Editor General, Barotseland Post
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 Freedom Movement (BFM) Office for International Relations demands the immediate release of Barotseland Administrator General, Hon, Afumba Mombotwa and his comrades from Zambian detention. Their arrest and continued incarceration are not only a violation against human rights but a scorn on international law and civility. We believe that the four broke no Zambian or international law just as the acting Zambian President had himself conceded to this fact. Therefore, their detention may only be viewed as barbaric and an insult to Zambia’s claimed democratic values.
The Zambian Government has nothing to worry about the Barotseland issue since it is the one, through its late president, Michael Sata, that had acknowledged the legality of the terminated Barotseland Agreement 1964, and had, in January 2012, gone as far as publishing the same Agreement in Zambian print media to prove its point. It was the same Government that had blessed our first commemoration of the Barotseland shootings in the same year and had further sent its representatives to the now historic March 2012 Barotse National Council Conference at which Barotseland formally and finally accepted Zambia’s 1969 unilateral termination of the same Agreement. Based on that acceptance, the people of Barotseland unanimously declared Barotseland independent of Zambia. Formal communication which included proposed disengagement guidelines regarding this inevitable stand was sent to the same Zambian Government from which there has been no formal response to date; either in opposition or otherwise. The decision that Barotseland arrived at was necessitated by decades of Zambia’s hostility to our calls to honour the Agreement as had been promised before and soon after it was signed by our king, the British and Zambia’s founding father. It is this unwillingness to find a lasting solution to the Barotseland impasse and other poignant factors that led to our decision to revert to our original position and not secede from Zambia as it has been wrongly held by those who have deliberately chosen to remain permanently ignorant of the issue. As a result of this denial, our people have been repeatedly subjected to untold human rights abuses which include killings by successive Zambian governments.
The Zambian Government has further refused to cooperate by, at least, responsibly responding to even the indictment from the African Union Humans and Peoples’ Rights Commission. This and several acts bordering on persecution, intimidation and manipulation only leave us with a belief that the Zambians may be lacking the capacity to legally engage the issue with respect to its exegesis. Malicious arrest of our leaders, as in the Hon Mombotwa and all previous related cases, only prove this point. The Zambian government has miserably failed to even hold any sensible trial based on the claimed accusations. The truth is that such accusations are impossible to prosecute as they do not violate any Zambian law. Instead, it is our people’s rights that are continuously violated, and so, in an outright provocative manner.
Indeed the Zambians have no legal argument against Barotseland’s independence. Their behavior only consolidates our stand and further builds up a much more serious case against them. Not even the regional Southern Africa Development Community would find any reason to support the Zambian argument. Based on these and other facts, we call for the unconditional and immediate release of our leaders because they are being accused for what was publicly decided upon by Barotseland’s highest policy making body, the BNC. The Zambian Government was represented by its most senior officials at that conference. Hon Mombotwa is only acting in obedience to dictates of the BNC Resolution. His arrest and incarceration does not even serve the interests of any sound minded, let alone peace loving, Zambians. As the Zambian Government did in publishing the BA’64, it must now stand up to the challenge of our declared independence in a civilized and not outdated medieval manner of threats and intimidation. The Barotseland issue is an ideal that cannot be put to rest by arrests or killings. Let Hon. Mombotwa and his comrades be released in the name of the Lord. We are for peace and not war. We joined Zambia peacefully and we have left Zambia in the like manner. If the Zambian Government argues to the contrary, let us then have a date in court over this issue and not on drummed up charges of a treason that was actually committed against us. Hon. Mombotwa and company are vulnerable individuals only acting on the BNC’s mandate. Barotseland is our country. We call upon Dr Guy Scott to release our leaders.
The four Barotseland government leaders detained by Zambia, Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa -Administrator General for Royal Barotseland Kingdom, Hon. Likando Pelekelo - secretary of state for Agriculture, Hon. Sylvester Kalima Inambo - secretary of state for Legal Affairs and Hon. Paul Masiyaleti Masiye - Deputy secretary of state for Defence today appeared for mention at Mumbwa magistrate court before Magistrate Matipa at 12hrs.
Magistrate Matipa, who did not say much, immediately adjourned the case to 26th January, 2015, much to the displeasure of a fully parked court of Barotzish and sympathizers.
The detainees were equally displeased with this turn of events, prompting Hon. Afumba to seek permission to speak. In his brief court address he warned that he could not condone such unruly and criminal behavior of illegal prosecution as it amounted to violation of his fundamental human rights upheld internationally.
Meanwhile, Hon. Masiye has claimed that the Zambian government arrested him at the last court hearing because he refused to be a state witness against the other three leaders. Hon. Masiye further explained that the Zambian state police forced him to either be a state witness against the trio or face arrest, but he simply told them that the Barotseland issue is a matter of fact which could not be exchanged for silver . He has since condemned the failure by the DDP to give instructions on the way forward with this case. As such, he has since vowed to go on immediate hunger strike.
