Editor General, Barotseland Post

Editor General, Barotseland Post

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  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR LEGALLY ACQUIRED WIFE, HUSBAND, CHILDREN or FAMILY, whether they be Zambian, Barotzish or any other nationality
  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR LEGALLY ACQUIRED PROPERTY in Zambia, Barotseland or anywhere else in the world
  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR LEGALLY ACQUIRED JOB in Zambia, Barotseland or anywhere else in the world
  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean YOU WILL BE CHASED from Zambia, Barotseland or any other country of the world
  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR TRIBE or ETHNICITY whether that tribe is Zambian or Barotzish and regardless of where you chose to live
  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean YOU WILL BE FORCED TO CHOOSE to be Zambian or Barotzish. CITIZENSHIP will be by choice and in accordance with prevailing Citizenship Laws. A Lozi can choose to be or remain Zambian and a Zambian can choose to apply for Barotseland citizenship and be a LOZI or BAROTZISH. In case of DUAL NATIONALITY, one will be able to choose to be a citizen of both Barotseland and Zambia
  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean WAR and BLOODSHED between Zambia and Barotseland
  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT between Barotseland and Zambia
  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS of TRADE and COMMERCE between Barotseland and Zambia
  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean No more MUNGU or NAKONDE rice
  • Barotseland Independence Does not mean...Please, add to this list all your fears?

There are LAWS that govern and will continue to govern Barotseland just like there are LAWS that govern Zambia. THIS CHANGE WILL BE GRADUAL rather than INSTANTANEOUS. Time will be given for everyone to make decisions about what to do with their life, families, businesses and property.

So RELAX as we look forward to a HEALTHY and HARMONIOUS bilateral relationship between Barotseland and Zambia. After all Barotseland and Zambia will be neighbors forever, hopefully.

Having looked at the background of the Barotseland Agreement and the origin of Zambia as a unitary state in the last article, we will now look at the thorny issue of the boundary of Barotseland and whether there is need for a referendum.

We will also sample some quotations from the man who created the problem before us, Kenneth David Kaunda.

The boundary of Barotseland proper has always been maintained by the Barotse though the boundaries of Barotseland North-Western Rhodesia kept changing through the numerous Orders-In-Council.

The boundary currently under claim is that of Barotseland proper as it was from 1900 to 1947 without taking areas that were regarded as her subject or dependent territories into consideration. (See Th Barotseland Boundary Case of 1903-1906 [Britain Vs Portugal] under the arbitration of Italy here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/The-Barotseland-Boundary-Case.pdf) or on the United Nations website: http://legal.un.org/riaa/cases/vol_XI/59-69.pdf

The eastern boundaries stretch from Itezhi-Tezhi to the confluence of the river Chiababi with the Zambezi (Longitude26 degrees East) (East of Livingstone) and northern boundaries shall stretch from the confluence of Lufupa river with the Kafue river, westward, to the Lungwebungu river (Longitude 22 degrees East) The boundary on the west shall stretch from Lungwebungu river (latitude 13 degrees 28 minutes south) then southward to the Cuando river, down to the confluence of the Cuando with the Luena river extending to the Katima Mulilo rapids, running along the Zambezi, eastward to its confluence with river Chiababi (Longitude 26 degrees east.)

This boundary is roughly the current Western Province but with the entire Kazungula, Livingstone and the Kafue National Park west of the Kafue river falling within Barotseland and small areas of North Western Province bordering the current Western Province.

The boundary between Barotseland and Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe remains the same as it is currently with Zambia.

Before we consider the implications on Southern, North Western and part of Central provinces, we shall first look at the issue of holding a referendum.

Holding a referendum on the lines of the one recently held by Scotland does not apply to Barotseland because there is currently no treaty in force between Barotseland and Zambia as the agreement or treaty was abrogated by Zambia and Barotseland accepted the abrogation on 27th March 2012 at the Barotseland National Council.

A referendum only applies were a treaty is in force like in the case of Scotland or Tanganyika and Zanzibar in the union of Tanzania but one of the parties wants to pull out.

