NEW BAROTSELAND: A New Year Case to Demystify the Name and an Aid to the Doubtful!

06 January 2018
Author  Lindunda Wamunyima, Barotseland Post

INTRODUCTION

The New Year euphoria has prompted us to address Barotse Change by expounding on the subject of the name ‘New Barotseland’. Foremost, the reader is hereby reminded that the COUNTRY OF BAROTSELAND is a region between Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and is home to the Lozi people, Barotse or Malozi as we call ourselves who are a unified group of over 24 individual formerly diverse tribes related through kinship, originating from the branch called the Luyi (Maluyi), and also assimilated northern Sotho of South Africa who they called Kololo.

As Barotse, we speak a common complex national language, Silozi (Serotse) originated from several languages but primarily Sesotho. Barotseland is an expanse of 126,386 square kilometers of OLD BAROTSELAND reclaimed by the action of 2012 BNC’S UDI Mandate as NEW BAROTSELAND.

Since as early as the 13th century, the Barotse people had occupied an area of South Central Africa today known as the ROYAL BAROTSELAND KINGDOM, which includes the part de facto administered under the unwanted and disputed title of ‘Western Province’ in Zambia. From the pre-1964 Barotseland National Government (BNG) the Royal Barotseland Kingdom is now administered by ROYAL BAROTSELAND GOVERNMENT (RBG) currently styled Barotseland Transitional Government; BTG in short, in the transition. The contemporary RBG governance structure has vested ULTIMATE STATE POWER founding NEW BAROTSELAND as the authority representing the Kingdom and people of Barotseland. It consists of TWO ELEMENTS, namely the ROYAL ESTABLISHMENT or MONARCHY and, for the first time in history, the CIVIL GOVERNMENT. This is why, for the sake of clarity, the New Barotseland is styled as a DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY, a governance structure where the Monarch and its people share power. That means New Barotseland will have a parliament to legislate and formulate laws, with periodic elections based on universal suffrage system. The elective political office of Prime Minister (PM) will be head of civil government, while the Monarch or King (Litunga) reigns as ceremonial Constitutional Head of State.

Otherwise, most other rudiments and features that formed Barotseland are still the constitutive elements today incorporating just a few parts, as stipulated in the provisional constitution, to qualify the branding of our lovely country “New Barotseland”.

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF A DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY?

Well, someone may be wondering as to why our elders opted for this type of power structure in Barotseland, this time around. The answer is a “thumbs up” to them and for the following reasons:

1.    The Constitutional Monarchy is THE BEST TYPE OF GOVERNMENT THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN; ON EARTH TODAY, judging from statistical data provided by “THE 2016 LEGATUM PROSPERITY INDEX”, listing the dominant prosperous European countries. “IN FACT EIGHT OF THE TOP 10 BEST GOVERNED COUNTRIES ON EARTH TODAY ARE CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHIES.” The report reveals that one other common feature among the TOP 22 best run governments of the world today, is that they are either currently constitutional monarchies or were once governed as such in recent past; with Finland, Switzerland, USA and Singapore being the only exception at numbers 3, 4, 17 and 19 respectively. Considering the case of Germany (11th), Ireland (13th), Iceland (14th), France (18th) and Slovenia (20th) we find that they were once constitutional monarchies quite recently. This is more than being a mere coincidence rather a fact attributive to democratic constitutional monarchy system’s fundamental benefits. Definitely there is something inherently good about constitutional monarchy lacking in republic or dictatorship systems. Read full report from Barotseland Post article of 5th February, 2017 entitled “IS CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY THE BEST TYPE OF GOVERNMENT ON EARTH TODAY?” authored by Sibeta Mundia.

2.    Based on the facts stated in No. 1 above and others, the absence of this power structure in the 1964 Old Barotseland is ONE STRONG REASON BEHIND THE FAILED ZAMBIAN UNITARY STATEHOOD AND NATIONHOOD on account that the ‘combo’ of power-sharing structure was seriously imbalanced thereby proving the Litunga and Monarchy of Barotseland very vulnerable and prey to the counterpart President and Republic in Zambia. This is one reason why the Barotseland Monarchy sought the British Protectorate status before. Therefore, one can only guess that this probably also motivated the British Empire to handover the leadership button to the republic instead of the Monarchy; despite Barotseland’s centuries-age experience while trusting that Zambia will manage to enforce the BA ’64 to the letter. Unfortunately, Zambia failed to sustain the British legacy over Barotseland. Eventually, the Republic Political power system simply could not merge successfully with the monarch power system in our attempted unitary state - ZAMBIA. The embattledness of the Barotseland Monarchy in the transition is further testimony to this very sad reality. When the civil power wing of New Barotseland takes over complete power over the affairs of our land then Zambia will have no choice but to concede finally and wag down the tail of self-deception to propel our complete separation also. That hour is surely coming unrestrained.

3.    The New Barotseland power structure IMPROVES CHECKS AND BALANCES AND GENERAL ACCOUNTABILITY, qualities that rarely exist in many countries like Zambia, with 'Republican' or 'Dictatorships' brand of governments systems. This is one reason behind the underdevelopment we see in Barotseland– all cannot be blamed on Zambia alone. Each system partner had a leeway, in their own right, to ruin Barotseland to the extent it is, in the transition without the proper checks and balances observed in a fully functional Democratic Constitutional Monarch governance system.

4.    Constitutional monarchies tend to be COMPARATIVELY MORE PEACEFUL AND STABLE POLITICALLY, as they usually have inbuilt age-old systems for resolving potential conflicts. This is what our New Barotseland stands ready to prove to Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) and the rest of the world when finally takes full control of our motherland affairs. Having been yoked to the failed political project called Zambia and now vying for sustainable development then this seems the best way for Barotseland to go, and time will tell the good story of New Barotseland better in this regard.

