EXCLUSIVE: Our Imprisonment is helping Barotseland independence struggle - Afumba Mombotwa

21 November 2016
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FILE: Sylvester Inambao Kalima (55), Likando Pelekelo (62) and Afumba Mombotwa (58)

 

"Although we are not happy to have been imprisoned by Zambia, we believe our imprisonment is helping in highlighting the cause for Barotseland independence,” incarcerated Barotseland Administrator Afumba Mombotwa has said in a Barotseland Post exclusive.

And the Barotseland Post can confirm that Inambao Kalima who was sick from suspected food poisoning at Mwembeshi maximum state prison has improved in his recovery.

“Go and tell the people of Barotseland that we are here (in jail) because God loves Barotseland! We could have delayed in attaining our independence if God had not brought us here. Therefore, we are very contented because (through us) the world now knows why we are here,” explained the highly spirited incarcerated Barotseland government leader.

“They (people of Barotseland) should not worry about us; and must never give up! We feel it is a blessing that we are here, so that the world may quickly know about the issue of Barotseland and why we are fighting to restore her to her original status.”

“We are not afraid of being kept here, and neither should they. We only wish to encourage all the people (of Barotseland) to work extra hard and entrench the Barotseland government,” concluded Afumba Mombotwa emphasizing that Barotseland has a capable government to carry on with the work even in his absence.

He also called for continued personal and collective national prayers for speedy and smooth transition.

Afumba Mombotwa (58), Likando Pelekelo (62) and Sylvester Inambao Kalima (55) are currently serving a ten year Zambian prison sentence each, with hard labor, over treason felony for allegedly usurping the powers of the Zambian executive, the charge and sentencing they continue to deny accusing the Zambian state of playing complainant, Judge, Jury and executioner all in one. This was in connection with their role in implementing Barotseland self-rule resolutions unanimously passed by the Barotse National Council (BNC) meeting of 27th March 2012, which called for Barotseland independence from Zambia after the latter repeatedly refused to restore a 1964 pre-independence treaty that guaranteed Barotseland’s autonomy within the new state of Zambia. The Barotseland Agreement of 1964 was, however, unilaterally annulled and abrogated systematically by Zambia’s first and successive governments without ever being implemented.

Over the fifty years, several appeals to have the agreement restored and honored were denied, while those calling for the honoring of the agreement were often arrested, tortured or killed by Zambian government agents, until the March 2012 BNC called for the independence of Barotseland form Zambia since the agreement that joined Barotseland to Zambia could no longer be restored.

The three were arrested on the 5th of December 2014, for spearheading the setting up of the Barotseland government in 2013. Ever since their arrest, they have been in more than a couple of Zambian jails, where they continue to face deplorable treatment like common criminals, despite their alleged crimes being of a political nature.

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