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.
Having looked at the background of the Barotseland Agreement and the origin of Zambia as a unitary state in the last article, we will now look at the thorny issue of the boundary of Barotseland and whether there is need for a referendum.
We will also sample some quotations from the man who created the problem before us, Kenneth David Kaunda.
The boundary of Barotseland proper has always been maintained by the Barotse though the boundaries of Barotseland North-Western Rhodesia kept changing through the numerous Orders-In-Council.
The boundary currently under claim is that of Barotseland proper as it was from 1900 to 1947 without taking areas that were regarded as her subject or dependent territories into consideration. (See Th Barotseland Boundary Case of 1903-1906 [Britain Vs Portugal] under the arbitration of Italy here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/The-Barotseland-Boundary-Case.pdf) or on the United Nations website: http://legal.un.org/riaa/cases/vol_XI/59-69.pdf
The eastern boundaries stretch from Itezhi-Tezhi to the confluence of the river Chiababi with the Zambezi (Longitude26 degrees East) (East of Livingstone) and northern boundaries shall stretch from the confluence of Lufupa river with the Kafue river, westward, to the Lungwebungu river (Longitude 22 degrees East) The boundary on the west shall stretch from Lungwebungu river (latitude 13 degrees 28 minutes south) then southward to the Cuando river, down to the confluence of the Cuando with the Luena river extending to the Katima Mulilo rapids, running along the Zambezi, eastward to its confluence with river Chiababi (Longitude 26 degrees east.)
This boundary is roughly the current Western Province but with the entire Kazungula, Livingstone and the Kafue National Park west of the Kafue river falling within Barotseland and small areas of North Western Province bordering the current Western Province.
The boundary between Barotseland and Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe remains the same as it is currently with Zambia.
Before we consider the implications on Southern, North Western and part of Central provinces, we shall first look at the issue of holding a referendum.
Holding a referendum on the lines of the one recently held by Scotland does not apply to Barotseland because there is currently no treaty in force between Barotseland and Zambia as the agreement or treaty was abrogated by Zambia and Barotseland accepted the abrogation on 27th March 2012 at the Barotseland National Council.
A referendum only applies were a treaty is in force like in the case of Scotland or Tanganyika and Zanzibar in the union of Tanzania but one of the parties wants to pull out.
Barotseland does not need a referendum to withdraw from the unitary state of Zambia because it does not exist. Both Zambia and Barotseland have no treaty obligations because of the 1969 abrogation.
Southern, Parts of Central and North Western Provinces
The dependent areas that fell within the control of Barotseland, (Trust and reserve Land) for which Barotseland was being paid by the British for taking care of them, include Southern Province, parts of Central and North western provinces.
These areas fall outside Barotseland proper but have the right to hold a referendum to choose where they want to belong whether to remain with Zambia or pull out.
Barotseland and Zambia should now commence the disengagement process which will see the exchange of defense forces and civil servants willing to relocate.
The sharing of government assets, repaying the &78.5 million pounds that Zambia looted from the Barotseland treasury,(with interest from 1965) loss of revenue from the mines, reparations and other damages will be handled by the International Court of Justice since Zambia has so far refused to cooperate.
But what will happen to those who have intermarried?
Marriage does not affect someone’s citizenship in any way; Zambians who are married to people from Rwanda or Zimbabwe still remain Zambians.
But I have properties in Zambia, what happens?
You can belong to any country without affecting your property. There are so many people with properties in Zambia like the many Chinese nationals in Zambia yet they are not Zambians but continue running businesses.
What about the Nkoyas?
The Zambian government has for a long time been using the divide and rule formula by sponsoring a few Nkoya brothers to create division.
The 1964 treaty however was signed between two countries and not tribes. It was signed between the government of Northern Rhodesia, the government of Barotseland and the British government as witnesses.
Kenneth Kaunda however later dissolved the Barotse government and renamed it as Barotse Royal Establishment and later changed the name of Barotseland through degree at a rally in Matero and named it Western Province and changed what was then called Western Province to Copper belt.
Kenneth Kaunda said the following on 26th August 1969 at Matero in a speech dubbed ‘I wish to inform the nation.’
