According to a source from within the Barotseland independence movement, Linyungandambo, Sylvester Kalima was admitted to Kasama general hospital on Friday, 13th October, 2017, and has had to undergo a blood transfusion yesterday, Monday, 16th October, 2017 due to lack of blood.
“Yes. Honorable Kalima has been admitted to Kasama general hospital since Friday, and we ask for prayers on his behalf and that of his family in this moment of great need,” confirmed the source close to the family.
The source further appealed to all regiments and supporters across Barotseland to scale up their logistical and financial support through the existing and set up channels to compliment family efforts in the health care and general welfare of not only Honourable Kalima, but also Barotseland Administrator General, Afumba Mombotwa and Likando Pelekelo who are serving similar sentences in Luwingu and Mansa respectively.
Kalima has constantly experienced ill health ever since his first hospitalization over suspected food poisoning last year at Mwembeshi state prison where the Barotse trio was imprisoned before they were suddenly and dramatically transferred to separate state prisons located in remote north regions of Zambia, a move widely seen to be aimed at isolating the three Barotseland leaders from the support of family and friends back home.
And the Linyungandambo leadership has warned that the Zambian government will be blamed for any harm that would occur to any of the Barotse leaders in prison, calling on them to do right in ensuring that Barotse people are treated justly and humanely.
“After all, Zambia, which claims to be a Christian country, is the one that is in violation of Barotse’s cultural, economic and political rights among others,” warned the Linyungandambo source, adding that the Barotse community would not sit quietly by but would ‘react seriously’ should harm befall any of their leaders in prison.
“We call on the Zambian leadership to use their day of national fasting and prayers for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation to look into the injustice of the Barotse people they have kept in their inhuman prisons for no justifiable reasons,” concluded the Linyungandambo leader.
Meanwhile, the Zambian government continues to refuse to acknowledge the three Barotse political prisoners who are clearly in prison over their alleged political crimes of spearheading the separation of Barotseland from Zambia over a pre-independence treaty that Zambia unilaterally abrogated in 1969 before any of its terms could be honored.
Since then, any Barotse who reminds the Zambian ruling establishment about their failure to honour the pre-independence tri-partite agreement, The Barotseland Agreement 1964, is either imprisoned or killed as enemies of the unitary state.
The 1964 Barotseland agreement was negotiated and signed by two separately administered British protectorates of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia under the auspices of Her Majesty, the Queen’s United kingdom government who signed as a third party, leading to the establishment of what is today Zambia in 1964.
However, the Kenneth Kaunda led first Zambian government did not only disregard the treaty as soon as it was signed, but also purported to have officially annulled it by an ACT of municipal law through their parliament in 1969, thereby administrating Barotseland, or what remained of it after it was dismantled, as Zambia’s ‘Western Province’ by force.
To date, every successive Zambian government has ruled and continues to rule over Barotseland through heavy handedness by use of police and military force, until March 2012 when the supreme organ of Barotseland, The Barotse National Council, BNC, unanimously resolved to pursue every peaceful step to revert Barotseland to its pre-agreement state as a sovereign nation independent from Zambia. It was therefore, the pursuit of such peaceful steps on behalf of Barotseland that landed Afumba Mombotwa (59), Inambao Sylvester Kalima (56) and Likando Pelekelo (63) in prison to serve 10 year jail sentences each with hard labour.