Will Barotseland remain a perpetual victim of Zambian orchestrated Political violence?

27 March 2018
Author  Lindunda Wamunyima, Barotseland Post
FILE: Zambian political cadres in Barotseland during electoral campaign season

INTRODUCTION

POLITICAL VIOLENCE is a broad term used to describe violence perpetrated by either persons or governments to achieve political goals. It can actually be politically motivated violence within and/or without state control.Some popular terms used when describing political violence include armed revolution, civil strife, terrorism, war, and other such causes that can result in injury or loss of property.

Usually, when people believe that their political systems will never respond to their demands they believe that violence is not only justified but also necessary in order to achieve their political objectives.Likewise, many governments around the world believe they need to use violence in order to intimidate their public into compliance or consenting citizenry. Sometimes, a government may use force in order to defend its territorial borders from invasion or other external threats or to coerce another government or to conquer a territory, like did Zambia to Barotseland. Non-action on the part of a government can also be characterized as a form of political violence.Political violence can take a number of forms including but not limited to those articulated in this write-up.

THE QUESTION TO ANSWER IS “WHY POLITICAL VIOLENCE”?

In trying to understand this important and vexing subject of political violence scholars seek to explain it using three categories of factors namely Institutional, Ideational, and Individual.

1. INSTITUTIONAL EXPLANATIONS of political violence focus on how state, economic, or social systems contribute to political violence. Here we see, for instance, how competition for power in the international unitary system like Barotseland – Northern Rhodesia attempted union led the powerful state of Zambia to institute reforms that bred discontent among themselves and hence incited the revolution to forcefully annex Barotseland for prestigious and a larger geographic piece of land to govern. Institutions of Barotseland (Treasury, Church, school, etc.) were used to found Zambia and only at the expense of Barotseland to her deplorable state today. This partly explains our political plight in Barotseland.

2. IDEATIONAL EXPLANATIONS of political violence focus on the effect of political, religious ideas in causing political violence. Here we see the idea of incompatible Monarchy - Republic governance political ideology system in serious antagonism and eventually failing to cleave to each other, thereby rendering Zambia a bogus and failed project!

3. INDIVIDUAL EXPLANATIONS of political violence focus on what motivates individual people to engage in political violence either because of rational, psychological or economic factors. Right from the beginning around 1964 most people, including the Litunga of Barotseland, found it irrational to merge the two territories at loggerheads today. Some individuals, unfortunately, have been using it as a source of financial gains through bribes and the like! Furthermore, the implementation and interpretations of the defunct BA ’64 varied between Barotseland and Zambian nations and states.

FORMS OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE SUFFERED BY BAROTSELAND AT THE HANDS OF ZAMBIA

Political violence varies widely in form, severity, and practice. In political science, a common organizing framework is to consider types of violence by the relevant actors:

  • Violence between non-state actors,
  • One-sided violence by non-state actors, and
  • One-sided violence perpetrated by a state actor against civilians.

It is interesting to note that Zambia’s violence against Barotseland has taken all the three categories as explained hereinbelow, since 1964.

1. VIOLENCE BETWEEN NON-STATE ACTORS.

In this kind of fighting non-state actors engage in violence between themselves without state security forces playing a direct role in the conflict. A good example here is Ethnic conflict. An ethnic conflict is a violence between ethnic groups. An ethnic group is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, society, culture or nation; like Barotseland nation with Silozi culture and Silozi language. This vice has been rife in areas like Lukulu, Kaoma and surrounding areas in a way that masks the engineer Zambia from the violence.Additionally, the Zambian tactic of convening clandestine GMOsmeetings over BA’ 64 between BRE cohorts and fellow Barotseland nationals serving in GRZ high ranking portfolios also amounts to ethnic conflict by end of the day as Zambia standby and watch Barotseland on fire attacking their monarch, etc., or respond by adding police brutality to protect their human instruments of deception. In recent past, it has trended as far as inflicting the violence between Lozis and their traditional cousins (Tongas) over the Kuomboka ceremony for settling political scores.

2. ONE-SIDED VIOLENCE BY NON-STATE ACTORS.

Terrorism ranks as number one in this category. Terrorism is a form of political violence which is usually perpetrated by the weaker side of a conflict, and so may also fall under violence between a state and non-state actor. Under this ploy, Zambia has been using Barotseland nationals as betrayers and BRE against their own national trust of self-rule from 1969 and now 2012 BNC UDI Mandate.

