Zambian PS Bukali, Liomba allegedly paying Barotseland activists to renounce independence bid

27 November 2019
Author 
(L-R) Southern Province Permanent Secretary (PS), Mwangala Liomba and his Western Province counterpart, Danny Bukali - CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

 

The respective Zambian Permanent Secretaries (PS) for Western and Southern Provinces, Danny Bukali and Mwangala Liomba, have been implicated in a clandestine plot to allegedly 'silence' some targeted Barotseland activists by offering them some disclosed amount of money.

The bribe allegedly offered especially to those once arrested or detained for their involvement in the push for Barotseland independence, is reported to be as high as ZMW 30,000.00 (USD2,000 – USD 2,500.00).

Some of those allegedly targeted have reported that Mr Liomba called them and asked them to contact Mr Bukali for their share of the money if only they could commit to renouncing the Barotseland independence bid.

“Yes! Mr Liomba directed me to Mr Bukali who then offered to give me ZMW 30,000.00 if I could help mobilize others who, like me, were in the past arrested over Barotseland matters so that we can together openly renounce the independence bid,” revealed one ex-detainee on condition of anonymity.

On whether he would accept the alleged bribe or not, the informant said he was not interested in the offer as such a plot goes against his principles and common decency.

“I am not interested in their offer. This is why I have revealed this ploy to advise others to reject the money if approached because such deals have a way of back-firing! Moreover, it is against my principles”

The Permanent Secretaries allegedly involved in this scheme are those from Southern and Western provinces where Barotseland independence activism is most prominent.

Since 2011, hundreds of Barotse people have been arrested and detained, sometimes for much longer than three months without trial, in both Southern province (Livingstone) and across the Western province over charges ranging from seditious practices to treason in circumstances related to the peaceful push for Barotseland self-determination to try and dissuade others from getting involved.

However, these arrests and incarcerations have instead emboldened the Barotse people in their quest for Barotseland self-determination, allegedly prompting this new strategy of luring known and targeted activists with money in the guise of economic empowerment.

If successful, this new strategy will also earn the two Permanent Secretaries some commendations from their appointing authority.

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The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.