With the famous 11th August 2016 election over, the Zambian people are awaking from a deep slumber and questioning themselves as to whether they should continue believing in the ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ fallacy or they should dismiss it for the myth that it really is. More than ever before, it has become so clear that for half a century the people of the fictitious and failed unitary state called Zambia have been coerced and duped to believe a misleading notion that they are ‘one Zambia’ and ‘one Nation’.
The voting pattern which is not at all different from what it has always been, except that it is much more clearer than ever before, has shown beyond doubt that there are at least two Nations here no matter how much we ignore the plain truth, because numbers never lie. In Silozi we say ‘Ha u koni ku buza nja ya muna inge u ibona’ literally meaning you can’t question whether a dog is male or not while looking at it. The fact that ‘one Zambia one nation’ is an erroneous belief is to me as clear and sticks out like the nose on your face. It is myth!
11th August, 2016, Zambian Presidential Election Voting Pattern continue to show Zambia as a divided nation.
BACKGROUND OF THE ‘ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION MOTTO
Though most Zambians east of the Kafue River do not want to acknowledge this plain truth, it is none the less true that the famous Zambian Motto popularised by Zambia’s first President Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda has its origins in the Barotseland Agreement 1964 (BA’64). It was uplifted from the preamble of the Agreement:
“And whereas it is the wish of the Northern Rhodesia Government and the Litunga of Barotseland, his council and the chiefs and people of Barotseland that Northern Rhodesia should proceed to Independence as one country (Zambia) and that all its peoples should be one Nation.”
The unilateral abrogation of the BA’64 in 1969 by the UNIP Government sets the motto in disarray and absolute quandary, earmarking it for a total and permanent collapse. The BA’64 is the foundation of the motto and like the fate of the house built on the sand without a foundation in the gospel story, the Motto is destined for a total and crushing collapse. The bible says “And the ruin of that house was great” Lk 6:46. The ‘one Zambia one nation’ motto cannot stand without the BA’64 upon which it was founded.
THE TWO NATIONS
It is a clear historical fact that Zambia as we know it today is a cosmetic country created by the Colonial overloads purely for purposes of satisfying there colonial ego, greed and appetite to amass more land, power and control. By 1911, the land mass that has evolved into two British territories namely North Eastern Rhodesia and Barotseland North Western Rhodesia were further Amalgamated to form the jurisdiction styled as Northern Rhodesia for administrative convenience. In 1964 these two territories that Amalgamated into Northern Rhodesia proceeded to Independence as ‘Zambia’ after protracted negotiations with the BA’64, the end result of those long and hard negotiations, as the glue that was to keep them together. Unfortunately the BA’64 was hastily mutilated by the Zambian government of Kenneth Kaunda leading to its unilateral abrogation in 1969. History attests to the numerous effort by the Barotse people to ensure that the BA’64 is adhered to as a way of protecting the amalgamation, but these efforts fell on the deaf ears of their North Eastern counterparts who only wanted the ‘one Zambia one nation’ without the agreement that gave birth to it. Needless to say that in 2012 on 27th March, at a duly constituted Barotse National Council, The Barotse People resolved to accept the unilateral abrogation of the BA’64 rendering the amalgamation of the two Northern Rhodesians null and void.
One Zambia one Nation as a motto was intended to promote the unitary nature of Zambia by protecting the Rights of the Barotse and the allied people groups who are basically a minority within Zambia. With the BA’64 out of the picture, it has been turned into a tool of forced dominion of North Eastern Zambia over South Western Zambia which was (roughly) Barotseland North Western Rhodesia. This can be described as the dictatorship of the majority.
11th AUGUST, 2016 ELECTIONS: ZAMBIA
The elections of the Zambian President, Members of the Zambian Parliament (MPs), Mayors and Council Chairmen as well as Councillors for the Zambian Cities, Municipalities and Districts which took place on 11th August in the year of our Lord 2016 have gone but they will forever remain controversial and highly disputed in the history of Zambia as a nation. Accusations and counter accusation of tribal based voting pattern have been thrown back and forth to each side of the dividing line. A petition is currently before the Zambian Constitutional Court challenging the election of President elect, Edgar Chagwa Lungu alleging massive rigging and electoral malpractices on the part of the winning candidate and party.
The rigging and electoral malpractice allegation notwithstanding, when you compare the amount of work and effort the two leading presidential candidates put in; one is compelled to conclude that the losing candidate put in more effort both in his stronghold and non stronghold areas. Like someone made a comment on social media; that how did ECL expect the people of Dundumwezi to vote for him when he did not campaign there stating that the people of Dundumwezi did not take lightly the issue of being left out on the chance of a free concert by some of Zambia’s most renowned musicians. Clearly all the effort by HH to touch every corner of Zambia during his campaign trail was not good enough while the mild campaign by ECL who did not bother to touch every angle of Zambia leaving out many constituencies throughout the ninety (90) days campaign period was good enough. The answer to this puzzle is the fact that ugly though it may be the two main candidates in the presidential elections were representing two distinct constituencies, two countries as it were and the other (ECL) had an inbuilt majority. It was and will forever be a mission impossible to overturn this inbuilt majority. That is the simple reality!
Someone has said that when an honest man comes face to face with the truth that he hitherto had not known; he either accepts the truth for what it is or ceases to be an honest man. For sure there are numerous fraud allegations in this particular election, but for me the bottom line is that this is a cosmetic country that we are trying to keep together but discarding the very glue that was intended to keep it together.
INTERROGATING THE HALF CENTURY OLD FALLACIOUS MOTTO
The question really is must we continue believing in the myth of ‘one Zambia, one nation’ when all indication are contrary to the notion? I turn on my TV and hear someone say “The elections are now over, let us move on as ‘one Zambia one nation’”. Is it that easy really, when the election results themselves have clearly indicated that we have two distinct nations? Shall we turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the reality? I am convinced beyond doubt that no matter how many ‘One Zambia One Nations’ we recite in a day (like ‘Hail Marys’) Zambia cannot hold as one nation. Like Professor Sitwala N. Imenda has rightly observed in his recent article;
“... Zambia is doomed; it has no future; it is soon to implode from within - the centre will soon fail to hold.... A country born out of deception cannot stand the test of time and shall not stand the test of time; a country in constant denial cannot stand the test of time and shall not stand the test of time; a country without capable leaders cannot stand the test of time and shall not stand the test of time; a country with dishonest leaders cannot stand the test of time and shall not stand the test of time.”
