BTG to issue funeral guidelines as Barotseland unites to mourn independence leader

16 August 2020
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Messages of condolence have continued to pour from all sectors of the Barotse community following the untimely death of Likando Pelekelo in Zambia’s maximum prison yesterday where he was serving a 15-year jail sentence for his peaceful campaign for Barotseland’s self-determination.

Likando Pelekelo, 69, a political prisoner, died in unclear circumstances but possibly connected to Zambian state neglect and deplorable prison conditions in Zambia’s Mukobeko maximum prison.

And a Barotseland transitional government (BTG) spokesperson, Mr Lubinda Kunangela, has commended the united solidarity that has ensued as the elephant Kingdom mourns what he called a ‘gallant soldier’ and a ‘strong pillar’ in the struggle for peace, justice and freedom of Barotseland.

Mr Kunangela said, Hon. Likando Pelekelo fought for justice for all, and therefore, his compatriots and family will do everything possible to give him a befitting send-off to glory.

He said extensive consultations with the family and state institutions were already underway to find the best possible way to do this under the current prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

Likando died in a state penitentiary in Kabwe, central Zambia, far away from his home town of Senanga, Barotseland.

Mr Kunangela said the nation will be informed through a comprehensive statement detailing all the guidelines of his funeral sometime tomorrow or Tuesday on how everything will proceed after the thorough consultations with the family and all institutions involved.

Meanwhile, all Barotseland nationals are called upon to unite and give Likando Pelekelo a national hero’s farewell because Bo Likando, as the deceased was fondly called by all who knew him, lived and died for the entire nation of Barotseland.

“We must all celebrate his life and show him that we loved him as much as he loved us. Therefore, everybody, BNFA, Linyungandambo, BNYL, BRE, BIs young and old must be allowed to express solidarity with the Pelekelo family and the BTG so that the entire nation may appreciate his gallantry,” a BNFA functionary wrote in his message of condolences to the BTG.

Another Barotseland activist in Livingstone has said Mr Likando died for the entire Barotseland and, therefore, all Barotseland must be allowed to express their love and solidarity with him as he departs.

Solidarity messages have also continued to come from far and beyond, from clergy, Barotseland activists, and traditional leaders among many others.

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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.