Addressing a press briefing on Wednesday morning, Chief Government Spokesperson and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dora Siliya complained that during the program dubbed ‘the Globe’ which was aired on SABC TV on Friday 20th July 2018, one of the Linyungandambo Youth League leaders, a Mr. Bright Nyambe (Secretary for International Relations) alleged that the Zambian government had deployed soldiers in Western Province who were committing atrocities and raping school children.
Hon Siliya also complained that SABC did not give the Zambian government an opportunity to respond to the allegations and further alleged that the moderator of the program exhibited unethical conduct by inciting the people of Western Province to resort to violence.
‘We will lodge an official complaint with the South African government and SABC in particular to protest a program called the globe,’ Siliya said.
During the program that also featured Linyungandambo Youth League Secretary General Chris Lubasi Kalaluka, the moderator asked why the people of Barotseland have only been protesting ‘peacefully’ for 40 years following the ‘annexing of their country by Zambia.
The Barotseland activists also gave a brief history of how the former British Protectorate of Barotseland became part of Zambia through the 1964 Barotseland Agreement which was later unilaterally abrogated by the Zambian government through parliament in 1969.
Dora Siliya claimed that it was not true that Zambia has deployed the army in Western Province as alleged by Mr. Bright Nyambe, the fact however is that Zambia has deployed hundreds of soldiers, Para-Military police and intelligence officers across Western Province since October 2010 when Barotseland related protests started following the throwing out in 2009 of all submissions by the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) to the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) on the Barotseland impasse.
The Zambia army has set up permanent military camps where they have deployed platoons in Kalabo distinct next to the airstrip, in Sesheke near the airstrip, at Sitoti in Sioma, in Mulobezi and Mongu where they also have a Para-military camp apart from the army.
Following the heavy deployment of Zambian security forces in Western Province, the HIV prevalence rate has shot up in the region in the past 3 years and there is no explanation to the reason though many local people believe it’s because of the Zambian defense forces that are camped in the region on rotation.
The Roger Chongwe Commission of Inquiry report on the January 2011 Barotseland related riots revealed that several schoolgirls in Mongu had been impregnated by Zambian security personnel in 2011. The report has however not been released by the Zambian government from the time it was handed to President Sata (late) in early 2012
SOURCE: Zambian Watchdog