‘Barotse Province is now to become Western Province. The present Western Province, which bears no relationship to the direction, will become Copper belt Province. Logically, Barotse Province should have been Western Province in view of the geographical location of North Western Province.’
Even before the change of name to Western Province , Kaunda defied his own Attorney General’s legal advice, the most respected legal adviser, Mr James John Skinner who, when delivering a Ministerial statement in Parliament on 18th September 1965,had advised that:
‘The legal name of Barotseland was Barotseland and not Barotse Province.’
Kenneth Kaunda had made the following assurance when he addressed the Litunga and Barotse government at Lealui on 6th August 1964:
‘I am glad that the basis of the agreement is that Barotseland is an integral part of Zambia and I can assure you, Sir Mwanawina and all members of the Barotse Royal Family and of the Barotse government, that government has no wish to interfere with the day to day running of the internal affairs of Barotseland. This is the responsibility of the Barotse government and the intention of the central government will be to give the Barotse government maximum assistance and cooperation.’
In one of Kaunda’s earlier visits to Barotseland to beg the Barotse government to proceed to independence as one with Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) Kaunda knelt down and cried before the Litunga and it was out of this action that the line ‘One land and one nation is our cry’ was picked and crafted in the Zambia national anthem.
Kenneth Kaunda has however elected to remain mute on the problem he created through his love for power
TODAY, 3RD FEBRUARY 2015 witnesses the 110th anniversary of the birth of Mbikusita Lewanika, the Founding President General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress and King of Barotseland. And, by the way, he was an unsurpassed Barotse African traditional paddler, drummer and dancer, before kingship inhibited him.
MBIKUSITA LEWANIKA was a Prince, by occurrence of birth at Lealui, on 3 February 1905. He was enthroned as King of Barotseland at Lealui, according to centuries-old tradition at Lealui, on 15 December 1968. He had died at Lewanika General Hospital of Mongu-Lealui, on 7 February 1977. He was buried as per tradition for a Barotse King, on 11 February 1977. However, contrary to uninformed perceptions and popular presumption, the royalty factor in his life has been more often a spear thrusting into his flesh. His distinguishing life service factor is that he lived and worked with this spear eternally injuring his every service endeavour and constantly obstructing every step paving people’s way forward. His life was a stipple jump race over spikes of hindrances at every turn, rather than being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, as some imagine of Royalty. The events and circumstances of Mbikusita Lewanika’s royal birth and kingship is not of substantive concern. The unremarkable factor of being a prince or being enthroned and buried as a king is not a distinction. History records are full of unworthy princes and kings and full of worthy persons of regal associations.
THE LIFE SERVICE OF MBIKUISTA LEWANIKA IS OF NOTE, in the context that an earlier generation of Western educated African natives, born around the turn of the 20th century, founded African freedom movements, thus sowing the seeds of independence. They had intensive upbringing in, and life time unbroken linkages to, African traditional leadership, to whose values, culture and governance they were positively predisposed at pre-colonial formation level. They made effort to acquire and understand what they could from Western education, Christianity, modernisation and governance systems at conglomerate colony level. They embraced this duality comfortably, but with determination to retain and recover traditional Africa and its lost autonomy, while steadily mastering and taking charge of new skills, operations and institutions of European colonialism. They strived to reach a happy medium outcome combining the best of European modernity and even democracy, while preserving what is anchoring and pleasing from traditional Africa, where possible and positive. Members of this generation were pathfinders, long distance runners and cautious petitioners for African sovereignty. Of these, John Langalibelele Dube (11 February 1871 - 11 February 1946) of South Africa and the Zulu Kingdom and Dr. Joseph Kwame Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah (December 1895 – 4 February 1965) of the Gold Coast and the Ashate Kingdom, among others, correspond to Mbikusita Lewanika (3 February 1905 – 7 February 1977) of Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland, all of them deserve full and positive recognition as planter of Africa’s trees of independence.
MBIKUSITA LEWANIKA’s life start with the distinction of having overcome the perils of being tossed about as an infant and out growing mal-adjustment in early school years at Luatile School. Thereafter, it is distinguished further as he became a good academic performer at the Barotse National School and, through his own stubborn insistence, he managed to get a South African Lovedale College education. He followed this by taking an independent minded path leading to becoming Founder Secretary of the Livingstone African Welfare Association in 1929, at the age of 24.
