Zambian Watchdog

Chongwe recommends restoration of Barotseland but Sata says he is reluctant

February 23
12:58 2012
President Michael Sata says he will be reluctant to recommend to Cabinet the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.

President Michael Sata says this is because restoring the Barotseland agreement would  cause the other native authorities in the country to rise up and demand secession a situation that would likely destabilize the country.

The president has also wondered why the Commission of inquiry into the Mongu riots has not indicated the benefits of restoring the Barotseland agreement.

President Sata was speaking at State house when the commission of inquiry constituted to investigate the Mongu riots of last year presented its report.

The President has also announced the dissolution of the local government service commission board.Earlier commission chairperson Roger Chongwe recommended that the constitution amendment of 1969 which nullifies the legitimacy of the Barotseland Agreement be repealed.Dr. Chongwe in his submissions to the President recommended that after the constitution amendment has been repealed, the government should then consider restoring the Barotseland agreement of 1964.

Dr. Chongwe also noted that the Mongu riots were caused by the failure by Zambia police to issue a permit to the people of western province who waited to have a peaceful meeting.He also observed that the abrogation of the Barotseland agreement has led to agitation among the Lozi speaking people because of high poverty levels.He further disclosed that the investigations also revealed that the police were very unprofessional in the manner in which they handled the riots and has since called on the government to consider investing in the non-lethal riot equipment.

Dr. Chongwe also observed that the former Vice president George Kunda lied to parliament when he justified the use of live ammunition by police during the riots and has since called for the prosecution of Mr. Kunda in line with parliamentary regulations.He further recommended that the people of western province be compensated by government for any loss all damage that they could have suffered.

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