Barotseland does not need a referendum to withdraw from the unitary state of Zambia because it does not exist. Both Zambia and Barotseland have no treaty obligations because of the 1969 abrogation.

Southern, Parts of Central and North Western Provinces

The dependent areas that fell within the control of Barotseland, (Trust and reserve Land) for which Barotseland was being paid by the British for taking care of them, include Southern Province, parts of Central and North western provinces.
These areas fall outside Barotseland proper but have the right to hold a referendum to choose where they want to belong whether to remain with Zambia or pull out.

Barotseland and Zambia should now commence the disengagement process which will see the exchange of defense forces and civil servants willing to relocate.

The sharing of government assets, repaying the &78.5 million pounds that Zambia looted from the Barotseland treasury,(with interest from 1965) loss of revenue from the mines, reparations and other damages will be handled by the International Court of Justice since Zambia has so far refused to cooperate.

But what will happen to those who have intermarried?

Marriage does not affect someone’s citizenship in any way; Zambians who are married to people from Rwanda or Zimbabwe still remain Zambians.

But I have properties in Zambia, what happens?

You can belong to any country without affecting your property. There are so many people with properties in Zambia like the many Chinese nationals in Zambia yet they are not Zambians but continue running businesses.

What about the Nkoyas?

The Zambian government has for a long time been using the divide and rule formula by sponsoring a few Nkoya brothers to create division.
The 1964 treaty however was signed between two countries and not tribes. It was signed between the government of Northern Rhodesia, the government of Barotseland and the British government as witnesses.

Kenneth Kaunda however later dissolved the Barotse government and renamed it as Barotse Royal Establishment and later changed the name of Barotseland through degree at a rally in Matero and named it Western Province and changed what was then called Western Province to Copper belt.

Kenneth Kaunda said the following on 26th August 1969 at Matero in a speech dubbed ‘I wish to inform the nation.’

‘Barotse Province is now to become Western Province. The present Western Province, which bears no relationship to the direction, will become Copper belt Province. Logically, Barotse Province should have been Western Province in view of the geographical location of North Western Province.’

Even before the change of name to Western Province , Kaunda defied his own Attorney General’s legal advice, the most respected legal adviser, Mr James John Skinner who, when delivering a Ministerial statement in Parliament on 18th September 1965,had advised that:

‘The legal name of Barotseland was Barotseland and not Barotse Province.’

Kenneth Kaunda had made the following assurance when he addressed the Litunga and Barotse government at Lealui on 6th August 1964:

‘I am glad that the basis of the agreement is that Barotseland is an integral part of Zambia and I can assure you, Sir Mwanawina and all members of the Barotse Royal Family and of the Barotse government, that government has no wish to interfere with the day to day running of the internal affairs of Barotseland. This is the responsibility of the Barotse government and the intention of the central government will be to give the Barotse government maximum assistance and cooperation.’

In one of Kaunda’s earlier visits to Barotseland to beg the Barotse government to proceed to independence as one with Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) Kaunda knelt down and cried before the Litunga and it was out of this action that the line ‘One land and one nation is our cry’ was picked and crafted in the Zambia national anthem.

Kenneth Kaunda has however elected to remain mute on the problem he created through his love for power

This is a comment on the reported Zambian President’s agreement to “grant referendum” to the people of Barotseland in order to resolve the “thorny Barotseland Agreement issue” and that such a referendum “will be a vote to decide either to secede or remain with other provinces in Zambia” (Zambian Watchdog, January 30, 2015).

I assume that the President was correctly reported, and wish to comment as follows:

1.0 The fact that these reported remarks were made in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, shows that Zambia’s incessant violations of the rights and privileges of the people of Barotseland, as enshrined in the Barotseland Agreement 1964 (BA’64), are now in the international public domain – and the matter can no longer be swept under the Zambian government’s blood-stained rug. I am pleased about this and know that, after being vilified for many years, those of us who have been educating the public about this scandalous injustice will soon be vindicated.

