There was drama in magistrate Webster Milumbe’s court on November 15, 2016 in Kaoma as two Barotseland Imilema (BI), Malamo Malamo and Situmbeko Mbumbo who are victims of Zambia police assault and brutality on defenseless Barotseland nationals, were instead defending themselves against a trumped - up charge of assaulting a gang of armed police officers in an office at the police station in Mongu. In addition, the accused were further charged with an offence of contempt of court for not being able to appear before court on November 7, 2016. The cash strapped Judiciary used the opportunity to charge both the accused and their sureties K5,000.00 each or face simple imprisonment of three Months . This was despite the fact that the sureties took the trouble to inform and bring the accused for court hearing at their own cost more than 300 kilometers from the location where the alleged offense took place.
Zambian state cases against Barotseland nationals are conducted hundreds of kilometers away from the alleged crime scene for fear of the people.
Facts of that matter were that Malamo could not attend court because he was in police custody in Mongu which is more than 200 kilometers away from Kaoma while Mbumbo was unwell in the village called Nakayembe and both Magistrate Milumbe and the Prosecutors were informed accordingly. The case was then adjourned to November 15, 2016 but both the accused were not informed of this new date. As such, the sureties stepped in to inform and ensure that the accused appeared before court.
However, for all their trouble and to their astonishment, they found themselves being locked behind bars, and relatives had no choice but to frantically scamper in all directions very far away from their homes in order to raise the ransom as demanded by Magistrate Milumbe.
The Magistrate has since revoked the bail of the accused persons and remanded them in custody where they will be subjected to all kinds of abuses until the case is disposed of.
A Barotse activist who witnessed the court drama wondered why the Zambian state was getting so desperate.
“I think Barotseland nationals must be encouraged to stand fast and not to despair on account of these last acts of desperation by the oppressive, bankrupt and failed state. I also wish to ask Barotseland nationals to record and collect evidence of all these acts of human rights abuses for the successful prosecution of the perpetrators and transgressions of the Zambian regime,” said the Barotse activist, appalled by the events of the day.