In the 1930s, in his youth, he was a principal participant at the Kafue first attempt to found an African National Congress north of the Zambezi, served as Private Secretary of the King of Barotseland, wrote the first full length English language book by a native in his part of Africa and embarked on translation of the Bible into SiLozi and the classic Pilgrim’s Progress.
In the 1940’s, he refused to be destroyed or incapacitated by the astounding shock banishment from the summit of the capital of Barotseland on bogus and malevolent charges. He marshaled the strength of mind to move on to another world and different life at Nkana-Kitwe, which did not depend on royalty. From a prince, he became a proletariat, owning no functional means of production but selling his services to capitalist for wages. He labored, for twenty years, as Senior African Clerk, Senior Welfare Officer, Personnel and Public Relations officer for an Anglo-American Corporation copper mine. At the same time, he became a leader of his fellow African proletariats, and served in a voluntary capacity as Founder President of the Kitwe African Society, proposer of the formation of the Northern Rhodesia Federation of African Welfare Association, pioneer promoter of trade unionism and Founder President-General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress. Not only this, he also took wrote several other books and publishing newspaper and magazine articles, in Africa and overseas, in addition to man voluntary civic services for Africans, when there were few people available to do so.
In the 1950, in one of his many firsts, as President General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress, he met Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and consummated what has become the Indo-Zambia bilateral relationship at state and people levels. He initiate programmes for sending young future leaders for overseas higher education, at least three of who were to be in the first post colonial Cabinet of Ministers. He followed this by becoming the first and only African from Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland (and even Zambia since) to address a meeting attended by Members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, at Westminster, in London – he spoke against the proposal to establish the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. He also corresponded with Kwame Nkrumah, in the run up to, and after his appointment as Prime Minister of the Gold Coast (Ghana) and met with leading African nationalist leaders in Kenya, including Mbiyu Koinange and Jomo Kenyatta, hence, pioneering cross border consultation and cooperation among leaders of the African freedom movement.
During the rest of the 1950’s he was Founder President of the Mines African Staff Association, a student at the University College of Wales at Swansea, a Member of Parliament of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and a facilitator for domestic and foreign higher education for hundred of Zambians and Barotse individuals, both men and women. In the 1960’s, he as a Parliamentary Secretary in Ministry of External Affair of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; undertook a couple of years post retirement job in the personnel department of Wankie (Hwange) Collieries; and engaged in some Limulunga village and Wusakile Township retail trading business to finance his children’s education and make an independent living, in an unfriendly post-colonial environment. As if to complete the circle and bring closure to his life, three decades after expulsion from the capital of Barotseland, he has resurface and returned to be enthroned as King of Barotseland, in December 1968.
Despite all this, Mbikusita Lewanika is a victim of a cultivated campaign of history denial, which is motivated by three intentions. The first is the urge to justify the propaganda that architects and heroes of African independence are only those who inherited the button on the last stretch of the relay race to new African nation-statehood, who are actually harvesters and not planters of independence. The second is to avoid any challenge to the established denigrated portrayal and, sometimes, double standard condemnation, of the earlier generation of political leaders representing a different approach to independence and governance. The third is justify the decolonisation dispensation that retained both the colonial geographical and governance legacy, while effectively preventing the return power to the African governments and peoples from whom European colonialism took it. In effect, it obstructs minds and actions of Africans from reviewing and reconstituting the independence dispensation. This is unacceptable, because independence has failed to liberate Africa and Africans from vestiges of European colonialism and to set it unto the path of truly independent, effective sovereignty and human dignity. This lack of factual and well digested history hides and causes problems.
Distorting history poses problems for the present and is a fundamental stumbling block for Africa’s future. It erases and misrepresents contributions of those who planted African independence. It negates opportunities of establishing internal inclusiveness and consensus in the formation of the externally designed new African nation-states. It discourages consideration of optional paths towards overcoming impediments to political advancement, economic development and social liberation. Furthermore, it blind leaders and citizens from seeing whatever wisdom and positive guidance that may be in the legacies of the fore-runners of post-colonial leaders. In short, it creates and endorses an incorrect history that misinform and handicap people’s enlightened freedom for the self-determination and sovereignty that is the promise of independence.
