Editor General, Barotseland Post
News reported in some sections of the Zambian media that president Lungu wishes to engage with Barotse Royal Establishment and the activists so that they could show him the boundaries of what he referred to as the “so called Barotseland” so that he could possibly allow for a referendum, should not excite Barotseland even a bit as president Lungu is at the very least bluffing or he has no knowledge of what the Barotseland issue is really about.
The fact is, the people of Barotseland do not even require a referendum to be conducted on account that there is no legal reference of their existence within the union with Zambia. Zambia used its parliament to destroy the treaty that it did not create. Therefore, Zambia should instead respect the views of the people at the March Barotse National Council (BNC) of 2012 by withdrawing its administration from the territory they do not legally own.
Referendum in Exercise of Self-Determination
Recently Barotseland Government Lawyers wrote this on the issue of using a referendum as a means of implementing the disengagement between Barotseland and Zambia. Here below we share some of what they had to say on this matter.
The exercise of the right to self-determination requires, by its very nature, the expression of the will of the people. The holding of a referendum in order to establish the will of the people with respect to a change of status matters is a widely accepted act of self-determination. By way of example, Scotland recently held such a referendum on its independence. The Conference of Experts however noted that the act of self-determination is not reduced to a referendum but is seen as an integral process to which the referendum is but one of the elements. They further cautioned that where only votes count, a people or community which is numerically inferior has no control over its destiny. To this end, if a referendum is to be conducted then it has to be carefully formulated and the group of people allowed to vote clearly defined in order to ensure that the people of Barotseland are the ones that ultimately make the decision. If the vote is left to all of Zambia then the voices of the people of Barotseland can be quite easily drowned and the essence of the referendum defeated.
However, on the other hand, the people of Barotseland do not require a referendum to be conducted on account that there is no legal reference of their existence within the union with Zambia. Zambia used its parliament to destroy the treaty that it did not create. If Zambia was led by clever and sane people, they would have respected the views of the people at BNC of 2012 by withdrawing its administration from the territory they do not legally own. Over 50,000 people had gathered at BNC 2012 to resolve that Barotseland shall now become independent and it shall then determine its future whether good or bad.
It is not within the powers of Zambia to decide the fate and prospect of Barotseland; the independence of Barotseland is not hinged on Zambia to decide. Barotseland has a right to decide on its own, just like it did in 1964 when it resolved to join Zambia, and in the same way, it has decided to come out of it. There is no ambiguity in that.
The people of Scotland went for a Referendum because there was nothing that they had agreed upon with Britain that they did not respect; the rules and conditions of their union were rightfully followed, but still the people of Scotland felt they were lacking the element of being Scottish as a people coming from the independent Nation of Scotland. So they sought to come out of it, and the legality of any case determines whether referendum should be considered or not.
As for the case between Barotseland and Zambia it is such a straight forward one; it requires the respect and sincerity of both parties to be exercise maturity, or else it can result in deadly conflict which could have been avoided.
The true position of Barotseland within Zambia is that, Barotseland wants total independence granted through the 2012 BNC; to actualize it, it will go ahead to sue Zambia in the International Court of Justice just to lay claim and charges against Zambia, so that Zambia can now pay for all the misfortune it has caused on Barotseland in the court of law. If Zambia feels it has a legal claim over Barotseland, then let it advance it.
It must be noted that previous attempts by the Barotseland to engage the Government of Zambia in any form of meaningfully dialogue has fallen on deaf ears. If Zambia continues to skate around the matter of peaceful disengagement by bringing in no-issues such the referendum proposal then they are clearly showing that they are not serious about settling this matter peaceably.
We, therefore, wish to caution Barotseland nationals not to be duped by promises of referendum. If Zambians are failing to organize elections whose outcomes are agreeable to all, what guarantee is there that the organized referendum will yield acceptable outcomes?
If Zambia does not with draw their administration, the more credible routed is to take them to an international Court where they can produce their legal claim to administration of Barotseland.
