Editor General, Barotseland Post

Editor General, Barotseland Post

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As I pull myself together to start punching the key board for this write - up, polling stations across Zambia , including Barotseland by default , are busy counting the ballot papers. This means the dice has been cast and the decision has been made in as far as who takes over the mantle of leadership and the instruments of power in Zambia after the demise of one, Michael Chilufya Sata, MHSRIEP. Mr. Sata became famous for his campaign promise to do ‘ everything ’ in ninety (90) days when he becomes president , the ninety days prior to his replacement on the Zambian ‘throne’ have been characterized by mayhem and frenzy and a s well as so much paradox and inconsistencies as to boggle the mind. No wonder someone ended up wishing to go to the moon until the dust in ‘Zed’ settles down.

Watching from the terraces as Mwana’Mulozi , one can only conclude that indeed , ‘A revolution is not a tea party or an invitation to dinner , it is a violent overthrow of one class by another,’ said Chairman Mao Tse Tung of China . The manner in which presidential candidates traversed the land in search of votes, made it seem like a matter of life and death , no wonder we have seen unprecedented levels of violence prior to the actual voting day. This was due to the heat of the intellectual and moral combat spilling over into physical confrontation and violence in the negative sense. If the Zambia presidential candidates can engage each other so fiercely for an opportunity to go to plot one, let no Mwana ’ Mulozi think we can achieve Barotseland statehood by sitting idle, being armchair critics of those in the forefront and only participating by asking the famous question; “Luzamaela kai?” (How far are we?). There is no way we can move to our desired destination while sited in our ‘ Lazy - man’s rocking chair ’ , ever in motion but going nowhere. Actualizing Barotseland statehood is a serious revolution! It cannot be overemphasized that: ‘A revolution is not a tea party or an invitation to dinner; it is a violent overthrow of one class by another ’. I should not be misunderstood to advocate for violence in the negative sense. There is such a thing as being combative intellectually, morally, legally and using many other non - violent ‘violent ’ means to achieve a desired goal. They called it non - violent civil disobedience in the civil rights movement of America and the velvet revolution in the Arab Spring of most recent years

The ‘Zambian game of thrones’ means almost nothing to Barotseland because it is about another country. It is very unfortunate that it ha s actually extended to Barotseland , which has already decided to separate from the rest of Zambia. The auxiliary value of the current presidential elections to Barotseland is to produce the next occupant of the Zambia state house who has to be engaged on the actualization of Barotseland statehood as soon as he or she is sown in to office . In fact , I do not envy Zambia ’ s sixth president at all because we do not intend to give him or her the luxury of a honey - moon even for a week after the swearing in ceremony . As advocates for the statehood of Barotseland and activists for Barotseland ’ s Right to self - determination, we are in a hurry to actualize the aspiration of the people of Barotseland who strongly BELIEVE in their RIGHT to SELF - DETERMINATION and SELF - RULE

Barotseland issue, which has haunted Zambian politicians of all ages whether they admit it or not. The exchange of opinion and ideas on the Barotseland issue clearly demonstrate that it is a crucial issue that cannot be taken lightly by any sane person that aspires to occupy Zambia ’ s highest office. Sometimes people think that the Barotseland issue in Zambia is a none - issue once they enter in to state house . However, it has been a key election issue especially since the dawn of democracy in a multiparty environment in 1991. It can actually be said that some politicians as crafty and subtle as snakes have used the issue to gain entrance into state house. Let no one be deceived that the Barotseland issue is a none - issue in as far as Zambia is concern ed for it is the foundation of Zambia as a jurisdiction. This time round , it is even more crucial in the wake of the March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) resolutions , which have rendered Zambia a failed unitary state when the people of Barotseland finally opted out since she cannot continue to be part o f a union that ha s been trivialized , violated and unilaterally abrogated with scornful impunity by the other party .

Among the current crop of men and one woman running for the office of president for the failed unitary state of Zambia, the one that spoke with so much clarity over the Barotseland issue is Dr Ludwig Sondashi, a constitutional lawyer and native of Kaonde land in what is today called the North - western province of Zambia. I must confess , it felt so relieving and indeed refreshing to hear someone speak with so much clarity about Barotseland’s right to self - determination and self - rule . The learned Sondashi clearly stated among other things that:

1.    Barotseland is not a province of Zambia and , therefore , not like any province of Zambia. It was (until 27th March 2012) in fact a state within a state just like it was a protectorate within a protectorate from 1911 to 1964.

