Sep 17, 2015

Barotseland: Solidarity Demonstration outside Livingstone High Court

A number of members of the Barotse community have recently been subjected to police discrimination. Four activists have been charged with treason and are detained in the Mukobeko jail as they await trial. Additionally Mr Boyd Nyambe, a freedom activist, was severely beaten by the authorities whilst in custody in Lukulu. Mr Nyambe was initially denied medical assistance despite near fatal wounds, until police gave way to pressure from Barotse Nationals. Further to these events, in Livingstone another activist, Mr Kaingu, was arrested for possessing Barotse literature and is now awaiting trial. A number of Barotse showed their solidarity for these events by standing outside Livingstone High Court.

The below article is from the Barotseland Post:


The state has asked for adjournment in the case where four Barotse activists, Afumba Mombotwa, Sylvester Kalima Inambao, Likando Pelekelo and Paul Masiye Masiyaleti are charged with treason. The trial in the matter which carries a maximum of death sentence if convicted will now come up on 23rd September at the Kabwe High Court.

According to the Zambian Watchdog, when the matter came up before Kabwe high Court this morning, the state prosecution team applied that the matter be adjourned in spite of having shown vigour to prosecute the matter and having transported state witnesses from Southern and western provinces at a cost to the treasury.

The court has adjourned the matter to 23rd September 2015. The accused Barotseland leaders, who were all in very high spirits, remain remanded in filthy conditions at the notorious Mukobeko maximum security prison.

In another development, the Zambia Police in Lukulu have arrested a Barotse National in connection with the Barotse Independence writings on the vehicles which belong to the Zambian government local administration in Barotseland. The area District Commissioner Mr. Morris Litula whose nephew was one of those killed in cold blood by Zambia Police on 14th January, 2011, has confirmed the arrest of Boyd Nyambe in an interview with Barotseland Watchdog.

Boyd Nyambe is alleged to have painted the vehicles and buildings that belong to the local district Council, the DEBS' office, Social Welfare, Health, Zambia Police, National Registration and Passport Office, and the District Administrator's office with Barotseland Independence related messages.

Boyd Nyambe is currently in Police Custody to help with the investigations. He was found with the oil paint allegedly used in the graffiti. The arrest of Boyd is the second arrest in a couple of weeks after another Barotse was arrested for Barotseland related news articles he allegedly downloaded from the world wide web deemed seditious by the Zambian state.


The below article is from the Barotseland Post:

The Barotse detainee that was assaulted by three police officers in Lukulu has finally accessed medical attention after pressure from Barotse Nationals. The Lukulu Police had earlier denied him medical attention until he almost died due to excessive beating by the three police officers on duty.

According to the medical report from the hospital, Boyd Nyambe was found with internal injuries, swollen tissues, bleeding body organs and blurred vision which were as a result of the torture by the three police officers.

According to an analysis from a medical officer internal bleeding is one of the most serious consequences of physical assault. Usually, the bleeding results from obvious injuries that require rapid medical attention. If the bleeding continues or is severe, surgery is required to correct it. Boyd Nyambe has suffered what is called “Blunt trauma.” This kind of trauma happens when a body is assaulted or collides with something else. Blood vessels inside the body are torn or crushed either by shear forces or a blunt object. Examples are car accidents, physical assaults, and most falls.

The medical doctor explained further that it’s most obvious that Boyd Nyambe has suffered the following:

1. Head trauma –results into blurred vision (Further medical examinations must be done to see if he has any internal bleeding (intracranial hemorrhage).

2. Bleeding around the lungs (hemothorax).

3. Bleeding around the heart (hemopericardium and cardiac tamponade)

4. Tears in the large blood vessels near the center of the body (aorta, superior and inferior vena cava, and their major branches).

5. Damage caused by trauma to the abdomen such as liver or spleen lacerations or perforation of other soft organs

The Medical doctor concluded by saying that in the large majority of cases of internal bleeding like that of Boyd Nyambe that results from trauma, the injury is obvious and serious. As such he was supposed to be treated as a medical emergency. The injured person needs to be evaluated in a hospital emergency room which has full facilities. If a thorough examination is not done, the symptoms get worse and may result in death later on.

The police have since denied him police bond.

In related news, the Police Officers who were on duty in Lukulu on the night Boyd Nyambe went round painting vehicles and buildings, were allegedly drunk and sleeping on duty. The District Commissioner of Lukulu held a closed door meeting with the police officers to discuss the unprofessional security situation at the station. He told them that it was a very big embarrassment for someone to come and do all sorts of activities without the officers' knowledge then later on beat the victim to death to cover up the shame.

According to sources present in the meeting the officers apologized to the DC.


The below article is from the Barotseland Post:


Scores of Barotse clad in traditional Musisi and Siziba today turned up at the Livingstone high court in solidarity for Kaingu, who was arrested last month for allegedly possessing Barotseland literature downloaded from the internet.

Mr. Kaingu's case has, however, been adjourned to 29th September 2015.

Kaingu was arrested last month on 24th August 2015 in Livingstone after a Zambia police raid on his house found him with documents obtained from the internet. He was detained and later charged with being in possession of seditious material.

However, ever since that time, trial has not commenced due to what Barotse sympathizers have said is lack of credible evidence by the prosecution to support claims of sedition.

He is now out on five thousand Zambian kwacha police bond.

Meanwhile, another Barotse arrested and detained in Lukulu district for allegedly writing Barotseland patriotic messages on a Zambian government vehicle and building, Boyd Nyambe, is still in police custody as he awaits trial. He has not yet been charged.

Boyd is also reported to have been severely tortured while in custody, in what appears to be a clear violation of his human rights as an accused that must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Although he has started receiving medical treatment, relatives fear that he may be moved to another district of Mongu or Mumbwa far away because Lukulu does not have a resident magistrate.

His health is reportedly deteriorating due to deplorable holding cell conditions.


Photo Courtesy of Helle Lauridsen