The time for the annual Kuomboka ceremony has come again after last years’ ceremony was cancelled as Barotseland was mourning the queen who died weeks before the ceremony was scheduled to be held.
The ceremony has always been graced by a guest of honour from the Zambian government mostly the President or Vice President.
This trend should however not be a routine as Barotseland declared independence from Zambia and is at liberty to invite a guest of honour from within Barotseland or any friendly country.
Since Zambians have refused to peacefully vacate Barotseland and have maintained their presence by force, they should not be invited to grace our ceremony because this will be tantamount to shooting ourselves in the foot.
The Zambian government has so far refused to listen to the people of Barotseland and has continued to arrest and terrorise our leaders and people but want to officiate at our ceremony to mislead their people and the international community that all was well between Zambia and Barotseland.
It is however time for the people of Barotseland through the Barotseland Royal Authority (BRA) to send a clear message to Zambia that we are no longer interested in their make believe (Mandwani) games by not inviting them to officiate at the ceremony.
If the Zambian government is interested in attending the ceremony, either through President Lungu or Vice President Inonge Wina, then they should attend just as tourists.
We are determined to restore our country's self determination, even though faced with resistance, but the process of overcoming resistance is the beginning of freedom. We will forever shame our oppressors (Zambia) as we courageously contribute to Barotseland’s independence struggle, and make strides to statehood recognition among the international community. Just like climbing a high mountain, those who are committed to justice don't expect to get to the top in one climb. They recognize the need to establish a base camp and then a series of more advanced camps before the final push. If Barotseland lacked the fabric of justice, it would have been at war with Zambia by now because our oppressors walk not in the interest of peace and justice but of deception and treachery.
Barotseland independence campaign will not be silenced by oppressive measures taken by our enemy by prolonged detention of Barotseland's Administrator General and three members of his cabinet. We draw our motivation logically from moral principles that govern our conscience and actions. The sad part is that the Zambian authorities together with their Zambian civil societies think that the occupation of Barotseland is "irreversible". That word - "irreversible" - is not in the vocabulary of Barotseland people because people are well enlightened on the issue.
Yet - thanks to the important work of citizens journalism and members of freedom movements through our platforms like Barotsepost, Linyungandambo secretariat, Barotseland broadcast network, Barotse voice, Barotseland free state and mutomo for their informative articles - the "irreversible" will soon be reversed.
Despite being faced with extraordinary challenges, including resource constraints to expand our communication platforms and paying for our own programs, isolation from media coverage (especially Zambian controlled media houses) and 'overwhelming odds'. The people of Barotseland have remained resolute and continued to campaign for independence focused on internationally agreed principles, eschewed ideology and non violent methodology. It will be a good gesture for every Mulozi to contribute to the struggle at all levels to maximize use of the international systems, media and civil society networks.
It is of importance too, in our independence demand to draw attention for justice. The Barotseland independence struggle should be embraced by all people who precisely believe in justice and rule of law. Unity is the foundation of achievement, in like manner; it is difficult in the absence of unity to attain our desired independence. We are dealing with a rogue state that does not respect the sanctity of human rights and preservation of public international law. I am of the view that it is important to call things by their correct names. It's not wrong to call "Zambia a rogue state and the genesis of Zambia is founded on lies". We must call an end to the ongoing illegal occupation of Barotseland by Zambia with affirmative "NO" demand. Barotseland must be free.
It seems Zambia has failed to adhere to our demand to release all our people detained on Barotseland related matters and have the impasse settled before the impartial court i.e international court of Justice. Nevertheless, we are thankful to our international lawyers’ standing- in for the Barotseland provisional government on behalf of the people of Barotseland to take Zambia to the international court of Justice despite Zambia's unwillingness to corporate.
Barotseland must be free. Tukongote wa Mwana Nongolo.
The entire history of the freedom movements is replete with the saga of bravery, sacrifice and political sagacity of great men and women from all walks of life. Their stature often gives us an erroneous impression that it is only a man's movement. But it is not so. Many prominent women in some parts of the world played a leading role in the freedom movements. In Barotseland, the first name that comes to mind is that of the famous Grace Muyangana (M.H.S.R.I.P). She led her campaign for Barotseland liberation against the Zambian brutal government that landed her in Zambian prison. Even her enemies (Zambia) admired her courage and daring. She fought valiantly even after her release, she refused to surrender but chose to fall as a warrior should, fighting the enemy to the last. Her remarkable courage inspired many men and women in Barotseland.
As such, I wish to recommend strongly to the freedom movements to review the contents and spirit of the 2012 BNC resolutions, with a view to accurately and objectively reflect the sacrifices and contributions of all who have lost their life opportunities due to maiming and arrests by Zambian security.
We should take cognizance of the 2012 independence declaration as our compass and navigate within the right attitudes and longitudes of the resolutions, bearing in mind that BNC is the highest policy making body in our motherland.
