Information reaching the Zambian watchdog indicates that the Zambian government’s sudden transfer of four Barotseland independence activists from Mwembeshi prison to Mukobeko maximum prison in Kabwe to commence trial was as a result of a warning from the US government.
Highly placed sources from within the country and the SADC region have revealed that the US government through its mission in Zambia delivered a human rights complaint and warning to the Zambian government over the illegal incarceration and non-trial of the Barotseland independence activists.
The Zambian government is reported to have reacted by calling an urgent cabinet meeting lasting over five hours and resolved to commence trial in August 2015.
‘We have information that the urgent cabinet meeting lasted over five hours and there was tension in the meeting caused by Chishimba Kambwili’s confrontational approach to matters,’ said one source.
Afumba Mombotwa and three other Barotseland activists have been in detention from 5th December 2014 charged with treason but the state has failed to proceed to trial and opted to keep the detainees at Mwembeshi without trial for over seven months.
Two months ago a delegation of Barotseland activists presented submissions to the US government through its mission in Botswana on the impasse with the Zambian government over Barotseland’s statehood.
The last time Chishimba Kambwili featured on a local radio station discussing the Barotseland issue he had issued threats that the government would meet the people of Barotseland heard on if they continue pushing to secede from Zambia.