Towards more meaningful Heroes, Heroines and Unity days: A BAROTSE CHANGE Reflection

26 June 2018
Author  L. Wamunyima, Barotseland Post
Afumba Mombotwa – Barotseland Administrator General

 

The Zambian traditional Heroes and Unity weekend is fast approaching once again falling, this year, on 2nd and 3rd July respectively. The 2nd July National Holiday is supposed to honour Zambians accorded the status of heroes and heroines while 3rd July is a National Holiday intended to foster solidarity among the diverse groups making up the territory of Zambia.

Unfortunately, Zambia has slowly been losing the interpretation of the same such that the significance of the two days has been declining to statuses of just being mere public holidays, dubbed “Four-Days Break” and purely for the individual, family programs or nothing at all! One may ask why? Well, in my humble submission I argue that the observed diffidence by leaders and indifference by the Zambians to the importance of the National Holidays is due to the following facts:

1. Zambia has had no real historical cause to warrant the nobility and magnitude of heroes and heroines day, to celebrate as gazetted. The independence was given to Northern Rhodesia as Zambia on a rather ‘silver plate’ as it were, in as far as bloody independence struggles are concerned.

2. There has been deliberate deception by pioneers and later on imposed ignorance by subsequent and contemporary Zambian leadership to conceal the actual meaning of the National Holidays just like the hidden true meaning of the ‘unitary’ statehood of Zambia enshrined in the constitution of the country; equally concealed. How could a document of BA ’64 enormity together with its role in Zambia’s existence be silent and absent from the school curricula? In effect, God cannot be bribed to bless such deceptive efforts by a self-proclaimed Christian nation against the express command “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain ………..” Exodus 20:7 [KJV].

3. The ambiguous definition of the terms heroes and heroines in the Zambian context has slowly shifted focus from freedom fighting to political gimmickry, with some individuals falling in between or outside the framework of the designation.

A similar analysis can be given concerning the Unity day. Barotseland intelligentsia and memory bank inform us that the days were conspired alongside the “One Zambia, One Nation” slogan both as part of the scheme aimed at coercing Barotseland into the bogus unitariness with Northern Rhodesia to transform Zambia into a monolithic state and nation!

Otherwise, without the succinct, no wonder the days have gradually lacked the due reputation and lost the significant bearing on the lives of the two nations during the period of the attempted, spurious and coerced unitary partnership.

With all these observations perhaps it is high time Barotseland took advantage of the spirit and import of the two days and do something differently meaningful for motherland Bulozi in one way or another, instead. WE HAVE MANY TRUE HEROES AND HEROINES TO TALK ABOUT MOST OF WHOM ZAMBIA HAS REFUSED TO HONOUR EVER SINCE. Additionally, looking at our political circumstances we need to take time and reflect on the important theme of unity of our diverse ethnicity comprising Silozi and Barotseland, as a nation and as a way forward.

WHO ARE THE HEROES AND HEROINES OF BAROTSELAND?

The list is long from the antiquity through the time of the famous Imutakwandu LitungaKing Liwanika Lubosi (I) to the present BTG’s trio currently dubiously incarcerated in Zambia. Punctuated in between are the brothers and sisters you know very well who have played a pivotal role to usher Barotseland to where we are today, both on the local and international stages. Some of them are there posthumously in their death beds, while others are still alive and indelibly marked with scars (emotionally, physically, and socially) from gunshots, police brutality, bereavements and so on, on account of our very own (complete) independence!One observes with great sorrow that it is all such malevolence which befell our heroes and heroines which has now turned some of our once brave parents into cowards to recuse themselves from the noble struggle. Surely, isn’t this day supposed to be spent on reflecting on the good names of our land; not necessarily to venerate them rather to echo our craved unity of purpose, compassion and solidarity? In my view, that can be one way of honouring our heroes and heroines. Particularly, one can engage in works of charity for their families or the cause they espoused before their confinement (by death or incarceration) from the rest of us.

As for Zambia the list of the heroes and heroines is mixed up and almost a secret [for missing a hall of fame accordingly] because it includes some names of Barozitsh sons and daughters who were willing to be used as traitors to thwart the self-determination agenda of Barotseland, just like we see and read today about the state agents for hoaxed Zambianism. Such traitors have always sacrificed their public recognition in favour of accolades rewarded secretly in form of the now famous “brown envelopes” as keepsakes.

WHAT UNITY IS SUPPOSED TO MEAN IN BAROTSELAND?

As things stand now in Barotseland we are divided into two active Freedom Movements – the minority BRE and others who are pursuing Freedom of Dependence on bogus Zambia while the majority Barotseland population is resolute about Freedom of Independence from the failed unitary project called Zambia. We should quickly note that the word unity can have many different applied meanings. However, for the purpose of this discourse unity refers to the condition when all Freedom Parties or movements, in Barotseland, have decided to work together towards a common cause none other than the long overdue complete independence of our country. We are actually talking about UNITY OF DIVERSITYwhich, unlike Unity of Uniformity, doesn't mean they should all belong to the same party, but that they are willing to put aside their differences while augmenting their strengths to complement one another and accomplish the task at hand – working toward a completely independent Barotseland.

We all know that Barotseland has a transitional government (BTG) which came to be by action of the famous 2012 BNC and I quote among others, Resolution No. 9 which states that “We Mandate the Barotse Government (Not Barotse Royal Establishment - BRE)to immediately engage the Zambian government with the sole purpose of working out transitional arrangements towards self-determination [not restoration of BA’64] for Barotseland within the shortest possible time under the auspices of the United Nations”, not auspices of Government of the Republic of Zambia - GRZ. Emphasis supplied. This was authored more than six (6) years ago a time period some folks tend to view as protracted and yet in most of such cases we are the same people not doing our best in rendering our due support to BTG in one way or another, no matter how small. This is very true and needful just as the Silozi adage aptly puts it that “Munwana ulimungw’I a ukoni ku tuba nda!” There are many other idioms that point to the same fact that there is more power in unity of diversity than solitariness or uniformity.

CONCLUSION

If the enemy is united against us we need to put an equal but opposite and resistive force of unity. And by celebrating the work done by our heroes and heroines we draw much strength from their inspiration to soldier on with the struggle until we get the ultimate answer. SO, AS THE EVENTS OF 2ND JULY AND 3RD JULY DATE US EVERY YEAR IT IS TIME TO REMEMBER IN BAROTSELAND THAT ACTUALLY THE HOLIDAYS PARADOXICALLY APPLY MORE TO US THAN OUR NEIGHBOURING NORTHERN RHODESIA. That is just because the struggle has been more intense on Barotseland than Northern Rhodesia – UNFORTUNATELY IN A HUSHED MANNER. This is why some people do not seem to understand this entire story about Barotseland’s complete independence. Therefore, we will do well to rightfully rise to the occasion of the days in ways that are uniquely meaningful to Barotseland, wherever Barotseland nationals are. These are issues that do not need a command, communique or request from the government in waiting BTG for us to move on accordingly.

Muyoyange wino wino!

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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.