2.    Zambia cannot be Zambia as we know it without Barotseland and the Barotseland Agreement 1964 on one side and Barotseland cannot be part of Zambia without the Barotseland Agreement 1964 on the other side .

3.   The decision as to whether Barotseland should be part of Zambia (upon the restoration of the BA ’ 64 of course) or pursue its own independent statehood (as per the March 2012 BNC Resolutions) is a preserve of the people of Barotseland alone without the interference of the rest of Zambia

The position of Dr. Sondashi is not an afterthought but clearly spelt out in the Forum for Development Alternatives manifesto . What is interesting is that the learned Kaonde man has not been cited for treason or treason felony by the powers that be . Neither has his party been outlawed for being divisive nor his manifesto classified as being seditious material

Another candidate who made his position clear on Barotseland was Dr Nevers S. Mumba , of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy who , among other things said that he will immediately embark on preparations for a Barotseland exclusive referendum to determine the course to be taken by Barotseland and its people, if elected to be the sixth president of the failed unitary state of Zambia . While other people and activists saw no need for a referendum when the people of Barotseland have already decide to separate from the rest of Zambia through the BNC resolutions, I am glad that the man of God w as conscious enough to at least know that t he Barotse reserve the right to determine their future. After all I BELIEVE the Barotse people are so fade up of the Zambian fallacy that no matter how many times you ask them in whatever form — BNC, referendum or otherwise — their answer is the same — self - determination and self - rule — just as they resolved in the March 2012 BNC resolutions. The other Candidates were mute about the issue except, Eric Chanda, leader for the Fourth Revolution who opened his mouth only to expose his total ignorance about the whole issue.

A number of things come to the fore in my min d at least, as a result of the electioneering debate , among which are :

1.    No Mwana ’ Mulozi from whatever walk of life should ever shy away from speaking freely about Barotseland ’ s Right to self - determination and self - rule or indeed participating in any way possible, from now henceforth because “ IT IS NOT TREASON TO SEEK FREEDOM! ” Dr. Ludwig Sondashi our traditional cousin ’ s example is there for all to see .

2.    Let it be known that it does not matter who wins the race to plot one. The people s of Barotseland are determined to actualize Barotseland statehood.

3.    There shall be no honeymoon or relaxing after the electioneering marathon. Zambia ’ s sixth president must touch the ground running over the issue of Barotseland.

4.    The Barotse people should be prepared to declare to the world at any time and in any w ay, that they BELIEVE IN BAROTSELAND’s RIGHT to SELF - DETERMINATION and SELF - RULE, nothing will change that. No matter how many times they are asked and w h at ever method is used. T he people of Barotseland should demonstrate that they have declared as per the March 2012 resolutions .

The people of Barotseland can hardly wait for the declaration of the sixth president of the failed unitary state of Zambia so as to prepare to lock horns with him or her on the transitional arrangements towards the Barotseland statehood . This is an issue that the past five presidents have not dared to do . By handling this issue he or she will stand up head and shoulder above his or her predecessors - BNFA.INFO

Zambia's sixth president Edgar Lungu must touch the ground running over the issue of Barotseland, there is no honeymoon on this issue. Our 2012 BNC resolutions are clear and empathetic. Barotseland's right to self rule cannot be denied to her by any one as it hinges on public international law. We believe in the right to self determination and nothing can change our resolve even in the face of death.

During the run up to Zambia's sixth presidential election, Ludwig Sondashi and Nevers Mumba freely discussed this issue and none was arrested and charged with treason. Why should it only become treason when discussed by Lozi nationals? This exposes Zambia's double standards and it should be a wakeup call to all the people of Barotseland that Zambia holds worst consideration for Barotseland. The utterances of Dr. Ludwig Sondashi are worthy reading knowing that they come from a Zambian constitutional lawyer:-

  • "Barotseland is not a province of Zambia and, therefore, not like any province of Zambia. It was (until 27th March 2012) in fact a state within a state just like it was a protectorate within a protectorate from 1911 to 1964.
  • The decision as to whether Barotseland should be part of Zambia (upon the restoration of the BA’64 of course) or pursue its own independent statehood (as per the March 2012 BNC Resolutions) is a preserve of the people of Barotseland alone without the interference of the rest of Zambia"

One is confronted with a question, though, why the Zambian government did not arrest and charge Dr. Sondashi of treason felony? Neither has his party been outlawed for being 'divisive' nor his manifesto classified as being 'seditious' material, as many other Zambians commented on this issue but were left Scot free without arrest. This accords a rare window into the thinking and rationale of the Zambian government's views on the Barotseland issue. Therefore, Lozis from all walks of life should now be speaking freely about Barotseland's Right to self-determination and self-rule or indeed participating in any way possible because IT IS NOT TREASON TO SEEK FREEDOM.