To sum it all up, ‘One Zambia One Nation’ as a motto is not a correct truism or axiom; because Zambia is not one country anymore (if it has ever been at all) and its people are not one Nation. Let all the stake holders face this reality and allow the peoples of the two Nations exercise each their inalienable Human Right to Self-determination other than to be bottled up within the artificial and cosmetic boundaries created by the colonial masters which no longer serve any purpose.
Barotseland is a Nation. This is what it is, and those who are "Zambianized" by the magic spell of Kenneth Kaunda should get it right from now. Barotseland people are not cowards by not reclaiming their country by way of armed force, but are people endowed with conscience and reason by the Creator, as such opted for a civilized way of peaceful conflict resolutions which of course has time limit frame.
Unlike Zambians, people of Barotseland are Lozis or Ma Lozi with a King as a common heritage. Barotseland people all sing the same Anthem expressively: viz "Barotseland the land of our forefathers." Surprisingly, the Zambia National Anthem reads: "Africa is our own motherland: fashioned with, and blessed by, God's good hand."
This is ridiculous! We do not know of any African nation that sings the same chorus of claiming the whole territory as theirs! Really, Barotse people do not claim Africa or other people's territories. In fact we pray that the people must live happily in their own lands without forced annexation.
Those with knowledge, sense, reason, logic and intelligence are able to discern the difference between Barotseland and Zambia.
However, those drunk with the strong wine of Kaunda's DOCTRINE of "One Zambia, one Nation, one leader, and that leader, Kaunda WAMUYAYAYA: in heaven, God; and on earth, Kenneth Kaunda, and whose philosophy is humanism: where there is man at the centre of everything and this man at the centre of everything was Kaunda himself, believed in whatever Kaunda declared as 'eternal' law: even "Western Province". It is unbelievable that even the wise, scholars, young and old, rich and poor are all drunk with his wine of believing in nonentity 'Western Province!' It is for their indescribable ignorance that they do react and hate us: for our knowledge and separate identity and for the truth we speak!
The Zambian authority is like ancient fallen Babylon, who are now experts at deception, cheating, lying, delusion, beguilement and dishonesty. Therefore, they are very deceitful and insincere in all their dealings. However, Zambia's corrupt ideologies shall never stop Barotseland from being a Nation; even though the flood of Zambia's evil schemes surge from its belly and mouth. Let Zambians know that even if a lie is told a million times, it is still a lie.
Nobody can successfully erase the nation of Barotseland or its history and exterminate the Lozi's existence. Our Nation, "Barotse Nation", shall remain, till the end of time!
The foregoing is an extract from, Afumba Mombotwa’s writings.
Barotseland Administrator General Afumba Mombotwa is a prisoner of conscience, serving a ten year Zambian jail sentence for constituting a transitional Barotseland government in accordance with the Barotse National Council (BNC) mandate of March 2012 that declared the restoration of Barotseland sovereignty. Barotseland’s ill-fated union with Zambia failed to hold after the latter unilaterally abrogated the terms of the 1964 union treaty barely a year after it was signed, while Barotseland officially accepted its abrogation in 2012, setting Barotseland on course to sovereignty, rejecting Zambian annexation.
“..the centre will soon fail to hold, and the reason for this gloomy outlook is something some of us have been singing for years, albeit to a deaf audience – and every election that passes takes the country closer and closer to that doom’s day; to the country’s Armageddon,” Prof.Imenda.
FIGHTING A WRONG WAR
In this short piece I reflect on the state of things as pertaining to the just-ended elections in Zambia, with a specific focus on the presidential elections because that is where national identity lies. If you cannot identify with the position of President for fifty years in a country you call your own, then there is something deadly wrong; if you perpetually get ruled by presidential candidates whom you have rejected in every election, then you’re headed nowhere and the word ‘democracy’ carries no meaning for you.
FACTS OF THE MATTER
All sincere and knowledgeable people know that the founding document of Zambia’s independence as a Unitary State was the Barotseland Agreement 1964. Without that Agreement, there would not have been a country called Zambia as it has been known to the world. As a founding document, the Agreement served as the centre piece of Zambia’s constitution at the beginning of her journey as a sovereign political entity. However, it was the subsequent erasure of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 from Zambia’s constitution which has had tragic consequences for the country by plunging it into a constitutional crisis which has persisted to the present day. Equally important is the point that the expunging of the Agreement from the Zambian constitution also amounted to a flagrant violation of the Barotse people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms. In the blink of an eye, characterised by a stroke of the pen, all the constitutional privileges, protections, rights “and fundamental freedoms of the individual”, which the Barotse people were meant to enjoy by virtue of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 were suddenly totally obliterated. The same person who had signed the Agreement and taken oath to honour and protect it was the same one who engineered its downfall by seeing to it that it was removed from the country’s constitution. I do not know what other people would call this but to me this is blatant dishonesty, betrayal and corruption of the highest order – serious enough to have such a leader successfully tried for high treason and imprisoned for a very long time, or even sentenced to death.