2.0 It is both disappointing and embarrassing that the Zambian President, as a supposed learned lawyer, does not understand that by terminating the BA’64, by way of the Constitution Amendment Act No 5 of 1969, the status of the Republic of Zambia as a Unitary State was also simultaneously terminated – with the consequent result that, as from the effective date of this amendment, the two constituent parts of the unitary state as consummated in 1964 (i.e. Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia, respectively) legally became free of each other. Zambia’s interpretation that the termination of the BA’64 meant that they could now govern and administer Barotseland, whether she liked it or not, is fallacious and a show of complete disrespect for the people of Barotseland. This is why the people of Barotseland have petitioned the Zambian government to appear before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague to argue their case in holding on to this interpretation and occupying Barotseland militarily and otherwise. We have interpreted the Zambian government’s refusal to appear before the PCA, as an admission of guilt. So, the people of Barotseland do not want to expend further energy and time going on a tangent trying to solve the wrong problem. The correct problems that need urgent attention are contained in the official letter of dispute written to the Zambian government on May 14, 2012 (reproduced below), and not taking us back to 1969 and asking us whether or not Barotseland should “secede or remain with other provinces in Zambia”. This matter was decided unilaterally by the Zambian government through the Constitution Amendment Act No 5 of 1969, as already explained – so, the question of a referendum, today, is totally irrelevant, too-little-too-late, ill-informed and mischievous. We have no interest going back to 1969 to correct the mistake which the Zambian government made, and which has since left us as Zambia’s slaves. We even wonder who requested the President for a referendum on the matter, for him to “grant” it; certainly, that could only have been someone who is equally ignorant about, or is in complete denial of, the current correct status of Barotseland as a free nation which has only been prevented from actualising her self-rule by the unwelcome enslavement and continued military occupation of the territory by Zambia. Could there be a sinister motive for the President’s wishful thinking about a referendum – such as a proclivity (i.e. an appetite) to rigging it? Thank goodness, a referendum is irrelevant in the circumstances!

3.0 Zambia’s brand new President should also be advised to refrain from referring to Barotseland as a Province. Barotseland did not enter into the union with Northern Rhodesia as a Province; she entered into that union as an equal partner to Northern Rhodesia – with a Head of State – the Litunga, whose signature on the BA’64 was equal in weight and essence to that of Mr. Kenneth Kaunda. We challenge the Zambian President to produce documents that show that the people of Barotseland ever agreed to the status of Barotseland being downgraded to that of a Province. Without such evidence, we wish to advise that when the Zambian President travels to Barotseland, as he has promised, he should do so knowing full well that he is going to meet with another Head of State, like himself. One of the reasons why successive Zambian governments have not made progress on the matter of the BA’64 is precisely this. They think that because they unilaterally introduced legislation in their parliament to devalue and diminish the status of the Litunga, as well as name Barotseland a Province, that things actually changed on the ground. On the contrary, all these clandestine machinations meant nothing to the status of the Litunga; neither did they affect the relationship between the Litunga and his people, or our conception of what Barotseland really is. We still revere the Litunga as our Head of State, first and foremost – and we know Barotseland to be a nation state. So, please, don’t travel to Barotseland with the attitude and mentality that you’re simply visiting a province of this imaginary, make-believe unitary state called Zambia (which actually died in 1969). The Litunga is a Head of State – and you ignore this fact at your own peril because if you do not follow the right procedures you may not even see him. The President is further advised to go to Mungu by road so that he can experience first-hand the potholes and craters on the road in that part of the country they love most – i.e. the Nkoya country.

4.0 The newly inaugurated Zambian President also needs to know that Barotseland has never been a unitary state made up of numerous independent tribal entities, as he seems to think from his reference to certain “tribes”, as if they were independent of Barotseland. Barotseland has always been a monolithic nation state, the main characteristic of which is that it is indivisible. So, the President should refrain from introducing tribalism in Barotseland.

