Mongu Secession meeting thwarted


POLICE in Mongu have stopped the meeting organised by the Barotse National Freedom Alliance, a group spearheading advocating the secession of Western Province from the rest of Zambia.

Western Province acting commissioner Charles Lungu said the meeting by the Barotse activist  could not be allowed to proceed but did not give reasons for the cancellation of the meeting.

But highly placed sources indicated that there was tension in Western Province following the decision by the Litunga and his indunas to withdraw from the case in which Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) petitioned the Government of Zambia against alleged human rights violations in Western Province.

The source said that the Barotse nationalists wanted to use force to storm the Barotse Royal Establishment and seize the Kuta and lock it up because according to the activists, the Indunas had been bribed by the Government.

“The meeting could not have been allowed because there is tension in Mongu and people are not happy with the Litunga and his people. As we are talking, the Kuta is worried that anything can happen,” the source said.

But the BRE has insisted that those spearheading the issues regarding Barotseland should exercise patience and should learn to follow the procedure.

In 2013, the BNFA wrote to the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) pleading to have Western Province secede from Zambia because of alleged ill-treatment of the Lozi people over the Barotse Agreement of 1964, but the BRE claimed that the Kuta was not part of the BNFA’s petition because they were not informed of any procedures regarding the petition.

The African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights adopted the matter where the Ngambela, as head of the BRE, and others sued the Government for the alleged abrogation of human rights of the people of Barotseland. The ACHPR through its secretary, Dr Mary Maboreke, said the decision of the commission over the matter would be transmitted to the people of Barotseland after the assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union authorized the publication of the commission’s activity report.

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