Legal Editor, Barotseland Post

Legal Editor, Barotseland Post

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Report by Saleya Kwalombota and Lubasi Kalaluka

Continuation from [Part 01]...

MWEEMBA: There is before this court, specimen of your currency. What was the implication?

KALIMA: I really don’t understand how the Police operate bearing in mind that the specimen (Mupu) is not legal tender.

MWEEMBA: Was there anything unlawful in your activities?

KALIMA: No. There was nothing that was unlawful we did, because no guns were used, no violence was used, no deaths recorded and the Zambian Government operations were not disturbed in any way.

I am also perplexed that this court heard from Mr. Ngulube that he found guns, bows and arrows, but those items have not been brought to this court as evidence, bearing in mind the gravity of the allegations. I believe those items were substantial exhibits of how serious our charge is. This shows how unfounded and unprofessional the Police are.

MWEEMBA: We will take care of that one.

KALIMA’S CROSS EXAMINATION BY THE STATE ADVOCATE.

STATE ADVOCATE: How long have you been in Linyungandambo?

KALIMA:  I have been a proud Linyungandambo member after about a year from its inception and I have been following the activities being a member of the movement.

STATE ADVOCATE: Where was the video shot?

KALIMA: The video was shot at my home, but I never helped in its production because there is a system in place and being a principled Nationality, we believe in law and order. Therefore my role was simply to witness.

STATE ADVOCATE: Witness, do you mean the Administrator General heads no Government?

KALIMA:  The Government is there but not fully operational because, like my colleagues have indicated, we are still putting things in place even as we seek to peacefully drive illegally occupying Zambia out of our country through the ICJ , African Union and SADC avenues.

STATE ADVOCATE: A1 told the court that you are the Deputy Secretary of State for Agriculture. Do you know that?

KALIMA:  Oh! I never knew I was appointed until now! Now that you have told me, I gladly accept it!

STATE ADVOCATE: Do you know anything about Studio Sakata?

KALIMA:  I don’t know anything about Sakata and I don’t know the owner.

(State Advocate produced a photo of the three co-accused - A1, A2 and A3 - at Mr. Masiye’s - A4 - home in Sioma and gave it to A3.)

STATE ADVOCATE: Can you identify anyone in that photo?

KALIMA:  I have seen myself in the photo but I cannot remember really what happened. But I know that it was the Police that led us there for the first time soon after our arrest.

STATE ADVOCATE: Witness, are you not lying before the court that actually that was where the swearing-in of the Administrator General took place?

KALIMA:  We never had anything to do in Sioma, not until the Police led us there after we were arrested.

STATE ADVOCATE: If you say what you were doing was not overthrowing the powers of the State by preparing to secede Western Province from the rest of the Sovereign Republic of Zambia, what was the role of the Administrator General?

KALIMA:  I know that the role of the Administrator General was to lead Barotseland in transition, according to the Barotseland Emancipation Act and Restoration Order 2012, and to oversee the Independence process.

STATE ADVOCATE: Witness, don’t you see that you were infringing on the operations of the State of Zambia?

KALIMA:  If we had those powers to stop the Zambian Government operations, we would not have taken the step to sue it at the ICJ.

RT. HON. MASIYE WAS LAST.

Paul Masiye Masiyaleti said he was aged 52, a Sioma Secondary School teacher and resident at the same school in Sioma District.

MWEEMBA: Please tell us what you know without repeating what you said last time in connection to your first arrest: but concentrating on the issue at hand.

MASIYE: Please, may I say that last time I was not prepared for the trial within a trial! I was somehow not of a good mind.

MWEEMBA: Please be in the best of your mind so that you speak your mind.

(The court laughs)

MASIYE: It was on 22nd December, 2014 when I decided to attend a court session of my uncle, Mr. Afumba, in Mumbwa. I was inside the court room when suddenly the Zambia Police officers called me out of the courtroom. And as I came out, I saw a male Police Officer whom I later came to know as being Mr. Siafunda. He ordered me to jump into the Police vehicle and drove me to a place I later recognized to be a Police Station. I was forcibly thrown into a small room.

MWEEMBA: What else can you remember?

