News Editor, Barotseland Post
The nine (9) Livingstone Barotseland activists who were arrested and jointly charged for ‘unlawful assembly’ and ‘seditious practices’ last year have been freed on nolle prosequi.
Col. Lubasi, Ndopu Sanjola, Pastor Elliot Mbulana, George Akufuna, Silumina, Kebby Sishekanu, Phelim Kaungu, Ms Mukubesa Mubita and Mrs Yubai Mutukwa were arrested on 10th May 2018 and left to languish in deplorable incarceration for a month before they could be granted bail or trial dates.
This was after the nine Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) Livingstone Chapter leaders held a peaceful press conference to reject the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) imposed dialogue process presented at an earlier press conference by the GRZ/BRE emissary, Mutungulu Wanga, who had wanted the people of Barotseland to rubber-stamp the suspicious dialogue process with the Government of Zambia over the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
However, when the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday, 30th July 2019 at the Livingstone Magistrate court, Zambia’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shawa Siyunyi, said the state had decided to discontinue the cases against the nine accused on a nolle prosequi.
Social and political commentator, Munyinda Munukayumbwa, has been arrested after the Barotse Royal Establishment’s Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, ordered for his arrest for allegedly ridiculing and undermining the authority of the Litunga and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE).
In a social media post attributed to BRE’s Induna Katema (Aketata Batunda) confirming Munyinda’s arrest, the Royal establishment has warned that they ‘will not let any individual insult the intelligence of the Kuta and the Ngambela’.
A further press query to Induna Katema for clarification on the matter has gone unanswered for over a day.
Munyinda was arrested on Tuesday, 14th May 2019, at 16:00 hrs when he responded to a police call-out at Mongu police station where he was reportedly interrogated for over three (3) hours by Police officers from Lusaka and Mongu Central Police who now plan to charge him with the crime of ‘promoting tribal war’!
Munyinda, not a stranger to such police arrests over social media activities, will be the first Barotse activist ever to be charged with the crime if the police decide to proceed as planned.
Meanwhile, some police sources have disclosed that the BRE’s Ngambela (King’s traditional Prime Minister), Mukela Manyando, asked the Zambian Police to silence Munyinda through intimidation because he has persistently criticised the royal establishment and the Litunga.
“Some senior police officers disclosed to us that Ngambela Mukela Manyando asked the Zambian Police to intimidate Munyinda so that he may stop criticising the BRE, especially after his recent remarks on Facebook accusing the BRE of having neglected some retainers for the newly BRE enthroned chief of Nañoko area, now languishing in extended police incarceration without trial, for defending their chief who is now the right Mwene Chengele after he was properly enthroned by the Royal establishment!” reported an anonymous source close to the happenings.
The Barotse Royal Establishment’s newly installed Ngambela, Mukela Manyondo, may have scored his first this afternoon when he swiftly called a press briefing to dispel some malicious Barotse social media rumours suggesting that HRH the Senior Chief Amukena Isiteketo of Kaoma regency had been arrested by the Zambian military at the instruction of His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland!
And the Ngambela has clarified that the scores of Zambian military personnel seen arriving in the territory yesterday were on a routine operation with Zambia’s newly appointed Army Commander who is in the area to inspect his troops on his familiarization tour.
He further said that as demanded by traditional custom and royal etiquette, the Army Commander Brig. Gen. William Sikazwe, proceeded to pay homage to His Majesty the Litunga before he could embark on his familiarization tour and that nothing was unusual in his visit!
Barotseland’s premier water pageantry, Kuomboka, will not take place this year due to insufficient water in the vast Barotse plains.
Announcing the cancellation of the annual festival, the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, through its Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, said the poor rainfall and general drought sweeping across the region has adversely affected the water levels in the Barotse plains this year.
“Although the rains were generally poor in Western province, we had hoped for the usual surge of flood water from the big tributaries of The Zambezi, namely the Lungwebungu and Kabompo rivers from the high rainfall areas of Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo respectively. However, this has not been forthcoming!” stated Mukela Manyando in a press statement delivered to the media yesterday, Saturday, 23rd March 2019.
Masiye Masiyaleti, the Sioma secondary school teacher, who was Accused number Four (4) in the 2016 Afumba Mombotwa and Others treason trial, has reportedly died after what sources have said was a bitter domestic fight with his wife.
The yet to be confirmed reports are that Masiye was badly injured by his wife on the head after she allegedly hit him with a bottle or something sharp.
Accordingly, Masiye was rushed to Mongu’s Liwanika Hospital where he was receiving emergency medical attention in the past three days but unfortunately died around mid-morning today from the critical head injuries allegedly inflicted on him by his wife in the violent domestic altercation.
Masiye Masiyaleti was the only one acquitted of the charge of treason by the Zambian High Court in the 2016 ' Afumba Mombotwa and Others' trial in which Afumba Mombotwa, Inambao Kalima and Likando Pelekelo were slapped with 10 years jail sentence each with hard labour, now increased to 15 years jail sentences by the Supreme Court of Zambia.
His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland, Lubosi Imwiko II, was yesterday reluctant to accept his usual Zambian security escort in preference to his own Royal Security guards, the Barotse Imilema, as he retreated to his winter palace of Lealui, a move that has further excited the Barotse community that perhaps the Litunga now wishes to exercise his own authority without interference from the Zambian state.
And addressing scores of Kapulanga Market traders who wanted to take a glance at His Majesty, acting Ngambela, Mowa Zambwe, told the traders that the Litunga was retreating to Lealui temporarily on a mission to sort out some issues affecting the people of Barotseland. "Your King will be in Lealui for a few days and once he is done with his mission, he will return to Limulunga," Ngambela Zambwe said.