The Supreme Court will not hear us, ruling to be based on our written submissions – Defense Lawyer

08 September 2018
Author 
FILE: Victor Kachaka

 

Victor Kachaka, the Defence Lawyer in Afumba Mombotwa and Others vs The People appeal trial at the Supreme Court sitting in Ndola, has revealed that the Court will not accord them the opportunity to make open court arguments but that the Honorable Judges will make a ruling based on their written submissions in this case.

This came to light on Thursday when the much-anticipated appeal hearing could not take place because the court officials informed both the state and defence advocates that the court would only receive the state prosecutor’s written response to the already submitted grounds of appeal and heads of arguments from the defence attorney.

“The appellants were brought to court and both the State and I were present but we were informed by court officials that the matter was adjourned in the session for Judgment,” revealed Counsel Kachaka after receiving the Heads of Arguments which the State had served him on Thursday morning.

When asked what would happen next, Advocate Kachaka said that he had hoped to reply in open court but would now have to settle for the written reply he had to file in late that Thursday afternoon.

“I filed the reply late afternoon – the State served me their Heads of Argument in the morning, and I had hoped to reply in open court. But since there was not going to be open court arguments, I had to file a reply in the late afternoon of Thursday, which I served the State.”

It would now appear that a Supreme Court ruling over the fate of Afumba Mombotwa, Likando Pelekelo and Sylvester Inambao Kalima will be made any day in the current court session which ends next week Friday, the 14th of September, 2018.

The eventuality, however, disappointed the increased number of people who turned up at the Ndola Court to support the Barotseland independence leaders, who have so far been successfully shielded from the public view!

Some of the notable supporters and sympathizers who turned up for the court session were their spouses, family, Prince Dr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika and other friends, some of whom came from as far away as Livingstone, Mongu, Senanga, Lukulu, Lusaka and Copperbelt towns of Chililabombwe and Chingola.

The appellants were in 2016 found guilty of a treason felony by the Zambian High Court for their role in the implementation of the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) which resolved to revert Barotseland to its pre-1964 status following Zambia’s repeated refusal to honour the 1964 Barotseland Agreement that brought the former British Protectorate of Barotseland and the British colony of Northern Rhodesia together to form the Republic of Zambia. The three were convicted to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour.

They now remain incarcerated at the heavily congested Kansenji state prison pending the outcome of their Supreme Court appeal.

The particulars of the offence were that Afumba Mombotwa, Pelekelo Likando, and Sylvester Kalima Inambao, on a date unknown but between the 1st day of March, 2012 and 20th day of August, 2013 at Mongu, Sioma, Senanga, Livingstone and other places unknown in the Republic of Zambia, jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown, did prepare and endeavour to have Western Province secede from the rest of the part of the Sovereign Republic of Zambia.

The Zambian government and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) are currently scheming to sign a doctored version of the 1964 Agreement within this month to allow Zambia have a legal hold to Barotseland.

The plan is, however, facing resistance from the majority of Barotse people who maintain that they will only accept the total separation of Barotseland from Zambia as per resolutions of the Barotse National Council (BNC) of March 2012.

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