5.0 I am also disappointed that the President has chosen to ignore the fact that on May 14, 2012, the Zambian government received an official letter concerning Barotseland’s disengagement from Zambia. (The letter can be found here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/bre_letter_of_dispute_with_zambia.pdf)

Thus, if Zambia’s new President wishes to have the Barotseland issue resolved permanently, he should work with the people of Barotseland (not unilaterally) and set up a “Working Group” to address issues pertaining to Barotseland’s total disengagement from Zambia. This is where the people of Barotseland are with this matter – not at the point of being subjected to a meaningless referendum.

6.0 I trust that these comments and free advice will assist the Zambian President take appropriate actions and undertake meaningful consultations on this matter, going forward. Democracy requires that leaders respect the wishes of the people. The above letter to the Zambian government expresses the wishes of the people of Barotseland. The process that led to the Barotse National Council resolutions referred to in the Ngambela’s letter was more democratic than a referendum. Let us not move in circles, the people have spoken.

Sitwala Imenda

Barotseland here we are at it again, the sixth Zambian republican president appearing so innocent soft but cunning, fashioned in strategic hate, wickedness is his desire, nothing hopeful for the children of Barotseland.

So dangerous is his strategy to harm and silence Barotseland forever. Look at the three strategies he plans to employ this time;

1. His hate desire to call for referendum is to apply the same rigging strategies he used to ascend to his throne…. So; rigging strategy….

2. Separate Barotseland on tribal lines by supporting the Nkoya brothers to feel marginalized by the rest and revolt against Barotseland…. So; Nkoya conflict-separation strategy….

3. Creating a wide boarder of Barotseland to mask the opinion of the true Rotse ….. So; wide voter strategy…..

As noted and resounded by most Barotseland intellectuals, we are way beyond referendum and not necessary. The BNC Limulunga declaration should be responded to not fooling us and think we can be excited… NEVER! …..The Rodger Chongwe commission of inquiry to be released, nothing more…. First in first out.

First, Barotseland should move fast and ahead to legally and intelligently seal all the gaps of suspected strategies to weaken the struggle. All I know is that the Litunga has declared his support over this issue through the Kuta. Therefore, THE LITUNGA, KING OF BAROTSELAND, THE BRE AND THE KUTA, BNFA and LINYUNGANDAMBO should be seen to be ONE with one voice and only one spokesperson …. It is war and needs to be managed well… this time around.

Second, THE GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBIA SHOULD UNCONDITIONALLY RELEASE ALL THOSE ARRESTED OVER THE BAROTSELAND FREEDOM.

Third, the people of Barotseland should all understand that the declaration for our independence was done and the Zambian Government decided not to respond to it.

Fourth, all the Barotseland activists and Barotseland people should guard themselves against saleouts and those who want to pretend to be on our side yet not. The call for separation of north western, southern provinces together with Barotseland should not blind our mission already attained.

Finally, this is just the same devil putting on a different small jacket. It’s time to pray.

BULOZI KI NAHA SHANGWE!!!!

The recent suggestion, by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to hold a referendum over the Barotseland issue is not only laughable but also embarrassing to every Zambian who loves his country and knows its fifty years history. Such a move will not only be unrealistic in Barotseland’s case but also unjustifiable due to several undeniable factors which can only be ignored by someone out rightly ignorant about the relevance of a referendum, let alone its meaning. As such, we reject the idea with due respect while understanding the mentality of those outside Barotseland who may be in its favour.

Seemingly, the Honourable President may not be aware that a referendum over the same issue actually took place in 1969. Below are some of the reasons why such an exercise may even be termed a plot from the very pit of hell. Before going any further, it is worthwhile to point out that it is an accepted view that, from the very beginning, the Zambian government never committed itself to honor the Barotseland Agreement 1964. This is proved by the deliberate enactment, from 1965 leading to 1969, of several legislations which were in direct breach of the BA ’64.

