Media Editor, Barotseland Post

Media Editor, Barotseland Post

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A Seventh - Day Adventist (SDA) Church Silozi hymn book has been launched on Google Play Store and can be freely downloaded for the Android platform.

The electronic SDA Silozi hymn book is a creation of Bro. Agbonaye Osaru of SARU TECH at the request of Mr & Mrs Stephens Wamu Mukwasiyo of Mountain View SDA Church, Sesheke East District of the West Zambia Field.

The app is not for sale as it has been developed as a gift from God through SARU TECH to the children of God in the West Zambia Field and Zambezi (Caprivi) Field of Namibia, Seventh – Day Adventist Church. This should be great news to all the people of Barotseland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, and Angola, and to all those who understand the Silozi language or indeed anyone who wishes to evangelize and spread the gospel of Christ through song.

Comments on the app are, therefore, solicited and could be directed to Mr Mukwasiyo via Email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Austria's highest court has annulled the result of the presidential election narrowly lost by the candidate of the far-right Freedom Party.

The party had challenged the result, saying that postal votes had been illegally and improperly handled.

The Freedom Party candidate, Norbert Hofer, lost the election to the former leader of the Greens, Alexander Van der Bellen, by just 30,863 votes or less than one percentage point.

The election will now be re-run.

Announcing the decision, Gerhard Holzinger, head of the Constitutional Court, said: "The challenge brought by Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache against the 22 May election... has been upheld."

He added: "The decision I am announcing today has no winner and no loser, it has only one aim: to strengthen trust in the rule of law and democracy."

WILL BREXIT MATTER, ASKS BETHANY BELL, BBC NEWS, VIENNA

Austria's politics have been thrown into confusion. One of the most controversial and polarising presidential elections in recent history will have to be re-run.

This is a moral victory for the far-right, anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic Freedom Party, which launched the legal challenge last month after alleging "terrifying" irregularities.

The Freedom Party is hoping that the decision by the court will help its candidate Norbert Hofer win in the new election this autumn.

Hanging over the vote is the shadow of "Brexit" - the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Will Mr Hofer choose to make Austria's future membership of the EU a campaign issue?

Some Austrians think the vote by the United Kingdom to leave the EU could boost populist and nationalist sentiment in Austria. Others believe the political turbulence in Britain may make people more cautious about Eurosceptic parties.

Mr Hofer said on Friday he was pleased that the court had taken "a difficult decision", adding: "I have great trust in the rule of law."

Mr Van der Bellen said he was "very confident" he would emerge the winner.

"Austria needs to be well represented in Europe and the world. If we can do it once, we can do it again," he told reporters.

Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said the court ruling showed that the country's democracy was strong and he called for "a short campaign, a campaign without emotions".

'RULES BROKEN'

In two weeks of hearings, lawyers for the Freedom Party argued that postal ballots were illegally handled in 94 out of 117 districts.

It alleged that thousands of votes were opened earlier than permitted under election rules and some were counted by people unauthorised to do so.

The party also claimed to have evidence that some under-16s and foreigners had been allowed to vote.

In its ruling, the court said election rules had been broken in a way that could have influenced the result.

But it said there was no proof the count had been manipulated.

If elected, Mr Hofer would become the first far-right head of state of an EU country.

His party has based its election campaigns around concern over immigration and falling living standards for the less well-off.

After Britain voted to leave the EU, Mr Hofer said he favoured holding a similar referendum in Austria if the bloc failed to stop centralisation and carry out reforms "within a year".

Last Sunday, he told the Oesterreich newspaper (in German): "If [the EU] evolves in the wrong direction, then in my opinion the time has come to ask the Austrians if they still want to be part of it."

His opponent, Mr Van der Bellen, is strongly pro-EU and has spoken of his dream for a border-free "United States of Europe".

The two men went forward to a run-off when, for the first time since World War Two, both the main centrist parties were knocked out in the first round of voting.

Following the court's order to re-run the vote, President Heinz Fischer will be replaced on a temporary basis by three parliamentary officials, including Mr Hofer.

The new election is expected to be held in September or October - BBC

Alexander Van der Bellen (l) beat Norbert Hofer (r) by only 30,863 votes in the election  - EPA

 

LUSAKA - Zambia's main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema will contest the election results that gave President Edgar Lungu victory in a tightly-fought vote, his party said Monday.

"We are going to take up this matter legally," Jack Mwiimbu, legal specialist for the United Party for National Development (UPND), told reporters. "We have overwhelming evidence of manipulations in the figures."

On Saturday the UNPD took an early lead after Thursday's election.

Hichilema alleged election fraud on Friday, accusing poll officials and the ruling party of colluding over delayed results in the neck-and-neck race.

ENCA / AFP

A soon to be published scholarly book on post-colonial Zambia and Barotseland, featuring extensively the current voices of the Barotse nationalists and freedom fighters, has been authored by renowned academic scholar and activist Ndangwa Noyoo.