We expect the Barotseland patriot for independence and the BRE to engage the new Zambian president Edgar Lungu to immediately start the negotiations of disengagement as tricksters will never be tolerated. Remember that this is the man who exhibits worst considerations of Barotseland and never said anything about it during his presidential message campaigns. We expect tougher time ahead with this man from the way he handled it when he was a minister of Home affairs and Defense; he militarized our territory, arrested our activists and detained them for months without trial, even now the Administrator General of Barotseland provisional government and others are still incarceration at Mwembeshi state prison. The people of Barotseland will not take it kindly with Zambia should the issue of Barotseland not be given serious considerations it deserves and the Lukewarm altitude of the BRE will not be accommodated.

Barotseland forward

By Saleya Kwalombota

I do not delight in talking of the recent Zambian presidential by-election results for the reason that Zambia as a unitary state no longer exists. However, it is worthy analyzing the outcome of the presidential results. It is worthy of note that the outcome of Zambia's presidential by-election has exposed that Zambia is indeed a divided country, contrary to the one 'Zambia one nation' slogan misinterpreted to be the uniting of 73 Zambian ethnic tribes. However, this result has not come as a surprise to most, because since Independence, Zambia has never had a president from the region that was once under Barotseland North western Rhodesia, unless anointed by a Bemba clique within the ruling party e.g the late Levy Mwanawasa. The vote has clearly being divided along the lines of the old boundaries of Barotseland North Western Rhodesia on one side and the North Eastern Rhodesia on the other, with the latter voting predominantly for the wining candidate, Edgar Lungu, in the 20th January 2015. This in itself is not the worrying issue, but what is very worrying is the backlash being received by the tribes hailing from the other side who opted to vote for the losing candidate, Hakainde Hichilema, who are now being called all sorts of unprintable words and names for not having voted for their winning candidate!

For the past 50 years, Zambia has been running a scheme to oppress and hurt Lozi nationals and ethnic tribes of North western Rhodesia. Talking to any Lozi hailing from Barotseland from all the walks of life, except those whose stomachs are fed by the PF oppressive regime, they will confess that they are genuinely hurt. The hatred for the Lozi nationals and tribes of former North western Rhodesia is rife in every sphere of life in Zambia and now it has even turned into a terminally illness without cure, hence the justifiable call of the Patriots for Barotseland independence. Lozis are not seeking attention, but respect of their inalienable right of self determination. Zambia is a Christian nation and as Christians believe, in particular, that without shedding of Jesus's blood, there could be no salvation. The blood of Jesus Christ still speaks even today. In the same vein the Barotseland activist’s blood that was shed in 2011 is speaking up to now until the reason it was shed for is accomplished, there is no turning back.

It should not be forgotten that the ‘One Zambia and One Nation’ slogan was corrupted by the Kaunda regime, contrary to a social unifying slogan as many people perceive it today, but an anthropological and sociological scheme formulated to devalue the status of the Lozis in Zambia and its results can be seen on the faces of many Lozis in Barotseland. Unfortunately, despite their education, intelligence and being predisposed to leadership, many elite Lozis of profound standing bought into the slogan for the sake of their stomachs, selfishness and greediness which has led Barotseland to its present day enslavement. It is not a hidden fact that most of the prominent Lozis that became Dr. Kaunda’s close associates became Lozi sell-outs. Even today, they will never stand for the noble cause of freeing Barotseland from the yokes of discrimination, poverty, illiteracy and disease which came as a result of bonding Barotseland to thieves. And today the hatred for the Lozis and North western Rhodesian tribes is no longer a secret, but it has been professionalized.

In Zambia today, it is neither a crime nor a sin for most of the private radio and television stations located in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, which are licensed to broadcast in English as the official language but instead, have resorted to using only two native languages, that is, Bemba and Nyanja. Even the national’s Public Broadcaster ZNBC, despite English being the official language, their DJs and TV presenters have also resorted to only using two native languages in addition to English to the displeasure of well meaning Zambians.

If the time for the Lozi people has come for them to restore their territory, why should a person who does not hail from Barotseland stop them in the first place? Zambia has no powers, whatsoever, to continue enslaving the Lozi nationals. The people are tired of discrimination, segregation, poverty, arrests and subjugation.

