The state has applied for an adjournment in the matter where Afumba Mombotwa, Sylvester Kalima Inambao, Likando Pelekelo and Masiye Masiyaleti have been charged with treason for advocating the reinstatement of the Barotse agreement of 1964 which was breached by the Kenneth Kaunda administration.
Only one new witness Valentine Mugwagwa a police sergeant was called after the continued testimony of Leon Ngulube. Today Ngulube was still on the floor after two earlier adjournments. Kabwe High Court Judge in charge Austin Sichinga agreed to adjourn the matter to a later date to be communicated.
And during trial, Ngulube submitted that there was no instability in Western province as a result of the demands and that all government functionaries have continued to work. Ngulube also told the court that he was aware of the Barotse case being referred to international arbitrators but expressed ignorance on the promise of reinstatement that was made by late President Michael Sata during the run up to the 2011 elections in which he defeated MMD’s Rupiah Banda.
According to the Barotse agreement of 1964 and in Watchdog possession, local authority of Western province was to be vested in the Litunga but Kaunda with other unscrupulous Lozi politicians like Sikota Wina and his brother Arthur (husband to Vice President Inonge) abrogated the agreement in 1969. The activists are calling now calling for secession and have self rule according to the international charter on human rights, if the agreement cannot be reinstated.
The four accused remain remanded in filthy jail cells alongside hard core criminals at the notorious Mukobeko Maximum security prison in Kabwe while human rights watch groups have been barred from visiting them to assess their living conditions.
The Acting Administrator General (Prime minister) has called for international intervention to compel the Zambian government to honour the agreement and also to release the Rodger Chongwe Commission of inquiry report which reveals massive human rights abuse and murder of Lozi people at the instruction of former President Rupiah Banda and his then minister of home affairs but now deputy speaker of the National Assembly Mkondo Lungu.