FLASHBACK ON EARLY HISTORY

Queen Mwambwa was Barotseland’s first traceable Litunga and the founder of the Lozi Kingdom. She was succeeded by her daughter Mbuywamwambwa. Mboo Muyunda was the 3rd Litunga installed as the first male Litunga, also called King, while his mother, Mbuywamwambwa remained as the Makoshi or Natambumu, the mother and prime feminine advisor to the Litunga. Since Queen Mwambwa’s reign, Barotseland has had a record of twenty-four (24) Litungas to Lubosi Imwiko’s reign, all of whom have been ruling Barotseland outside the confines of the Republican five-year terms of office! On the other hand, Zambia has had only six Presidents confirming its novice in existence.

The history ante-Queen Mwambwa and post that early period is inconclusively written but around the 17th century and undoubtedly by the early 19th, during the partition of Africa; 1870 and 1905 also called scramble for Africa, Barotseland state and nation was already in existence and was recognized as such by the white colonists. This was long before there was any country called Zambia. Additionally, the Kingdom of Barotseland was firmly established as an independent and unitary kingdom under the governance of a Royal Authority, being led by a King called Litunga by title.

This historic excerpt essentially points to the fact that Barotseland has been a lingo nation with outstanding culture. The Barotseland state and nation progressed and evolved over time from original life to advanced modern level now as New Barotseland, with distinctive national ethos and culture just like any other society in the world. Therefore, failure to understand all these facts including terming Silozi a “tribe” is not only an insult to Barotseland but Zambia as a whole, for it shows serious dissidence and ignorance about the origins of oneself as Zambian and Zambia! Actually, Barotseland birthed Zambia in most terms. For instance, without Barotseland Agreement of 1964 there would be no Unitary Zambia; without the Zambezi (Lyambai) river there would be no name Zambia; without the entire contents of Seventy-Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling (£78,500,000.00) looted from Barotseland Central Bank and other assets of Barotseland used in founding the Zambian economic and political ecosystems, there would be no Zambia, etc!

OTHER BAROTSELAND STATEHOOD AND NATIONHOOD LANDMARKS

The reader may also want to note that the map of Barotseland was drawn on 11th June 1890 during the partition of Africa and about seventy-four (74) years before Zambia came to be. This map has never been invalidated, not even by the abrogation and repudiation of BA’64 by the novice Zambia. These boundaries were the universally recognized rightful extent of Barotseland still being kept in the World Centre of Boundaries in USA Washington DC, especially from 1900 to 1964 and then on to 2018, forming our reclaimed territorial boundary. Therefore, it is illogical for anybody to claim that Barotseland is seceding from Zambia. If anything, it is Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) that has illegally been ceding parts of Barotseland away, in a ploy to divide and rule Barotseland the way it has been.

Barotseland was an elite British protectorate, and by British standard of law, a protectorate is a territory in which sovereignty does not belong to the Queen of Britain but to the government and people of that protectorate. Such was the status of Barotseland, unlike Northern Rhodesia which was a conquered territory by the British Empire, and only came to be in 1911. Sadly, Zambia unilaterally decided to convert Barotseland’s Elite Protectorate political status into a colony in 1969; as if avenging on Barotseland what Northern Rhodesia was to the British Empire! The doubter should also read the BUXTOR COMMISSION OF INQUIRY REPORT OF 1922 which sheds more light on the boundary of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Barotseland. This is why the independence of 24th October, 1964 was technically for Northern Rhodesia, a colony then and freed to merge with elite Protectorate Barotseland as Zambia. Unfortunately, grapes turned sour for Barotseland when she was coerced into repression and annexation for nearly fifty (50) years! THEREFORE, THERE HAS BEEN NO INDEPENDENCE FOR BAROTSELAND SINCE 1964 OTHER THAN THE FAMOUS 27TH MARCH, 2012 BAROTSELAND NATIONAL COUNCIL’S UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (UDI).

Both the Zambia Independence Order and Zambia Independence Acts own up the territories that attempted to be unified by the BA’64 Treaty in founding the unitary state called Zambia. The International legal terminology identifies Zambia as neither monolithic nor federal in nature. No wonder the two territories reverted to their pre-1964 statuses after the 2012 Barotseland National Council’s UDI Mandate.

CONCLUSION

Both Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia, as countries, signed the BA’64 in 1964 to signal their desire to co-exist as unitary Zambia. By the same token, Zambia’s abrogation of the union treaty in 1969 and Barotseland’s affirmative action of 2012 BNC Resolution have expressed their desire to separate completely. Therefore, it is now indisputable that Barotseland and Zambia are on the same footing since both have agreed to the termination of the Agreement by international law standards. Consequently, there is no Treason arising from the broken Agreement. What is unlawful is what Zambia has done to unilaterally terminate the Agreement and then keep probating and reprobating over the rights derived from the treaty that is long nullified!

THE O.A.U CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE'S RIGHTS SECTION 20 (2) STIPULATES THAT "DOMINATED AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREE THEMSELVES FROM THE BOND OF DOMINATION BY RESORTING TO ANY MEANS". Other international Charters state the same. Barotseland has all the full right to be heard, recognized and ultimately liberate herself because she has complied in all terms and aspects of International Law and therefore, cannot be blamed for demanding; in whatever way needful, to entrench the ultimate to 2012 BNC UDI Mandate.

Given all the plethora of historic and contemporary evidence, let all the “Doubting Thomases” keep on with their business while Barotseland unstoppably matches on to her complete independence. Otherwise, Barotseland is neither Western Province nor in Zambia BUT NEW BAROTSELAND country.

TUKONGOTE WA MWANA’ NONGOLO; LITUNGA NI LYETU!

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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.