Barotseland Nationalism

02 September 2017
Author  Saleya Kwalombota
Kenneth Kaunda’s hegemonic maneuvers did not spare the Church Of Barotseland which was disbanded to form the United Church of Zambia (UCZ). Pictured above is the old dilapidated structure of the Church of Barotseland.

 

Barotseland has every right to exist as an independent state as was affirmed by the match 2012 Barotseland National Council resolutions. There is no doubt over Barotseland's reconstitution which is a matter of patriotism and revolution.

Zambia's hegemony however poses a great danger to Barotseland's self determination resolve. It's worth noting that the Barotseland monarchy still exists under the title of the Kingship known in Silozi as Litunga. For a short period in February 1968, Kenneth Kaunda then President of Zambia, resigned as head of state for the reason he had put ; "upset by a terrible provincial and tribal approach to our national problems" apparently referring to Barotseland 'province' which openly refused to accept his authority over the governance affairs of the territory.

In view of Barotseland people's loyalty to Litungaship authority, Kenneth Kaunda then schemed to take away the powers of the Litunga through constitutional amendments to allow him to exercise absolute powers over legislations signed before or after independence of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia).

Kaunda's appetite for power led to Zambia's unilateral termination of the three parent documents in the formation of Zambia; the BA’64, Zambia Independence Order 1964 and Zambia Independence Act 1964. In his corrupt mindset, the aforementioned legislations obstructed his quest for absolute power over Barotseland. Barley a year after Kaunda's 1968 frustration, he terminated the BA’64 in 1969 through constitutional amendment no. 33. As if that was not enough, he further decided to wipe the name of Barotseland from the history of Zambia by changing Barotseland 'province' to western province in August the same year.

Zambian authority over Barotseland must go as Zambia no longer exists as a unitary state for reason of the unilateral terminating of the only legal document (the BA’64) that could have given Zambia some relative authority over Barotseland.

Hegemony is incompatible with unity, and a unitary state is impossible where illegality exists as the absence of the legal instrument (the BA’64) that brought about the integration of two different territories together through power sharing.

It is factual that since 1969, the people of Barotseland existed as subservient citizens of Zambia. As such, the people of Barotseland are not Zambians as they don't have a feeling of common citizenship with Zambians. Moreover, the identity which goes beyond saluting the flag and traveling on the Zambian passport severely offends their conscience.

Nevertheless, Barotseland is speeding up its consolidation of its nation -state -institutions to take over the authority of its territory which goes hand-in-hand with its 2012 BNC resolutions. Reconstitution of Barotseland governance is priority on the agenda of Barotseland people and supersedes the bogus unitary state of Zambia as claimed in its constitution, as such, administration of Barotseland by the bogus state of Zambia cannot be entertained anymore but must be neutralized by any means.

Barotseland was never destined to be an annexed territory of Zambia and there is no army that can stop Barotseland from attaining its statehood because the law is on its side. However, as usual, Zambia is hostile towards Barotseland self determination demand. In view of this, Zambia can be destructive and wreaking havoc, but the good news is that conviction is the pillar upon which our strength must be anchored to see us through. Therefore, in all fairness, a peaceful disengagement is the best way to go and will give credit to both sides than military conflict.

It's high time the Zambian government accepted and corrected the wrongs of its first president Kenneth Kaunda and move forward with reality that the unitary state of Zambia as claimed by the constitution is fake and cannot stand the test of international law.

Lastly, the people of Barotseland should not indulge expressions and criticisms from Barotseland political elites serving the Zambian government whose interests and our interests are worlds apart. Let us acknowledge that today’s encroachment of our right to self-determination is a product of the wrongs of yesterday, as what is obtaining today cannot be divorced from the abrogation of the Barotseland agreement 1964 and narcissistic tendencies of government representatives.

I urge the people of Barotseland to realize that as a people we have the power to change the current status quo. To blame the current Litunga does not serve to redress the situation. Barotseland national council resolutions of 2012 are our only political roadmap and we should stand to support any progressive developments towards the fulfillment of Barotseland independence.

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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.