Barotseland forward

By Saleya Kwalombota

This question is cardinal as Barotseland's self governing is about to commence. As such the question requires a candid answer in order to remove a lot of unnecessary misgivings by cobwebs in the wider spectrum of society of Zambia including those who peddle lies and hold the worst consideration about Barotseland.
In this exercise, the following details are brought to light as they offer contradictory views by people who lack knowledge of the subject, while others take it as a deliberate move to satisfy their evil egos. Therefore, the information produced in the publication of the weekly Post of 31/12/1992 to 7/01/1993 is good enough and is given as follows:-

Personality (Arthur N. L. Wina , First Minister of Finance in 1964), Utterance,

"Somebody must produce receipts, we must have evidence of money , how it was taken, when it was taken and where it was taken"

Personality (Sikota Wina, first minister of Local government), Utterance,

"what does the ordinary Lozi man stand to gain from the Agreement of £78, 500,000 if it won't used for housing in 1964 but into pockets of just a few people?

“The decision to take over all the treasuries was made by the government collectively and not by a few individuals;

“To say that the Wina brothers did this or that is a lot of rubbish; If the Barotse people were granted what they were asking for, they would practically be a separate state from Zambia; If that is not an independent Republic that is secession that is backbone of a Government and independent Republic in control of its land, treasury, judiciary, forestry, legislature and local Government" end of quote.

According to another publication of the weekly post of 22/01/1993 to 28/01/1993 stated:-

Personality, (Kenneth. D. Kaunda, first president of Zambia and the signatory to the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and the key figure in the abrogation of the Agreement), utterances,

"The government hasn't asked me to state my side of the case, but there should be no need for them to panic. History can be re-written but facts cannot be altered; If our brothers and sisters want the matter to be settled in the courts of law, I will help the government lawyers explain the case as it is I signed the Agreement and is a well known fact;

“There was no way one province could have been treated more special or important than others in the same country; There had been a lot of native treasuries from various provinces which government collectively incorporated and not as Kaunda; The treasuries included those from the mineral rich Copperbelt which, as a result of an agreement between the Lozi Establishment and the British were going to the British South African Company" end of quote.

Nonetheless, since a lot of information is hidden from the public, it is better to explain some salient points to show the ignorance of the concerned people who have made such useless utterances.

According to the publication of the Times of Zambia of 5th November 1965, it was reported that:-

"About £411,000 representing assets and cash of the Barotse Government Treasury are being distributed to the district councils"

According to the publication of the Daily Mail of 17th November 1965, it was reported that:-

"In at least one aspect, the province dubbed the 'Cinderella' during the colonial era is now leading all other provinces in Zambia; Under the 18 months transitional development plan, Barotse province receives £111,450 in grants for capital development works. An additional £42,000 is to be made available from the Rural Councils own resources" end of quote.

The details given above demonstrate that the Barotse Native Government had money that was properly acquired.

It is further demonstrated that the Barotse Native Government had a variety of sources from which it had acquired money through Native tax rebate, Investments and Veterinary. According to a letter reference No. MC/B/LA/FIN/22 dated 15th November 1965 by Mr. M. Sheldrake, who was signing for the provincial local government officer in Mongu, a sum of £14,000 was allocated to each district. Since there were five districts in Barotseland, the amount under this head was £70,000.

It should be emphasized that there were immovable properties owned by the Barotse Native Government which were inherited by the Government of Zambia without arrangements for either compensation or sale and these are under the utility of the Government some of which include:-

1. The structures forming the Barotse National School which was termed Kambule secondary school following the decree by former president Kenneth Kaunda to change the name of the school since "there could not be a state within a state", according to his myopic thinking.

2. The building housing the High Court in Mongu,

3. The building housing the Ministry of Education in Mongu,

4. Liwanika General Hospital,

5. Suu local court building and many more scattered all over Barotseland, etc, etc.

One point worthy noting was that there were investments owned by the Barotse Native Government from which interests were accruing such as the Mulobezi Mills.
It will be interesting to know how the Zambian Government will account for their disposals.

One important question that may be asked is what was used to expropriate those treasuries including "those from the mineral rich Copperbelt" , as was claimed by former president Kenneth Kaunda, since the Local Government Act was meant to cover Barotseland through the establishment of the Barotseland Local Government Fund?

In consequence of the foregoing, the people of Barotseland are entitled to claim for the loss sustained due to the spoliation of their properties in line with the provisions of Article 21 of the African Charter on Human and Political Rights.

