The PF government has ordered filling stations in Western province not to sell fuel so that people do not travel to a controversial rally scheduled for today, Friday October 2, 2015, in Mongu. Filling stations stopped selling fuel yesterday afternoon but are lying to motorists that they have run out of the commodity.
The PF government fears that the rally is aimed at dethroning the traditional leader of Barotseland, Litunga Edwin Lubosi Imwiko II, who is said to be working with the PF government against his own people.
And the PF government has put Barotseland under siege. The provincial capital Mongu has been surrounded by heavily armed regular police officers and intelligence personnel. The Watchdog has been told that soldiers have also been put on alert and are camped in strategic places within the province.
The Litunga is currently ‘exiled’ to Lusaka where he is living under 24 hour police protection after he entered into a pact with president Edgar Lungu to stop his people’s demands for the restoration of the Barotseland 1964. The Litunga’ son has already been appointed as a diplomat at the Zambian embassy in Brazil. The Litunga, one of the richest people in Zambia, also promised and did purport to withdraw a case in which the traditional prime minister of Barotseland (Clement Sinyinda at the time) sued the Zambian government at the African Union court based in Gambia. The Litunga fired Sinyinda and he was later arrested but freed unconditionally.
But this has angered the people pushing for the independence of Barotseland. Some activists including the self-declared Administrator General of Barotseland Afumba Mombotwa are detained in Kabwe.
However, Dr Situmbeko Matengu, acting Administrator General of Barotseland says the people of Barotseland will withdraw their recognition of the Litunga.
‘If, however, a Litunga decides to separate himself and go against the aspirations of his people and declines to take responsibility as King and Head state of Barotseland, but prefers to be a mere salaried chief in Zambia, we in the transitional government will have no choice but to withdraw our support for such a Litunga.
“Fortunately for Barotseland, our rich governance, strict norms and culture already have procedures to handle such betrayal if ever displayed by any Litunga. This will always be our guiding principle to make our transitions harmonious at any given time’ Dr Situmbeko said.
Yesterday, the PF government cancelled the rally and savagely beat up the organisers before arresting.