Some people talked to also expressed disappointment at Zambia's mistreatment of Barotse leaders and activists who merely exercise the will of the people of Barotseland over this issue, accusing the Zambian government of being aware of its abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement 1964, the only document that could give Zambia the control over Barotseland.
The court adjourned at 12:30 with the accused remaining in custody at Mwembeshi state prison.
The presidential candidate for the Patriotic Front (PF) in Zambia’s January 20 presidential by-election Edgar Lungu has allegedly ‘auctioned’ Barotseland’s oil and gas potential reserves to Nigerian businessmen in exchange for campaign funds.
The Zambian Watchdog reports that the deal was reached at on Saturday in Nigeria and Lungu’s camp is reported to have promised the Nigerian Muslim financiers concessions in mineral rights, oil and gas explorations in North Western, ‘Western’(Barotseland) and Copperbelt regions once he is given power if he wins elections in January.
The deal also gives the Nigerians preferential treatment in hunting concessions in Zambia’s national parks over the short period of five years subject to renewal.
The group ‘supporting’ Lungu is in the Delta region where many violent insurgent groups are funded by the local businessmen.
Lungu’s campaign is reported to have since been boosted by US$2 million dollars from the Nigerians and part of it was used to hire two helicopters and one plane for his campaign movements.
Once again it is common knowledge that life itself is a change. Change is a virtue of life itself such that to deny this fact is actually to deny oneself the quantity and quality of life. We see , for example , that without this change there would be no birthday celebrations; as people grow, without change a spinster would not become a wife nor a bachelor a husband, without change a husband would not become a father or grandfather and a wife a mother nor a grandmother. Without change a child would not become a pupil, student and finally a graduate and worker enjoying promotions all the way. One needs to note that even the funerals we do not desire unfortunately are equally a celebration of change that must happen in this life to everyone, sooner or later. Every moment of our life is characterized by change; from sunrise to sunset and vice versa. To a greater extent this makes life very bearable and enjoyable because this change makes life more rhythmic and meaningful while taking away the monotony that would follow without change.
It is that time of the year, now festive season, when the whole world gets blazing with the gala mood of Christmas and New Year. For Barotseland, however, it is time to preach the change and celebrate it.We salute the role our change agents are playing, even amid the incarcerations of our political heroes behind the prison bars on grounds of our dear change agenda. WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT THIS IS JUST A PASSING PHASE IN OUR CORE BUSINESS FOR BAROTSELAND. BAROTSE INDEPENDENCE IS OUR COLLECTIVE BUSINESS FOR ALL OF US AND NOT JUST A FEW; LET OUR ENEMY KNOW THIS. Some of you are in the prayer band, in response to the global call that was made through the Barotse Post. Thank you so much for your intercessory prayers! The arrested political prisoners will walk the streets of Barotseland again and this time more valiantly than before!
”Brethren continue using your knees; even so this festive season until peace and complete independence prevails in our land so that our people can join the rest of the world who enjoy statehood and nationhood."
Pray also for the safety our brethren in prison from the planned poisoning. It is worth noting that the collective and individual experiences so far encountered are just transient birth pangs or preliminary joys and miniatures of the ultimate celebration that awaits us when our country Bulozi becomes socially and politically independent, besides the legal independence we are already embracing. “Litunga ni lyetu!” It is the surmountable social and political barriers that we still need to resolve to finally get there. YES indeed, soon and very soon our day is coming.
“Malozi, ko baya ko bakuwa, shangwe” remember that it is also that time of the year when amid all this celebration everybody takes stock of the activities done; failures and successes, to position oneself strategically for the ensuing year successfully. It does not matter who you are, individual persons and organizations all get involved in this good exercise in one way or another. You and Team Barotse are no exception. Allow me to ask you these introspective questions regarding this outgoing year 2014: What have been your successes? What have been your failures? What is your way forward to address both the successes and failures encountered? Remember if God still gives you life you have an opportunity and second chance in 2015 to do better than you have done in 2014. Whether it is at home, church, school, work or in community we are all members of the human web and have each one a niche to fulfill – we are not here by accident. As the year 2014 rolled down or up; for the ageing or youth respectively, mistakes were committed and successes scored. It is time to ponder, amend and resolve accordingly.
Allow me to conclude my screed by sharing with you the expert reflections from the world of academia regarding our change.
Cook, C. W. and Hunsaker, P. L. (2001) in their book entitled MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR submit two types of change namely Planned Change and Unplanned Change. The latter is normally referred to as Chaos Theory typical of the 21stcentury, the days of our lives. On the other hand, planned change like the Barotse Change Agenda refers to transformation activities which are planned, intentional and goal oriented. This is the kind of change I wish to submit to you for your 2015 Resolutions. In your life changes of 2015, whether it is a birthday, marriage, graduation, baptism, et cetra, let it be characterized by planning and goal orientation and not chaos.
One of the most popular models of planned change has three stages namely Unfreezing, Movement and Refreezing.
