|Residents surround the body of an
unidentified youth shot dead by police at Mongu BP Filling Station on
A man was shot dead in Mongu town
after a fracas erupted between scores of irate residents and police officers
over the Barotse Agreement.
And police yesterday took Mongu's community
station, Radio Lyambai, off-air for broadcasting materials from one of the
groups advocating issues of the Barotseland Agreement.
man was shot dead by police officers at Mongu's BP Station, as they tried to
push the irate mob further away from the town centre. By 13:20 hours, the man's
body was still lying uncollected at the spot as some residents surrounded
Three other people were shot and wounded by police in separate
One of the injured was 22-year-old Caleb Ng'andu of Winela
Armed police reinforcement had been conducting patrols in Mongu and
Limulunga hours before the Barotse activists were expected to gather for their
January 14 public meeting in Limulunga.
Other police officers were
stationed at Kaande on the Mongu-Lusaka road where they were spotted checking
every vehicle that was arriving in Mongu on Thursday.
were seen at various vantages around the provincial capital searching and
screening people that were headed in the direction of Limulunga where the
Barotse activists' meeting was supposed to take place.
mounted at the Limulunga-Airport road junction, Mabumbu and two more were
mounted within Limulunga itself.
Confusion started when police officers,
led by their head of operations Dr Solomon Jere, picked up male passengers from
about four buses headed for Limulunga at Mabumbu.
The police officers
were heard asking the men who were made to sit on the grass by the roadside why
there were no women among them.
The passengers were ordered to get into
the minibuses and taken to Mongu Central Police Station under police
On the way to the police station around 10.00 hours, the convoy
of vehicles, among them the minibuses with the suspects found a barricade of a
gutted motor vehicle on the road near OK Restaurant.
Police officers had
to get out of the vehicles to clear the barricade. They also had to put out a
fire at Blue Gum grounds where they found burning tires.
blocked the roads with stones and at Kapulanga junction, a mob of irate youths
pelted some police officers that wanted to disperse them from the area using
teargas. The officers had to speed away to safety.
The police officers
managed to disperse people from the town centre, but within 30 minutes the
youths had taken over the town while engaging in acts of vandalism along the
At about 12:30 hours, slogan-chanting youths were heard putting up
resistance against police officers that were shooting in the air and firing tear
gas on Independence Avenue.
According to residents spoken to, the
situation in Mongu had become tense and they blamed the police officers and
President Rupiah Banda's government for what was happening.
to a standstill in Mongu in the morning, as shops, schools and offices were
closed in view of the anticipated violent exchanges between the police and the
By noon, sounds of gunfire were still being heard around the
A check at Limulunga Royal Village found increased police presence
in the usually quiet village.
A group of youths had converged at the
local bus station waiting to attend the public meeting as vehicles loaded with
armed police officers drove by periodically.
Police officers were seen
searching pedestrians who had resorted to walking from Limulunga to Mongu due to
the absence of public transport.
A male youth, only identified as Teddy,
was picked up by police officers who were in an unregistered Toyota Land Cruiser
outside the shops at the village's shopping centre.
As they bundled him
behind the open vehicle, one police officer was seen hitting Teddy on the back
before stepping on him.
The number of police officers at the Litunga's
palace had been increased, with armed mobile police officers patrolling the
palace. Movement close to the palace was highly restricted.
Later in the
afternoon, youths took over most parts of the town, blocking the roads with
logs, vehicle wrecks and various objects. Police were still patrolling the area
and they were later joined by the Zambia Army officers.
And about five
police officers broke into Radio Lyambai studios around 09:00 hours yesterday
and removed a console and computers, cutting off the station's
At the time of the incident, the station was broadcasting a
pre-recorded interview from the Barotse activists about the Limulunga public
Radio Lyambai station manager Mukeya Liwena confirmed that the
police officers had earlier gone to the station, demanding the compact
Liwena said this was not the first time police were trying to
interfere with the operations of the radio station.
Liwena said the
police officers were not given the CD because the person who was on duty said it
was not there.
Meanwhile, police in the early hours of Friday picked up
the husband of BFM national coordinator Grace Muyangana, Pastor Muyangana
Muyangana from his Mongu house before taking him to an unknown place. A local
musician's family was also harassed by police officers after the artiste known
as Skwiz released a song over the Barotse issue.
Kaoma-based BFM national
chairman Namushi Nyambe was also picked up in Kaoma around 18:00 hours on
Thursday after a meeting with young people.
Around 23:00 hours on
Thursday night, unknown people put up burning barricades at a section of the
Limulunga-Mongu road at Winela area.
Motorists that went close to the
barricade were stoned by unknown people standing at the
Motorists had to immediately reverse before hastily driving
back to Mongu as the unknown people continued to throw stones at
The same night, a spokesperson for one group advocating the
Barotseland Agreement went on Radio Lyambai, and told the people that the
planned Limulunga public meeting would continue as planned despite the
intensified security situation.
Another group of Barotse activists
calling itself the Barotseland Freedom Movement (BFM) on Thursday night
announced a last minute withdrawal from the public meeting on grounds that it
had not been sanctioned by the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE).