Sata, KK to be witnesses

The 84 Barotse activists facing treason charges have instructed their defence team to summon President Sata and first republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda as witnesses should their treason charges proceed to trial.

The activists have also demanded that President Sata should immediately release and publish the Chongwe Commission Report on Barotseland.

In a statement signed by several sympathisers and released yesterday in Lusaka the activists have also warned President Sata to desist from treating the people of Barotseland as children of a lesser god by denying them basic protection offered by the constitution amid the crisis created by his own administration over the matter of the Barotseland Agreement.

The sympathisers include general Malimba  Masheke, ADD president Charles Milupi, Muliokela Wamunyima and Luena Member of Parliament Mulumenui Imenda.

Others include Joseph Mulyata, Mulondwe Muzungu, George Mpombo, Brebner Changala and Mutungulu Wanga.

They said President Sata, who will be summoned as witness number 1 will be asked to shed light on his membership of the Linyungandambo organisation which he conferred on himself at Mongu’s Blue Gums grounds during his campaign for Republican Presidency where he undertook to honour the Barotseland Agreement 1964.

“The defence team shall seek to find out how the objectives of Linyungandambo have changed between that time and now and when the president appears to have resigned his membership of the organisation” the statement read in part.

First republican president Kenneth Kaunda will appear as closing defence witness and will be required to explain his role in negotiating for the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and why he signed it. He will also interpret the consequences of its termination by his government in 1969.

“The defence team will further inquire into letters that President Kaunda wrote to the Ngambela and the Litunga in 1991  wherein he undertook to set in to motion the implementation of the agreement upon his return to office after the elections of that year” the statement reads.

Chairman of the Rodger Chongwe Commission on Barotseland, Chongwe is also among the several witnesses lined up and will be required to explain the Commission’s findings and its recommendations.

Other witnesses include Vice President Guy Scott and Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba who will explain why they signed a circular letter condemning former president Rupiah Banda for arresting and prosecuting some Barotse activists following disturbances in January 2011 in Mongu.

Gender minister Inonge Wina who is Nalolo MP will also appear as a witness to shed light on the Blue Gum meeting she presided over, where President Sata made his promises on Barotse autonomy in Mongu.

ex“The arrest of the Barotse  activists under direct orders of President Sata is a continuation of futile, unrealistic and desperate measures experienced under previous administrations to stem the tide of an unstoppable march by the people of Barotseland to correct a mistake of history caused by the first post-independence government of Dr Kaunda” the statement reads.

The activists arrested on treason charges have been in custody for more than two months  and have told the prosecution and prison authorities to pay attention to the fact that relocating them from areas of arrest  where they are naturally domiciled denies them  basic services to which they are entitled.

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