In the case of Zambia, it is portrayed as if the freedom movement begins and ends during the last five years before Independence, under the sole leadership of UNIP and its office holders, which is a distortion of history. It like doctoring the Bible by rewriting the Exodus story, with all credit to Joshua and none to Moses! This topic is being raised now, in the light of unfolding anniversary cerebrations highlight and ignore selected parts of history with consistent partiality. The year 2017 marks the 40th Anniversary of the passing away of Mbikusita Lewanika. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the demise of his father, King Lewanika the First of Barotseland. 2015 shall witness the 110th anniversary of his birth, while 2014 witnesses the 50th joint-anniversary of his labours’ fruits, which are Zambia’s Independence and the Barotseland Agreement 1964, which provided for Barotseland to be an integral part of Zambia after independence.
In reflecting upon these anniversaries, it is instructive that the subject personality is Mbikusita Lewanika is founding President General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress from 1948 to 1951. He reigned as the last son of King Lewanika the First to seat on the throne of Barotseland, from 1968 to 1977. His place in history has been denied and distorted, for personal, partisan and sectarian reasons. He has a record of outstanding broad, varied and pioneering public service, from 1929 to 1977. The history and essence of the establishment and independence of Zambia is incomplete, unbalanced and unintelligible, in fact unacceptable, without appreciation and taking positive account of the life service of maligned figures, such as Mbikusita Lewanika. This is part of Zambia’s undoing through personal, partisan and sectarian history denial and distortion. It may be too late to say it, now - BUT THE WRITING HAS BEEN IGNORED ON THE WALL FOR FIFTY YEARS!
Barotseland here we are at it again, the sixth Zambian republican president appearing so innocent soft but cunning, fashioned in strategic hate, wickedness is his desire, nothing hopeful for the children of Barotseland.
So dangerous is his strategy to harm and silence Barotseland forever. Look at the three strategies he plans to employ this time;
1. His hate desire to call for referendum is to apply the same rigging strategies he used to ascend to his throne…. So; rigging strategy….
2. Separate Barotseland on tribal lines by supporting the Nkoya brothers to feel marginalized by the rest and revolt against Barotseland…. So; Nkoya conflict-separation strategy….
3. Creating a wide boarder of Barotseland to mask the opinion of the true Rotse ….. So; wide voter strategy…..
As noted and resounded by most Barotseland intellectuals, we are way beyond referendum and not necessary. The BNC Limulunga declaration should be responded to not fooling us and think we can be excited… NEVER! …..The Rodger Chongwe commission of inquiry to be released, nothing more…. First in first out.
First, Barotseland should move fast and ahead to legally and intelligently seal all the gaps of suspected strategies to weaken the struggle. All I know is that the Litunga has declared his support over this issue through the Kuta. Therefore, THE LITUNGA, KING OF BAROTSELAND, THE BRE AND THE KUTA, BNFA and LINYUNGANDAMBO should be seen to be ONE with one voice and only one spokesperson …. It is war and needs to be managed well… this time around.
Second, THE GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBIA SHOULD UNCONDITIONALLY RELEASE ALL THOSE ARRESTED OVER THE BAROTSELAND FREEDOM.
Third, the people of Barotseland should all understand that the declaration for our independence was done and the Zambian Government decided not to respond to it.
Fourth, all the Barotseland activists and Barotseland people should guard themselves against saleouts and those who want to pretend to be on our side yet not. The call for separation of north western, southern provinces together with Barotseland should not blind our mission already attained.
Finally, this is just the same devil putting on a different small jacket. It’s time to pray.
BULOZI KI NAHA SHANGWE!!!!
The recent suggestion, by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to hold a referendum over the Barotseland issue is not only laughable but also embarrassing to every Zambian who loves his country and knows its fifty years history. Such a move will not only be unrealistic in Barotseland’s case but also unjustifiable due to several undeniable factors which can only be ignored by someone out rightly ignorant about the relevance of a referendum, let alone its meaning. As such, we reject the idea with due respect while understanding the mentality of those outside Barotseland who may be in its favour.
