The much awaited historic 24th October; the Independence Day for Northern Rhodesia, is once again here this month of October. Since 1964 when Northern Rhodesia was pronounced independent from the British colonial rule the event has been recurrent yearly, just like any other important anniversary. Unfortunately, it will forever symbolize the ironic climax of the paradoxical 48 years union between Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland dubbed as Zambia from 1964 to 2012. This union is what rightfully qualifies to be termed as “FREEDOM OF DEPENDENCE” for both territories in 1964, as opposed to “FREEDOM OF INDEPENDENCE” of March, 2012 for Barotseland and earlier on 1964 for Northern Rhodesia.
As reactions continue to flow over the Supreme Court of Zambia’s verdict on Barotseland Independence leaders, one prominent Barotse independence advocate, Saleya Kwalombota, laments as he questions the silence of the Zambian media, international community and the Barotse elite;
HARD TO BEAR
The recent Supreme Court ruling in Ndola where Barotseland provisional government leaders have been sentenced to an additional five years from the initial 10 years following their appeal against the Kabwe High Court judgment of 2016 that handed them a 10-year sentence each is hard to bear.
The people of Barotseland and the world over should stand to condemn this kind of mistreatment of Barotseland independence advocates by the Zambian courts.
It has become clear that taking issues relating to Barotseland in any Zambian courts is not of any help as it will never receive a fair judgment in the face of Zambian courts.
This has further been demonstrated by Zambian media silence over the Supreme Court Judgment in Ndola.
It is a total lie to allege that to resolve matters arising out of the 1964 agreement, the Zambian government must only deal with the Litunga because it is his signature on it. In fact, even if they made Kenneth Kaunda and Lubosi Imwiko II sign an agreement today, it would not constitute a legitimate national agreement as long as the people were sidelined prior to signing it.
Barotse people must, therefore, not be deceived by the Zambian government officials when they claim that the Litunga is the ‘only authority’ they recognize in Barotseland and that he wields such immense powers as to act and make critical national decisions over Barotseland unilaterally! They only use this claim to blackmail Barotse people into accepting the government schemes over Barotseland using the Litunga’s ascribed sovereign powers!
We trust and pray that this correspondence finds you in the best of your health and spirits. Our calendars indicate that we are now in the month of September; a time when your clandestine negotiations regarding the defunct BA ’64 are supposedly commencing. We implore you, as Barotse nationals, to engage in serious self-introspection at least this once, aimed at reviewing the dangerous course you are taking against your own country, Barotseland, in the GMO Syndicate with the Zambian government. It is never too late to mend or reconsider your ways. Barotse Change is convinced that, given your high profile standing, are capable of defusing the beguiling and benumbing Zambian leaven of deception and act rationally and with dignity, coupled with nationalism and patriotism for Barotseland’s sake. It is our greatest desire, as proponents of Barotse Change, to appeal to you once more brothers and sisters for you to reconsider so that you do not find your names finally indelibly chronicled on the wrong and bad side of the history of both Northern Rhodesia “Zambia” and unquestionably Barotseland.
In restoration, the Litunga, King of Barotseland will merely be a glorified chief, with the superficial title of King, conferred on him by the Zambian president or government, which will be recognized only in Zambia, with a jurisdiction limited only to the Western Province - to be renamed Barotseland.
However, with Barotseland independence, Lubosi Imwiko II, King of Barotseland stands to be the first Sovereign De jure, Head of State of the Kingdom of Barotseland, who would be recognized by the whole world as such, and would freely interact with all the other reigning monarchs and presidents across the world as King and head of a sovereign state!
Restoring the defunct 1964 Barotseland agreement now will only create a miserable trap for Barotseland, with little or no way out, because unlike in 1964 when Zambia was to be governed as a federated country in which Barotseland would be a ‘state within a state’, the FTJ Chiluba led government turned Zambia into a unitary state which governs all its provinces, including Western Province or Barotseland, from one very strong center.
When the much-anticipated trial of the four Barotseland independence leaders had resumed on Thursday, 26th November 2015, following Tuesday’s adjournment prompted by the defense’s need to have certain videos and documents ready for submission as evidence, the court session started at around 10:23 hours local time and ended at about 13:42 hours, with the co-accused each giving part of their testimony.
One could sense that there was just something regularly amiss about this particular trial as, apart from the five or so family members, the rest of the slightly over twenty court attendants were police officers and state security agents, reminiscent of a court-martial! It was no ordinary trial, after all, and more security officers swarmed the court periphery while some Linyungandambo and Barotse sympathizers waited anxiously from four or so hundred meters away!
“What is a treaty, and does the Barotseland Agreement 1964 qualify as such in international law?” These are some of the questions many Zambians who seek to know the legal implications of abrogating the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 often ask. In fact, we must answer this question because some continue to perpetuate the lie that the Barotseland Agreement 1964 was nothing more than a non-legally binding agreement to appease both the King of Barotseland and the former colonial masters with no consequence to the future governance of independent Zambia!
The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) has opposed the proposal that first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda helps to resolve the issue of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
BNFA first trustee William Harrington says it is unfair for anyone to expect that Dr. Kaunda can help to resolve the impasse over the Barotseland.
To your response over SABC Interview, I respond as follows:
You have complained through ZNBC that the interviewer was un-ethical and the interviewees were not truthful. You tell the world that you are going to launch a complaint to the Government of South Africa over the said interview but I want to show you that you have actually acknowledged that the charge slapped on your Government is indeed true!
I could not believe listening to his Excellence Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambia's High commissioner to South Africa on SABC program dubbed "the Globe", misguiding himself over the question of Barotseland.
Mwamba's inability to articulate the genesis of Lewanika concessions, treaties and agreements in relation to the formation of Northern Rhodesia and in regard to the defunct BA64 is an embarrassment to the few honest Zambian academicians and historians.
It is not uncommon to hear many Zambians claim that Zambia is a unitary state, therefore, aspirations for Barotseland are doomed when, in fact, very few understand what a unitary state really is.