The Zambian ‘Game Of Thrones’ - a Barotse Perspective

25 January 2015
Author 

As I pull myself together to start punching the key board for this write - up, polling stations across Zambia , including Barotseland by default , are busy counting the ballot papers. This means the dice has been cast and the decision has been made in as far as who takes over the mantle of leadership and the instruments of power in Zambia after the demise of one, Michael Chilufya Sata, MHSRIEP. Mr. Sata became famous for his campaign promise to do ‘ everything ’ in ninety (90) days when he becomes president , the ninety days prior to his replacement on the Zambian ‘throne’ have been characterized by mayhem and frenzy and a s well as so much paradox and inconsistencies as to boggle the mind. No wonder someone ended up wishing to go to the moon until the dust in ‘Zed’ settles down.

Watching from the terraces as Mwana’Mulozi , one can only conclude that indeed , ‘A revolution is not a tea party or an invitation to dinner , it is a violent overthrow of one class by another,’ said Chairman Mao Tse Tung of China . The manner in which presidential candidates traversed the land in search of votes, made it seem like a matter of life and death , no wonder we have seen unprecedented levels of violence prior to the actual voting day. This was due to the heat of the intellectual and moral combat spilling over into physical confrontation and violence in the negative sense. If the Zambia presidential candidates can engage each other so fiercely for an opportunity to go to plot one, let no Mwana ’ Mulozi think we can achieve Barotseland statehood by sitting idle, being armchair critics of those in the forefront and only participating by asking the famous question; “Luzamaela kai?” (How far are we?). There is no way we can move to our desired destination while sited in our ‘ Lazy - man’s rocking chair ’ , ever in motion but going nowhere. Actualizing Barotseland statehood is a serious revolution! It cannot be overemphasized that: ‘A revolution is not a tea party or an invitation to dinner; it is a violent overthrow of one class by another ’. I should not be misunderstood to advocate for violence in the negative sense. There is such a thing as being combative intellectually, morally, legally and using many other non - violent ‘violent ’ means to achieve a desired goal. They called it non - violent civil disobedience in the civil rights movement of America and the velvet revolution in the Arab Spring of most recent years

The ‘Zambian game of thrones’ means almost nothing to Barotseland because it is about another country. It is very unfortunate that it ha s actually extended to Barotseland , which has already decided to separate from the rest of Zambia. The auxiliary value of the current presidential elections to Barotseland is to produce the next occupant of the Zambia state house who has to be engaged on the actualization of Barotseland statehood as soon as he or she is sown in to office . In fact , I do not envy Zambia ’ s sixth president at all because we do not intend to give him or her the luxury of a honey - moon even for a week after the swearing in ceremony . As advocates for the statehood of Barotseland and activists for Barotseland ’ s Right to self - determination, we are in a hurry to actualize the aspiration of the people of Barotseland who strongly BELIEVE in their RIGHT to SELF - DETERMINATION and SELF - RULE

Barotseland issue, which has haunted Zambian politicians of all ages whether they admit it or not. The exchange of opinion and ideas on the Barotseland issue clearly demonstrate that it is a crucial issue that cannot be taken lightly by any sane person that aspires to occupy Zambia ’ s highest office. Sometimes people think that the Barotseland issue in Zambia is a none - issue once they enter in to state house . However, it has been a key election issue especially since the dawn of democracy in a multiparty environment in 1991. It can actually be said that some politicians as crafty and subtle as snakes have used the issue to gain entrance into state house. Let no one be deceived that the Barotseland issue is a none - issue in as far as Zambia is concern ed for it is the foundation of Zambia as a jurisdiction. This time round , it is even more crucial in the wake of the March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) resolutions , which have rendered Zambia a failed unitary state when the people of Barotseland finally opted out since she cannot continue to be part o f a union that ha s been trivialized , violated and unilaterally abrogated with scornful impunity by the other party .

Among the current crop of men and one woman running for the office of president for the failed unitary state of Zambia, the one that spoke with so much clarity over the Barotseland issue is Dr Ludwig Sondashi, a constitutional lawyer and native of Kaonde land in what is today called the North - western province of Zambia. I must confess , it felt so relieving and indeed refreshing to hear someone speak with so much clarity about Barotseland’s right to self - determination and self - rule . The learned Sondashi clearly stated among other things that:

1.    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.

2.    Zambia cannot be Zambia as we know it without Barotseland and the Barotseland Agreement 1964 on one side and Barotseland cannot be part of Zambia without the Barotseland Agreement 1964 on the other side .

3.   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

The position of Dr. Sondashi is not an afterthought but clearly spelt out in the Forum for Development Alternatives manifesto . What is interesting is that the learned Kaonde man has not been cited for treason or treason felony by the powers that be . Neither has his party been outlawed for being divisive nor his manifesto classified as being seditious material

Another candidate who made his position clear on Barotseland was Dr Nevers S. Mumba , of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy who , among other things said that he will immediately embark on preparations for a Barotseland exclusive referendum to determine the course to be taken by Barotseland and its people, if elected to be the sixth president of the failed unitary state of Zambia . While other people and activists saw no need for a referendum when the people of Barotseland have already decide to separate from the rest of Zambia through the BNC resolutions, I am glad that the man of God w as conscious enough to at least know that t he Barotse reserve the right to determine their future. After all I BELIEVE the Barotse people are so fade up of the Zambian fallacy that no matter how many times you ask them in whatever form — BNC, referendum or otherwise — their answer is the same — self - determination and self - rule — just as they resolved in the March 2012 BNC resolutions. The other Candidates were mute about the issue except, Eric Chanda, leader for the Fourth Revolution who opened his mouth only to expose his total ignorance about the whole issue.

A number of things come to the fore in my min d at least, as a result of the electioneering debate , among which are :

1.    No Mwana ’ Mulozi from whatever walk of life should ever shy away from speaking freely about Barotseland ’ s Right to self - determination and self - rule or indeed participating in any way possible, from now henceforth because “ IT IS NOT TREASON TO SEEK FREEDOM! ” Dr. Ludwig Sondashi our traditional cousin ’ s example is there for all to see .

2.    Let it be known that it does not matter who wins the race to plot one. The people s of Barotseland are determined to actualize Barotseland statehood.

3.    There shall be no honeymoon or relaxing after the electioneering marathon. Zambia ’ s sixth president must touch the ground running over the issue of Barotseland.

4.    The Barotse people should be prepared to declare to the world at any time and in any w ay, that they BELIEVE IN BAROTSELAND’s RIGHT to SELF - DETERMINATION and SELF - RULE, nothing will change that. No matter how many times they are asked and w h at ever method is used. T he people of Barotseland should demonstrate that they have declared as per the March 2012 resolutions .

The people of Barotseland can hardly wait for the declaration of the sixth president of the failed unitary state of Zambia so as to prepare to lock horns with him or her on the transitional arrangements towards the Barotseland statehood . This is an issue that the past five presidents have not dared to do . By handling this issue he or she will stand up head and shoulder above his or her predecessors - BNFA.INFO

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