Western Province Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Mwamba has dispelled assertions of abductions of citizens and illegal detention of Barotse activists as suggested in the Catholics Pastoral letter dated January 27, 2013.
Mr. Mwamba said on several occasions he has held meetings with the Catholic Bishop of Mongu Chinyama Chinyemba to discuss the activities happening in the province.
He said during all these meetings, it was clearly discovered that there have been no illegal activities in the province.
He told ZANIS in a telephone interview today that there was no mini state of emergency in the province.
Mr. Mwamba explained that eight people that were arrested on charges of being in possession of seditious material were being tried in open courts and within the jurisdiction of the crime.
He further explained that the other 17 people who were arrested last year for tearing the draft constitution were well known people who have also been put on bail.
He said the police in Western province were doing a commendable job in the manner they were carrying out their duties.
Mr. Mwamba said in many instances the police have restrained themselves from reacting to some provocative situations.
On accusations that some people arrested in Western province had gone missing as their relatives alleged, Mr. Mwamba said all persons arrested in the two matters alluded to before have since been put on bail and no one is being held by the police.
He has since challenged any persons claiming to have not known the whereabouts of their relatives to visit his office and express their concern.
It its pastoral letter last month, the Zambia Episcopal Conference stated that “We are greatly disturbed about events surrounding the Barotse situation in Western Province. We are aware of the climate of intimidation and serious human rights violations currently prevailing in the province: abductions of citizens, arbitrary arrests and individuals being subjected to long periods of interrogations, even torture”.