Seemingly, the Honourable President may not be aware that a referendum over the same issue actually took place in 1969. Below are some of the reasons why such an exercise may even be termed a plot from the very pit of hell. Before going any further, it is worthwhile to point out that it is an accepted view that, from the very beginning, the Zambian government never committed itself to honor the Barotseland Agreement 1964. This is proved by the deliberate enactment, from 1965 leading to 1969, of several legislations which were in direct breach of the BA ’64.
The 1969 Referendum
In 1969, after having deliberately destroyed the Barotse Native Government in its bid to completely absorb the Barotse nation, the Zambian government of the day decided to organize a national referendum from which it hoped to legalize its illegal complete takeover of Barotseland. That referendum (commonly called, “lifu la ndambo” in Lozi – directly translated as the death of a neighbour ) was subjected to the entire Zambian populace of the time. Majority of people in Barotseland had voted against joining Zambia while basically all non Barotse voted otherwise. The outcome was obvious; and based on that, the Zambian government decided to unilaterally terminate the BA’64 and renamed what they were already maliciously referring to as “Barotse Province”, “Western Province”. The original Western Province was subsequently renamed “Copper Belt Province”.
Any sensible person would have known that this was not only unjust but also day light robbery. There was no way that the population of Barotseland would have been anywhere near the population of the rest of Zambia in number. It was going to be understood to some extent had the referendum been conducted only in Barotseland as was the case in Quebec, Scotland and Cataluña in Spain. Besides that, a referendum on Barotseland was still wrong in that Barotseland only got associated with Zambia via an international treaty which the latter decided to unilaterally terminate.
Following the resounding “No” vote in Barotseland in the 1969 referendum, the Zambian government realized that its trick had been unmasked as some Barotse kept on calling for the honouring of the Agreement despite the referendum’s outcome. The Kaunda regime then hatched another diabolical plan of populating Barotseland with non Barotse under the guise of one Zambia one nation. Some indigenous Barotse, particularly the skilled and learned ones, where transferred to the eastern region while Barotseland was flooded with dull non Barotse; so dull that they could not even learn Lozi. On the contrary, the Barotse who went elsewhere were forced to learn local languages since the tribes they found could, for obvious reasons, hardly understand English.
The other purpose for this exercise was to create a division among Barotse nation consisting of Nkoyas, Mbundas, Luvales, Luyanas, etc. It was also in order to cause insubordination to the Litunga and senior chiefs like Senior Chief Ilukena in Mankoya or Luena. The very name change of Mankoya to Kaoma was in line with this brain wash.
Furthermore, all refugees from Angola and the Great Lakes area who refused to be relocated back to their native countries were naturalized as Zambians and resettled in Barotse territory. This was done to even those refugees who had been previously kept in places like Luapula. The idea was to corrupt our culture and customs since these resettled refugees felt indebted to the Zambians and would only want to communicate in languages foreign to Barotseland. The Radio Liseli non Lozi songs and programs issue is only another example. A financial support scheme was set up under the same guise of resettlement in order to economically empower naturalized refugees at the expense of the locals. This deliberate tempering with our demographics was done with a future localized referendum in mind when the majority will look negatively at anything to do with the Barotse nation outside Zambia.
The legality of Zambia’s Claim on Barotseland
Barotseland was never originally an integral part of Northern Rhodesia but only became associated with Zambia based on a legal document called the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. When this international treaty was breached by the Zambians, Barotseland was legally free to go it alone. However, our people wanted to do so in a peaceful manner, yet while nursing the possibility of reversing the unilateral abrogation. Barotseland finally accepted the termination on 27th March 2012. However, our previous calls for the restoration of a treaty that never saw the light of day was read as weakness on our part. The Zambians mistook our diplomacy as acknowledgement of our helpless “unity” with them.
One may understand calls for a referendum in a situation where the Agreement was being honored and where some people felt that such a legal co-existence alone was no longer enough. Ours is a situation where one party deliberately decided to get out of the Agreement. Surely the party that is left does not need a referendum to determine whether it is still part of the separated part or not. Zambia left us alone and we must fend for ourselves. This is exactly what the March 2012 Barotse National Council decided to address. There cannot be a Parallel Tabulated Votes (PTV) on that.
