“You are not prisoners but detainees! This condition is really unfair and torturous for you… This place is very congested and this is very unfair, regrettable and too dangerous for you…. Something must really be done. I am not happy with this state of affairs. This is torture of the worst form, for how could you be treated like convicts?” Zambia’s attorney general (AG) Likando Kalaluka tells Barotseland government leaders incarcerated at Zambia’s Mukobeko state prison as he pays them a surprise nocturnal visit.
On Tuesday, 1st December, 2015 Zambia’s Attorney General, Mr. Likando Kalaluka, visited Zambia’s Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison in Kabwe around 19:30 hours, a prison source has disclosed, wondering, however, why the visit by such a high ranking official was done during that awkward hour.
“We understand that the AG came to see the conditions under which the Barotseland detainees are kept in prison” the source further said.
The attorney general is said to have inquired as to where Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa was and commanded the prison officers on duty to immediately lead him to Mr. Mombotwa’s detention cell.
“However on their way to Mr. Mombotwa’s cell, the accompanying officers on duty pointed out to him (the Attorney General) that one of the Barotse detainees, Masiye Masiyaleti was detained in a cell right on their way to where Mr. Mombotwa was detained. Upon hearing this Mr. Likando Kalaluka decided to stop over and get into Mr. Masiyaleti’s cell,” said the insider.
“Is this where you sleep?” asked Mr. Kalaluka with great surprise and disappointment as Masiyaleti answered yes.
“No! This must not be the case because you are not prisoners but remandees. Something must be done soon to avert possible infections,” said Mr. Likando in apparent reference to the overcrowding in the prison cell.
“This place is very congested and this is very unfair, regrettable and too dangerous for you…. Something must really be done. I am not happy with this state of affairs. This is torture of the worst form, for how could you be treated like convicts?” wondered the AG in disgust.
Meanwhile, incarcerated Barotseland Administrator general, Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, has warned that Zambia must be careful in the manner in which he and his co-detained Barotseland leaders were kept and treated in Zambian prisons.
“It is very unfortunate that in this century there are still those who think primitively with regards to Civil and Political Rights. We, however, are not shaken because we understand what manner of criminals we are dealing with as Barotse Nationals.
“What is surprising is the impromptu visit by Zambia’s Chief Government Advisor at night. What a mockery of our rights!” said Mr. Afumba inquisitively.
“Zambia will heavily pay for not respecting International Conventions and Charters regarding Human Rights. We shall remain resolute, steadfast and unshaken by these treatments until our final goal is achieved, for there are only two options; DEATH or LIBERTY!
“Therefore, go and tell the people (of Barotseland) to be united and focused; for their freedom is nearer than before. Please, we pour our heartfelt indebtedness to all the people of our Great Kingdom. Even though the wind blows, they must never lose hope because the enemy will employ certain tactics aimed at disuniting the people and derailing their freedom,” emphasized Mr. Mombotwa as he spoke to a Barotseland Post correspondent on Wednesday.
And one of the detained Barotseland leaders has revealed that when the Attorney General entered his cell and investigated their way of life on Tuesday night, he lamented the appalling prison conditions.
“This has to stop soon. We cannot treat other people as if they are not human beings. We need to be fair towards others. As a Christian Nation, we must not have brought these people here. Why were these activists brought here?” The Zambia Attorney general is reported to have asked.
Hon. Sylvester Kalima, another Barotse detainee, has also implored on the need for all the people of Barotseland and the whole world to know how unfairly they have been treated in Zambian prisons, especially at Mukobeko prison in particular.
“These Zambians are heartless; they have made us serve for a year without being convicted and they seem to want to continue exposing us to daily torturous life inside this notorious environment which is detrimental to our health. As you can both hear and see, we are not okay; we are sick….,” he said as he pointed out to the fact that all of them (Barotseland leaders) were coughing and sneezing, with running noses and hoarse voices, suspected to be as a result of dust and dirt in the prison.
“How could the Zambian Attorney General sneak in ‘Nicodemus’ style, or is he looking for inner peace!” remarked Hon. Likando another of the four detained Barotseland leaders.
Of the estimated 1,800 Mukobeko Maximum prison inmates, about 530 are detainees who are placed under the same conditions as that of the convicts, a situation that is clearly an abuse of the rights of all those incarcerated under such appalling conditions even when they were not yet convicted of their alleged crime.
Ruling in the Barotse treason trial has been set for March of 2016, meaning the four Barotseland leaders will remain at Mukobeko prison where they continue to be exposed to all forms of untold torture and misery.
They were arrested on the 5th of December 2014 and consequently charged with treason felony which upon conviction attracts a death sentence according to Zambian laws.
The four are accused to have, on unknown dates but between March 2012 and August 2013, the four jointly acting together with unknown people in Mongu, Sioma, Senanga, Livingstone and other places unknown, conspired the secession of ‘Western Province’ from the rest of Zambia; a charge they have since denied.
Source: Barotseland Post