What most people do not understand is that by removing the Barotseland Agreement from Zambia’s constitution, this has meant that one cannot speak about the Agreement and all the rights, privileges and freedoms which it embodied because the action has had the effect of outlawing the Barotse people’s entitlement to those rights, privileges and fundamental freedoms. So, Zambia police and army can then arrest, maim, torture and kill any person who brings up the matter of the Agreement because it is not provided for in the country’s constitution any more. This is what makes the action of the Zambian government a violation of Barotse people’s human rights. The people of Barotseland came into the Union carrying a basket of specified rights, privileges and fundamental freedoms; they did not just walk in carrying nothing. This explains why for 43 years, from 1969 to 2012, the people of Barotseland continuously petitioned the Zambian government to put the Agreement back into the Zambian constitution so that their citizenship as Zambians could once again be restored. In response, the Zambian government consistently rejected this polite request, and reacted violently against the people it defined as enemies of the State. So, inevitably, on 27 March 2012 the people of Barotseland resolved that they could and would no longer continue to honour an imaginary treaty which had fallen away many years previously. Indeed, the Zambian government had stated in written correspondence that as far as it was concerned, the Agreement was stale and was not worth the paper it was written on. Thus, there was no other choice than to accept the termination of the Agreement, and by that action begin the process of formally disengaging from the political farce consummated in1964; but, alas, the Zambian government has reacted to this with lethal force and incessant acts of terrorism against the people of Barotseland. They are now enforcing an imaginary, make-believe Unitary State by force, while professing to be a democratic and Christian country. This is why I say Zambia is doomed; it has no future; it is soon to implode from within – the centre will soon fail to hold. The reason for this gloomy outlook is something some of us have been singing for years, albeit to a deaf audience – and every election that passes takes the country closer and closer to that doom’s day, to the country’s Armageddon. A country born of deception cannot stand the test of time, and shall not stand the test of time; a country in constant denial cannot stand the test of time, and shall not stand the test of time; a country without capable leaders cannot stand the test of time, and shall not stand the test of time; a country with dishonest leaders cannot stand the test of time, and shall not stand the test of time.
REFUSING TO SEE
There is a difference between being unable to see and refusing to see. Many Zambians have refused to see that a country which was born out of dishonesty, deception and fraud cannot stand the test of time; many Zambians have refused to see the injustices meted out consistently and disproportionately onto the people of Barotseland by successive Zambian governments; many Zambians have refused to see that their government has committed (and continues to commit) gross human rights violations against the people of Barotseland by, inter alia, refusing them to re-establish their own sovereign state after terminating the Barotseland Agreement; many Zambians have refused to see the brutality of their government in the face of continued trumped up arrests, torture and killings of the people of Barotseland; many Zambians have refused to see the perpetual servitude faced by the people of Barotseland as a result of having their rights and fundamental freedoms violated by successive Zambian governments.
Surely, if Zambians were the same people as the people of Barotseland, some of them would by now have shared in the excruciating pain perpetually suffered by the people of Barotseland while some would have seen and wiped the people of Barotseland’s tears streaming down their cheeks every day; some would have even heard the people of Barotseland’s cries and comforted them and others still would have listened to their silenced voices and answered them. Many would have by now smelt the people of Barotseland’s despair and given them hope, yet others would have tasted the Barotse people’s sorrow and misery – and lifted their spirits and others more would by now have stepped forward to comfort their haemorrhaging hearts occasioned by the many losses of their loved ones mercilessly butchered by Zambia police and other Zambian security operatives. Others among them would have dressed up the people of Barotseland’s bleeding sores; and some would have shared in their many stories of grief. But, no! This agony, which the people of Barotseland continue to go through daily, means nothing to the Zambians. They are happy and content to carry on; to celebrate their victory; for them it is business as usual while the people of Barotseland continue to gnash and grind their teeth – and hope to survive the hardships of each day, to fight another day. All the people of Barotseland want is to be left alone to re-establish the sovereignty of their homeland, motherland, fatherland – that is all. Why is it such a big problem to allow this to happen?
NO NEED FOR BAROTSE TO PARTICIPATE IN ZAMBIAN ELECTIONS
After the Barotse National Council’s decision to disengage from the rest of Zambia, there was no need for the Barotse people to participate in Zambia’s elections in January 2015 and again in August 2016. There was really nothing to expect from these elections. The unfortunate thing was that participation in the elections may have had the effect of validating and legitimising them – notwithstanding that the outcome, especially at the presidential level – was obvious to those of us who had not refused to see. People who were expecting a different presidential election result simply refused to see. A corrupt government plants its people in all key places to manipulate and undermine the country’s democratic processes in every way possible. A thief is always one step ahead – and that’s how s/he is able to steal. If you are not a thief yourself, you cannot catch a thief. Our forefathers used to say, “Do not fight a lion unless you are a lion yourself.” In a corrupt system people have no recourse; no matter how innocent they may be, everywhere they go they’ll simply be met with disappointment and well-orchestrated frustrations; if they insist on their rights they are simply locked up and the key is either thrown away or deliberately misplaced.
The only good thing we can say came out of the just-ended elections was the total rejection of the scheme that the BRE and President Chagwa Lungu were trying to conjure up concerning the Barotseland Agreement. This scheme was vigorously canvassed by the BRE on behalf of the Patriotic Front. However, the fact that the people of Barotseland trusted a rival party to the Patriotic Front has sent a very loud and clear message to all concerned: the people of Barotseland do not want to associate themselves with such an ill-conceived scheme which disrespects the wishes of the people of Barotseland. The wishes of the people were clearly contained in the Barotse National Council resolutions. Those resolutions are not vague, they are clear enough for anyone with an average intellect to understand – and they are binding because the Barotse National Council was properly convened after following all the required consultative processes in the land.
However, since the Barotse National Council’s acceptance of Zambia’s termination of the Barotseland Agreement, the Zambian government has been working hard to prevent the people of Barotseland from implementing the Council resolutions. The government’s first strategy has been to weaken and neutralise the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), which they have so far succeeded to do. This was a body created by the Zambian government so its powers are limited to what their Creator chooses to give it. Through the BRE, the Zambian government has succeeded in propagating the narrative that Zambia is still the Unitary State that it was in 1964. However, the people of Barotseland have seen the light and, day by day, the only reason they continue to appear to comply with this scheme of things is through Zambia’s use (misuse) of its gun powder. Having weakened and neutralised the BRE, the Zambian government’s second strategy is to usher in a watered-down Barotseland Agreement which will allow them to continue ruling the people of Barotseland in perpetuity against their will, while the BRE laughs on the sidelines. But, all these corrupt political machinations will not work because in Barotseland power rests with the people. Anything that sidelines the people is bound to fall flat on its face. This is Imutakwandu, King Lewanika’s legacy – especially this year when we commemorate the centenary of his passing. This is not the year to undermine his integrity. He left us a true form of democracy – a universal kind of democracy which starts and ends at grassroots level. It does not start and end at Namuso; it starts and ends at the village level.
