Barotse Activists Demand Commonwealth Court

By IAfrica
In Zambia
Mar 26th, 2014

Barotse RedThree Barotseland activists appeared in court today in Kaoma and demanded that the matter be transferred to a Commonwealth court as the Zambian government had no jurisdiction to try them.

Appearing before Mongu Magistrate Court sitting as Kaoma Magistrate were Nayoto Mwenda, 32, Sikwimelo Wasilota, 33 and Borison Ziba, 36 who applied that the matter could not proceed to trial because the court did not have the jurisdiction to preside over it.

The trio argued that the offence was committed in Barotseland where the Zambia government does not have jurisdiction. The trio applied that the matter be applied to a Commonwealth court because it involved two sovereign states Barotseland and Zambia.

They added that it is a violation of international law for Zambia to be a complainant and prosecutor at the same time.

Magistrate Malata said Zambia had jurisdiction to preside over matters within its boundaries. He advised the trio to seek the transfer through other means and not through his court.

The trio is charged with distributing flyers that said that the Zambian government planned a coup d’état.

Magistrate Malata adjourned the matter to April, 8 for continued trial.

Outside the court, pro-secession activists wore T-shirts bearing printings Barotseland ki naha (Barotseland is a nation).

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