We are glad that finally President Lungu has understood the seriousness of the Barotseland issue and our determination to stand on the BNC Resolutions. It is also gratifying to learn that the honourable Zambian President, like his predecessor, also acknowledges the position Barotse activists hold on this matter. We, therefore, take this opportunity to remind His Excellency that whatever talks he hopes to hold with us will not be fruitful while the key players in the matter are still in Zambian prisons. We call upon him to unconditionally release Hon Afumba Mombotwa and the rest Barotse activists in the interest of peace. Their continued incarceration does not help anyone and as such, only makes the bad situation the Zambian Government is in worse. We already passed the time for a referendum in 1969. Now is a time for peaceful disengagement or else the Zambian Government must file its opposition to our independence claim at the International Court of Justice. Mr. Lungu has only a year to act wisely on this issue. As a lawyer himself, he surely cannot handle our justified claim unwisely.
"Luyanas are descendants of Mwambwa while Nkoyas are descendants of Ñoya. Mwabwa and Ñoya were blood sisters, both daughters of the same mother, Noshaa"
I would like to shed light on the genesis of the Nkoya tribal group of Barotseland, in order to disprove the innuendo being peddled that certain tribal extractions are under subjugation of other tribal groupings in Barotseland. This incorrect assumption is being engineered by political stewards who are our brothers and sisters from the group that professes to be of the "Nkoya" extraction which claims not to belong to Lozi nationality. They have argued that Nkoyas are not part of the Barotse-speaking people. According to a Nkoya traditionalist, Robert Litungu.
It is better to explain this issue because the matter is being exaggerated and fueled by forces outside Barotseland who are Zambian politicians aiming at bringing division among the diversified ethnic groupings of Royal Barotseland Kingdom. It is therefore, proper to discuss this matter honestly in order to remove the unnecessary innuendos on this argument. To start with, let us examine who the "Nkoya" people are?
It is stated that the "Nkoya" people are descendants of Sioka Nalinanga and that this argument is not carried forward beyond this level. If you go further, though, you will see that Sioka Nalinanga is a descendant of Ñoya sister of Mwambwa the Luyana founder.
The fact is that the name "Nkoya" was adulterated from the name Ñoya who was a sister to Mwambwa and both of them being daughters of Noshaa.
On the occasion of the death of their mother while residing along the "Loi" River in the present day Congo DR, the first dispersal took place which saw the moving away of notables like Inyunyi, Mbukushu, Yutoya, Ngambwa, Imanga, Kayawe, Nyimbwamoyo, Mbakala and many, many more. The dispersal was ignited by the desire to change leadership from women to men and that there were problems of disposal of the chattels of the departed leader (their mother Noshaa). Notables, among others, like Isimwaa had resisted the idea to replace the leadership from women to men. Following this episode, the first group went away leaving others including Mwambwa and Ñoya with their children.
After sometime, the group decided to take a similar movement which brought them to the present settlement of "Ului" which was derived from the name "Loi" River in present day Congo DR.
While on the trek, incidentally, they found or stumbled on Yutoya while others had gone in different directions, which were later located. During this time, Mwambwa was the leader who was supported by Ñoya and the other people. Ñoya had daughters by the names of Nalinanga and Nolea who later had sons by the name of Sioka and Imatakwana who later became famous and got known as Mange.
Sioka, being a nobleman, was given responsibility to look after the royal regalia during the reign of Mwambwa. In the meantime, Ñoya had moved to settle in a land which became known as Ñoya which is sandwiched between Mwito under Induna (chief) Mayankwa in Lukulu district, Luambuwa under Induna (chief) Kabilamwandi in Kaoma district while the other side is in the area of Sikusi under Induna ( chief) Iloke and Luena / Sitoya under Induna (chief) Sibetta in Mungu district respectively.
The land of Ñoya is eulogized by people who truly confess to be members of the Ñoya stock. As to the position of Sioka, true members of the Ñoya stock, will say:-
" Ami Kankoya ka Shihoka Nalinanga, bantu ba tula mikabo baka kulya nshima kuanga. Ba Mununga, ba nungile mpanda mwilu", meaning, “I am a Nkoya of the line of Sioka Nalinanga, one who eats nshima having climbed a tree".
