Afumba and three others refuse to appear before Zambian courts

Afumba Mombotwa and three others who are facing treason charges before the Kabwe High court over Barotseland Independence have refused to appear before any Zambian court.
In a letter dated 27th January 2015 addressed to the Commissioner of Prisons Percy Chato and obtained by the Zambia Watchdog, the four said they will not appear before any Zambian court until they get advice from the team of international lawyers representing Barotseland.
‘As political prisoners of conscience, we have taken a stand not to appear before any Zambian court until our international lawyers on the issue of Barotseland and Zambia advise us,’ read part of the letter.
The four further argued that Zambia cannot be a complainant and adjudicator over her misdeeds having signed a treaty with Barotseland and terminated it unilaterally.
They said a state that entered into a treaty cannot invoke her internal laws as justification for violating the treaty.
They are seeking recourse in a neutral international court that will handle the issue of Barotseland.
The letter has been copied to the Litunga who is the ceremonial head of State according to the century’s old Barotseland system of governance and the international lawyers tasked to handle the standoff with the Zambian government.
Afumba Mombotwa is the Administrator-General for the Barotseland transitional government and the three colleagues he is charged with are members of his cabinet.
President Edgar Lungu is scheduled to travel to Mongu this week to meet Barotseland authorities and activists to find a lasting solution to the Barotseland problem.
It is not clear however whether the four will be released before the meeting because they are part of the stakeholders.

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