Seriously, this calls for genuine participation as patriotic advocates for our country’s freedom. Women no exception! Women stand up and be counted. Join the ranks of our young men who contributed immensely to the extent of losing their lives and some even incapacitated due to bullet woods and torture.
Women should brace for bravely participation at various resistance movements levels in the rural or urban Barotseland, illiterate or literate it doesn't matter. All can play a passive or active contribution as comrades of their men folk.
Everyone and anyone has the right to play a role based on his or her values and the passion he or she has for Barotseland.
Tukongote litunga ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
Media, especially the Print Media, has all along been the backbone of all mass movements or popular upsurge in other countries as a vehicle to total liberation and Barotseland independence struggle is no exception. Right from the time of BPF of Mutangelwa in the 1990s. In fact, many of the leaders of the Freedom movement themselves turned into journalists too, and used the press to propagate their ideas to the masses.
The value of the media in the development of nation-state campaign is prominent in nationalism against subjugation and colonialism. As such, as the struggle intensifies, we should inaugurate a process of tactical dissemination of information to reach the rural populace through any form of communication for proper awareness. However, I am of the view that;
1. During our Independence struggle, the media and newspapers should not be established as profit-making business ventures but should be seen as rendering national and public service to the people.
2. The media Impact should not be limited to towns; but aim to reach remote villages from North to south and from East to west of Barotseland territory.
3. The media should serve the purpose of not only political education but also of political participation where every Mulozi should be free to express his or her political views.
4. Government act and policies should be put to public awareness through the established media platforms.
5. In a scenario where most people are illiterates, even the press can hope to achieve only partial success; hence, theatrical drama could be of useful alternative.
Since media is synonymous with dissemination of information, the Acting Administrator General should look at the following raised concerns by our people at the grassroots for possible consideration;
a) Establish information center at Regional / constituency levels
b) cabinet to be pro-active - each government minister must function.
c) There must be harmony between the Royal Barotseland Government and the Barotse Royal Authority in order to foster liaison committee to be set (established).
d) Strong, patriotic, courageous and down -to-earth youth wing.
e) International relations and media liaison committee to be set (established).
f) Seriously engage the BRE to change the name to Barotseland Royal Authority (BRA), to remove an ethical divider of Zambian creation -BRE.
g) Consider putting the Radio on free to air satellite dish to improve our reach to a wider audience and cover news in all districts of Barotseland.
h) Launch the football league even at amateur level.
i) Organize peaceful demonstrations against Zambia at the UN HQ, Zambia embassies in UK USA and Botswana for international media attention of our issue (and SADC HQ).
Finally, the overwhelming critical features of the press in its relationship to the information dissemination can no longer be ignored at this crucial time when we are faced with fake propaganda from the Zambian side that is trying to project to be in good relationship with Barotseland to the international community when in fact it is the other way. The misinformation and half truths have characterized our independence struggle within and outside our territory due to lack of platforms where we can debate, discuss and layout our achievements towards Barotseland emancipation. The rational interest is however, to unfold the proper character at the point at which the media is acknowledged as a social force and tool in the promotion of political agenda, especially where peaceful approach is concerned.
Self determination is no respecter of persons. It leaves no stone unturned. Royal or commoner, it comes with a challenge, and this is the challenge that the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and all of us are meeting face to face today. By the way, whose face is it putting on?
Therefore, BRE has no option other than making itself relevant to this unstoppable process of self determination. Doing otherwise will mean BRE will join other royal foundations who never liberated their territories. This happened when the African freedom fighters realized early that their kings / chiefs were turned into colonialist agents, and so they opted to move on to independence without them. Thus today there are very few countries headed by kings or queens, instead the commoners rule these states, and kings/chiefs are now monumental citizens needing governments to recognize and gazette them.
Similarly, Barotseland's self determination is not wholly dependent on BRE, but rather we the people. However, this process can be accelerated exponentially with the full participation of the BRE and the Litungaship. BUT it will not stop (without them.) It may just be delayed by key stake holders. Otherwise the process thus far is impressive. The mood in the people of Barotseland is a key indicator that we are going home.
It may not be today or tomorrow but believe me, we as a people, even in our commonness, will get there.
This period, therefore, gives an opportunity for BRE to provide their age old leadership and launch another constitutional monarchy in Africa like Lesotho. I have no doubt in my mind that BRE is definitely in touch with the realities on the ground and are definitely doing the best for Barotseland. They may not beat their own drums of praise but suffice to say that this activism we are enjoying today is evidence of their able patriotic leadership.
Long Live HRM Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II, Long Live Royal Establishment, Long Live Royal Barotseland Government. Long Live all Activist movements, Long Live you and me, Barotseland nationals.
Please publish this on our popular front, the Barotseland Post.