Barotseland should not lose focus by paying credence to Mr. Lungu’s statement. In our view he is just setting up for the Lozi vote in Zambia’s 2016 general election. If he is serious he must firstly talk about his plan for withdrawing his troops from Barotseland, releasing all political prisoners in Zambian jails, such as His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Administrator General, Rt. Hon. Likando Pelekelo, Secretary of State for Agriculture, Rt. Hon. Sylvester Kalima, Deputy Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rt. Hon. Masiye Masiyaleti, Deputy Secretary of Defense, including the four BNYL officials; Boris Maziba, Nayoto Mwenda, Sikwibela Wasilota and Hon. Mubita Waluka, who are unjustly serving jail sentences. These must be freed without any conditions and further delay.
Besides, The Zambian government already knows what the people of Barotseland want, not only through the BNC 2012 resolutions, but also the Rodger Chongwe Independent Commission of Inquiry which to date government has refuse to make public, only because the commission recommended the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. So what do they now want to achieve through the proposed referendum other than creating a platform to dupe Lozis once and for all?
Malozi, alutone! Busile. Bulozi kibwaluna Kupale Kumane. Abashi referendum!
The recent unfolding event where Barotseland provisional government leaders have been committed to Kabwe high court is hard to bear. These are ex-diplomats of another country and it is interesting to note how the accused will be tried in the High court of Zambia without violating the principle of justice. The people of Barotseland and world over should stand to condemn this nonsense. The way the whole issue is handled is like the master- servant relationship and as if Barotseland is a Zambian conquered territory. We don't remember when Barotseland was at war and conquered by Zambia to be under hostage where our people are tossed left and right at Zambian government's discretion. The wonders will never end in this circus of Barotseland autonomy struggle. Zambia on the other hand behaves as if it is innocent in this issue when it is the major culprit, it arrests, detains and drags our people before her courts without condemnation from her citizenry or international community. Where is justice, when the power that may be arrests and subjugate the people of Barotseland and at the same time is the complainant and prosecutor?
One may be confronted with a question of where the once brave and fearless men of Barotseland have gone. The docility being exhibited among elite Lozis is worrying, for how long should we stand and watch our Leaders being bundled up like wastage assets for disposal? The KUTA must also add its voice to push for the agenda that will bring the end to human rights violation. It is immoral for any well meaning Mulozi to ignore any longer the sufferings our activists endure in the hands of Zambian authority. All genuine Activist groups should put off their pride and lay out a genuine plan for Barotseland government take off, while the legal pursuit to overseer disengagement is in process.
Academic freedom fight will take us centuries to actualize our resolve if we ignore effective ways such as protests, rallies and wide spread patriotism. These are no way classified violence activities because our issue is of political nature that requires act of presenting something to sight. The people involved are defenseless and subdued by the armed power that does not recognize what we might consider peaceful approach, by way of engaging international courts.
I would like to borrow the words of former dictator, the president of Zambia Dr. Kenneth Kaunda that when demanding independence from an African power, "use a Gun", but from a White power, use "the Brain". The approach taken so far of using brain is recommendable but does not work well because the power that besieged our territory is African hence the need for game changeover consideration now.
We are dealing with the government that made a position in regard to Barotseland Agreement 1964 as been stale under the late president Chiluba, still the same government under the late president Sata that rubbished the Dr. Chongwe commission of inquiry of 2011 Mungu saga that recommended the restoration of BA64, still the same government that refused to assert signature to have the issue settled at international court, it is the same government that militarized our territory in readiness to hit back at any possible uprising, the list goes on and on. In this regard, it leaves us to conclude that Zambia is not standing for peaceful settlement of Barotseland case.
It is important to note that freedom from decolonization is achieved with the atonement of blood of freedom fighters and freedom is not given on a silver plate but should be demanded by the whole being of human life.
The independence decision was arrived at by the people at the BNC meeting in 2012; the resolutions are biding and the basis for our independence patriots’ power to organize and to legislate in our territory.
What more than this are we still waiting for? Power is synonymous with governance and given to leadership by people, the will of the people is paramount where power is concerned.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
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
Acting Barotseland Administrator General, Dr. Matengu Situmbeko has sternly warned newly elected president of Zambia, Mr. Edgar C Lungu, to fulfill the promise he verbalized in the presence of His Royal Majesty, The Litunga King of Barotseland Lubosi Imwiko II, concerning the arrest of Barotseland Administrator General, Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and other Barotseland government officials, who are currently in various Zambian prisons over trumped up charges of treason and other sedition related charges. While visiting the Limulunga Royal Palace at the height of Zambian electioneering late last year, Edgar Lungu is reported to have promised His Majesty the Litunga of Barotseland and His Privy council that Hon. Afumba and his other co-accused would be released from jail unconditionally within few days of his visit.
