Three Defiant Barotseland Activists Jailed
THE Kaoma magistrate court has convicted three Barotseland activists three years each with hard labour for publication of false news with intent to cause fear or alarm to the public contrary to the laws of Zambia.
Magistrate Julius Malata convicted the trio on Friday.
The magistrate said the case committed by the three activists Nayoto Mwenda 32, Boris Muziba 36 and Sikwibele Wasilota 33 was a misdemeanor but that their conduct during the court process was not good.
Magistrate Malata convicted the trio accordingly as the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
Malata said the court imposed serious punishment in order to deter future would be offenders adding that the trio did not show remorse even after being arrested by police officers.
He said Zambia was a unitary state that even included Western province and whether Zambian or non-Zambian as long as the offence has been committed in Zambia everyone is amenable to the judicial system of the country.
Magistrate Malata said he could not allow people committing offences with impunity whether Zambians or non-Zambians adding that the three year sentence will be with effect from January 6, 2014.
But in mitigation, the trio maintained that the case be transferred to the commonwealth court which is impartial as the matter was an international one.
Nayoto Mwenda said the matter cannot be tried by an illegal and biased Zambian court while Sikwibele Wasilota said the matter concerns two countries of Barotseland kingdom and Zambia hence the case be taken to an independent court.
However, Magistrate Malata said he has heard their mitigation adding that the matter committed was a serious one and sentenced the trio to three years each with hard labour.
He said that if they were not happy with the court’s outcome, the trio was free to appeal to the high court within 14 days.
Immediately after the verdict of the three Barotseland activists in a fully parked Kaoma magistrate court amidst tight police security, Barotseland sympathizers started crying while others were singing solidarity songs when the trio were being whisked away to Kaoma State prisons.