MASIYE: I saw about five (5) Police Officers and one of them told me to give a statement whose content I did not know.

MWEEMBA: Did they explain to you what was happening?

MASIYE: No. They did not tell me anything. However, they asked me 3 questions which highlighted me as to what they were after.

MWEEMBA: What were those questions?

MASIYE:

1. Who was the caster in that swearing ceremony of your uncle, Mr. Afumba?
2. Was the swearing-in conducted at your home in Sioma?
3. Are you willing to be a State witness and be promoted by testifying in this matter?

MWEEMBA: By these questions, what did you realize?

MASIYE: I realized that the main point the Police wanted from me was to be a State witness by testifying against my uncle on matters I did not know.

MWEEMBA: What was your immediate reaction?

MASIYE: Because the Police wanted me to testify against my uncle about the swearing-in ceremony which I was not privy to, I decided not to say anything but remain silent.

MWEEMBA: Tell us, what happened when they saw you quiet?

MASIYE: I saw them consulting each other as to what charge they would slap on me. After that, I was formally arrested and co-charged with my uncle (A1) and his friends (A2) and (A3).

MWEEMBA: Now with regard to the period 12th March, 2012 to 30th August, 2013, what do you remember?

MASIYE:  On 18th August, 2013 I was apprehended at Chibi Namakando’s home where I was receiving treatment.

MWEEMBA: What did they charge you with?

MASIYE: They charged me with the similar charges I am a charged with today; treason felony.

MWEEMBA: Thereafter, what happened?

MASIYE: I was kept for 12 days without food and on the 12th day, I was forced to give a statement. I was beaten, threatened and tortured as a criminal for the swearing-in ceremony I knew nothing about. The Police officers threatened to kill me if I would not give them the details concerning my uncle’s (Mr. Afumba) whereabouts.

MWEEMBA: What did you tell them?

MASIYE: I told them that I knew nothing about his whereabouts and that I was not there where the swearing-in was taking place. Neither did it take place at my home.

The officers discontinued my treatment at Chibi’s place so that they torture me for being a Barotzish.

Retroactive to the forcible recording of the statement, I remember being driven to a place I later recognized was Katima Mulilo. However, whenever we reached a station, they told me to lie on my stomach in order not to make people see me. I was driven to and from without any water or food.

MWEEMBA: I am interested mainly in what happened after all those Police brutalities

MASIYE: I was one of the 84 who were charged with treason, taken to Mwembeshi Maximum Security Prison and were later released on 29th November, 2013 after spending about 3 and half months in prison.

MWEEMBA: What do you think made the Police arrest you then?

MASIYE: The allegations were that the swearing-in of my uncle, Mr. Afumba, was done at my home and which I strongly deny. However, I am not saying the swearing-in did not take place but that it was not at my home!

MWEEMBA: There are materials purported to have been found in your possession. What were they?

MASIYE: At the time of my apprehension, I had nothing in my possession, apart from a pocket wallet which contained my 3 ATM Cards and nothing else.

The Police did not find me in Sioma but at Kasima area in Mongu where I was being treated of backache, and there has not been any one before this court who pointed at any of the items as having been found in my possession.

MWEEMBA: The Police said before this court that you told them you are the Deputy Secretary of State for Defence. What is your response?

MASIYE: I am a teacher by profession and I am very much absorbed into my duties. Therefore, I did not know anything concerning my appointment as Deputy Defence Secretary. However, I only heard such an appointment from the streets not from the appointing authority.

MWEEMBA: What was your immediate reaction after it was rumoured in the streets that you had been appointed?

MASIYE: My immediate reaction was to keep quiet and wait for confirmation from the Administrator General. And there is nothing wrong with being appointed.

MWEEMBA: Are you a member of Linyungandambo? And what role do you play?

MASIYE: I am a member of Linyungandambo and have been since 2013 and a strong supporter for that matter. However, I had no role in the production of the said video and the actual swearing-in as a matter of fact. I had no knowledge thereof.

MWEEMBA: It has been brought to the attention of this court that the materials were found in your house as it was the venue for the swearing-in. What is your response?

