IMIKENDU IS WRONG: Suing Litunga in Zambian courts contradicts independence push

04 February 2017
Author  Sibeta Mundia, Barotseland Post
File: Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II, personally handing over a ‘gift’ to his non-royal Zambian counterpart, Edgar Lungu, in direct contravention of royal etiquette


The news of a clique of Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) current and former indunas dragging the embattled Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II to a Zambian court is not only disheartening but also very disappointing; especially that it is spearheaded by people who ought to know better. Conversely, those supporting their move are either ignorant of the Lozi cultural norms regarding the Litungaship of Barotseland or simply fail to ‘perceive’ the changes that Barotseland is currently undergoing in her effort to become a self-determined and self-governed state territory.

Nabiwa Imikendu, Litia Charles Mutemwa, Mukubesa Ilukena and Mumbisho Liswaniso should not be supported because, in fact, their present action directly undermines the unanimous resolve by the people of Barotseland who are pushing for national self-determination.

That Lubosi Imwiko II is in violation of several Barotse governance systems is no longer a disputed fact, but dragging him to a Zambian court as Nabiwa Imikendu and his friends are trying to do is not only wrong but also bad for Barotseland, and here below is briefly explained why:

1. The procedure the four have taken is in itself an abrogation of the very Lozi norms and etiquette they seek to use against Lubosi Imwiko II for him to abdicate the throne. Two wrongs can never make a right and the end does not always justify the means.

2. Imikendu is understandably the wrong person to spearhead this process because, ever since he was unceremoniously fired by Lubosi Imwiko II in 2007, he has been accused of seeking every opportunity to undermine Lubosi Imwiko II, including aspiring for political office under the MMD and Sata’s Patriotic Front parties respectively, a move many of his critics think was really intended at ‘fixing’ Lubosi Imwiko II, had he succeeded with his political aspirations.

3. He and the others seem to be pursuing a personal 'crusade' using the people, because they have not stated who or which group of the Lozi community really assigned them to undertake their current process.

4. The four have not stated who they really represent or what they really advocate for; are they for Barotseland’s total independence or are they for the 'restoration' of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964? Or maybe their agenda is for a ‘regime’ change at the level of Litunga or do they merely wish to return to their 'prestigious' BRE positions at the Limulunga kuta?

5. They have sought audience at the wrong court where they plainly declared that they were Zambians pursuing a Zambian cause.

6. They are complaining about lack of development in ‘Western province’, a matter that the people have already decided they will pursue with their Barotse national government and not the 'foreign' Zambian government. As such they unanimously voted for Barotseland independence in 2012.

From the above and many other reasons, it can be clearly deduced that the four are pursuing litigation in their capacity as concerned Zambians, whose pursuit has nothing to do with Barotseland self-determination, and if precedence is anything to go by, their case may never see the light of day as the Litungaship even under current Zambian policy enjoys immunity from litigation.

However, the Barotse culture is sufficient to handle any challenge including that of an erring Litunga, and it is to these norms that the Barotse should turn in search of answers to any predicament, such as the one of Lubosi Imwiko II. As one eminent insider close to the situation commented on the matter:

"Ze za mu zeko mwa (concerning the pursuit at the) High Court ya Zambia: It is a misguided publicity seeking act led by persons with personal gripes and no credibility in the struggle for Barotseland ... as their statement confesses they are Zambians! The development we aspire for is freedom ... then all other developments would be added by our free selves."

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  • Situtu Kaongolo Situtu Kaongolo Saturday, 04 February 2017

    Batu ba balumilwe ki PF

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.