Encouraging steps from the BRE so far, but are they really in tune with what the people want today?

22 January 2019
Author 
Royal Barotseland Government

 

The Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, has recently made some encouraging pronouncements that have cheered many in the Barotse fraternity. However, keen observers are still sceptical, and rightly so, because the BRE still seem to be out of tune with the current aspirations of the people, especially if Induna Ingangwana’s speech during the installation of the new Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, is anything to go by. Clearly, they don’t seem to know what the people of Barotseland want today.

The people themselves also seem to be confused about self-determination! Certainly, many do not understand that there are two kinds of self-determination which Barotseland must choose from; internal self-determination or external self-determination, and this BRE talk about ‘engaging’ the Zambian government for an equitable share of development does not really go well with the majority people of Barotseland who expect the BRE to be talking more of ‘disengaging’ or expelling the Lusaka government from Barotseland!

Clearly, the BRE are today trying to mend their apparently broken relationship with the people of Barotseland who they had watched being brutalized by the oppressive Zambian regime without doing anything to stop the brutality because they were all the while wining and dining with the oppressor. As such, the BRE was widely seen as collaborating with the Oppressor State and naturally became enemies of their own people!

For their efforts in repairing the broken relationship with the people, the BRE must largely be praised, commended and supported so that it will become easier for the Barotse nation to forge a united front in their pursuit for Barotseland self-determination.

However, our valid observation is that the BRE seem to be pursuing a type of self-determination which is different from the self-determination popularly declared at the 2012 BNC. This would make them still out of sync and out of touch with the current aspiration of the Barotse people. Maybe, it is about time that we reminded the BRE how out of tune they really are with the people because it is vitally important for the BRE and the people to pursue one and the same kind of self-determination or Barotseland will achieve no self-determination at all! Barotseland will not achieve self-determination if the two key stakeholders are still divided over what they want; Self-determination within the confines of the unitary state of Zambia or Self-determination outside of Zambia.

Self-determination within Zambia, also known as internal self-determination, is what the people of Barotseland were demanding from 1964 until the 2012 Barotse National Council. In 2012, however, the people of Barotseland unanimously called for external self-determination, now that they had been denied internal self-determination repeatedly! External self-determination will entail that the nation of Barotseland exists separately and independently from Zambia!

BACKGROUND

While the BRE was fraternising with the Central Government in Lusaka, they were literally being lured to mortgage all their little remaining powers, and that of the Litunga of Barotseland! It took them quite a while to realise that in fact, the Zambian Agenda was to completely dethrone the Litunga by slowly undermining his authority over his Kingdom until he had no power left to discipline even erring or rebellious chiefs among his subjects!

In effect, Lusaka became a bully that the BRE needed to stand up to.

However, standing up to the Lusaka bully is not necessarily the same as pursuing the total independence that the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) unanimously resolved! It should merely be the start! And now the BRE and the Litunga must be encouraged to state clearly whether they are also going for the total independence of Barotseland by immediately signing and adopting all the 2012 BNC resolutions.

CURRENT ASPIRATION OF BAROTSELAND

The BRE and the Litunga need to be reminded that the people now want a Barotseland where the Litunga, King of Barotseland, is the Sovereign De jure and actual Head of State, in a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy type of government, with the Mulonga (Barotse Royal Authority) headed by Minyoaluyi (Lord Chancellor) forming the House of Lords (Upper Chamber of Parliament) and the Elective Katengo (National Assembly) headed by the Ngambela (Prime Minister) forming the House of Commons or the Lower Chamber of Parliament.

The Prime Minister must head the civil government which will work alongside the Mulonga and all other Barotse tiers of Government to the Village and family level to develop Barotseland’s economy and exploit all Barotseland’s rich land, natural, mineral, cultural, human (both civil and royal) resources, for a prosperous twenty-first century Barotseland Kingdom, like the kingdoms of Japan, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Lesotho and many other thriving constitutional monarchies of the world today!

Further, the people want a democratic Barotseland where justice and freedom will reign, placing a premium on the people above all else, with a strict adherent to all internationally acclaimed human rights!

As such, they are hoping that the new Ngambela and the BRE will immediately do some of the following:

1. Immediately work for the unconditional release of Afumba Mombotwa, Inambao Kalima and Likando Pelekelo, since we are now made to understand that the BRE was misled into supporting their arrest by the Zambian state on the pretext that Afumba and his colleagues had conspired to overthrow both the Litunga and the Zambian Executive.

2. Ngambela Manyando must call for a BRE meeting with all the activist leaders in all the freedom movements to harmonise their future activities. A Barotse National Council (BNC) is not necessary at this stage because the 2012 BNC resolutions are still valid and still stand true!

3. The same BRE/Activist meeting should resolve modalities for an expanded Government of National Unity to serve as a Barotseland Transitional Government (BTG) that will work towards a general election that will usher in a substantive Royal Barotseland Government (RBG) with a Prime Minister elected from the party that will win the majority Katengo seats in the general election as Barotseland espouses Parliamentary democracy.

4. The Litunga must then swear in and support this BTG and immediately reform the current Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) to a Barotse Royal Authority (BRA).

Hopefully, all this can be implemented in the course of 2019!

A BAROTSELAND POST EDITORIAL COMMENTARY for 22nd January 2019.

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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.