MASIYE:  The Police just alleged that the swearing in was at my home and that some were also found there but I know nothing about them and because I did not leave them when I was leaving for Mongu.

MWEEMBA:  Now concerning the charge, what again do you want the court to know?

MASIYE:  It is now evident that there is literally and realistically nothing that connects me to this charge. The Police have just tortured me physically and psychologically just because I am a Barotzish! Therefore it is my humble prayer that the court releases me from these trumped up charges. It is not a crime to realize my true identity. I am a member of Linyungandambo and it is not a crime.

MASIYE’S CROSS EXAMINATION BY THE STATE ADVOCATE:

STATE ADVOCATE: Is it not true that the Police found you with the DVD of the swearing-in ceremony?

MASIYE:  I had no DVD of the swearing-in at the time of my apprehension. I said I had a pocket wallet. If I had that DVD I would not have failed to tell you: I am not scared of speaking the truth but that justice must be done. You cannot just fabricate stories just because I am Barotzish.

STATE ADVOCATE: What about the security card with your name written on it?

MASIYE:  I firstly saw a security card with my name written on it later after I was arrested in August 2013. I had nothing like that in my possession apart from the said wallet.

STATE ADVOCATE: Why would the Police say that? Do you have any idea?

MASIYE:  I don’t know why Ngulube would allege that I had a DVD in my possession because I don’t know who sponsors him.

STATE ADVOCATE: Witness, is it not true that Ngulube was your friend prior to your initial arrest?

MASIYE:  No. Ngulube is not my friend. I came to know that he knows my house soon after he led A1, A2 and A3 to my home in December, 2014.

STATE ADVOCATE: Who was at your home that time?

MASIYE:  The Police found my family at home and took away my property; some of which is missing up-to-date. I believe they have just fabricated lies against me.

STATE ADVOCATE: But you watched the video, right?

MASIYE:  I never had that video, and I only came to watch it on 19th August, 2013 at the Police Station in Mongu when it was being played by the Police officers themselves.

(A photo was presented to A4 showing his house in Sioma and his wife, and A1, A2 and A3 were also in the picture).

STATE ADVOCATE: Do you recognize anyone in that picture?

MASIYE:  Yes. I can see my wife - Nalucha Mulope, my uncle - Mr. Afumba together with his friends; Mr. Likando and Mr. Kalima in the room.

STATE ADVOCATE: Whose house is that and what were they doing?

MASIYE:   That is my house. As for what they were doing, ask the Police who took them there for the first time.

STATE ADVOCATE: What about in the picture?

MASIYE:  I can see my uncle stretching hands in one of my rooms. I know the Police forcibly took them there to photograph them in an effort to cement or augment their lies.

STATE ADVOCATE: Did you know Mr. Likando and Mr. Kalima prior to the swearing-in?

MASIYE:  No. I came to know them when I came to attend the court session in Mumbwa, where I was arrested on 22nd December, 2014.

STATE ADVOCATE: Did you personally know about their presence at your home?

MASIYE:  No. They never went to my home until the Police took them there after they were arrested. I don’t know anything concerning their presence at my home.

MASIYE:  Judge Sichinga asked Mweemba if there is anything of importance that his client would like to say.

MWEEMBA: Maybe just clear the court on the Defence Code of the Royal armed Forces of Barotseland that was produced as evidence before this court and said to have been found in your house.

MASIYE:  I do not know anything concerning the exhibits in question because I was not found with them. Some of the materials, according to the State witnesses were found on the streets with those who were peacefully celebrating the inauguration of the Administrator General.

END.

OBSERVATIONS

The defence was closed somewhat abruptly, after which the defence was instructed to merely issue statements and only refer to the documents and videos, without being given the opportunity to actually showcase them. They were advised to merely tender and submit all their video and documentary evidence in their final submissions on 18th December, 2015.

The session was not that easy as the Judge almost blocked the Barotseland Government leaders from speaking fluently.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned to 18th December, 2015 for defence submission and later 8th January, 2016 for the State Prosecutors’ submission.

Therefore, the Judge indicated that judgment would be given some time in March 2016 during the next Criminal Court Session.

End of report.