In the meantime, the people of Barotseland ought to remember and believe that the resolutions of the Barotse National Council to, inter alia, accept Zambia’s termination of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 has paved way for a permanent resolution of the political impasse which has dogged the Zambian government for over a half century. By virtue of those resolutions, the people of Barotseland have refused to continue to be victims of their circumstances. They are the ones who have been disenfranchised by the Zambian government, so there is no need to place their hopes and aspirations in the hands of anyone else but themselves. The sooner the people realise that it is all in their own hands to make the difference the sooner the day of salvation shall arrive. So, let’s all rally behind the resolutions of the Barotse National Council of March, 2012 and fight to re-establish our lost glory, the glory of our forefathers. We owe it to them. They left us a country; they left us a nation – where is it now? Surely, if that country could prosper then, it should be much easier for it to prosper now. Look at all the misery that has enveloped the people of Barotseland, as parents fail to dress their children – njenje nji njenje! Barotseland is the poorest part of its neighbourhood on all critical indicators of poverty. It is all in our hands to change things for the better for our beloved country – nobody else. Those of you who still wish to frustrate yourselves further by believing in the imaginary country called Zambia, wait for the next elections – and get dribbled some more, even worse than this time. Each time will be worse than the previous time. When it happens next time, and it surely will unless we get ourselves out of that slavery, do not say I did not warn you. Like today, you’ll still be fighting a wrong war. The right war is to follow the resolutions of the Barotse National Council. In the end, we shall be vindicated by nothing other than that we fought a just war.
The month of August 2016 was set aside by our Royal Barotseland Government to commemorate the wonderful work of King Lewanika. However, the recorded history of Barotseland kingdom begins with Queen Mwambwa as the founder of the Lozi (Barotse) Kingdom. This is still in full cognisance of the fact that the Barotseland nation, state and tradition dates from antiquity and is only more lucid from Queen Mwambwa as the first traceable Litunga, especially so by name and title. Since her day to date 2016 (King Lubosi Imwiko II) Barotseland Kingdom has a historic record of twenty four (24) Litungas. The common features among all the Litungas, with few exceptions, are that each has had a period of reign, administrative capital, administrative council and shrines among others. As for Mwambwa for instance, she built her capital at Sifuluti Village, located in the present day Kalabo District of Barotseland with her royal shrine known as Sangaulu located in the Lukulu District also of Royal Barotseland Kingdom.
From the royal reign progressions of the Barotseland Litungas allow me dear reader to focus my consideration only on three, to underscore certain commitments and achievements consistent with the status quo of our Barotse Change and certain imperatives of the modern Royal Barotseland nation and state, in the subsequent paragraphs accordingly. Interestingly, King Lubosi Lewanika and his namesakes also share the month of February as either a birthday or deathday month, with Mbikusita Lewanika II having been born and died in the same month of February; 03/02/1905 and 07/02/1977 respectively!
LITUNGA NO. 17: KING LUBOSI LEWANIKA (1878 – 1916)
The month of August 2016 was set aside by our Royal Barotseland Government to commemorate the wonderful work of King Lewanika: the famous “Liwanika”, “Tautona”, “Lion King”, The Litunga, The Earth, as just few of the litumo or praise names given to the King, Litunga of Barotseland, Lubosi Lewanika, during his reign. This year on 4th February, 2016 marked the centennial of his death and the intended beginning of a yearlong commemoration of his extraordinary life and influence on the Barotseland and the world, as a result of his reign from 1878 to 1916 in two regime phases as 1878 – 1884 and 1885 – 1916 intermittently.
Some of his key achievements include abolishment of slavery on 16th July, 1906, especially in his territory of Barotseland. This means that our near 50 years of servitude to Zambia was a serious antagonism to King Lewanika’s legacy and would have halted it if he could be resurrected. His signing of the Ware Concession on 27th June, 1889 and the signing of the Lochner Concession on 26th June, 1890 both present him with international accolades, as a successful native and international politician and leader. Additionally, he was a scholarly, literate and well informed individual and King. Because of his work Barotseland was recognised as a nation state already during the partition or scramble for Africa – the land we have reclaimed from the failed unitary state of Zambia.
LITUNGA NO. 21: KING MWANAWINA LEWANIKA III, KBE (1948 – 1968)
King Mwanawina Lewanika III, KBE ruled from 1948 to 1968 in Barotseland. Among other achievements he was knighted by the British in 1959, He was educated at PMS Missionary School in Barotseland, Lovedale College, South Africa, and University of Cape town in South Africa and he was pressured into signing the Barotseland Agreement, 1964 which attempted to absorb Barotseland by Northern Rhodesia to pave way for the creation of the so called 'Republic of Zambia'. Barotseland national memory bank informs us that King Lewanika had warned us then that because of the forced signing of the BA’64 we would suffer SUBJECTION UNDER FIVE ZAMBIAN PRESIDENTS (REGIMES) then cry out for our independence! However, what was not foretold is the other side of the coin – how many Barotseland Kings would consequently rule Barotseland Kingdom before the realisation of the ultimate of Barotse Change?
If this is something to seriously go by then we have a missing link somehow and it may be unrealistic for us to expect the current Litunga Edwin Lubosi to fulfil in totality the 2012 BNC Resolutions all the way, especially the restoration of our Royalty and transformation of the BRE back to BRA in the transition to completely free Barotseland.