The 1969 Referendum

In 1969, after having deliberately destroyed the Barotse Native Government in its bid to completely absorb the Barotse nation, the Zambian government of the day decided to organize a national referendum from which it hoped to legalize its illegal complete takeover of Barotseland. That referendum (commonly called, “lifu la ndambo” in Lozi – directly translated as the death of a neighbour ) was subjected to the entire Zambian populace of the time. Majority of people in Barotseland had voted against joining Zambia while basically all non Barotse voted otherwise. The outcome was obvious; and based on that, the Zambian government decided to unilaterally terminate the BA’64 and renamed what they were already maliciously referring to as “Barotse Province”, “Western Province”. The original Western Province was subsequently renamed “Copper Belt Province”.

Any sensible person would have known that this was not only unjust but also day light robbery. There was no way that the population of Barotseland would have been anywhere near the population of the rest of Zambia in number. It was going to be understood to some extent had the referendum been conducted only in Barotseland as was the case in Quebec, Scotland and Cataluña in Spain. Besides that, a referendum on Barotseland was still wrong in that Barotseland only got associated with Zambia via an international treaty which the latter decided to unilaterally terminate.

Demographic Sabotage

Following the resounding “No” vote in Barotseland in the 1969 referendum, the Zambian government realized that its trick had been unmasked as some Barotse kept on calling for the honouring of the Agreement despite the referendum’s outcome. The Kaunda regime then hatched another diabolical plan of populating Barotseland with non Barotse under the guise of one Zambia one nation. Some indigenous Barotse, particularly the skilled and learned ones, where transferred to the eastern region while Barotseland was flooded with dull non Barotse; so dull that they could not even learn Lozi. On the contrary, the Barotse who went elsewhere were forced to learn local languages since the tribes they found could, for obvious reasons, hardly understand English.

The other purpose for this exercise was to create a division among Barotse nation consisting of Nkoyas, Mbundas, Luvales, Luyanas, etc. It was also in order to cause insubordination to the Litunga and senior chiefs like Senior Chief Ilukena in Mankoya or Luena. The very name change of Mankoya to Kaoma was in line with this brain wash.

Furthermore, all refugees from Angola and the Great Lakes area who refused to be relocated back to their native countries were naturalized as Zambians and resettled in Barotse territory. This was done to even those refugees who had been previously kept in places like Luapula. The idea was to corrupt our culture and customs since these resettled refugees felt indebted to the Zambians and would only want to communicate in languages foreign to Barotseland. The Radio Liseli non Lozi songs and programs issue is only another example. A financial support scheme was set up under the same guise of resettlement in order to economically empower naturalized refugees at the expense of the locals. This deliberate tempering with our demographics was done with a future localized referendum in mind when the majority will look negatively at anything to do with the Barotse nation outside Zambia.

The legality of Zambia’s Claim on Barotseland

Barotseland was never originally an integral part of Northern Rhodesia but only became associated with Zambia based on a legal document called the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. When this international treaty was breached by the Zambians, Barotseland was legally free to go it alone. However, our people wanted to do so in a peaceful manner, yet while nursing the possibility of reversing the unilateral abrogation. Barotseland finally accepted the termination on 27th March 2012. However, our previous calls for the restoration of a treaty that never saw the light of day was read as weakness on our part. The Zambians mistook our diplomacy as acknowledgement of our helpless “unity” with them.

One may understand calls for a referendum in a situation where the Agreement was being honored and where some people felt that such a legal co-existence alone was no longer enough. Ours is a situation where one party deliberately decided to get out of the Agreement. Surely the party that is left does not need a referendum to determine whether it is still part of the separated part or not. Zambia left us alone and we must fend for ourselves. This is exactly what the March 2012 Barotse National Council decided to address. There cannot be a Parallel Tabulated Votes (PTV) on that.

