In a lengthy speech, Kenneth Kaunda, then Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia, barely a couple of months after signing the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and shortly before Zambia’s October 1964 independence, categorically assured then Litunga (King) of Barotseland, Sir Mwanawina III, KBE, and all Members of the Barotse Royal Family and of the Barotse Government, that the Zambian Government had no wish to interfere with the day-to-day running of the internal affairs of Barotseland.
The assurance was given in a written speech that Kenneth Kaunda himself publicly read at a meeting held at the headquarters of the Barotse government at Lealui, on Thursday, 6th August 1964.
A total VOTE REVOLT in Barotseland will send a CLEAR message that the territory is no longer interested in being part of a Zambia that does NOT respect the Barotse rights to Self-determination. The world right now does not take Barotseland’s call for self-determination seriously because the Barotse continue to participate in the political affairs of the country they have already declared independence from.
The reader may wish to know that Kenneth Kaunda's speech of 26th August 1969 to the Zambian nation dubbed "I WISH TO INFORM THE NATION", without a doubt showed his unappeasable and unsatiated colonial craving to "fix" the people of Barotseland. This manifestation came barely two years after the independence and opened a Pandora box or can of worms, in effecting the current status quo on the now defunct BA’ 64 Treaty and future of New Barotseland, out of the failed unitary statehood called Zambia.
Zambia must admit that Afumba Mombotwa, Hakainde Hichilema, Likando Pelekelo, Inambao Kalima and others are political prisoners who must be freed unconditionally.
Generally, repressive and oppressive regimes tend to deny the existence of political prisoners within their borders.
The Zambian government, too, has continued to deny the existence of political prisoners within its state prisons. Currently, opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema and several of his supporters are incarcerated over politically motivated crimes which make them political prisoners. The government and its supporters, however, are adamant that these are in fact mere criminals in violation of the criminal justice system. Nevertheless, it is clear that Hakainde’s current troubles emanate from the problematic 2016 electioneering, and many Zambians and the global community subscribe to that notion.
Similarly, Barotse nationals, Afumba Mombotwa, Likando Pelekelo and Sylvester Inambao Kalima are not only political prisoners but also prisoners of conscience.
When the term colonialism is used today it normally refers to the period of history from the 15th to the 20th century when people from Europe built colonies on other continents and Africa inclusive. COLONIALISM IS THE MAKING AND MAINTAINING OF COLONIES (DEPENDENCIES OR PROTECTORATES) IN ONE TERRITORY BY PEOPLE FROM ANOTHER TERRITORY. Sovereignty over the colony is claimed by the colonizing power in which case the social structure, government and economics within the territory of the colony are changed by the colonists, exactly what Zambia did to Barotseland in her period of Zambiaship.
The term, PASSIVE RESISTANCE is misleading in that it implies PASSIVITY. Some people may even wrongly and ignorantly suggest that it is a ‘useless’ form of cowardice or a sign of weakness.
In reality, however, PASSIVE RESISTANCE is a fight; a very POWERFUL WEAPON for those considered weak against a more equipped and stronger adversary. It can also be thought of as an active, but nonviolent, mode of struggle in a social political conflict.
Passive resistance commonly refers to consciously chosen actions of nonviolent protest or deliberate resistance to authority for achieving a desired political or social goal. The participants purposely abstain from violent response even in the face of violent aggression.
The question is what have we recently seen and heard in the country that needs to be reflected upon? In my interaction with the people in my pastoral engagement in the diocese I hear that most people are intimidated and threatened to remain silent on events that are happening.
There is a feeling that when people speak out on what they feel is not going on well in the nation, they will lose their employment if they were civil servants or they will be arrested. It is seen even in noble programs or commissions that are sanctioned by government.
So far so much has been said on our different media platforms regarding the role expected from citizens of the New Barotseland. Perhaps it is time we reflect exclusively on this very important subject, especially so as it affects “Bana ba Poho yensu”. As I understand it, active citizenship is a combination of knowledge, attitude, skills, values and actions (SKAVAs) that aim to contribute to building and maintaining a democratic and progressive society, Barotseland in particular.