Two protestors are feared dead when police opened fire on a crowd in Mongu, Western Province.
A previously unknown group calling itself the Barotse Freedom Movement (BFM) organized the protest to raise awareness about the need to restore the 1964 Barotse Agreement.
Police immediately moved in as protestors gathered in the morning for the protest and dispersed the gathering saying it is illegal.
Three police officers are reportedly to have been injured in the ensuing confusion and a vehicle from mobile operator company – MTN was burnt to ashes.
Some Mongu residents joined the protest because Mongu has had no electricity since Thursday.
A contractor working on the Sesheke-Mongu Road, accidentally knocked out a ZESCO transformer with his bulldozer. This transformer feeds Sesheke and Mongu.
It remains unknown at what stage the two protestors could have died. Police have yet not confirmed the protests or the reported injury and death.
Calm was this afternoon restored with business resuming in Mongu.
Recently the BFM wrote a letter to President Rupiah Banda and copied it to all diplomatic embassies to demand that the new constitution restores the Baroste Agreement that guaranteed autonomy Western Province to the Litunga. They also threatened to secede from Zambia if their demands are not met.
They have embarked on some activities to raise the profile of Barotseland as an autonomous state within the state. A red flag with white stripes has been seen around while the Litunga uses a similar flag red flag with a black elephant in the middle of a white background.
The 1964 Barotse Agreement was cast away in immediately it was signed and its elements ignored and reneged by Zambia’s first president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. Kaunda promoted a united nation that took all different tribes especially those that had a semblance of a “nation” the Bemba, Ngonis, Tonga s and Lozis.
In 1999, government banned the Barotseland Patriotic Front (BPF) of Imasiku Mutangelwa, when his alliance group in Caprivi Strip, Namibia called the Caprivian Liberation Army tried to take over Caprivi. The Barotse Freedom Movement seems to be a reincarnation of the Barotse Patriotic Front.
Recently the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) an official entity of the Litunga (Paramount Chief Imwiko) called for the restoration and reenactment of the Barotse Agreement in the new constitution.
But police may charge the leaders of the BFM with treason as Zambia is unitary state.
Intelligence information is linking one journalist as among the organizers and leaders of the Barotse Freedom Movement.