See also the consolidated full COURT UPDATE, including some VERBATIM, for Thursday 26th November 2015 Barotse Treason Trial Update [PART 01 and PART 02] here: http://barotselandpost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/26th_november_2015_court_updates_report.pdf

 

The court sat at 09:00 hrs on Tuesday 24th November 2015, and the defense lawyer Mweemba requested for adjournment in order to prepare video and audio evidences to show the court.

The accused are to answer to some of the issues raised by the state witnesses, before judge could proceed to give a ruling whether the accused have a case to defend or not.

The judge agreed to the defense request and the case has been adjourned after thirty minutes to Thursday, 26th November, 2015.

This is in a case involving four Barotseland independence leaders, Afumba Mombotwa and his three co-accused Sylvester Kalima Inambao, Likando Pelekelo and Paul Masiye Masiyaleti, who are facing treason charges for allegedly spearheading the secession of ‘western province’ from the rest of Zambia. It is alleged that on unknown dates but between March 2012 and August 2013, the four jointly acting together with unknown people in Mongu, Sioma, Senanga, Livingstone and other places unknown, conspired the secession of ‘Western Province’ from the rest of Zambia.

The accused have been in Zambian prison since the 5th of December 2014, although trial was only commenced in August 2015 eight months later.

The treason charge, upon conviction, is punishable only by death under Zambian laws.

10th November, 2015 report on the Barotseland independence leaders, Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and the trio in the High Court of Zambia in Kabwe, presided over by Judge Dominic Sichinga.

This morning the state brought two witnesses, Donald Mulimba, 41 year old from Mongu under the Zambia Police Investigative Unit and Rodwell Sakambowa aged 40, Detective chief inspector Zambia Police, who gave their statements on how one of the accused, Paul Masiye, was arrested from Kasiye village near Mongu and how the statement was recorded.

The court adjourned for 10 minutes to allow the defense team to prepare for the accused, Paul Masiye to testify how he was arrested and treated on the day of his capture on 18th August, 2013.

The court resumed after 10 minutes with Paul Masiye narrating how he was mistreated, handcuffed and forced to give statement under durance. The accused remained resolute and courageous as they never refused what they did of ushering the transitional government of Barotseland.

The case was then adjourned to tomorrow, Wednesday, 11th November, 2015 at 10 hrs. Therefore, both the defense and prosecuting team will be required to make their submissions by 08:30 hrs before the resumption of court deliberations on the case at 10 hrs tomorrow.

However, the state is being suspected of avoiding establishing the case and putting the accused on defense for some unknown reasons.

Supporters of the accused traveled from far and beyond the boundaries of Zambia to give solidarity to the Barotseland independence leaders. The mood was good and people's spirits are high as they vowed to continue offering their solidarity to the accused until the conclusion of trial no matter when that will be.

Other concerns raised from among the Barotse supporters that were present were that of continuous adjustments to the case. Many, however, hoped that trial will now proceed to conclusion as it is now almost a year without much progress. Many feel that sufficient evidence already exists for the judges to conclude the case, but it seems as if the state deliberately wishes to deny the Barotseland leaders justice, as it is often said that justice delayed is justice denied.

The Lusaka High Court has ordered the Litunga of Barotseland to be joined to a matter where dethroned Chief Chiengele of Mushuwa, Nanoko in Limulunga district has obtained an injunction restraining the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) from interfering with his claimed chiefdom.

High Court deputy registrar Charles Kafunda in his ruling following an application by the respondent in the matter to have the Litunga joined to the proceedings, said it will be prudent to have the Litunga himself, Lubosi Imwiko II included in the Court process.

“It is ordered that the application to join the Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II to these proceedings as the fifth defendant be and is hereby granted…,” he said indicating further that the order comes with own costs.

The dethroned Chief Chiyengele Joasias Nyumbu Mubukwanu in his application for a joiner contended that the Litunga should be part of the court proceedings as he had a significant interest in this matter and was the one who authored a letter to Zambian’s line ministries advising them to dismiss him as chief Chiengele.

