Barotse Mongu rally deferred as police claim Barotseland issue being discussed at higher level in Lusaka

The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) has deferred the public rally which was scheduled for today 2nd October in Mongu to avoid a possible clash after the Zambia police declared the rally illegal.

And the six activists and organisers of the abortive rally who were arrested on Wednesday appeared in court this morning but nobody was allowed to enter the court room.

The BNFA said in a statement released Friday morning that they had the option of defying the police and go ahead with the rally because the people had the moral strength to do that.

The statement further said such a move would have however deprived the rally of the noble character it was intended to have because the police was going to find an excuse to incite violence and incarcerate peaceful people.

The BNFA has assured that the rally would soon be held at the same venue once measures are taken to protect its members from police harassment adding that the rally will only be called off if the police can prove to them that they were not human beings with rights and freedoms.

‘We will demonstrate that we are human beings by holding the rally and roll to other parts,’ read the statement.

The Zambia police command in Mongu told BNFA leader Clement Sinyinda that the rally be put off because the issue of Barotseland was currently being discussed at a higher level in Lusaka but Sinyinda told the police that BNFA was one of the major stakeholders in the Barotseland issue but was not aware of any discussions going on in Lusaka.

The other major stakeholder is the Linyungandambo but they are also not aware of any discussions going on in Lusaka. The only person in Lusaka was the Litunga but traditionally he cannot hold any discussions concerning Barotseland alone and in secrete.

And the six activists and organisers of the abortive rally who were arrested on Wednesday appeared in court this morning but nobody was allowed to enter the court room.

The activists were arrested on Wednesday for announcing the planned rally. A fight however broke out at Mongu Central police between the police and activists leaving six activists injured with one taken to Lewanika General Hospital for medical attention while two police officers sustained injuries in the punch up.

The fight ensued after activists argued that they only needed to notify the police and not getting a permit.

At the court this morning no one was allowed to enter the court room but information is that the six have been denied bail and the case has been adjourned to Tuesday.

After the court session the activists were driven to Mongu prison in two land cruisers.

 

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