Court hears how Police officer told detained Barotse activist that they will die in jail

A senior Zambia police officer has been telling detained Barotse activists that they will die in the Kaoma prison and that the Zambian government thorugh the court has already determined that they will be jailed.

This came to light when the detained activists complained to the court that a named police investigations officer threatened that they will die in Kaoma state prisons and that the magistrate determining their case will sentence them to five years imprisonment.
The detained Barotse activists, Mulasikwanda Chazele 59, and Sinonge Lutangu 45, told the court that on Wednesday this week, police criminal investigations officer, a Mulimba used bad words and harassed them while in detention when he brought two more arrested Barotseland activists, Mulasikwanda Chazele 59, and Muyangwa Mungwaluku 36, to Kaoma prisons.

This prompted the Kaoma Magistrate court to distance itself from the inhuman treatment and harassment given to the 17 detained Barotseland activists by a police criminal investigations officer from the police command in Mongu.

The court heard this Friday when the matter came up for an application pursuant to section 213 of the criminal penal code (CPC) to have an old indictment substituted with the fresh one carrying all the names of the Barotseland activists.
Magistrate Exorbious Zulu said the words expressed by the named police criminal investigations officer from Mongu to the 17 detained activists in Kaoma district did not in any way represent the police and the judiciary in the province.

Mr. Lutangu complained that their detention in prison is not safe as the officer has already determined their fate and that justice will not prevail.
But Magistrate Zulu assured the 17 detained Barotse activists that the police officers were professionals and that the words uttered by the police officer did not represent the police and the judiciary in the province other than himself.
Magistrate Zulu said the court will seek audience with the police commissioner, Fanwell Siandenge in Mongu so that such issues does not occur again especially that the matter is active in court and that they (Barotse activists) will be informed of the outcome from the police commissioner.
He said the activists should be treated with dignity and not to be subjected to inhuman treatment as they are all still innocent before the court of law.
Mr Zulu said the court will give them latitude to freely express their feelings and that no one should be intimidated adding that the court will only become harsh if they became a nuisance.
The 17 Barotseland activists have been charged and detained in Kaoma prisons for tearing 113 copies of the draft Zambian constitution valued at K 655,400.00, the property of the Republic of Zambia and idle and disorderly manner likely to cause breach of peace contrary to the laws of Zambia.
The matter has since been adjourned to the 4th and 5th of October, 2012 for trial.

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