54 Barotse Activist freed

There was ecstatic jubilation at the magistrate court yesterday when the state freed former Ngambela of the Lozi people Clement Sinyinda and all the 53 Barotse activists’ detainees who were facing treason charges after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) entered a nolle prosequi in favour of the detainees.

All the detainees were appearing before Magistrate Arida Chulu and when the matter came up, the DPP directed that the case against the 54 Lozis facing treason charges be discharged on a nolle prosequi.

After Sinyinda nolle was pronounced by Magistrate Chulu, there was jubilation and ululation from the many sympathisers of the detained Barotse activists many of whom had travelled from Western Province.

Sinyinda soon after walking to freedom was thronged by journalists but he refused to give any comment on his release and those of the other 53 activists.

And a civil rights activist Brebner Changala has paid special tribute to President Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front (PF) government for having been kind at all times to listen and entertain the incarceration of the Barotse activists.

Changala is prayerful that President Sata would continue with the spirit of listening to the concerns of the people of Western Province even after the release of the 54 treason Lozi detainees.

He has asked President Sata to go further and meet the aggrieved parties in Western Province in order to find a final and lasting solution to the challenges and difficulties that came with the 1964 Barotseland Agreement.

Changala has also invited first republican president Kenneth Kaunda to play a pro-active role and shed more light on the functionalities and relevance of the 1964 Barotseland Agreement.

The civil rights activist has called for a national conference of all the parties concerned in the matter that has generated a lot of controversy and anxieties among the people of Western Province.

“The release of the Barotse detainees has no lose and no winner but marks our character as a united people capable of resolving all contentious issues that may rise from time to time.  I want to thank the Zambian government for the release of the detainees but special acknowledgment must go to President Sata who has been very kind at all times to listen and entertain the issue the Barotse detainees, This I pray shall continue even after they have been released. I also wish to implore Dr Kenneth Kaunda to take a pro-active role and shed more light on the functionality and relevance of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964,” Changala said.

Changala said he was encouraging President Sata to cultivate a spirit of inclusiveness and tolerance to those who did not agree with him and his government.He said government should sincerely engage Sinyinda, the Barotse National Council the Linyungandambo and the Barotse Royal Establishment in the spirit of finding common ground on how best to handle the impasse between government and the people of Western Province.