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 2011-03-29 02:56 pm Back to NEWS
Compensate Barotse victims — SACCORD
Lee Habasonda

The government must compensate all the people whose rights were violated during the Barotseland conflict, says Lee Habasonda.

Commenting on the amputation of Mongu resident Davison Siyoto's right leg after his kneecap was shattered during police shootings in Mongu on January 14, 2011, Habasonda, who is Southern Africa Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes SACCORD executive director, said all victims needed to be compensated by the government.

“While we appreciate that the government is undertaking government business, there is need, at the end of the day, to be human in the manner they treat Zambians,” Habasonda said in an interview.

“The amputation of Mr Siyoto’s leg sends chilling effects throughout the country where the leadership doesn’t seem to care for people it thinks offended them. And it is SACCORD’s belief that the government must compensate not only Siyoto, but all the people whose rights were violated during the Barotseland conflict.”

Habasonda said President Rupiah Banda must actually declare an amnesty for all those people that were arrested during the fracas in Mongu.

“We had written President Banda about these matters but now I am saying that we are publicly appealing to the President to give amnesty to all the Barotse loyalists,” he said.

Habasonda said such a move would help reduce the tension that was currently existing between the government and the people of Western Province.

He said this being an election year, there was need for the government to take deliberate steps to reduce tension wherever it can.

During the Mongu fracas, two people were shot dead and several others were injured whilst another took his life out of fear of arrest.

Vice-President George Kunda last month in Parliament justified the killings and use of live ammunition by police in Mongu, saying police officers are allowed to use firearms in exceptional circumstances.




 
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