The book which is meant for academics, students, policy-makers, lawmakers, politicians and the laity is arguably, the first book that has been written on post-colonial Zambia and Barotseland which gives a voice to the nationalists and freedom fighters whom the author had personal access to.

In writing the book, Dr. Nayoo of the University of Johannesburg in South Africa explains that he has decided to write this book after witnessing many persecutions, brutality and state-led violence perpetrated against the people of Barotseland by the Zambian Government, especially after Zambia’s return to multi-party politics in 1991:

"The tribulations and persecutions of the Barotse or Lozis go back to 1964, when Barotseland voluntarily amalgamated itself with the new nation called Zambia, after its independence from British colonial rule. Previously, Zambia’s forerunner, Northern Rhodesia, had signed a treaty with Barotseland on 18 May 1964 at Marlborough House in London known as the Barotseland Agreement 1964. This treaty was signed prior to Zambia’s independence which came into effect on 24 October 1964. The signing of the treaty by Barotseland’s king, Sir Mwanawina III on behalf of the people of Barotseland and Kenneth David Kaunda on behalf of Zambia, was based on an understanding that Barotseland would exist in Zambia as an autonomous territory perhaps along the lines of Scotland in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) or Quebec in Canada for example. However, this was not to be, as in 1969, Kenneth Kaunda and his United National Independence Party (UNIP) nullified the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and criminalised the issue of Barotseland’s amalgamation with Zambia. This meant that any person or organisation that called for the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 would be arrested and detained under Zambia’s draconian State of Emergency which was inherited from the colonial authorities and consistently used by Kaunda to quell political dissension for 27 years. The people of Barotseland would wage their struggle against Kaunda and UNIP tyranny for 27 years until Kaunda was removed from power following a popular revolt by the Zambian people expressed via the ballot box. When Zambia reverted back to multi-party democracy, the unanswered question of Barotseland’s existence in the mother country known as Zambia resurfaced with much vigour.

"Ironically, the plight of the people of Barotseland, especially its nationalists and freedom fighters, would become extremely dire after Zambia became a multi-party democracy. From 1991 to date, thousands of Barotse nationalists and freedom fighters have been arrested, detained, harassed, physically harmed, tortured, maimed, maligned and killed by Zambia’s security forces of different Zambian political administrations. This is discounting the persecutions of the Lozi by the one-party state dictatorship of Kaunda and UNIP from 1964 to 1991. Being a Lozi by birth and a former student activist who fought against the one-party dictatorship of Kaunda and UNIP, and being detained in 1990 for calling for multiparty democracy, I could not sit idly by and not record as well as challenge the grave situation in which the Lozis now find themselves which has been created by the Zambian Government. The Zambian Government’s high levels of brutality against the people of Barotseland stem in part from its inability to respond, in a civilised manner, to peaceful petitions by the Lozis for it to honour the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and lately for calls for the Zambian Government to relinquish its hold on Barotseland and grant this territory independence. As an academic and activist I cannot bury my head in the proverbial sand when the people of Barotseland are being persecuted and brutalised by a depraved political regime.

"WHAT IS GOING ON IN ZAMBIA WITH REGARD TO BAROTSELAND IS JUST NOT RIGHT!

"When we were fighting against the one-party state dictatorship’s oppression, where were these people who are persecuting Barotse nationalists and freedom fighters and who are now occupying cushy Zambian Government positions? Where were these people who are now ordering the Zambian security forces to arrest and torture the people of Barotseland when we were being detained for standing up against Kaunda’s and UNIP’s misrule and mismanagement of the Zambian economy? When we were dodging live bullets fired by the paramilitary forces of Kaunda and the one-party state dictatorship, where were these so called politicians who are now facilitating the maiming, torture and whimsical arrests of Barotse nationalists and freedom fighters? These are the same politicians who appoint incompetent people into plum government positions because they come from their tribes or allied tribes or because they are their relatives! These are also politicians whose main preoccupation is to distort Barotseland’s history and to deify Kaunda, who destroyed Zambia in the first place. Where were they when we brought down Kaunda and his tyranny through people power? They were not even known then!

"Hence, I have written this book in order to offer a proper perspective on Barotseland’s amalgamation with Zambia as it has been deliberately distorted for far too long by the Zambian Government and its sympathisers. I also wanted to challenge the dominant biased discourse on Barotseland by both foreign and Zambian scholars and proffer a fresh perspective that taps into the voices of the nationalists and freedom fighters of Barotseland as well as the people of Barotseland in general. These voices have been deliberately overlooked or distorted by the foregoing scholars and silenced in the Zambian national narrative by different political administrations since 1964. Furthermore, this book is meant to explain how and why Barotseland was amalgamated with Zambia. Many Zambians and people from abroad do not know the real issues behind the question of Barotseland. The same goes for Southern Africans and Africans. When this issue is reported by the media it is always referred to as ‘secession’ and that the people of Barotseland want to break away from Zambia due to spurious reasons. Yet there is a socio-political and historical context and backdrop to this issue. In this text, I have decided to use some colonial terminologies for historical accuracy. For instance, Barotseland which is in effect Bulozi, features prominently in the book’s discussions. I have interchangeably used the terms Barotse and Lozi bearing in mind that they mean the same thing. Barotse is in reference to the Lozi people which was popularised during the Sotho/Kololo occupation of Bulozi in the mid 1800s. The terms Barotse and Barotseland were reinforced by the missionaries of the Paris Evangelical Society (PMS) who spoke Sesotho. The British colonial authorities and European scholars would further cement these terms.

