Police summon Mongu radio presenter over discrimination in teacher recruitment

Police in Mongu have summoned Catholic Oblate Liseli radio presenter, Situmbeko Sikuka for allegedly inciting the Lozi community against the PF regime after he hosted a show to discuss unfairness in  the just ended Teachers’ recruitment exercise.


The ‘recruitment’ has been a disaster across the country as it was  marrred with corruption but in Barotseland it is also seen as discrimination against Lozi people. Even the few people who have been picked from Barotseland, most are not Lozi.

The recruitment exercise, which is widely seen to have deliberately excluded qualified teachers of Barotse descent in preference for those hailing from other regions of Zambia, has been roundly condemned with the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) officially spearheading a petition against it, claiming continued discrimination against the Lozi people of Barotseland.

Although PF  permanent secretary in charge of the region, Mwangala Liomba, has denied allegations of discrimination in the recruitment process, the petitioners have argued that the recently released list of 2017 recruited teachers showed that out of the national figure of 3,148 only 300 Barotse nationals have been engaged.

“What is most hurtful is that out of the 427 targeted recruitment from the sixteen districts of ‘Western’ province (Barotseland), less than 242 are indigenous to the territory while our people are not given the same opportunity in other provinces meaning that 185 recruited teachers do not speak Silozi, the language of instruction in lower primary school.

“This scenario has a disastrous effect on the foundation of the education of our children, therefore, we demand that the 185 new teachers be redeployed to their indigenous regions; and that they are replaced by teachers of Barotse origin who speak the local language.

“Already, we have too many teachers in Barotseland who are defying learning Silozi in defiance of the Education policy where a child should be taught in Silozi from preschool to grade 4,” read part of the petition posted and circulated via social media and the BNFA web site.

AND in their continued efforts to foster social cohesion through dialogue, Catholic Oblate Radio Liseli on Saturday, 2nd December 2017, reportedly hosted on their show, ‘Talking Space’, a named BNFA member to help discuss, among other issues, this BNFA Petition to Zambia’s Permanent Secretary, Mwangala Liomba.

“The questions raised by the presenter, Situmbeko Sikuka, to his guest were pertinent as they were of public interest; ‘Can the Petition to the Permanent Secretary help resolve the raised issues? Is the Zambian Government going to listen, accept and iron the matter positively? How did the guest foresee the future tomorrow of Barotseland? And of course, the audience were invited to participate as is usually the case on that show,” stated an infuriated source who lamented how that a journalist merely doing his civic and community duties would be summoned and accused of incitement in a country that claims to be not only democratic but also Christian by constitutional declaration.

Meanwhile, the Zambia police summon dated 2nd December 2017 directed Sikuka in the name of the President of the Republic of Zambia, to report himself to Mongu Central police Station C.I.D on the 03rd of December 2017 (03/12/2017) at 09:00hrs to assist the police in an unspecified ongoing investigation.

Police sources have, however, said that the summon was in relation to the Saturday program, and are aimed at intimidating the journalist and the local Catholic radio station to dissuade them from covering any contentious issues plaguing the Barotse people in the political hotbed of Barotseland.


  • comment-avatar
    Manyika 3 months

    Otherwise, keep up the commendable job, Mutompehi Sikuka and the BNFA! You are true heroes. There is so much evil in the world – not because there are more evil people in the world but because many of the good people fail to speak out when an injustice is committed – just like Liomba. Esi bababile recruited teachers mwa Barotseland kibo Chilufya nibo Phiri. Can we all be cadres and stone-throwers before we can receive any “merited” treatment from our servant? Rubbish!!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Manyika 3 months

    Some of the comments on this article are from individuals who are plain imbeciles. What the Barotse are saying is that the stupid and corrupt PF is known for saying one thing when they mean something else.

    For example, you will hear Samalama Papalaza’s “government” saying they are in a hurry to take development to all parts of the country. But for you who support the Pathetic Fools, have you ever heard or been told of any dual carriageways and major airports for Barotseland? Even on TV, do you really and honestly feel that the pictures you see of Barotseland are the same as those you see depicting life and development in, say, Zambia’s Northern Province? Come to Barotseland and check out “progres” on proposed universities and stadia. What do you think you will see or find? You must be blind and obviously you need to have your head examined if you think things are matching.

    Neba yena Liomba asike aikeza bwanganu bwaku yemela batu babaeza oppress the Barotseland masses just because he is benefitting from the PF’s ill-gotten gains. He should be old enough to know that some of these people are not people to align with because sooner or later baka mu yubeka! But maybe he has just grown physically – in his head he is still green and yellow!

    But what I don’t understand is why Zambia continues clinging to Barotseland when its people have expresse their desire to revert to their original status! Artificial slogans like “One Zambia, One Nation” will never work! The Barotse were never one with you and shall never be one with you! So the earlier you get this into your thick skulls, the better!

  • comment-avatar
    chips 3 months

    this is what we always talk about. if we have 10 provinces and you have been given 300 out of 3000 ,is it not fair share? this is the madness that I fail to understand. cage the full. how many lozis are in bemba speaking areas and don’t speak bemba. shilekeniko this madness?

  • comment-avatar

    But 300 Lozis against 3148 which 10% share is really a big share considering that we are 72 tribes in total.

  • comment-avatar
    Faruk 3 months

    I thought ‘Barotseland’ included areas in Tonga land Lamba land part of Northwestern; part of Namibia and Botswana. Why are they limiting it only to Western Province?

  • comment-avatar
    Mainza 3 months

    Like it or not Lungu has a distinct policy of tribal preference and applying it to the full.

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    Some things it’s like they aim at dividing this nation. Ok the journalist did what was right and that’s his democratic right. why should it be always that if a person says something against the government they arrest him? that’s very unfair and unfortunate at the same time…. we are not fish placton hunged on fishing wires. if things are not over we talk. Secondly, why is it they we always look at each other in terms tribes and not like zambians? This is the reason why Africa can’t develop. people looking at each other in terms of tribe and not like zambians. What’s so special about lozi’s if I may ask? they seem to be more than others of which it is wrong. you are just a small tribe yet you want to be bowling yourselves. keep peace in your heart the’res time for everything. stop raising dust in the pool of water for innocent people. A person can only know better how to solve issues if he is stun by the bee on his testicles.