LITUNGA NO. 22: KING MBIKUSITA LEWANIKA II (1968 – 1977)
King Mbikusita Lewanika II was born on 3rd February, 1905 in Lealui and died 7th February 1977. He ruled Royal Barotseland kingdom from 1968 to 1977. He received education from Barotse National School, University of Cape town South Africa, and University of Wales at Aberystwith. He ascended to the throne on 15th December, 1968, and died in 1977. His capital was Lealui. Among many of his achievements he was the Founding President General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress and African freedom movements. Additionally, 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 hundreds of Zambians and Barotse individuals. He also served as a Parliamentary Secretary in Ministry of External Affair of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the 1960s.
As a Litunga and like King Ilute Yeta IV, King Mbikusita Lewanika II lived in the heat of the disputed abortive Zambiaship and hence their lives were curtailed by the enemies of Barotseland.
BAROTSELAND LITUNGAS FROM 1964 TO 2012:
1. HRH SIR MWANAWINA LEWANIKA III,K.B.E
2. HRH Mbikusita Lewanika
3. HRH Ilute Yeta IV
4. HRH Imwiko Lubosi
5. Missing Link: _____? (BRE to BRA era). Is this for King Lubosi Imwiko II or another successor Barotse King if I may ask? Otherwise, let His Royal Highness avail himself to the task he started and prevail. BRE needs to get back to its pre-Zambian eminence as Barotse Royal Authority (BRA) and revise his Royal CV conclusively.
ZAMBIAN PRESIDENTS FROM 1964 TO 2012:
1. DR. KENNETH DAVID KAUNDA.
2. Mr. F.T.J. Chiluba.
3. Mr. Levy P. Mwanawasa.
4. Mr Rupiah B. Banda.
5. Mr. Michael C. Sata (BNC 2012 era)
Can it be that in King Lewanika's prophecy he may be the antecedent to the Litunga who will balance off the equation with the Zambian side leadership seriation! His current embattledness and leadership style could be a serious indictment on him and indication that either he was/is misplacement over us or has his term of office long expired by abdication or other means!
Looking at the royal CVs of the three Lewanikas one can see that the Litungas were indeed great educationists, successful politicians in their own right, visionary leaders, embraced great family values and honoured nationalists, traditionalists committed to nurturing Barotseland for her prosperity and prominence above self-glory.
It is worth noting that our incumbent Litunga already scored a resounding success by having sanctioned and facilitated the 2012 BNC which achievement has gone well in history and his personal Royal CV. Notwithstanding, his recent political dealings with Zambian President to try and thwart our UDI Mandate have captured a negative insert in his Royal CV. However, it is not too late and there is still room enough for His Royal Highness Litunga Lubosi to amend his ways, enhance the Barotseland heritage so distorted thus far and relive the Lewanika legacies; much so to resonate with his namesake King Lubosi Lewanika’s foot steps in his own right but for our country. These legacies cannot and will never be erased from our history by anybody or king of Barotseland and we are where we are today because of the incremental gains to our national heritage by the Litungas who have been before, from time immemorial.
Muyoyange wino wino!
Lubosi Imwiko II, the embattled Litunga of Barotseland, was last week reprimanded by key members of his royal family, the princes and princesses (District Chiefs) of Barotseland at a secret ‘Litunga-in-Council’ meeting he abruptly called to be held in Lusaka, unknown to them, to meet the Zambian president Edgar Lungu who did not even turn up.
‘PEOPLE ARE THE FINAL AUTHORITY IN BAROTSELAND’
According to a detailed report availed to the Barotseland Post on Friday, the Litunga-in-council is reported to have also chided Lubosi, reminding him to bear in mind that the ‘people’ were the final authority in Barotseland. This was after Lubosi took the uncouth step of summoning all the royals (Malena baLikiliti) to what he described as ‘an urgent’ meeting in Zambia’s capital of Lusaka with outgoing president Edgar Lungu.
Fearing that something dramatic or tragic was to happen, all the ‘Malena’ (royals) left their traditional capitals in a hurry for Lusaka without any idea of what they would find there. They all traveled ‘post-haste’ to Lusaka, while those who could not travel sent their representatives.
To their great disappointment, however, upon arrival in Lusaka they discovered that Zambia’s outgoing president Lungu was nowhere in Lusaka, and only to see him later on national television at various venues of the Copperbelt and Central provinces dancing to ‘dununa reverse’, Patriotic Front (PF)’s latest political campaign craze, with various party womenfolk, in the likes of Mumbi Phiri, the deputy Secretary General of the PF.
Disgusted by this turn of events, the reigning princes, princesses and representatives of the District Royal Courts told Lubosi they could still meet as a family if Lungu was not ready to meet with them. Unlike in the regions of Zambia, in Barotseland all reigning heads of the District Royal Court, except for the princesses, are substantive heirs to the Litungaship of Barotseland in their own right should the people of Barotseland say so at any time. Mbuyu-wa-Mwambwa, the last queen over Barotseland, abdicated the throne and established the culture of exclusive male Litungaship (Kingship) in Barotseland.
Lubosi Imwiko himself was a Reigning Prince (District Chief) in Lukulu before the then ruling MMD Zambian government broke Barotse cultural norms, according to some Barotse school of thought, and irregularly enthroned him as Litunga of Barotseland. The embattled Litunga has, however, lately been accused of having switched allegiance to Edgar Lungu and his ruling Patriotic Front party for personal profit. This alliance is also reported to include Lubosi’s personal friend, former MMD Party and 4th Republican President Rupiah Banda.
At the meeting, the frustrated Royalty demanded to know from Lubosi why they had been summoned to Lusaka, a foreign land, without any agenda of what they would be discussing with Lungu. They wished to know from Lubosi what their coming to Lusaka was all about, at which point the embattled Litunga surprised them by first engaging them in a ‘general’ talk of some sort. He is then reported to have turned round his remarks to declare how he was like a lion that feared nothing and no man, and that he was always single minded.
