Barotse activists plead not guilty, refuse to be tried by Zambian court

Barotse activists plead not guilty, refuse to be tried by Zambian court

Relatives and journalists were barred

Relatives and journalists were barred

The four Barotse activists currently detained at the notorious Mukobeko Maximum prison have pleaded not guilty but trial failed to take off as the accused maintained that they could not be tried in a foreign land over a matter that was committed in their motherland.

The trial of Afumba Kenny Mombotwa, Sylvester Kalima Inambao, Likando Pelekelo and Paul Masiye Masiyaleti was supposed to take place before Judge dominic Sichinga, the matter has been adjourned to tomorrow as the state also seems blank on how to proceed with the matter.

And in an interview with the Watchdog within the court premises, the accused complained that they were being denied access to their relatives and were kept under torturous conditions alongside convicts as though they have committed any crime. They maintained their innocence and called for international mediation in the matter. Several people turned up to give the four detainees solidarity and chanted liberation slogans within court premises as police watched.

IMG_0164Meanwhile, as we reported earlier in the morning, some relatives and some local and foreign journalists were barred from covering the trial and had to observe from the court terraces.

The accused were taken  to court at 07 hours and the case commenced at 09.33 hours and ended at 09.33 hours.
The matter has been adjourned to tomorrow Wednesday 19th August as the State is still trying to instruct their hired witnesses on what to say.
Afumba and the three co accused are accused of attempting to secede Barotseland from Zambia on dates between March 2012 and August 2013.
Only 20 relatives were allowed entry in the court room.

There was heavy police presence at the High court while several plain clothes security personnel were deployed in the town. Both inroads into Kabwe were blocked but some political observers have described the security as costly and highly exegerrated. Central province police commissioner Lombe Kamukoshi who was at the scene was in constant touch with police inspector General Stella Libongani and home affairs minister Davies Mwila.

Part of the armed police brigade

Part of the armed police brigade

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