Indeed, as the civil rights icon so eloquently put it during his sermon in Selma, Alabama, on 8th March 1965, a day after the ‘Bloody Sunday’ on which civil rights protesters were attacked and beaten by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, we all die when we refuse to stand up for that which is right! We die when we refuse to stand up for justice and we die when we refuse to take a stand for that which is true! Coincidentally, the year 1965 was really when Zambia initiated its systematic annexation of Barotseland.
As Barotseland Post turns five this Saturday, the 24th of June, 2017, we wish to believe that we have, together with you all our ardent readers and supporters, stood for what is right, just and true, throughout the past five years.
When we set out five years ago, little did we realize the timeliness of our entrance on the news media landscape for the Barotse audience, home and abroad, as well as the rest of the world beyond the nation of Barotseland! Although undoubtedly challenging, the past five years have truly been worthwhile, and all thanks to the loyal support and encouragement of our readers and followers.
Ours has been and will continue to be an effort to interrogate, expose and follow authenticated historical and developing stories around Barotseland. That Barotseland is an emerging self-determined nation-state is now more apparent than when we first started five years ago, and we truly hope Barotseland Post has contributed a small part in highlighting Barotse people’s socio-political and cultural aspiration over the period. No doubt, information about Barotseland has now proliferated!
Although we have generally steered away from vain propaganda and malice, we have often come under fire from those that thrive in deceit and mistruths. We, however, have sought only to report that which is historically, politically and legally true about the people of Barotseland and their aspirations for Self-Determination emanating from the failure by successive Zambian governments to honour the pre-independence Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which promised them self-determination within the republic of Zambia.
Therefore, gratitude and congratulations must go to the many courageous men and women, young and old, who have gone out of their way to spread knowledge, news and truth about Barotseland so that the story of the Lozi nation could grow. Many have done so at great personal cost due to reprisals from an increasingly repressive Zambian state whose sole public policy on Barotseland has been to deceive, misinform and sometimes distort historical facts in order to perpetuate their often brutal denial of Barotse people’s human rights of free expression, freedom of assembly, conscience and their right to self-determination.
Many Barotse have been arrested over the years for allegedly possessing seditious articles or Barotseland literature obtained through Barotseland Post, even when there is nothing seditious about Barotseland’s past, present and future! Therefore, all such Zambian state harassment is merely meant to stop the spreading of knowledge and truth which works against their agenda to perpetually subjugate Barotseland!
However, we must continue to stand for truth and justice because the survival of Barotseland depends on it!
We may fall short in many ways, but our commitment is always to truth, justice, liberty and human dignity. We will always endeavor to offer the very best of our services to Barotseland.
We, therefore, wish to thank the different interest groups and institutions of Barotseland such as the monarchy, Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), the Barotseland liberation movements such as the Linyungandambo, Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) and all the youth movements like the Barotseland National Youth League (BNYL), BI (Barotse Imilema) and the Linyungandambo Youth League (LYL) to mention but a few.
The Afumba Mombotwa led Barotseland transitional government, whose banner and support we operate under, also deserve our sincere gratitude for giving us the opportunity to cover authenticated developing stories around Barotseland and beyond without undue censorship or inhibition. We are truly enjoying 'freedom of the Press' under their guidance and support.
Last but not the least, thanks must go to many individual activists, resource persons and independent contributors to the Barotseland Post publication and its associated outlets.
To all of you, we say continue speaking and writing as silence is no longer an option.
The record of Barotseland must grow in all forms so that present and future citizenry will be well informed!
Tukongote! Litunga Nilyetu!