues regarding the Barotse Agreement of 1964 was a blow to maintaining peace and stability in the country.
And Masheke has demanded for the immediate release of the Barotse activists because their celebrations generated after they were promised the Barotse agreement of 1964 to be restored.“There is no need of showing power in the matter, because the situation in Barotse is based on the promise they were assured during the run up of 2011 general elections campaign, and to start arresting such people today is unfortunately,” he said. He said Zambia must run away from the trend of depending on the state to appoint a leader as such had hindered numerous developments, on the premise that people were working under appeasing the appointing authority, instead of doing their best.
Masheke said the issue of treason on the activists was unfortunately and outdated, adding that the matter could have been resolved amicably.
The issue of Barotseland was reality and the state must not use force, but instead should thoroughly consult on how to handle sensitive issues if they really wanted peace to prevail.
“That is why we must come to a point where we must bring an end to the powers of the state, but instead people must be able to choose their own leaders, and such will give room for everyone to participate,” said the general.
Masheke cautioned that if the state continued to use power as a ‘tool’ to resolve national affairs, then they were likely to bring chaos in the country.
He said that government must give the people of Barotseland room to express their views, and do the best of what they wanted.“If the people of Barotseland think they do what is good for them, then the state must advise and find the lasting solution, because charging them with treason is not solving anything but instead a recipe for anarchy,” he warned.
He said the government should not use force and intimidation to resolve issues in the country against opposing minds, adding that throwing them in jail and charging them was not the solution.
General Masheke was speaking over the arrest of Barotse activists over the recent activities including the recognition of a separate government in the province.