Friday, July 15, 2011

4th ex-Barotse detainee dies

4th ex-Barotse detainee dies
By Mwala Kalaluka in Mongu
Thu 14 July 2011, 14:01 CAT

ANOTHER former Barotse detainee has died from a health condition that relatives say manifested shortly after his release from Mumbwa Prison where he was remanded over the Barotseland Agreement-related Mongu riots.

And burial of 92-year-old former Ngambela of Barotseland who was early this year arrested and charged with treason by the government over the Barotseland Agreement issue takes place in Senanga today.

Family members confirmed to The Post in Mongu that 26-year-old Pelekelo Likezo died at his Malelekwa home at around 19:00 hours on Tuesday after succumbing to his illness.

The deceased's brother, Lubinda Likezo said in an interview as sympathisers were waiting to take his body to Mongu Central Police and subsequently to Lewanika General Hospital Mortuary, that Pelekelo was not in poor health when he was taken to Mumbwa Prison over the Mongu riots.

“My brother was arrested on January 14, 2011 over these Linyungandambo riots. When he came back he stayed for about a month and he started having a problem of dizziness,” said Lubinda as his brother’s body lay on the roadside on a thin mattress with sombre-looking people surrounding it.

“He was admitted to hopsital on April 3, 2011 and after two weeks he started having fits and looking like someone who was getting confused.”

Lubinda said his brother was discharged from Lewanika General Hospital on April 16, 2011.

“About a week later the fits started again and he was taken to the hospital again. He was admitted and within a week, he was discharged again. The problem never stopped until after five days. Today afternoon we started noticing that he was not okay,” Lubinda said.

Lubinda said doctors at Lewanika Hospital had advised the family to take Pelekelo to the University Teaching Hospital UTH for specialist medical attention.

“But we told them that we had financial difficulties to do that,” said Lubinda. “We were still trying to do that when he died. My brother was okay when he was taken to Mumbwa over the Mongu riots.”

Pelekelo’s death brings the death toll of Barotse detainees to four within three months.

On April 18, 2011, 70-year-old Mwiya Sihope died in Lewanika Hospital early this year as a consequence of health complications that developed whilst detained in Lusaka Central Prison on a treason charge.

On April 22, 2011, 16-year-old Kabayo Kabayo died from suspected septicemia whilst detained in Mumbwa Prison awaiting the disposal of his court case in the Mumbwa surbodinate court.

Last Saturday, 92-year-old former Ngambela Maxwell Mututwa, who was also arrested and charged over the Barotse treason and remanded in Lusaka Central Prison for over a month died in his bed at his Silele Village in Senanga.

And family members have confirmed that Mututwa would be put to rest in Senanga today after lying in state at Silele Village.

Mututwa was among over 20 Lozis that were in January this year taken to Lusaka and charged with treason on allegations that they wanted to secede the Western Province from the rest of Zambia using unlawful means.

Following his release from remand prison via a nolle prosequi, Mututwa asked President Rupiah Banda's government to explain why it arrested him when all he was trying to do was to find a peaceful resolution to the Barotseland Agreement controversy.

In later interviews with The Post Mututwa had called for the unconditional release of all those detained over the Barotseland Agreement discourse so that they participate in the dialogue process.

Mututwa was emphatic that dialogue over the Barotseland Agreement issue should take place before the country went to the polls later in the year.

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