Stage 1: Unfreezing
This is the first stage which focuses on creating the motivation to change and minimize resistance in self or others to change. It takes into account the entire social, biological, psychological, physiological, economic, political and other factors and identifies them as motives to the change initiative. This is unfreezing and is necessary for the whole change process to occur. Like melting water in which heat provides the energy and impetus to unfreezing, the desire and need for change also gives us the energy and force to achieve the change.We have come a long way off from where we started to be belligerent now. Unfreezing ourselves, in January, as the year 2015 unfolds before us will better place each one of us in the face of change celebrations of the ensuing year.
Stage 2: Movement
This stage involves a transitional stage where people or someone let go of their ‘old’ work and take on ‘new work ‘. People, groups and teams are changed, and so is task, structures and technology. This means that in order for anyone to achieve the desired change there must be concerted effort within and without to move. How surprising that some of us will want to change phones, cars, work for instance to others and yet refuse to change their bad past self traits! Without this element of change one becomes an individual who has a need to eat but is not able or willing to stretch out the hand to get bread from a shelf in the kitchen. The result is obvious, for such a person. We are all endowed with capabilities to avoid such experiences in life. Be willing to respond and move with and for the change’s sake. Are you on transfer, promotion, deployment, growing, getting married, on a mission, etc.? Take the year 2015 as a year of change movement.
Stage 3: Refreezing
Once the movement stage is completed, stabilization of the changed aspects of self or organization takes place. Coaching, mentoring and modelling may be used during this stage to reinforce changes as well. Whether it takes the form of induction, welcome home party, kitchen party, dedication or whatever the term refreezing is crucial to the final positive resolution of change agenda. As 2014 dearly joins the historic statistical data take time to refreeze 2014 but unfreeze yourself for 2015 and then move on to achieve those PERSONAL AND BAROTSELAND NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS. AND WHEN YOU WILL HAVE DONE YOUR PART THEN YOU CAN SAFELY AND JOYFULLY SAY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015.Ululuuu, Ululuuu!!
I WISH YOU ALL A JOYOUS, VERY CELEBRATIVE AND PROSPEROUS 2015.
Written by: Lindunda (La Mulonga) Wamunyima
It is with a strange sense of déjà vu as I review the statements of some of the most prominent personalities in the Zambian government in relation to the National policy question that exists between the two sister-countries of Barotseland and Zambia. The Barotseland issue has been characterized by misinformation, misrepresentation and outright ignorance of the facts from our Zambian counterparts. It is simply unacceptable that the people who were suppose to take the lead in resolving this impasse peacefully are the same ones (the PF government) exhibiting high levels of intellectual backwardness about Barotseland's legal facts. What we have witnessed in Zambia for the past two and half year rule of PF are myths, distortions of facts and outright lies in relation to Barotseland national question.
It is no longer possible to deceive neither the people of Zambia nor those of Barotseland on the authenticity of the demands for Barotse nationhood. It is, therefore, most unfortunate that the PF government dismissed the recommendations of the Roger Chongwe Commission, which to us was a referendum in silence. Further, former PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba’s attack on the integrity of Roger Chongwe and members of his Commission for having overstepped their terms of reference was an insult to the many Barotse and Zambians who made submissions.
Dr. Banda, UPND vice president and right hand man to their presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema once said that there were lies going round that if the UPND wins the 2015 elections they will divide the country by allowing ‘Western province’ (Barotseland) to break away. Dr Canisus Banda assured Zambians that the party believes that Zambia was an indivisible unitary state hence it cannot break - whatever that means. Barotseland independence is not in any way considered breaking the country or seceding because Zambia is not monolithic but unitary state that was supposed to be maintained under a union agreement (BA64), which is not the case. In the absence of union treaty (BA64) secession is a misnomer.
The current PF government has so far refused to sign the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) agreement which seeks to have the standoff between Zambia and Barotseland resolved peacefully through the court based in The Hague in Netherlands.
The Zambian government of PF has also ignored the submission that was presented by Barotseland to the Banjul based African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and has not responded as per requirement. How should we still hope for peaceful talks with the people who have openly refused dialogue?
The Zambian government actions are convincingly that Zambia stands not for peace in this regard and it is a call for Barotseland to seek other avenues that will bring the standoff to a conclusion! However, the Barotse Question or the Barotseland statehood, today, merits interrogation as to the validity of the nature of influences that determine the Barotse “people’s wishes” necessitate assertion of self-rule as promulgated in the BA64 or Barotseland's independence declaration of independence of 29th March 2012.
The sooner the Zambian government addressed itself to the demands for attention on Barotseland’s nationhood the better for national security and a region as a whole. No power on earth can stop a people from attaining statehood and political freedom. History is full of examples of people who have contested their subordination and subjugation. Eritrea, Kosovo, Palestine and South Sudan are cases in point.
Barotseland forward in 2015,
By Saleya Kwalombota