Ailing dictator Michael Sata is in Mongu today for a ground breaking ceremony for construction of a stadium at the expense of key development projects like education and health and locals have described the project as stupid, while Barotse activists are appearing in court the same day.
With the 2011 Mongu shootings in which over 19 people died and several others severely wounded still fresh on local people’s minds and some of the people who were detained by the PF government following the Barotse National Council resolution of 26th and 27th March, 2012 still appearing in court, the Litunga Imwiko Lubosi has proceeded with the annual traditional ceremony which most residents have described as a window dressing event.
Some people spoken to said the “Litunga would live to regret his decision to betray his own people and that time is soon approaching”.
Two people were arrested in Lukulu and six others in Mongu for treason but four have been released on Nolle Prosequi while four others are appearing for seditious material possession and practices.
The four who are expected to appear in Mongu magistrate court today are Mubiana Malamo, Kaiko Kaiko, Mubiana Muyunda and Christopher Muyendekwawhile.
The same morning, dictator Michael Sata will be launching the construction of a stadium in Mongu, a project that the Linyungandambo says is misplaced as there are other areas of priority other than the stadium, the group says Western province does not have any university and no secondary school has ever been built after independence in 1964.
The quartet is being persecuted for being in possession of the Barotse flag and national anthem, which have been in Barotseland since the 1800s. The indictment, according to sources is that the accused are the ones who designed the flag and composed that national anthem but a Zambian Watchdog survey in Mongu reveals that the two symbols of Barotse sovereignty have been there even before the current Liyunga was conceived.
Sata vehemently condemned the detention of the Barotse activist when he was in the opposition but his instant shift of policy has shocked the people of Western province. “These items they are talking about (flag and national anthem) in this allegation have been here since the 1800s, even before the Litunga himself was conceived, Mr. Sata was opposed to the victimisation of Barotse activists and at one time came here and assured us that he would honour the agreement if voted into office but now he is doing completely different, people appearing in court for cases which he condemned…. , it is very shocking indeed,” said 83 year old Lubasi Lubasi of Limulunga
Lubasi further adds that this year’s Kuomboka is a flop and is mostly being attended by PF cadres from out of town and people opposed to the Barotse principles. “Apart from some few foreigners who have come for leisure the occasion is being attended by cadres from out of town and some people who are enemies of Barotseland,” added Lubasi.
Meanwhile most locals fear to attend the Kuomboka due to heavy police presence in the area, they say the Litunga, who was a pro MMD man but has now shown allegiance to the PF feels insecure due to his dishonesty and greed and as such, government has increased his security.