CHAIRPERSON of the commission of inquiry into the January 14 Mongu riot, Roger Chongwe has asked the people of Western Province to give the Government chance to address their grievances over the Barotseland Agreement.
The people of Libonda in Kalabo yesterday protested against the commission and said they had been cheated for a long time.
Dr Chongwe said the people of Libonda were justified to protest because of the frustrations over the Barotseland Agreement by previous governments.
He, however, said the new Government of President Michael Sata had shown goodwill to find a lasting solution to the impasse over the agreement and should be given chance to do so.
“I do not think that the leadership of the province, the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) is interested in secession,” he said.
He said the BRE had seen an opportunity in President Sata to resolve the impasse over the agreement.
The residents had refused to listen to one of the commissioners, Senior Chief Bright Nalubamba when he asked them to give the Government a chance to find a lasting solution over the Barotseland Agreement as secession was not a solution.
Addressing the petitioners who mostly submitted that Western Province should secede from the rest of Zambia, Chief Nalubamba said secession would not be a solution.
“I want you people to consider this commission differently, give President Sata a chance.
“There is need for reconciliation. I believe President Sata is serious and that is why he appointed the commission,” he said.
Some witnesses submitted that they wanted the province to be independent.
Musialela Musialela, 35, of Mukola Village said he was arrested by police on January 14 even when he had not committed any offence.
Mr Musialela told the commission that he was coming from Mongu where he had gone to deposit Church money when he was arrested and detained by police.
He said while he was in prison in Mumbwa and Mongu, he, together with other detainees, was fed on food not fit for human consumption. / ends times of zambia