"In this regard, this book is for those who want to gain more insight into Barotseland, how it came to be and how it was amalgamated with Zambia. It is meant for academics, students, policy-makers, lawmakers, politicians and the laity. Arguably, there is no book that has been written on post-colonial Zambia and Barotseland which gives a voice to the Barotse nationalists and freedom fighters who I had access to. If anything, scholars from abroad and at home have followed the narrative of the Zambian Government of distorting this issue. Therefore, I hope that this book will be helpful to those who want to have an unbiased account of Barotseland’s amalgamation with Zambia and understand the current stand-off between the nationalists and freedom fighters of Barotseland and the Zambian Government."

 

LUSAKA - Zambians go to the polls on Thursday shaken by an election campaign of "unprecedented" violence that could threaten the country's relative stability and its democratic record.

Just 18 months after President Edgar Lungu narrowly won office in a snap election, he and his main rival Hakainde Hichilema face off again in a field of nine candidates.

Only 27,757 votes separated the two candidates in the 2015 ballot.

At least three people have been killed during the campaign, with regular clashes erupting between supporters of Lungu's Patriotic Front (PF) and Hichilema's United Party for National Development (UPND).

The election commission issued an emergency statement describing the unrest as "unprecedented" and warning it had "marred Zambia's historic record of peaceful elections".

Last month, campaigning was halted in Lusaka for 10 days to reduce the violence.

But skirmishes continued until polling day, including fighting in the streets and vehicles overturned close to Hichilema's final rally on Wednesday in Lusaka.

Constitutional changes mean that the winner must now secure more than 50 percent of the vote, meaning a second round run-off could be held within weeks, heightening hostilities further.

"The PF government of President Lungu is starting to panic as the UPND campaign gains sustained momentum," Robert Besseling, of EXX Africa consultancy, said.

"The probability of a contested election result is growing, which would undermine the credibility of the vote and trigger more widespread partisan protests"

REGIONAL FLAGSHIP

Zambia, in contrast to some of its neighbours such as Angola and Zimbabwe, has escaped war and serious upheaval since independence from Britain in 1964.

It last held a peaceful transfer of power to an opposition party in 2011 when Michael Sata took office.

Sata died of an undisclosed illness in 2014 and the 2015 election gave Lungu, 59, the right to finish Sata's term.

At his final rally, Lungu mocked Hichilema for being a wealthy businessman who is making his fifth bid for power.

"We have to understand where this arrogance and nonsense is coming from," Lungu told thousands of supporters at a dusty venue in Lusaka.

"He is hoping he will get to the (presidency) because he wants to make more money."

Hichilema has repeatedly accused the authorities of turning a blind eye to attacks on UPND supporters and of undermining the opposition campaign by banning its rallies.

The UPND's vice presidential candidate was arrested and released twice earlier this year, and his house was raided by police.

The Post, an influential independent newspaper, was also forced to close in June over alleged non-payment of taxes - triggering appeals from media rights' groups and the US embassy.

On the campaign trail, Hichilema, 54, has stressed his business credentials as an asset to turning around the stalling economy.

"We will bring knowledge to the table, we are business people," he said on the eve of voting.

"Because Lungu doesn't understand the economy, he does not know that people are suffering."

TROUBLE AHEAD?

Zambia, ruled by Kenneth Kaunda from 1964 until 1991, recorded GDP growth of 3.6 percent last year - its slowest since 1998.

The falling price of copper, the country's key export, has put the economy "under intense pressure" according to the IMF.

Thousands of jobs have been lost in mining, electricity outages have become common and inflation is over 20 percent.

Either side is "unlikely to concede defeat without a fight, but we are hoping that this fight happens not in the streets but in the courts," said Dimpho Motsamai, an analyst at the Institute for Security Studies in Johannesburg.

About 60 percent of the population in Zambia lives below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.

Zambia also votes on Thursday to choose lawmakers and local councillors, and in a referendum on an amended bill of rights.

Polls open at 0400 GMT and close at 1600 GMT. Results are expected late Friday and Saturday.

AFP

File: Zambian President Edgar Lungu. Photo: SALIM DAWOOD / AFP

 

This photo depicting Barotseland national and traditional dress is currently trending on social media attracting admiration and comments from Barotse and other social media users.

Although the original source and photo context is not stated, the photo is simply graceful and elegantly magnificent.

Thanks to Barotseland Watchdog (BWD) for sharing this one!

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.