Lubosi is further reported to have declared that it was important for Barotseland to support Lungu because he (Lungu) genuinely wanted to ‘help’ Barotseland become free from Zambia now that the two former protectorates of Britain could no longer continue to exist as a union. Furthermore, Lubosi is said to have informed them that, as leaders of Barotseland, they could do this by helping Lungu win re-election for the Presidency of Zambia due next week, August 11.
As is the Lozi custom at such meetings, the reigning princes and princesses are all reported to have listened patiently until Lubosi was done. Then ‘Senior Chief’ Amukena II who is Crown Prince Makweti Isiteketo, son of the late ‘Senior Chief’ Amukena I, Isiteketo Lewanika, opened the candid discussion asking Lubosi pointedly if he saw nothing wrong with all of them coming to Lusaka for a meeting that never took place. Crown Prince Isiteketo is considered an elder brother to Lubosi, since in Barotseland culture there exists no ‘cousins’, ‘nephews’ or ‘nieces’. Only brother, sister, mother, father and son or daughter exists.
Isiteketo is the current Reigning Prince in Kaoma at the Naliele kuta (royal court) and he asked Lubosi, with the authority of an elder brother if he (Lubosi) saw nothing wrong with summoning all of them to Lusaka for what effectively was a failed meeting with Lungu, and that since Lubosi did not give them any agenda, were they to conclude that he (Lubosi) and Lungu were collectively trying to usurp the powers of the Barotse people.
“If this was a traditional ‘Litunga in Council’ which, by custom is always held in Limulunga and not on foreign soil, then we should have been informed of the agenda well in advance. What are you afraid of?” Crown Prince Amukena demanded. In reply, Lubosi is reported to have waffled about Lusaka being ‘central’ and ‘convenient’ since they were coming to meet Zambia’s president Edgar Lungu.
It is, however, reported that Lubosi’s explanation was unaccepted with the legendary Mulena-Mukwae Mboanjikana (Princess Kandundu, daughter of Litunga Yeta III) of Libonda kuta wondering why Lubosi should have made her travel hundreds of kilometers on bumpy roads for nothing.
“Kanti kiñi haulatanga kweza lika kamoile pilu yahao, isi kamulao? Ni mukopano woo kanti kiñi hamuutisize kwanu kwa naha isili isi kuluna?” Mukwae Mboanjikana asked, chiding Lubosi for deliberately flouting Lozi cultural norms in preference for his irregular and unlawful desires. She is then said to have reminded Lubosi of how she essentially groomed him as a baby and young prince growing up, and therefore, he should have at least accorded her due consideration as an elderly woman, if he did not wish to respect the rest on account of their younger age. “Neba usafi babañwi ba likute, kakuli ki banana kuwena, kono na waswanela kunifa likute kakuli nikuzwisa kwahule. Uhupule fonenikupepelanga kwa mukokoto waka onakwa, wena uli kikacenu? Cwale ukona cwani kulumbambalisa, inge tupelesa, ku taalala naha yamina ye butelele kuzwa Bulozi kutowa kwanu ni kuto fumana kuli yoo yelutezi niyena wile kuzahae?”
At that point, Lubosi reportedly tried to calm them by saying that in fact, Lungu had actually wanted to personally discuss with them the way forward over the Barotseland ‘question’, which statement just increased the anxiety and anger of the assembled Royalty instead.
Another Reigning Princess Mulena-Mukwae Mboanjikana is reported to have asked Lubosi why he had to call their meeting in Lusaka and not on the soil of their forefathers. She is said to have described the decision to call them all to Lusaka as ‘outrageous’ and very ‘disrespectful’ as she wondered why Lubosi was behaving in that manner.
She reportedly further reminded him that Barotseland was no ‘animal farm’ but a nation state that had existed long before the creation of Northern Rhodesia, which graduated into the now failed ‘unitary’ state of Zambia.
Seeing that his ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ were now on ‘familiar’ territory, ‘Senior Chief’ Inyambo the II (Reigning Prince Lubasi Yeta, son of late Litunga Ilute Yeta IV) is reported to have stepped into the debate and observed that Barotseland was at the moment in no state to discuss important matters with ‘anybody’ as all District Royal courts were without key Indunas and even less salaried staff members. Mulena Inyambo was the youngest royal member in the gathering, except those standing in for absent royalty.
Mulena Inyambo was reportedly supported by ‘Senior Chief’ Amukena already described above. Others reported to have supported him were: ‘Senior Chief’ Anañanga who is Reigning Prince at Lukulu as Anañanga Imwiko (Lubosi’s blood brother), the representatives from the Nalolo kuta in the person of the acting Sambi, where Litunga-la-Mboela (Princess Mbuyu Imwiko, blood sister of the embattled Litunga) is the reigning royalty, and the representatives from Shangombo-Kaunga Mashi kuta where ‘Senior Chief’ Lukama (Reigning Prince Meebelo Mutukwa, son of Prince Lukama Wamuñungo Litia) is the reigning royalty and was indisposed. He was represented by his younger brother.
Accordingly, they all agreed that with nearly all positions vacant or filled by people in an acting capacity, including that of the Ngambela (Prime minister) of Barotseland and the Natamoyo (Minister in charge of Justice and Mercy), it meant that the Barotse Royal 'Authority' has no mandate to negotiate on behalf of anybody.
It was their call, and they wanted Lubosi to respond. However, Lubosi is reported to have said nothing, and for a long time just sat and brooded, staring vacantly into space until Senior Chief Amukena reportedly broke the silence, “Luna kanti lwiile! Kono uyomubulelela yena mulikana hao yoo kuli luna halulikuba! Mi hana tukelo yakulufetaula-fetaula inge litapi zefapani,” as he advised Lubosi to go and explain to his new found friend Lungu that they were no ‘fools’ who he could turn around like fish on a frying pan.
With that strong closing remark, they all reportedly trooped out, leaving Lubosi still staring blankly into space, without drinking anything offered by the Zambian government. They are also reported to have turned down government arranged accommodation.
It is strongly believed that many past Barotseland leaders died mysteriously after accepting similar government conveniences, a now widely suspected state instigated method of eliminating perceived political opponents.
