No national leader in Zambia has ever spoken so openly about the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 as did Michael Chilufya Sata in 2011 when canvassing for the presidential vote. The self-proclaimed ‘Chief-Linyungandambo’ did not mince his words when he publicly declared that he and his Patriotic Front (PF) party would implement the defunct agreement within 90 days of his presidency.
It was never how quickly he promised to implement the agreement that shocked the nation but that he even dared to mention the matter considered treasonable in Zambia! Mr. Sata, then in opposition, declared that only crooks and dishonest people failed to honor their promises.
As predicted, Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba’s SABC appearance to try and deny credible assertions made earlier by two Linyungandambo youths about Zambia’s atrocities in Barotseland was full of nothing but perpetual lies peddled by the Zambian state for the longest of time.
Apparently, Zambia has always tried to put up a front before the world that Barotseland is a non-issue! In their delusion, they believe that if they lied repeatedly, their lies would turn into truth. Unfortunately, however, no matter how many times a lie is parroted, it will forever remain a lie! If it is a non-issue, why do they always suffer painful jitters each time Barotseland is mentioned outside Zambia?
Zambia’s Chief government spokesperson, Dora Siliya, must shut up rather than trying to threaten South Africa’s state broadcaster, SABC TV, for featuring members of the Linyungandambo Youth League (LYL) on their ‘The Globe’ show through which the Barotse youths revealed to the world the atrocities that her government is committing in Barotseland.
In her shameless threat, Dora says her government will officially lodge a complaint to the South African government over the particular SABC television program and its anchor who interviewed the two youths for unethical conduct. But what does the Zambian government know about media ethics when it has largely muzzled its own national Broadcaster, ZNBC, and shut down any private media which has tried to operate professionally! In our view, and many will agree with us, SABC is a hundred times more professional and ethical than her own country’s national Broadcaster which only parrots Zambia’s ruling party and its government!
Since Zambia’s Edgar Lungu resorted to ruling the nation using colonial style emergency powers on 5th July 2017, state terror has escalated especially targeting perceived political opponents such as Barotseland self-determination activists and others with divergent views to his style of governance.
The statement popularly attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, that our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter, must inspire all Barotse to continue speaking for Barotseland because silence is no longer an option.
This is a question too important to be ignored as it may help us interrogate further the current predicament that has befallen Barotseland in which Nabiwa Imikendu and three others have sued Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II in the High Court of Zambia, demanding that he abdicates the Barotse throne for alleged gross incompetence among other accusations.
Although Lubosi Imwiko II has sufficient money to finance his own defense, it is not unlikely or surprising that Zambia’s ruling establishment will come to his aid because not only is he sued in his public national capacity as Litunga of Zambia’s ‘western province’ but also because he is a friend and supporter of the establishment.