Sata to blame for Mongu loss of life-Mwananjiti

A GOVERNANCE and Human Rights expert Ng’ande Mwanajiti and Luapula Member of Parliament Peter Machungwa have said Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata should be blamed for the fracas and consequent death of two people in Mongu last week.
The duo said it was unfair for anyone to blame Government and President Rupiah Banda for the violence and loss of life in Western Province and challenged Mr Sata to take responsibility because of his careless statements over the matter.
Meanwhile, Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) president Charles Milupi has advised politicians to be sincere and not use the Barotse Agreement to hoodwink the people of the Western Province.
Mr Mwanajiti, the former executive director of the continental human rights body, Afronet, said it was the responsibility of every responsible government to maintain law and order in the nation and that Mr Sata should take responsibility of what happened in Mongu on Friday especially that he was on record of having supported the calls for the secession of Western Province.
He said the PF leader should take responsibility because of the irresponsible and alarming statement that he had made on the Barotse Agreement.
He said Mr Sata had an opportunity to remedy the situation when he was in Government which he failed to.
He said the Government also has the responsibility to protect the right of people to their property.
Mr Mwanajiti said it was totally unfair for former Defence minister George Mpombo and General Malimba Maseke to blame President Banda over the violence and loss of life in Mongu.
He said anarchy should not be allowed in the country as it would affect the gains the country had made in the past.
Dr Machungwa urged Zambians to remember that the violence that erupted in Mongu was as a result of irresponsible statements from Mr Sata who was claiming that he can restore the agreement if voted as president and other politicians,” Dr Machungwa said.
Dr Machungwa said the debate over the restoration of Barotseland Agreement was quiet before Mr Sata got excited and promised the people of Western Province that he would restore the agreement if voted as president.
He said politicians should avoid influenced passion statements because that had the potential to create crisis in the country
Dr Machungwa said Vice-President George Kunda’s meeting with the Barotseland Royal Establishment(BRE) was clear testimony that the Government was ready to dialogue with its citizenry.
Former Kasenengwa member of Parliament(MP) Timothy Nyirenda also said putting the blame on President Banda and his Government on the shooting in Western Province last Friday was wrong and a total fabrication by politicians.
Mr Nyirenda said in Chipata that it was wrong for senior politicians like General Masheke and Mr Mpombo to accuse President Banda of having blood on his hands following the killing of the two people in Mongu.
Mr Milupi said political parties should be sincere and not use the Barotse Agreement to gain political mileage.
He said the people of Western Province were not foolish to be hoodwinked in such a way.
Mr Milupi said the Government should be more serious in their engagement with the BRE on the Barotse issue.
He said the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) as signatories to the agreement and as representatives of those who feel aggrieved by the non-recognition of the Barotse Agreement must not only categorically state what they wanted achieved.
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has also condemned the violence and loss of lives in Mongu.
Meanwhile, the Kuomboka Kufuluhela Committee of Lusaka has formally launched its fundraising activities for the 2011 Kuomboka Ceremony and has since assured spectators of peaceful celebrations.
Committee chairperson Oliver Saasa said in a statement that despite the happenings in Mongu over the Barosteland Agreement (BA) of 1964, the Lozi colourful Kuomboka ceremony would be conducted peacefully.
The committee had already endorsed the stand of the Barosteland Royal Establishment (BRE) and appealed to all loving Zambians to recognise the value of dialogue with the Government.
And World Vision Zambia(WVZ) has said it has not stopped undertaking its ongoing projects in Western Province.
According to a statement released by World Vision director of operations Fordson Kafweku, the organisation has not stopped undertaking its projects as alleged by some people.
Mr Kafweku said the organisation had not experienced any disruption in its operations in Western Province as a result of the violence there.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has urged the media to exercise maximum responsibility and adhere to media ethics when reporting on issues of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
According to a statement issued by MISA Zambia chairperson Daniel Sikazwe, there was need for the media to exercise maximum responsibility, professionalism and adherence to ethics to avoid being accused of inciting people over the Barotseland Agreement.

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