In an emotional letter copied delivered to the UN, UNPO, SADC and other international organizations, Dr. Situmbeko further warned that Mr. Lungu would be personally held responsible should any of the leaders die as a result of their illegal incarceration.
Here below is a reproduced copy of the letter in its entirety.
27th January, 2015
Mr. Edgar Lungu,
Republic of Zambia.
We have learnt of the diabolic and evil intentions you possess on our leaders currently detained and in your custody for no apparent reason.
Your victory in the recently held Zambian presidential by-elections avails to you serious economic challenges and political upheavals which you must deal with. You must be ready for that, and depending on how you deal with every situation you may end up in ICC.
You had promised to release the detained in the presence of and before His Majesty, King Lubosi Imwiko II and his Privy Council, assuring them that you would release them in a matter of days from the day of discussion, but now it has taken over a month.
We are learning that you are just like your predecessors who were good at making promises they never fulfilled. Now that you are in the lime light and seen to be fighting Malozi, we shall face you.
Our Barotseland Intelligence Agency has credible information that you are planning to have Rt. Hon. Afumba and his team killed through poisoning; this, we are told, could not be done in Mwembeshi Maximum Prison, so now you plan to take them to the prison that you feel you can easily administer the poison either in blankets or in the food they eat.
I wish to advise you like a friend that, you are playing with fire, and that you will never walk away free from the mess you have caused. If you feel that you are clever, at the end you will be expected to defend your sins in the International Criminal Court in The Hague as an individual.
Be reminded that every meeting you chair to plan against Barotseland, we are always represented, and on every two that gather to plan against Barotseland, one of them will tell us the details in full. We know the people who are commissioned to poison our leaders, and what poison it is and options for administration. Incase by any chance they manage, we shall carry out a postmortem with international experts to determine the cause of their deaths, then drag you to court where you will be crucified for your sins, and we shall fish you out wherever you may intend to hide.
Be reminded that this case is known to the international community and any death of one of the four will be counted on your head, and your citizens and you will never have peace in your nation; take this as a warning! If you love peace and value life like we do, and if really you are a Christian Nation, then reason like one.
Barotseland Kingdom is a nation independent from Zambia, and if you feel that Barotseland is part of Zambia, then produce documentary evidence that suggests so in the International Court of Justice; your grace period to leave our territory is expiring, then we shall force you out.
At this time, we shall not allow any investment from Zambia especially in the areas such as mining, oil and gas extraction and exploration; we may just allow you to build the King Lubosi Lewanika University and the Mongu Stadium which you promised, and we agree to receive them as a donation from a neighboring state.
I still remind you as a friend to release the people you have illegally detained in your custody in the names of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Administrator General, Rt. Hon. Likando Pelekelo, Secretary of State for Agriculture, Rt. Hon. Sylvester Kalima, Deputy Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rt. Hon. Masiye Masiyaleti, Deputy Secretary of Defense, including the four BNYL officials unjustly serving jail sentences, without any conditions and delay; these people are not Zambians like you think, but they are citizens of an independent state of Barotseland, which is headed by His Majesty King Lubosi Imwiko II as its Head of State.
Dr. Matengu Situmbeko
Acting Administrator General
Royal Barotseland Government
cc. United Nations
cc. European Union
cc. SADC Secretariat
cc. African Union
cc. All Embassies in Zambia
cc. Commonwealth Secretariat
cc. His Majesty King Lubosi Imwiko II
cc. Namuso Kuta
cc. Zambian Director of Intelligence Mr. Mwanalemba
The much anticipated date and event of presidential by-election is past and indelibly inscribed as one of the pages of the annuls of Zambian history. The day has come and gone, leaving among us souls that are either happy with the outcome, dismayed or indifferent to all the euphoria of the presidential by-election. The big question is what next? Of course, to the Zambian political community all minds now focus on the forthcoming general elections of 2016 when the losers hope to do better while winning PF wishes to maintain power in government, using the same election wiles or other means. On the other hand the Zambian electorate looks forward to the blissful days of enjoying the government service deliverables as manifestoed prior to election.