Zambia is a proclaimed Christian nation and I quote: “ACKNOWLEDGE the supremacy of God Almighty; DECLARE the Republic a Christian Nation while upholding a person’s right to freedom of conscience, belief or religion” [Constitution of Zambia]. This was born out of President Chiluba’s personal convictions and political imperatives sometime before the Barotseland BNC 2012 Resolutions and UDI Mandate. However, looking at the behaviour displayed by Zambia at Barotzish so far it does not affirm her proclamation as a Christian nation. The same Bible read in Zambian churches states in Mathew 22:39 “…. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Before we became neighbouring countries we were actually neighbours called ‘Zambians’. Just how could Christians have the audacity to arrest and torture our people without a valid reason, campaign in our territory without our permission, cry foul at government’s brutal killing of about twelve opposition cadres over a period of time and yet remain mute or simply whisper over the massacre of more than nineteen (19) Barotseland nationals in 2011 by their government in one day! In fact the list of wrongs committed against Lozis is quite long antedating Zambia’s proclaimed Christian hood from as far back as 1969, just for claiming what is rightfully ours! One only wonders if at all Zambia understands the full import of proclaiming herself a Christian nation in the eyes of God; there are great blessings and serious curses to reap accordingly. If this is not hypocrisy then I wonder what else it is!
THE GIST BEHIND THE FRACAS
Notwithstanding all this one does not need to be a Christian to understand the core that Zambia has been a rogue state, not only in terms of the breached BA’64 Treaty but that she has been built on deception as encoded in the coat of arms occult symbolism right from the word go. For instance Civics studies taught us that the black and white stripes on the coat of arms represent the waters of Victoria Falls when in actual fact in occultism it is deception; strategic mixture of truth and error! Perhaps this is what prompted Chiluba to make the proclamation to correct the situation! Perhaps this is what we see happening in that country today in what I will term the clash of all giants of truth and error encrypted in contending political systems. Without saying much the referendum voting symbolism is equally furthering the same course and cause. IT IS THE FIGHT BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL AS CHRISTIANS SHOULD UNDERSTAND IT!
THE NAKED PROMISE
Fortunately, the same God worshiped in Zambia is our creator and Father too! He is the same God who was both Father and creator of the Egyptians and Israelites of old; the story we read in the Old Testament. “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which [are] in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; ………. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:7-10 KJV. This was God charging His servant Moses just as he inspired BNC 2012 gathering. Surely isn’t this what happened to us culminating into the BNC 2012? While we remained ‘Zambians’ for over forty (40) years the Israelites were bond slaves to the Egyptians for about four hundred (400) years. Instead of the Zambian governments listening to our leaders they chose to persecute and arrest them just like Pharaoh troubled Moses! As subjects Barotseland we were/are equally meted with all kinds of evil at the hands of Zambians.
The holy writ records “And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here [am] I. And he said, I [am] God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up [again]” Gen. 46:1-4 KJV. Yes the BA’64 was finally signed amidst apprehensions from our father King Lewanika and team, and finally we became ‘Zambians’ in rather dubious circumstances. Indeed God fulfilled His promise to the Israelites just like He did with us when He brought us out of Zambianship in 2012. His son (Joseph) repeated the promise later in Gen. 50:24 “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, [KJV]. And in Acts 17:26 we read “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation”. Barotseland national memory bank informs us that King Lewanika had warned us then that because of the forced signing of the BA’64 we will suffer subjection under five Zambian presidents (regimes) then cry out for our independence! Was it prophecy or coincidence what happened in March 2012? All historic and Biblical facts declare the fact that Barotseland is indeed the land of our forefathers meant for our habitation as our sovereign land.
LESSONS FROM THE SACRED HISTORY
It is interesting to note that what should have been a week’s journey then ended up lasting for forty years of wondering to get into the land of promise Canaan mainly due to disbelief or apostasy against God. As for Barotseland it took over forty years to free herself from shackles of Zambian servitude, mainly due to hope for restoration of the already abrogated and repudiated BA’64 Treaty. The Bible records that a lot of drama surfaced among the Israelites prior to entry into the land of promise such that only those under 20 years crossed over into Canaan.
Before the sojourn of Israelites in the wilderness God had to give the Egyptians a hard lesson, in form of plagues, to know that no one can dare stand in between God and His promises for his children and still remain safe and a conqueror. Finally the Israelites overcame in God.
In Numbers 14:4 we read “And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt”. This was the desire of the Israelites at the instigation of the ten (10) false spies or leaders on account of their false report regarding their land of promise – Canaan. Surely God was not pleased at all because by so doing they were trying to prove their God a liar concerning His promise to them through their forefathers. Could this be what the Barotse Iscariots have been trying to do through their GMOs; government modified options to the defunct BA’64 with GRZ, in creating a fake and U-turn route against God‘s promise for Barotseland?
And then, for the sake of the two and ten spies and their respective camps of natives the fearful pronouncement came as recorded in Numbers 14:29 “Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me. Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, [concerning] which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.” Obviously there are promised consequences in betraying God’s plans for His children. And in Barotseland case the doom will be in form of loss of Barotseland citizenship by those who are “old enough” to think that Barotse Change is a made up story. The perished generation in the wilderness then was due to their unbelief and love for foreign beauty. Similarly, those who are wishing against Barotseland Independence are doing so owing to their love of foreign Zambian beauty in form of, businesses, marriages and other foreign investments there beside their disbelief in Barotse change. We may seem to be fewer like the Caleb and Joshua against the majority of Zambians and our Iscariot but the good news is that with God on our side we are the majority and certainly are crossing over into the land of promise.
Finally, “But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.” Ultimately, I wish to let all my fellow Barotseland Youth that it is us the youth who have a major role to play in the conclusion of the story of Barotse Change to completely Independent Homeland. By youth I mean both the biological youth of Barotseland and every adult who is genuinely converted to the truth about Barotse Change branded with a PURELY BAROTZISH MINDSET. These are/were the little ones preyed upon by the Zambians but finally they will know that the despised land of Barotseland is actually flowing with milk and honey – a land of bounties!
