“We and many other reputable international organizations have consistently urged Mr Lungu to unconditionally release the three Barotseland independence leaders from Zambian jails, but he has refused to do the right thing,” said the visibly annoyed Kalimukwa, stating further that calls for their unconditional release are premised on the fact that their crimes are political.
“The three Barotseland leaders were not ordinary prisoners but political prisoners whose alleged criminality could be resolved through political and diplomatic negotiations,” stated the Linyungandambo spokesperson.
And Mr Kalimukwa has refuted some social media reports indicating that the Linyungandambo leadership has been dissolved following the death and burial of Likando Pelekelo.
He has, however, advised that, while the death of Likando is a very big blow to the Linyungandambo movement and the campaign for Barotseland in general, the struggle for Barotseland must and will continue.
He has called for all those angered by Likando’s death and burial to remain calm and continue to mourn the fallen hero in dignity as they wait for proper guidance from the movement’s leadership on the way forward.
“The struggle continues and the organization is determined to continue doing better, and we wish to assure the people of Barotseland and the world that Likando’s death is not in vain,” he said, stating further that the social media reports implying the movement has been rocked with confusion are a mere fabrication by the movement’s detractors wishing to destabilize the Linyungandambo in its moment of loss.
“The Linyungandambo movement is very saddened by Likando’s loss, but we are generally intact and shall emerge even more invigorated going forward,” concluded Kalimukwa.
Some mischievous social media reports, from some dubious and individuals, emerged on Friday evening suggesting that the movement’s leadership had been dissolved for failing to accord their fallen hero a more heroic funeral.
This followed the apparent low-key burial that was hurriedly accorded to Likando Pelekelo as his extended family members preferred a smaller tight-knit gathering instead of the more elaborate funeral arrangements proposed by the Linyungandambo and the BTG.
At the request of the family, Likando was put to rest in a solemn procession at Sikota burial site in Namalangu area of Senanga, his hometown.
The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) accorded him a two-day Moonda or Muonda, a royal holiday observed upon the death of distinguished men and women of repute or those of royal heritage.
He is survived by a wife, four sons and one daughter, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren after his other three children had died earlier while he was in prison.