However, it is not in the best interest of this article for me to articulate on the implications of all this on the indigenous Zambian environment and will therefore do well to rest all discourses on the subject matter with the competent Zambian native analysts. My concern is sharing my views with my dear brothers and sister of Barotseland nativity.
We have said it over and over again in this forum that “resistance to change is a fact of human nature.”
Most of our events are characterized by this phenomenon. Our own change agenda is no exception. Without necessarily disparaging our voting rights a number of us voted hopefully to usher UPND into office “for a better united Zambia” as it were.
Unfortunately all hopes and dreams were shuttered when the final result indicated otherwise-that perhaps in God’s time it is not time for HH to take the reins of power in Zambian politics and government. What I also believe in strongly is the notion that God’s time is the best always; in God’s time and plan over the current status quo between Zambia and Barotseland, HH would be the wrong president over wrong people, unless his roots are also from Northern Rhodesia. But as far as I can reminisce history tells me that Namwala, his home area, is part of Barotseland territorial claim. This observation makes it very serious such that other than seeing the election result a failure for UPND and the sympathizers rather it should be reckoned a blessing in disguise and victory for motherland Barotseland.
In other words, the apparent loss perspective implies that there is truth that most of us are still failing to assimilate into our lifestyle. The lesson however, is, unless we seriously come to terms with our present truth and embrace our dear change accordingly we will keep electioneering in Zambia in search for answers which God has long provisioned back home in Barotseland, in our quest for freedom of independence, original statehood and nationhood, as opposed to our former 50 years of freedom of dependence on Zambia. Our neighbor Zambia knows this very well and hence the frantic efforts not allow that folly to transpire. The other lesson from the election result is that there is no more room for Barotzish in Zambian politics because of what we stand for- clearly we were regarded as foreigners who could not be trusted with instruments of power, even when we were fulltime and co-partners in the birthing of Zambia. Even though we still had the residues of the BA ’64 in the Unitary Republic in later years, history is full of evidence to that effect. Otherwise, why all the fear that “neither Lozi nor Tonga will ever rule Zambia”? This is one reason I have gleaned from some international Zambia friends.
I find it quite perturbing that outsiders know the truth about our Change agenda and yet Barotse citizens still ignore or flirt away their true identity, in the name of love, peace and unity the very virtues that Zambia is abusing for self-aggrandizement. I hope we will take this hard lesson seriously and rise up to the occasion and take up the challenge in waiting for us ahead, as a new nation. We need to assert our true identity wherever we are; in whatever we are and exude the pride and confidence embodied in our reclaimed citizenship and statehood.
While some are not yet complying, it is worth taking advantage of this platform to acknowledge the many that are conforming in many ways to our very dear cause of total independence from Zambia. WE NEED TO BE PROUDLY BAROTSELAND CITIZENS AS NOBODY ELSE CAN DO IT FOR US. ARE YOU? FOR ME TO LIVE, IT IS BECAUSE I AM A LOZI AND TO DIE IT IS BECAUSE OF WHO I AM, THAT ‘S MY MOTTO, UNTIL I SEE THE FULFILLMENT OF ROMANS 17:26
“And hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation...!”
My country and I do not exist coincidentally, but God determined beforehand. This is what roots the certainty of our change agenda. In God’s timetable our day of freedom and independence is certain and coming, to dwell in the bounds of our habitation from ‘Nyambe mushemi wa luna, mufi wa naha yaluna, musilelezi wa bana bahae’ .A –M –E –N!!!!
The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) has written to President Edgar Lungu demanding the start of the process to separate Barotseland from Northern Rhodesia.
The letter of demand was delivered at State House today, Monday. The letter signed by BNFA chairperson Clement Sinyinda says the people of Barotseland are only interested in self-determination as a separate country.
A copy of the letter obtained by the Zambian watchdog is here reproduced: http://barotsepost.com/administrator/images/bnfa_letter_to_edgar_lungu2015.pdf