The PF regime rounded up school kids and civil servants in Mongu and forced them to join independence celebrations presided over by Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba on October 24.
But most residents ignored the celebrations and watched from a distance and the Kabimba delegation and police band moved up and down in town to the show ground.
The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) which comprise the Litunga, Ngambela and Indunas was nowhere to be seen. Normally the BRE lead such celebrations in Bartoseland and even last year, the BRE leaders were officiating and celebrating with PF officials.
Kabimba arrived in Mongu on Tuesday and ZNBC entertained the country by reporting the ‘Mongu came to a standstill when Kabimba arrived.’
But the truth is that Mongu residents ignored Kabimba and went about their businesses, people were trading and working meaning nothing came to a standstill.
After realising that the PF independence celebrations have been snubbed, the government ordered government schools to direct all pupils in town and villages to be taken to the scene of celebrations.
All civil servants were directed to attend without fail so as to give an impression that the celebrations were well attended.
The soldiers and police officers currently occupying Barotseland were told to attend and others made to wear civilian clothes and sit in places normally meant for civilians.
The government propaganda news agency was directed to take carefully calibrated pictures showing ‘crowds’. But it is difficult to show a crowd when there are just a few scattered people so even the photos circulated by ZANIS only showed children and street kids.
The traditional leadership and Bartoseland activists announced that they will not celebrate Zambia’s independence.
Dozens of Lozi people are in detention by the government for refusing to take part in making the Zambian constitution.
Vice-president Guys Scott was in Mongu last weekend trying to meet the Litunga and Ngambela but he left quickly after his request was rejected.