Police vehicle stoned


BAROTSE activists on Monday stoned a police highway patrol vehicle in Mongu which did not give way to the youths who were offering solidarity to the their colleagues who are appearing in the High Court, the Western Province Police command confirmed yesterday.

The incident happened when the Barotse activists took to the streets to offer solidarity to their colleagues who appeared in the Mongu High Court on charges of publicising false information likely to cause panic and fear in people.

The irate activists assembled on the high way chanting freedom slogans after the court adjourned the case involving the suspects.

The situation forced some motorists to divert to give way to the marching youths.

But police in a patrol vehicle refused to give way and this did not go well with the Barotse activists with some of them stoning the vehicle.

When contacted, Barotse Imilema national secretary, Muyunda Makala confirmed the incident.

He however said it was difficult to identify the group which was involved in the stoning.

But Mr Makala said it was good that the police did not react to the  stoning because if they had done so, the situation could have degenerated into chaos.

“Sometimes it is good that people, such as the police, are able to read the mood of the people. But had they responded to the incident, it was going to be another war,” he said.

Mr Makala however called on President Edgar Lungu to consider fulfilling his promise to find an amicable solution to the Barotseland impasse.

He said peace could not be guaranteed in the absence of justice, and therefore the Government should immediately dialogue with the Barotse activists to bring to an end the tension in the area.

And Western Province Commissioner of Police Standwell Lungu confirmed the incident which happened on Monday at 12:30 hrs.

Mr Lungu said the Barotse activists who attended the court session smashed the police vehicle’s rear screen, but that no arrests have been made.

He said the police have instituted investigations into the matter to ensure that all those who were involved were brought to book.

In the aftermath of the January 20 Presidential election which Patriotic Front leader Edgar Lungu won, the Head of State hinted that he would sit down with the Barotse activists to find out their grievances.

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