Political Editor, Barotseland Post
In a lengthy speech, Kenneth Kaunda, then Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia, barely a couple of months after signing the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and shortly before Zambia’s October 1964 independence, categorically assured then Litunga (King) of Barotseland, Sir Mwanawina III, KBE, and all Members of the Barotse Royal Family and of the Barotse Government, that the Zambian Government had no wish to interfere with the day-to-day running of the internal affairs of Barotseland.
The assurance was given in a written speech that Kenneth Kaunda himself publicly read at a meeting held at the headquarters of the Barotse government at Lealui, on Thursday, 6th August 1964.
The question is what have we recently seen and heard in the country that needs to be reflected upon? In my interaction with the people in my pastoral engagement in the diocese I hear that most people are intimidated and threatened to remain silent on events that are happening.
There is a feeling that when people speak out on what they feel is not going on well in the nation, they will lose their employment if they were civil servants or they will be arrested. It is seen even in noble programs or commissions that are sanctioned by government.
Around mid-20th century, a psychologist named Kurt Lewin identified a three - stage model of change developed to understand change in an organization. His model is the description of a three stage process of change known as Unfreeze, Change and Refreeze. This model has proved to be foundational to many change models and programmes for over half a century now; since 1950. This means the model is still applicable and a sure basis of Barotse Change approach today.
There is no doubt that both the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and Zambia’s successive ruling establishments have been the major beneficiaries of the Barotseland narrative. While the former derives mostly financial profits, the Barotseland saga has been used by the latter to perpetuate their hold to power and maintain the power balance.
The following is essentially a brief discourse on whether or not the Litunga of Barotseland is supreme, how he ascends the throne, if and how he can be dethroned. Hopefully, the article will give a ‘snip’ preview of the Barotse nation, its monarchy and cultural systems of governance from the past to the present.
IS THE LITUNGA SUPREME
REMEMBERING DR. KING ON MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY
Martin Luther King Day is a United States of America federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.