Conclusion

We are glad that finally President Lungu has understood the seriousness of the Barotseland issue and our determination to stand on the BNC Resolutions. It is also gratifying to learn that the honourable Zambian President, like his predecessor, also acknowledges the position Barotse activists hold on this matter. We, therefore, take this opportunity to remind His Excellency that whatever talks he hopes to hold with us will not be fruitful while the key players in the matter are still in Zambian prisons. We call upon him to unconditionally release Hon Afumba Mombotwa and the rest Barotse activists in the interest of peace. Their continued incarceration does not help anyone and as such, only makes the bad situation the Zambian Government is in worse. We already passed the time for a referendum in 1969. Now is a time for peaceful disengagement or else the Zambian Government must file its opposition to our independence claim at the International Court of Justice. Mr. Lungu has only a year to act wisely on this issue. As a lawyer himself, he surely cannot handle our justified claim unwisely.

Shuwanga Shuwanga

As copied directly from the Zambian Watchdog.

The history on how Zambia was created has remained hidden from the average Zambian through deliberate omission from the school syllabus.

Today even schooled Zambians do not understand why Zambia is called a unitary state or worse still what a unitary state is.

A unitary state is a country that is formed by more than one segment through an agreement or treaty and one common feature of such states is that they can break if the conditions agreed are not observed.

The other formation is a federal state which has similar features and conditions as unitary states. Examples include the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to which Zambia, (Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland) where part. The Federation broke up because it only benefited the settler interests in Southern Rhodesia.

The third one is a monolithic state formed out of a single entity and some examples are Zimbabwe and Angola, these states are indivisible.

Zambia is or was called a unitary state because it was created out of two separate countries namely the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia and the British protectorate of Barotseland.

Barotseland became a British protectorate in 1890 and the assurance was conveyed through Lord Knutsford in 1891.

Several assurances were made by the British among them one that read as follows; ‘The Barotse have been assured, repeatedly, that Barotseland is a Protectorate of the Crown, (and) that this status is preserved under the successive Orders-In Council and that they are only part of Northern Rhodesia as an administrative arrangement with safeguards under the Governor representing the Crown.’

A total of 27 assurances were issued by the British Crown among them 1911 Order-In-Council, the 1924 Order-In-Council, and the 1925 Barotse Fund Ordinance under which a special fund was established to fund the running of the Barotseland Government.

The 1953 Special Order- In-Council assured Barotseland Protectorate status within Northern Rhodesia before it could join the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

The Orders-In-Council are what culminated in the 1964 Barotseland Agreement because the two countries should have attained independence separately but entered a treaty to form a unitary state which Zambia did not want to respect and abrogated it in 1969 technically abolishing the unitary state of Zambia

What was agreed in this agreement?

Just like single people cannot sign an agreement to divorce yet not married, the Barotseland Agreement was not about Barotseland breaking away from Zambia but was about the two countries co-existing as one under a unitary arrangement with the motto of One Zambia One nation extracted from the Agreement which read;

‘And where as it is the wish of the government of Northern Rhodesia and the Litunga of Barotseland, his Council and the Chiefs and people of Barotseland that Northern Rhodesia should proceed to independence as one country and that all its peoples should be one nation.’

(One Zambia one nation)

Just as a marriage certificate has no clause for divorce yet there are grounds for divorce if the marriage is not respected, you will not find a clause for secession in the agreement yet there are grounds for breaking or reverting to the previous status if conditions are violated, in this case its Article 70 of the Vienna convention on the law of international treaties which applies.

There is no longer one Zambia one nation without Barotseland because Zambia divorced Barotseland through abrogation of the unity treaty but has held on to Barotseland by force having repeatedly refused to restore the agreement so that the two remain in a unitary arrangement.

The government is aware of the facts and consequences but has kept the Zambian people in the dark. It is for this reason that the Zambian government is scared of having the matter arbitrated by an international body because they know their fate.

Unfortunately for Zambia the matter is now before international bodies and will soon have to explain the truth to Zambians.

The next article will look at the extent of the boundary of Barotseland and whether there is need for a referendum to leave the failed unitary state of Zambia and the position of Southern, North Western and parts of Central Provinces.

Editor's Note: A copy of The Barotseland Agreement 1964 can be found here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/The-Barotseland-Agreement-1964.pdf

The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.