Terrorism is the use of violence by non-state actors against civilians in order to achieve a political goal. Barotseland instead has experienced state-sponsored terrorism as violence in form of genocide, war crimes, the government modified options (GMOs) to the defunct BA ‘64 and torture perpetrated by Zambian state as an instrument of foreign policy to control our country for close to five (5) decades.

3. ONE-SIDED VIOLENCE BY THE STATE.

The use of force by an organized armed group, be it a government or non-state group, which results in the deaths of civilians. Accordingly here the Zambian police have been a strong tool in the campaign of one-sided violence recorded against Barotseland civilians since then.

A) FAMINE

The famine of food and information can be initiated or prolonged in order to deny resources, compel obedience, or to depopulate a region with an obstinate or untrusted populace but partisans of the political party in power – no wonder Barotseland is flooded with foreigners serving in most offices at the expense indigenous citizens! In Barotseland, this mostly took the form of deployment of Barotzis away from home country replacing them with foreigners and other forms of deprivations. Economic deprivation of the Barotseland worked to emigrate Lozis away from home to the lines of rail at alarming proportions, for greener pastures. On the other hand, information deprivation helped GRZ to starve people with information about BA ’64, Commission of Enquiries Reports and other findings pending that are requisite to the logical amicable resolution of the political stalemate.

B) GENOCIDE

One form of political violence is genocide. Genocide is commonly defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, of an ethnic, racial, religious or national group, although what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars. This genocide has typically been carried out with either the explicit or secret support of the government of GRZ, as evidenced by the number lost Barozitsh lives and staked Silozi culture and language all aimed at obliterating our nation Barotseland. It is just a matter of time and given chance we would also experience holocaust, the most cited historical example of genocide. And to most of this, our elders have turned a blind eye!

C) TORTURE

Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain, whether physical or psychological, as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or confession from an individual, or simply as an act of cruelty. Torture is prohibited under international law and the domestic laws of most countries in the 21st century because it is considered a human rights violation declared unacceptable by Article 5 of the United Nations (UN). Zambia is a signatory state party to the 3rd Geneva Convention and 4th Geneva Convention consequent to having officially agreed not to torture prisoners in armed conflicts. National and international legal prohibitions on torture derive from a consensus that torture and similar ill-treatment are immoral, as well as impractical. However, despite the international conventions, torture cases continue to arise such that Barotzish people have suffered the most torture since the failure of the attempted unitary statehood with Northern Rhodesia. International and locally based organizations which monitor abuses of human rights and report widespread violations of human torture by states in many regions of the world, unfortunately, decided to take a low profile over human rights abuses in Barotseland by Zambia such that their statistical data is devoid or wanting of truth from the motherland.

D) POLICE BRUTALITY

Police brutality is most commonly described in opposition to the term excessive force. By definition, Police brutality can be defined as "a civil rights violation that occurs when a police officer acts with excessive force by using an amount of force with regards to a civilian that is more than necessary". Police brutality and the use of excessive force are present throughout the world and in Barotseland incidences of police misconduct against people of Barotseland origin are quite alarming. This is against the background that many such cases of victims and fatalities are even not documented; the few figures that are documented are distorted for political expediency. Even the change of names from Police Force to Police Service only helped to exacerbate Barotseland’s fate.

E) CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

Capital punishment is the sentencing of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offense like the much sung about treason. This does not include extrajudicial killing, which is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process. Methods of execution in capital punishment mostly include beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection and shooting. Barotseland has lost children due to this form of violence. In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly passed the UN Moratorium on the death penalty which called for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. Perchance this could be the reason that has spared our BTG leaders to date from the possible faked treason charge consequences converted to some other fake prisoner status of “political remands” whatever that means. However, there are well over fifty countries globally still actively using the death penalty.

CONCLUSION

There is no amount of violence, as described above or others will derail or prevent Barotseland from reclaiming her full power usurped by Zambia. Better still that nothing can ever supplant the 2012 BNC UDI Mandate.It time Barotseland united, against all odds. The violence that has been our allotment will not always be forever. Otherwise, we urge our elders to exercise extra caution lest they sell away our birthright regrettably, to the enemy of Barotseland.

IF ZAMBIA FAILED TO HONOUR THE HONOURABLE INTERNATIONAL TREATY BA ’64 HOW CAN ANYBODY TRUST THEM, AFTER FIFTY YEARS OF PRACTICING TREACHERY ON BAROTSELAND, TO HONOUR THE ILLUSORY AND DARK CORNER NEGOTIATION OUTCOMES? That is just further fertile grounds for fanning more violence against Barotseland.

TUKONGOTE, 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.