As usual I periodically take time to remind each one of us most importantly we the youths. We need to take part in making sure we are not enslaved by Zambia. We need new tactics, new ideas and new thinking! This can only be done by us, Fresh thinkers.
I read in the media that President Lungu wants to engage BRE to chat Barotseland Agreement,
This is wrong and unacceptable. BRE should redeem itself by engaging the Barotse populace, I am reminding you that Zambia do have a standing Army aimed at annihilation; this Army is stationed in the entire Barotseland with many in our Nations' Capital, Mongu. They want to wipe us out should we voice out, again you have a chance and you want to waste it! We must tell President Lungu that everyone wants out!
To the youths of Barotseland, secession is our hope. Some Zambians say we can't secede, Isn't that like telling your wife she can't divorce you? We are not equal partners. Our neighbors have an agenda of perpetual enslaving us. 'We are equal before the Creator and it’s so insulting to be downtrodden by fellow individuals.' Arise Barotse! Barotseland is our Land and we know, no other, lets brave on. Aluta!
To the BRE, Its common knowledge around Barotseland that everyone wants to leave this treacherous union. Since 1969 we have cried foul to have the BA 64 recognized. My plea is be true to yourselves and to your children, we together with you the BRE have been going down this road for far too long; we are grown ups and you the BRE can no longer fix this, your people (including Nkoyas and Mbundas) want to leave this treacherous union no one wants to stay with Zambia. Of course I know some would want to cash in on us but please, look at the bigger picture.
My advice is to include all the activist organizations: Moreba, the Linyungandambo - Government In-Waiting, Mr. Sinyinda and his BNFA, The Barotse Patriotic Front under Mr. Mutangelwa, and other senior Citizens. I myself support the numerous organizations because I fear that because of the love of money, a few will compromise our resolve of leaving Zambia for a few pieces of silver. I know some people are getting wealthy by falsely representing us and getting resources from the colonizer! This is shameful. We do not want to be in misery at your expense. Itaba maswabisa kuli munge kapene nikusinya taba nikulibala bana bamba bao batamilwe ni bao seba pumuzi kataba ye!!!
To the Zambian Government, I am ashamed that you forcibly want us to stay when you are the same people through your Nyasa brother, Mr. Kaunda that abrogated our Union Treaty. You say the treaty doesn't provide for secession. Does it provide for abrogation you? We are not claiming any land outside our borders; we are claiming our land not claiming peoples. If there are people who are dissatisfied then better they move to those areas considered friendly because as far as me and others are concerned Barotseland is a Lozi Nation to which all these peoples fall and are equally LOZIs as long as they are within the borders of Barotseland.
To President Lungu, kindly release all our Political detainees, call back your standing army currently in Barotseland and then sit at the table, and chat the way forward. Barotseland shall be free.
The author is an Agriculture Consultant in Huambo, Angola. Holds a Bsc in Agriculture from the Wageningen University, The Royal Netherlands.
I would like to dwell on Kaunda's speech of 26th August 1969 to the nation dubbed "I WISH TO INFORM THE NATION", where his unquenchable desire to "fix" the people of Barotseland was manifested two years after the independence. It is disheartening to note the level of visible hatred the Kaunda regime made against the people of Barotseland as a whole. The incidences of hatred are traced way back before independence of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) in 1964 and continued to date.
IN REFERENCE TO 1969 BAROTSELAND REFERENDUM
The people of Barotseland had utterly rejected the maneuvers under the referendum as indicated below but Kaunda's deceptive manners could not honor the true figures but instead opted to manipulation of the outcome
"All these reforms which have had been announced affecting the political, economic and social fields are possible now, thanks to the referendum, thanks to the support which the people in this nation gave me, the party and government." END OF QUOTE.
It was an aberration in the act of referendum for Kaunda to have cheated that the people of Barotseland had voted in favor of government reforms to have control over Barotseland natural resources and possessions, when in fact the results indicated that they had given an unequivocal NO vote representing 62.08 percent against a paltry YES vote representing 37.92 percent.
UNDER CUSTOM AND WILDLIFE
"Hitherto, under custom, wildlife and indeed fish, in certain areas have belonged to individuals, Indunas and other traditional leaders." END OF QUOTE.
It must be emphasized that these insinuations were directed at the leadership and the people of Barotseland because this is the only area where people own natural resources such as "Masa" (Weirs), "Mishitu" (thickness of forests), "Likuma" (thickness of papyrus), "Masimu" (gardens) etc, etc. This position was acknowledged by Professor Max Gluckman (commonly known as Makapweka) who had stated that the Lozis are the only people, in the world, who own and know the extent of their land without the aid of beacons.
IN REFERENCE TO BAROTSE NATIONAL SCHOOL
In his, insatiable, appetite to destroy the property of the people of Barotseland by removing all the known vestiges and in reference to the Barotse National School this is what he said;
“The Barotse National School is to assume another name, for we cannot have a nation within a nation.” END OF QUOTE.
