ACTS of intimidation by Zambia Police will not stop the people of Barotseland from realising their dreams of attaining total freedom, says Barotseland prime minister (Ngambela) Wainyae Sinyinda.
Police have warned and cautioned Sinyinda and the Barotse Royal Establishment's Induna Mukulwakashiko on a treason charge of trying to separate Barotseland from Zambia using force.
But members of the public in the area have come to the defence of the duo who have since been taken to a secret location with instructions that they should not report themselves to the Police again.
And Sinyinda, in an interview, said the BRE will inform the international community because matters surrounding the Barotseland Agreement were not criminal but political in nature and require dialogue.
"Intimidation by police has never resolved any problem and their action to summon and accuse me of treason is unfortunate but together with my people, we can't be intimidated and I shall stand strong and continue speaking on behalf of the people of Barotseland," Sinyinda said.
"The Zambia Police are trying to frustrate me by saying that I am leading people who want to secede from the rest of Zambia but the Ngambela is like an elected President representing people and it is not myself alone (Sinyinda) who made those resolutions but people, so let them warn and caution the entire Western Province but what the police should know is that people are following up this issue with interest and we shall inform the international community about these matters."
And sources disclosed that police and other security wings were under pressure to show that they were in control following the BNC resolutions that Western Province must break away from Zambia.
"Senior officers are panicking and this is why the interview (summon) with the Ngambela was done quietly because people can rise and anything can happen, the senior officers are scared that the commander in chief (President Michael Sata) can castigate them the way he did to Dr Malama (former police IG) that 'my police chief is even smiling when some people have formed a cabinet in Western Province.' So this is the dilemma the officers are in and to prove that they are on top of things summoned the Ngambela on Thursday evening," said the sources.
And Western Division police commissioner Fanwell Siandenge confirmed that Sinyinda was on Thursday summoned and later released after police recorded a warn and caution statement.
"Sinyinda was not arrested but he came on his own after being summoned and we warned and cautioned him over treasonable statements that were issued recently. We are still studying the matter and we might summon him again for further questioning," said Siandenge.
"The security situation is normal although we noticed incidents of tension in Limulunga area after some people started saying that the Ngambela has been arrested at Mongu Central but so far so good."
The government has set up a military command post in Mongu composed of three platoons (a company of about 100 soldiers) from the fifth battalion at Luena Barracks and a paramilitary unit from Sondela camp and other security wings to monitor happenings following the BNC meeting held earlier this week.
And Induna Mukulwakashiko, whose real names are Batuke Imenda, said in an interview from a secret location yesterday that they were summoned to Mongu Central Police Station over the just-ended Barotse National Council that resolved that Barotseland should secede from Zambia.
He said they were called to the police station on Thursday afternoon.
Induna Mukulwakashiko, who chaired the two-day BNC meeting that took place at St Lawrence Catholic Church grounds in Limulunga early in the week, narrated that whilst they were waiting to meet officials from the Western Province police command, they received a call summoning them to the police station.
"When we arrived at the police station we were taken into separate rooms; the Ngambela was taken into a different room and I was taken into another," he said.
"We were questioned by a task force of police officers from Lusaka and they told us that there were investigations they were conducting in relation to the Barotse National Council."
Induna Mukulwakashiko said following the interrogation, they were warned and cautioned on a treason charge for allegedly trying to procure the separation of Western Province from Zambia through forceful means.
"They asked the Ngambela if he had anything to say on the warn and caution and he explained whatever he could explain but when it came to me I said I would remain silent," he said.
"They told us that they would release us in the time being but that we would be called back before them later."
Induna Mukulwakashiko said they were only released at around 18:00 hours.
He said the police officers asked Ngambela Sinyinda to avail himself before them again yesterday at 10:00 hours with copies of the opening and closing speeches that he delivered during the BNC.
Induna Mukulwakashiko said they appeared before the police officers without informing their people for fear of raising alarm.
"We did not want them to say that we were hiding behind the people,"
Induna Mukulwakashiko said. "The people only got wind of it very late after we had come back and that is when they came and told us that we would now be under their protection and that is when they took us to a secret location."
Induna Mukulwakashiko said the people had since advised the Ngambela not to avail himself before the police officers again because it was not in order.
"We are aware that we have been surrounded," said Induna Mukulwakashiko.
Sources told The Post that several people from the province's districts have converged in Limulunga to protect Ngambela Sinyinda from state harassment.
Three truckloads of police reinforcements were also seen driving towards Mongu on Thursday night and the Zambia Police Command has also dispatched senior Police Intelligence Officers to Mongu to carry out investigations.
Night patrols comprising local and police officers from the line of rail have been intensified around the area following the BNC's declaration that Barotseland was now free to seek self-determination and chart its destiny following the abrogation of the Barotseland
Agreement by the Zambian government.
Last year, the MMD government under former president Rupiah Banda charged 23 Lozis, who included a 92-year-old Western Province former Ngambela Maxwell Mututwa, of treason following the January 14, 2011 Barotseland Agreement-related Mongu riots.
President Sata during his election campaign condemned the manner in which Banda's government handled the Barotseland issue and pledged to act differently.
- Railway romance ends in tragedy for Mazabuka girl
- Kambwili, Bwalya go for each other
- Petersen denies being arrested over 'Bufi'
- Ozzy lights up Killie B
- Sata opens State House doors to ordinary people
- Mpombo aims high
- Bwalya scandalised the Church - Mpasa
- 55 survive bus accident
- Govt blocking me from registering political party - Bwalya
- Govt won't close any learning institution over protests - Sata