Zambia's sixth president Edgar Lungu must touch the ground running over the issue of Barotseland, there is no honeymoon on this issue. Our 2012 BNC resolutions are clear and empathetic. Barotseland's right to self rule cannot be denied to her by any one as it hinges on public international law. We believe in the right to self determination and nothing can change our resolve even in the face of death.
During the run up to Zambia's sixth presidential election, Ludwig Sondashi and Nevers Mumba freely discussed this issue and none was arrested and charged with treason. Why should it only become treason when discussed by Lozi nationals? This exposes Zambia's double standards and it should be a wakeup call to all the people of Barotseland that Zambia holds worst consideration for Barotseland. The utterances of Dr. Ludwig Sondashi are worthy reading knowing that they come from a Zambian constitutional lawyer:-
- "Barotseland is not a province of Zambia and, therefore, not like any province of Zambia. It was (until 27th March 2012) in fact a state within a state just like it was a protectorate within a protectorate from 1911 to 1964.
- The decision as to whether Barotseland should be part of Zambia (upon the restoration of the BA’64 of course) or pursue its own independent statehood (as per the March 2012 BNC Resolutions) is a preserve of the people of Barotseland alone without the interference of the rest of Zambia"
One is confronted with a question, though, why the Zambian government did not arrest and charge Dr. Sondashi of treason felony? Neither has his party been outlawed for being 'divisive' nor his manifesto classified as being 'seditious' material, as many other Zambians commented on this issue but were left Scot free without arrest. This accords a rare window into the thinking and rationale of the Zambian government's views on the Barotseland issue. Therefore, Lozis from all walks of life should now be speaking freely about Barotseland's Right to self-determination and self-rule or indeed participating in any way possible because IT IS NOT TREASON TO SEEK FREEDOM.
We expect the Barotseland patriot for independence and the BRE to engage the new Zambian president Edgar Lungu to immediately start the negotiations of disengagement as tricksters will never be tolerated. Remember that this is the man who exhibits worst considerations of Barotseland and never said anything about it during his presidential message campaigns. We expect tougher time ahead with this man from the way he handled it when he was a minister of Home affairs and Defense; he militarized our territory, arrested our activists and detained them for months without trial, even now the Administrator General of Barotseland provisional government and others are still incarceration at Mwembeshi state prison. The people of Barotseland will not take it kindly with Zambia should the issue of Barotseland not be given serious considerations it deserves and the Lukewarm altitude of the BRE will not be accommodated.
By Saleya Kwalombota