Let it be explained that this school (now known as Kambule secondary school) was built from the money arising out of 10 percent of the collections which was committed to the development of education in Barotseland at the signing of treaties in the 1880s.
IN REFERENCE TO BAROTSELAND NAME
In his misguided outbursts and in reference to Barotseland he had this to say;
"Barotse province is now to become Western province. The present western province, which bears no relationship to the direction, will become copperbelt province." END OF QUOTE.
Let it be explained that the purpose of renaming Barotseland and changing her status was intended to down grade her to levels of other provinces in order to justify the denial of her proper share of entitlement which was accruable as a result of being a "territory" like her equal partner, the “territory" of Northern Rhodesia.
In his endeavors to disturb the affairs of Barotseland, had this to say with respect to “chiefs",
“I know, for example, that certain chiefs in the Western province have been performing the functions of chiefs without Government recognition. I wish to announce that I am making investigations ..." END OF QUOTE.
It is surprising that former dictator president Kenneth Kaunda could infer that there were only six chiefs in Barotseland when they are more than 100 silalo indunas or "chiefs" as they are referred to within Zambian terminology. These are responsible for certification of documents for the purpose of obtaining national registration cards. Personalities such as the Litunga, royal highnesses the Litunga la- mboela, Mboanjikana, Prince Inyambo, prince Anananga, Amukena and Lukama are not chiefs in Barotseland context but are sitting princes and princesses while His Royal Majesty, the Litunga is King heading the kingdom. This is why you will never see the aforementioned reflected on the national registration cards as required under the Zambian National Registration Act because they are princes and princesses under the Kingdom and territory of Barotseland, and not chiefs in Zambia. So, while you may find a Zambian national registration card (NRC) holder with chief Mpezeni, chief Mwatakazembe or Chief Chitimukulu, for example, you will never find any Zambian NRC holder with Chief Inyambo, Amukena, Anangana, Lukama (let alone 'Chief' Litunga).
The Barotseland equivalent to the Zambian chiefs are the Silalo Indunas, who equally perform the functions which other "chiefs" do in parts of Zambia, although, unfortunately, they are not catered for in terms of benefits such as enumerations, houses (palaces), motor vehicles etc, like the chiefs in other provinces of Zambia.
In conclusion, the people of Barotseland should come to the realization that this discriminatory tendency of the Zambian government against Barotse nation was the backbone of Kenneth Kaunda's (Zambia's first president) treacherous acts that led to the abrogation of BA64 (an honorary and binding treaty), and his atrocities, arrests and detentions of over 200 Barotzish that were to follow from 1969 to this day!
This, therefore, calls for serious consideration to redeem ourselves from these conditions of slavery, servitude and bondage that we find ourselves in today. The people of Barotseland should accept the reality that the Zambian government hold the worst consideration of Barotseland as a country and worse still, considers the Lozi nationals as subservient citizens of Zambia.
The struggle to liberate Barotseland is the only valuable spirit that encompasses all, therefore, a journey started is a journey completed, Barotseland must be free.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR LEGALLY ACQUIRED WIFE, HUSBAND, CHILDREN or FAMILY, whether they be Zambian, Barotzish or any other nationality
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR LEGALLY ACQUIRED PROPERTY in Zambia, Barotseland or anywhere else in the world
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR LEGALLY ACQUIRED JOB in Zambia, Barotseland or anywhere else in the world
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean YOU WILL BE CHASED from Zambia, Barotseland or any other country of the world
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR TRIBE or ETHNICITY whether that tribe is Zambian or Barotzish and regardless of where you chose to live
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean YOU WILL BE FORCED TO CHOOSE to be Zambian or Barotzish. CITIZENSHIP will be by choice and in accordance with prevailing Citizenship Laws. A Lozi can choose to be or remain Zambian and a Zambian can choose to apply for Barotseland citizenship and be a LOZI or BAROTZISH. In case of DUAL NATIONALITY, one will be able to choose to be a citizen of both Barotseland and Zambia
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean WAR and BLOODSHED between Zambia and Barotseland
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT between Barotseland and Zambia
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS of TRADE and COMMERCE between Barotseland and Zambia
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean No more MUNGU or NAKONDE rice
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean...Please, add to this list all your fears?
There are LAWS that govern and will continue to govern Barotseland just like there are LAWS that govern Zambia. THIS CHANGE WILL BE GRADUAL rather than INSTANTANEOUS. Time will be given for everyone to make decisions about what to do with their life, families, businesses and property.
So RELAX as we look forward to a HEALTHY and HARMONIOUS bilateral relationship between Barotseland and Zambia. After all Barotseland and Zambia will be neighbors forever, hopefully.