The differences between the Nkoya people and the rest of Barotse tribes does not arise and is a non issue which should not be politicized. The insinuation of this matter is too dangerous to Barotseland and Zambia as a whole. The BRE is more democratic than the Zambian government. The Zambian government is democratic in theory, but for the past 50 years has marginalized and abused power. Kenneth Kaunda Zambia's first president was a semi-dictator under one party participatory democracy, whatever that means?
Before Zambia’s independence in 1964, the people in Barotseland were voting their Legislative council in power, representing their constituencies. The Litunga does not rule by decree or creed. There is no force.
Also note that the Litunga does not speak. This is how decisions are made and not by the Litunga.
There are three chambers in the Kuta, Bana Ba Malena, Commoners and the Indunas. This is how Barotse Royal Establishment is composed of. Also it is good to note that all tribes in Barotseland are in the governance systems of Barotse Royal Authority (BRA) or Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) according to Zambian imposition.
The BRA is not intending to go back to the days of slavery and enslave Nkoyas.
As a matter of fact, Litunga was the first African leader to end slavery. The name Litunga ‘Mulambwa’ signifies people should stop slavery but buy and sell dogs instead. This was way back in 1830. Lewanika upheld anti- slavery tendencies.
To add a bit on the relationship between the Luyis’ and the Nkoyas’, Mankoya/Kaoma had also been invaded and subjected to Makololo rule and was only reclaimed by the Luyi impis who wiped out the Makololos.
Makololos are the ones who imposed Lozi language across Barotseland and Mankoya had equally been headed by the Makololo, just like all other ethnic groupings of Barotseland.
This, therefore, should surely explain the connection between Mankoya and the rest of the people of Barotseland. As explained from the historical narration, the Nkoya people are from the root of Ñoya who was a blood sister to Mwambwa, therefore, the children of them are relatives of the same stock.
Finally, the Nkoya people should not violate historical and ethical codes of professional decency, thereby, being untrue to the History of their genesis in Barotseland by allowing themselves to be used by politicians with historical theory mixed with errors and polluted with political propaganda.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.
Research by Saleya Kwalombota
The recent unfolding event where Barotseland provisional government leaders have been committed to Kabwe high court is hard to bear. These are ex-diplomats of another country and it is interesting to note how the accused will be tried in the High court of Zambia without violating the principle of justice. The people of Barotseland and world over should stand to condemn this nonsense. The way the whole issue is handled is like the master- servant relationship and as if Barotseland is a Zambian conquered territory. We don't remember when Barotseland was at war and conquered by Zambia to be under hostage where our people are tossed left and right at Zambian government's discretion. The wonders will never end in this circus of Barotseland autonomy struggle. Zambia on the other hand behaves as if it is innocent in this issue when it is the major culprit, it arrests, detains and drags our people before her courts without condemnation from her citizenry or international community. Where is justice, when the power that may be arrests and subjugate the people of Barotseland and at the same time is the complainant and prosecutor?
One may be confronted with a question of where the once brave and fearless men of Barotseland have gone. The docility being exhibited among elite Lozis is worrying, for how long should we stand and watch our Leaders being bundled up like wastage assets for disposal? The KUTA must also add its voice to push for the agenda that will bring the end to human rights violation. It is immoral for any well meaning Mulozi to ignore any longer the sufferings our activists endure in the hands of Zambian authority. All genuine Activist groups should put off their pride and lay out a genuine plan for Barotseland government take off, while the legal pursuit to overseer disengagement is in process.
Academic freedom fight will take us centuries to actualize our resolve if we ignore effective ways such as protests, rallies and wide spread patriotism. These are no way classified violence activities because our issue is of political nature that requires act of presenting something to sight. The people involved are defenseless and subdued by the armed power that does not recognize what we might consider peaceful approach, by way of engaging international courts.
I would like to borrow the words of former dictator, the president of Zambia Dr. Kenneth Kaunda that when demanding independence from an African power, "use a Gun", but from a White power, use "the Brain". The approach taken so far of using brain is recommendable but does not work well because the power that besieged our territory is African hence the need for game changeover consideration now.