The dethroned Chief sued Indunas Tawela Akapelwa (removed induna now), Mwangala Akapelwa (removed induna), Steven Nawa Matongo (still induna) and Simakando Siyunda (still induna) for misleading the Zambian Head of State to revoke his recognition as chief.

“That arising from the foregoing, I reasonably believe that the interest of justice would be better served if the said Litunga is joined to these proceedings so that he can come to court and explain under what authority he purported to have dismissed me as chief,” dethroned Chief Chiengele said.

Dethroned Chief Chiengele asked the Court to grant him leave to apply for judicial review against the decision of revocation of his recognition as chief.

Chief Chiengele said the action by the Zambian President to de-gazette him as chief was not in line with section four and five of the Chiefs Act.

“I reasonably believe that the President acted outside the jurisdiction of the law by allowing himself to be influenced by the Barotse Royal Establishment in demanding for the withdrawal of my recognition as dethroned Chief Chiengele,” he said.

He said the President acted illegally in proceeding to withdraw his recognition based on the request of the Litunga when the Chiefs’ Act did not give any powers at all to the Litunga to demand the withdrawal of recognition of any duly recognized traditional ruler in Zambia’s Western Province.
Chief Chiengele asked the court to quash the decision by President Edgar Lungu to withdraw recognition of his chieftaincy on grounds of illegality, procedural impropriety and irrationality.

He was also seeking an order prohibiting the Litunga and the Royal Council (BRE) from doing anything that would give effect to the decision.

Trial for the four Barotse treason accused failed to take off in the Kabwe High Court today as the defence lawyer Humphrey Mweemba from Legal aid board was not in court while the new lawyer requested for time to study the matter properly. The matter will now come up on Thursday.

Afumba Mombotwa, Sylvester Kalima Inambao, Likando Pelekelo and Paul Masiye Masiyaleti who are being held in a filthy jail cell at the notorious Mukobeko maximum security prison are charged with treason and by Zambian law, if found guilty they will be hanged to death.

When the matter was called before Judge in charge Dominic Sichinga, the lawyer notified the court that the lead defence lawyer was not before court and applied for an adjournment to enable her study the case properly.

The state had no objection and the court made the adjournment, the accused were later taken to a holding cell before being driven out to Mukobeko amid tight security.

Meanwhile several relatives and well wishers who travelled from far places to come and hear the case have vowed to camp in Kabwe until the matter is concluded.

“There seems to be a ploy to frustrate and break our resolve but we are determined to camp here until these gallant soldiers of Barotseland are set free unconditionally, as the world may wish to know that Hon. Afumba and his colleagues are not criminals, they are at the most just prisoners of conscience,” Mwendabai, a loyalist confidently stated.

And Zambia has continued to keep this trial as low profile as possible. Besides restricting public court attendance, the Zambian state media has not covered court proceedings, and yet it is customary for the main news segments to cover news content from the courts, even for less crime such as threatening violence of one individual by another as was the case not long ago.

However, the online publication Zambian Watchdog which is critical of the government has rightly observed that Zambia has not had any treason trial since 1998 after an army officer Stephen Lungu, alias captain Solo, and other senior officers overthrew then president Fredrick Chiluba citing bad leadership and corruption as reasons for the military takeover. The coup which lasted close to eight hours was, however, later crashed as some soldiers drew cold feet, leaving the main architects arrested and detained at the same Mukobeko maximum security prison.

Vice President Inonge Wina has told the Zambian parliament that the government will reflect on pardoning Barotseland activists currently being held in various prisons on the so called day of fasting, prayer and reconciliation.

She was responding to a question posed by Lukulu East Member of Parliament Christopher Kalila on whether government was going to release Barotseland activists on the day of reconciliation.

Vice President Wina claimed that the government has not failed to address the Barotseland impasse because consultations were ongoing with the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE).

Some major stakeholders have, however, indicated that they are not aware of any consultations over the Barotseland issue with the Zambian government.

Eight Barotseland activists are currently in detention in Kabwe, Kaoma, Mongu and Senanga, while a further six (Barotse Imilema) were this week released on bail, and their case has been transferred from Mongu to Kaoma on ‘security’ grounds as another is still on trial in Livingstone.

Source: Zambian Watchdog

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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.