Friday, January 14, 2011

(LUSAKA TIMES, DAILY MAIL) Barotse meeting illegal – Police

Barotse meeting illegal – Police
Friday, January 14, 2011, 7:37

THE Zambia Police Service has maintained that the planned meeting today by a group calling itself the Linyungandambo and the Barotse Freedom Movement (BFM) remains cancelled and protesters will be arrested if they go ahead. Western Province police commanding officer Peacewell Mweemba said the police will arrest anyone who will attempt to assemble in Limulunga.

“The organisers of the meeting have been informed that their meeting has been cancelled and those who will attempt to defy the order should be ready to collide with the law,” Mr Mweemba said.

He said the message of the cancellation of the meeting planned for today is clear and those who will want to test the law will find out what it means to break the law.

Northern Rhodesian provinces in the 1920s

The Linyungandambo group and the BFM are insisting on a meeting which they are calling the Limulunga Declaration.

Sources within the Linyungandambo and the BFM say the planned meeting will go ahead with or without a police permit. The sources said the Linyungandambo is not calling for violence and that there is no need for the police to surround the Limulunga Village, the royal home of the Litunga.

“We are peaceful people. We have always been peaceful and all we want are our rights,” one source said.
He said the message of the cancellation of the meeting planned for today is clear and those who will want to test the law will find out what it means to break the law.

So far, the situation is calm. In the market place in Limulunga, some people are not even aware of what is going on and are wondering who the Linyungandambo is representing.

Some teachers at Limulunga Basic School described the planned meeting as a scandal which Government should not allow.

The teachers said it is not right for the Linyungandambo and the BFM to cause confusion and panic in Mongu because Zambia is a country of many tribes.

The teachers said those who are threatening to expel non-Lozi-speaking people from Western Province should also start calling for Lozis outside Western Province to go back to the province.

The Western Province administration has named a Mr Maxwell Mututwa as the man who is allegedly behind the clandestine acts of calling for secession. A team of senior citizens in Mongu early in the week went to Senanga to meet Mr Mututwa to urge him to stop his activities.

The Linyungandambo and BFM have been going around homes in Mongu and Limulunga asking for donations towards the planned meeting.

Meanwhile, REBECCA CHILESHE reports that the Kuomboka Kufuluhela Committee of Lusaka has endorsed the stand of the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) that discussions on the Barotseland Agreement should focus on a unitary state.

Committee chairperson Oliver Saasa said during a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that it is important to resolve the issue.

Professor Saasa said as a cultural association, the Kuomboka committee would like to assure all ethnic groups in Western Province and outside that anyone who recognises past kings of Barotseland who brought tribes together must recognise members of these tribes as equals.

He said besides, there is no such tribe as Lozi as the Lozi group consists of many ethnic and tribal groups and the Lozi language itself is not even originally Zambian but a derivative of the Sesotho language following the invasion of the Barotseland by Kololos.

“The committee would like to call upon both Government and the BRE to provide the needed leadership in facilitating dialogue as this is the only way that unresolved issues can be dealt with,” he said.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

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