We are dealing with the government that made a position in regard to Barotseland Agreement 1964 as been stale under the late president Chiluba, still the same government under the late president Sata that rubbished the Dr. Chongwe commission of inquiry of 2011 Mungu saga that recommended the restoration of BA64, still the same government that refused to assert signature to have the issue settled at international court, it is the same government that militarized our territory in readiness to hit back at any possible uprising, the list goes on and on. In this regard, it leaves us to conclude that Zambia is not standing for peaceful settlement of Barotseland case.
It is important to note that freedom from decolonization is achieved with the atonement of blood of freedom fighters and freedom is not given on a silver plate but should be demanded by the whole being of human life.
The independence decision was arrived at by the people at the BNC meeting in 2012; the resolutions are biding and the basis for our independence patriots’ power to organize and to legislate in our territory.
What more than this are we still waiting for? Power is synonymous with governance and given to leadership by people, the will of the people is paramount where power is concerned.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
As copied directly from the Zambian Watchdog.
The history on how Zambia was created has remained hidden from the average Zambian through deliberate omission from the school syllabus.
Today even schooled Zambians do not understand why Zambia is called a unitary state or worse still what a unitary state is.
A unitary state is a country that is formed by more than one segment through an agreement or treaty and one common feature of such states is that they can break if the conditions agreed are not observed.
The other formation is a federal state which has similar features and conditions as unitary states. Examples include the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to which Zambia, (Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland) where part. The Federation broke up because it only benefited the settler interests in Southern Rhodesia.
The third one is a monolithic state formed out of a single entity and some examples are Zimbabwe and Angola, these states are indivisible.
Zambia is or was called a unitary state because it was created out of two separate countries namely the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia and the British protectorate of Barotseland.
Barotseland became a British protectorate in 1890 and the assurance was conveyed through Lord Knutsford in 1891.
Several assurances were made by the British among them one that read as follows; ‘The Barotse have been assured, repeatedly, that Barotseland is a Protectorate of the Crown, (and) that this status is preserved under the successive Orders-In Council and that they are only part of Northern Rhodesia as an administrative arrangement with safeguards under the Governor representing the Crown.’
A total of 27 assurances were issued by the British Crown among them 1911 Order-In-Council, the 1924 Order-In-Council, and the 1925 Barotse Fund Ordinance under which a special fund was established to fund the running of the Barotseland Government.
The 1953 Special Order- In-Council assured Barotseland Protectorate status within Northern Rhodesia before it could join the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Orders-In-Council are what culminated in the 1964 Barotseland Agreement because the two countries should have attained independence separately but entered a treaty to form a unitary state which Zambia did not want to respect and abrogated it in 1969 technically abolishing the unitary state of Zambia
What was agreed in this agreement?
Just like single people cannot sign an agreement to divorce yet not married, the Barotseland Agreement was not about Barotseland breaking away from Zambia but was about the two countries co-existing as one under a unitary arrangement with the motto of One Zambia One nation extracted from the Agreement which read;
‘And where as it is the wish of the government of Northern Rhodesia and the Litunga of Barotseland, his Council and the Chiefs and people of Barotseland that Northern Rhodesia should proceed to independence as one country and that all its peoples should be one nation.’
(One Zambia one nation)
Just as a marriage certificate has no clause for divorce yet there are grounds for divorce if the marriage is not respected, you will not find a clause for secession in the agreement yet there are grounds for breaking or reverting to the previous status if conditions are violated, in this case its Article 70 of the Vienna convention on the law of international treaties which applies.
There is no longer one Zambia one nation without Barotseland because Zambia divorced Barotseland through abrogation of the unity treaty but has held on to Barotseland by force having repeatedly refused to restore the agreement so that the two remain in a unitary arrangement.
The government is aware of the facts and consequences but has kept the Zambian people in the dark. It is for this reason that the Zambian government is scared of having the matter arbitrated by an international body because they know their fate.
Unfortunately for Zambia the matter is now before international bodies and will soon have to explain the truth to Zambians.
The next article will look at the extent of the boundary of Barotseland and whether there is need for a referendum to leave the failed unitary state of Zambia and the position of Southern, North Western and parts of Central Provinces.
Editor's Note: A copy of The Barotseland Agreement 1964 can be found here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/The-Barotseland-Agreement-1964.pdf