Barotseland forward.
Saleya Kwalombota

"The delay should not in any way be viewed as a point of failure but as a sign of law abiding nation that has taken the diplomatic process to resolve the standoff issues with Zambia."

The political dimension in Barotseland nation is characterized by misinformation and lack of proper communication link from the top leadership of various liberation groups to the grassroots. The political independence liberation of Barotseland territory is proving to be slowed as the Zambian government continues to hold grip by manipulating the minds of the poverty stricken majority, such as enticing them with job positions. This is the saddening side of poverty because it erodes the moral fiber and diminishes the organic social growth and clumsy liberty struggle.

Some have commented that pointing to the Zambian presidential bye election campaigns sweeping successfully across the 2012 declared independent territory as a sign of weak bilateral relationship between the BRE and Activists groups. However, as much as I respect other people's opinions, it is better to understand that the declaration of independence is usually followed by another process known as disengagement, the latter not being a day's event but it takes time to come to the agreement terms of international acts and orders. The delay should not in any way be viewed as a point of failure but as a sign of law abiding nation that has taken the diplomatic process to resolve the standoff issues with Zambia.

The implications of the illegal occupation of a territory are well challenged in a diplomatic way, that is, to engage international community through international courts and continental bodies. We must remember that the Barotseland Agreement 1964 was an international treaty that was concluded peacefully, in like manner, the acceptance of its abrogation, was done peacefully by Barotseland, as the other party and in a lawful process through the Barotse National Council in 2012, after having had exhausted all the channels. To this effect, the people of Royal Barotseland should be encouraged to reject political statements and maneuvers from our soon to be neighbor, Zambia, if not in conformity with the 2012 BNC resolutions, for immediate disengagement.

The most far provoking issue is the destroying of government structures in 1975 by the Zambian government which move was not well accepted by the Lozis as it was the genesis of the loss of sovereignty of our God given territory to a fellow sister African country. What were called customary law, customary land-rights, customary political structure and so on were all invented by Zambia codification by passing laws aimed at fixing Barotseland people. This and other maneuvers against sovereignty of Barotseland, have caused great loss of economic opportunities varying for five decades , leading to the impoverishment of a once rich and self sustaining territory.

Zambian politicians that are campaigning in Barotseland should avoid provoking further the already volatile situation by commenting on the Barotseland status quo as the BNC 2012 independence resolutions have solved it all. The 2012 BNC resolutions still stand and must be the only one to be referred to for implementation other than the non applicable process of referendum in Barotseland impasse.

What applies now is article 70 of the Vienna Convention on the law of international treaties which Zambia’s Attorney General is aware of, hence their reluctance and refusal to appear before international bodies to resolve the matter and commence the disengagement process.

Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu

My Fellow Compatriots,

The independence struggle for Barotseland has delayed to this far due to certain elements amongst the leadership of activists portraying to be saviors for the people while harboring selfish motives to use the issue for personal monetary gains. This and other selfish vices have characterized the Barotseland independence struggle so far and it leaves much to be accepted as it raises many questions than answers of what type of leaders Barotseland will have in charge of people's affairs! We have witnessed the docile and apathy syndrome amongst Barotse citizenry due to the unpredictable manners being exhibited by the senior citizens brought about by the BRE which in this regard has not being inspirational.

A miscalculated independence calculus can be attributed to a number of mushroomed self proclaimed liberation groups which is a cause of disunity witnessed so far in our struggle, instead of talking with one voice, we end up talking in disjointed knots. This calls for serious consideration of hosting a reconciliation meeting to bring our scattered leaders to one amour of united force. The question is who should be the right persons to host the reconciliation meeting, and how much in terms of cost is needed to have a successful hosting of such meeting?, etc, etc. Avoiding this issue of reconciliation, I can assure you that the year 2015 will end up in limbo, without achieving our desired independence. It is better for BNC to have not declared independence in 2012 than betraying the conscience of the people who are convinced with the legality of the independence call!

If this trend of cowardice, unresolved, unfocused and non patriotic behavior continues, it risks igniting a revolution, as people might think that the BRE are in fact not working for the good and wishes of the people. We will not allow any maneuvers to wash away the efforts and aspirations of our people of Barotseland who have so far experienced loss of their beloved ones due to long detentions in Zambian filthy prisons, maiming and bullet gun shots because of Barotseland's century independence struggle.

May God bless all the people of Barotseland, a happy and prosperous 2015 as we review our failures and successes of 2014 in regard to implementation of Barotseland's independence resolutions of 2012, which declaration was born out of legality.

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.