IS THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN BAROTSELAND AND “ZAMBIA” REALLY NECESSARY?
Yes! First and foremost, we need to know that the long awaited dialogue between Barotseland and Zambia is political in nature. Barotse Change therefore, would like to define the Political Dialogue as a discussion of political beliefs and positions between Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), over Barotseland’s sovereign statehood status quo, to resolve the impasse, with a view to reach an amicable, complete and satiated settlement of the disengagement.
We welcome all efforts aimed at the logical and amicable resolution of the political stalemate between Zambia and Barotseland, for this has been our ardent call ever since. The key reasons we advance for this cause are
1. That SINCE NEGOTIATIONS IN FOUNDING THE FAILED UNITARY STATEHOOD OF ZAMBIA BEGUN WITH THE TRIPARTITE POLITICAL DIALOGUE (externally in London) IT IS ONLY VERY LOGICAL NOW TO CONCLUDE THE REVERSE PROCESS WITH ANOTHER TRIPARTITE POLITICAL DIALOGUE (externally also, not Lusaka) FOR THE RESOUNDING RESOLUTION OF THE EXPIRED OR DEFUNCT BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT (BA ’64) TREATY. That is, since the signing of the BA’64 was preceded by a political dialogue then it is only logical and fair for the nullification of the same agreement of international enormity to be followed by another political dialogue.
2. Without the political dialogue there can only be FORCED SETTLEMENT, as last-ditch effort, with dire consequences on both Barotseland and especially, Northern Rhodesia.
3. Apart from being a means to amicable resolution of negative conflicts political dialogue, when well intended, becomes a powerful tool in STATE BUILDING in this case both state of Barotseland and Zambia, owing to a number of benefits inherent in the process. Remember that Barotseland is still erroneously called “Western Province” and Northern Rhodesia roguery called “Zambia”.
4. Genuine Political dialogue is one powerful technique available for PEACEBUILDING between warring parties. There has been a war by Northern Rhodesia on Barotseland since 1969 resulting in killings, arrests, forced annexation and other forms of human rights violations of Barotzis by “Zambia”.
5. Finally, without the meaningful and conclusive political dialogue both Barotseland Zambia may not really GROW and MATURE as INDIVIDUAL STATES and NATIONS among others! Inevitably animosity and war will be the order of the day between the two countries mostly due to Barotzis’ national consciousness on one hand and “Zambia’s” vain glory on the other side.
To have a glimpse of what Barotseland has been calling for and now reportedly being insinuated by Zambia, we need to glance over some key elements comprising a genuine political dialogue:
ELEMENTS OF GENUINE POLITICAL DIALOGUE
The reader may wish to know that Political Dialogue itself is not a mere discussion but a complex conversational process with considerations including, but not limited to, the following:
1. PRINCIPLES: The respect for democratic principles and fundamental human rights (e.g. self-determination), as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as for the principle of the rule of law, should underpin the internal and international policies of the Parties and constitutes an essential element of this or any Agreement resulting from Political Dialogue like the long awaited Barotseland – Zambia dialogue. Parties must ready themselves for commitment and compliance accordingly, to the principles. Is Zambia really ready?
2. OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE: This element of political dialogue requires that all parties confirm their joint objective of strengthening their relations by developing their political dialogue and reinforcing their cooperation for instance on trade, on investments, and on economic relations and others working towards creating conditions under which, for instance, Southern Africa regionalisation becomes more feasible and mutually beneficent especially to member states; both new and old. In my view, this way Zambia will best honour the peace protocols and conventions it has been signing as a member of UN, AU, SADC and others. The scope of the dialogue in 1964 was unitary statehood of Zambia. Therefore, Post 2012 the political dialogue cannot be legally and politically correct to have the same objective and scope today in light of what has transpired, other than complete separation.
3. MECHANISMS: With this element the Parties are required to agree that their political dialogue shall be conducted at certain appropriate levels and facilitated by appropriate arbiters. Key on the list is top government officials, workers, citizens, civil societies and making maximum use of diplomatic channels and external arbitrators. Therefore, Zambia will show its readiness for genuine dialogue by pre-conditionally releasing our jailed RBG leaders with Britain also being ready to come to the party once again, because our way in (on 18th May, 1964) is our way out (Post 27th March, 2012 BNC)!
4. METHODOLOGY: The Tripartite Parties agree on the implementation strategy by specified means, striving for
political and social stability to deepen the regional integration process and reducing poverty within a sustainable development framework in Southern Africa. This can take the form of technical, financial, training assistance, or any other means agreed upon by the Parties in the context of the principle, objectives, mechanisms and areas of cooperation; all aimed at effecting a transparent and accountable management of process resources in the effective settlement of the disengagement.
5. COOPERATION: If this element was highly considered in the pre-1964 process side it is more imperative now in the globalising world we are part of. Since Political dialogue can be an endogenous process to enhance capacity, institutions and legitimacy of the state driven by state-society relations in the fields of conflict prevention, trade, human rights, governance, regional integration, trade, custom, human resource relocation, etc. it becomes inclusively and expediently important to consider the element for the sake of the political and economic health of the new states in making; both Barotseland and Zambia are truly states in making.
6. PERIODIC REVIEWS: This political dialogue process element requires periodic appraisal of the implementation progress, regarding disengagement settlement, every after a specified period to be agreed upon by the Tripartite Political Dialogue Team. Unfortunately, this aspect was lacking in the beginning, giving Zambia a leeway to behave as history has aptly recorded. This latitude should be sealed off this time around, for “once beaten twice shy”.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE SUBJECT MATTER
Barotse Change therefore, welcomes GENUINE POLITICAL DIALOGUE that can finally settle amicably the political stalemate between the once unitary statehood partners of Zambia, provided such lobbying and importunate calls are based on the following CONDITIONS, considered herein:
1. Foremost, that “Zambia” should stop further deceitful assertion but openly acknowledge the separation that already exists, hence its desire for dialogue and to go over the same BA’64 document principles evaded for so long. Both countries openly acknowledged and educated their masses over the attempted and purported unitary statehood, prior to BA ’64 signing. Barotseland has done her part already and still continues updating Barotzis on separation now.
2. Premising the political dialogue on finalising the complete separation or disengagement of Barotseland and “Zambia” AND NOT the opposite; forced integration or annexation.
3. Assurance that the GRZ does not plan to use the political dialogue as a tool to procrastinate any longer the valid meaning and significance of the whole separation process.
4. Establishing the context of the political dialogue as Peacebuilding and Statebuilding of both Barotseland and “Zambia” that have been dormant and fiction or rogue respectively, for years.
5. Pledging commitment and compliance to the endogenous process meant to enhance capacities, institutions and legitimacy of the states, driven by states - societies - global relations.
An analysis of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 Treaty document reveals that it was a product of the same process of Political Dialogue more than fifty (50) years ago, in founding the abortive unitary state and nation of Zambia.
This is because it contains the same constitutive elements by UN standards today, as it was then. Engaging in Political Dialogue therefore, becomes the best option and most honourable way of respecting each other and the humanity that we are.
TUKONGOTE, LITUNGA NI LYETU.