Forty-six suspects charged in court

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Zambia Police Public Relations Officer

FORTY-SIX people suspected of being in possession of seditious materials yesterday appeared in the Mongu Magistrates’ Court.
The suspects, who were in court for mention, are charged with seditious practices and possession of seditious materials.
Western Province commissioner of police Lombe Kamukoshi, who confirmed this yesterday, said the suspects appeared in three groups.
She said some suspects are likely to be slapped with more charges depending on advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
“For now, they are charged with seditious practices and possession of seditious materials but depending on the advice of the DPP, they can face more charges,” she said.
Meanwhile, police in Western Province have arrested one more suspect in the crackdown on proponents of the secession of Barotseland, bringing the number to 46.
Some suspects eluded the police, who thwarted their attempt to hoist a flag.
Ms Kamukoshi confirmed the arrest in an interview from Mongu yesterday and identified the man as Adrian Nsofu.
She said Nsofu was found hiding on the Zambia-Angola border on Monday.
“We arrested another person who ran away from the police last week. He is from Kalabo and he was brought here [Mongu] on a canoe,” she said.
She said Nsofu will be charged jointly with other activists who were arrested earlier.
Ms Kamukoshi said police will ensure all those on the run are arrested and prosecuted.
Among the fugitives is chairperson of Linyungandambo Afunda Mombotwa who proclaimed himself as administrator-general of Barotseland and Masialeti Masiye, a teacher at Sioma Secondary school in Kalabo.
Linyungandambo secretary Etambuyu Akapelwa is among those arrested last week.
And Western Province permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba said the situation in the region is calm and people are going about their business normally.
On Monday, Mr Mwamba suspended four civil servants, who participated in last week’s protests.
Meanwhile, Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ) has urged public service workers to stay away from the activities of the Linyungandambo association.
CSAWUZ president Davy Chiyobe said civil servants should not entangle themselves in such activities.
Mr Chiyobe said in an interview yesterday that it is a well-known fact that all members of CSAWUZ should not take a partisan stance on the Barotseland question.
“I would like to urge our members to desist from participating in these [Linyungandambo] activities… let them stay away,” he said.
“Why should public service workers involve themselves in activities of the Linyungandambo, which is an illegal organisation?”
He said the Barotseland issue is highly controversial and public service workers should leave it to Government.
Mr Chiyobe said the labour movement is interested to know the charges that would be slapped on the four suspended civil servants.

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