Muyoyange wino wino.
Zambia state police are alleged to have killed three young people in Lusaka for merely wishing to peacefully gather and rally with their opposition political party of choice. It is widely believed that the police were carrying out orders from ‘higher’ command, reportedly from the outgoing president Edgar Lungu, in his desperation to stop his main presidential challenger of the opposition party, Hakainde Hichilema, from wrestling power from him in the August 2016 polls. On the material day, Friday, 8th July, 2016, the police are said to have used teargas, gun bayonets, rubber bullets and live ammunition on the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres to try and stop them from attending a political campaign meeting the police had earlier authorized in one of the densely populated part of the capital, Chawama, saying the rally had been suddenly cancelled on security grounds.
The senseless killing of the three members of the opposition party supporters has sparked widespread anger and condemnation, and rightly so. Any arbitrary extrajudicial killing of innocent citizens in their exercise of constitutional rights of assembly, freedom of expression, choice and conscience should make horrendous reading anywhere in the world. What is more appalling is that the suspected killers are the police who are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that all citizens freely enjoy these rights as offered in the national constitution. Zambians have every right to be angry and demand that the responsible murderers are prosecuted.
What is more atrocious, however, is that this whole episode reminds the Barotse of what they went through on the 14th of January 2011, when at the hands of the same brutal state police, nineteen (19), and not two or three innocent Lozi people, including two infants, were killed as the police shot, bayoneted and tear gassed a peaceful procession of Lozi who had similarly wanted to go and attend a peaceful public gathering in Mongu. The injured were denied medical attention as both the Red Cross and Lewanika Hospital medical staff were threatened by the killer police not to dare render any attention to them. The state killings or rather massacres were unprovoked as the Barotse were unarmed and peaceful. Their only crime was to desire to gather peacefully with their traditional and royal leadership so that they could deliberate on the future of their political and social participation in the country they have known since 1964 to be theirs. The Barotse have a legitimate political grievance that is no fault of theirs, and they have every right to seek peaceful redress on what they believe is wrong with their citizenship in Zambia. As a people that can read, and also having been tutored by their parents, the Barotse argue that they only became part of Zambia through the conditional and express terms of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 signed with Northern Rhodesia and the British, which never saw the light of day because Kenneth Kaunda’s first Zambian government unilaterally repudiated and abrogated it by 1969. Consequently, they rightly felt cheated and peacefully wished to know how and why the people of Barotseland should be termed as ‘Zambians’ in the absence of the 1964 pre-independence treaty that would have legally sealed their Zambian citizenship.
However, perhaps the Lozi like the UPND members were so naïve and deluded to believe that the Zambian constitutional provisions of freedom of association, conscience and freedom of expression were indeed real. Alas, that dark 14th day of January 2011, and somewhat the incident of last week Friday the 8th of July 2016, may have just proved that human rights in Zambia are a façade and a preserve of only a few. Perhaps one needed to belong to a special breed or section of Zambia to enjoy certain constitutional rights to the fullest. It is reported that while members of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party, enjoy free assembly, free expression and easy daily access to the national media, the UPND like the Barotse are denied the same. In fact, it is reported that the only free independent media that gave coverage to the Zambian opposition parties were either threatened or completely shut down by the state, a fate too familiar with any media that has dared to cover Barotseland issues differently from the state propaganda on the matter.
HOW MUST THE BAROTSE FEEL AT THE STATE POLICE KILLING OF 19 IN 2011?
In 2011, the Barotse also sadly learnt that Zambians, unlike now when they have spoken in outrage at the killing of the three UPND cadres, were largely and conspicuously silent during their gruesome ordeal. Even the Zambian church, human rights watch groups and the Zambian legal fraternity all went mute in the face of such state instigated atrocities against the Lozi. In fact, the many Zambians who spoke through various social media platforms actually mocked them and spoke of how the Barotse ‘deserved’ being ‘dealt with’ in such a heavy-handed manner from the government and state agents. It was not uncommon to read on many such platforms cruel mockery of ‘kufipaya fye!’ meaning the Lozi deserved to be killed as they were allegedly 'stingy' and/or 'selfish'.
Unfortunately, what many Zambians don’t know is that 14th January 2011 was the turning point for most Lozis as they realized that they were actually an 'undesirable' group of people in Zambia to the extent that instead of drawing strength and support from the Zambian public, they were being mocked in their repression.
In the present sad situation, however, we see solidarity to the opposition and the innocent killed, and this is how it should be. In fact, the Zambians should have recommended another day of national prayer, fasting and repentance at this sad and barbaric killing of the innocent young souls. However and sadly so, in the case of the innocent Barotse killings in 2011, no one has to this day ever apologized or taken responsibility from the national leadership for the death of the 19 Lozi. There were no official funerals, but government leaders were seen trying to outdo one another in their justification of the shooting of the Lozi, through their propaganda media and their parliament, and the people of Barotseland were portrayed as criminal ‘secessionists’ who had committed the capital crime of 'treason' by allegedly seeking to set the so-called peaceful Christian country on fire.
Yet, these assertions were lies and mere propaganda, as the Rodger Chongwe commission of inquiry draft leak would show later, that in fact this was an act of senseless killing of unarmed Barotse. The Zambian government even lied through their propaganda national media ZNBC that only two (2) people were killed; one for wanting to set a service (gas or filling) station ablaze while the other was killed by a strayed bullet. The government constituted Chongwe commission of inquiry, however, would later reveal that actually 19 people died instead of two. Although, the inquiry findings have never been made public, this singular fact was preempted by Dr. Rodger Chongwe himself, a renowned lawyer and chairperson of the commission, as he officially submitted the commission's conclusive findings to fifth republican president Michael Sata.
Can Zambians imagine how this senseless killing must feel in the hearts and minds of the Barotse? Is it any wonder that many Lozi are no longer interested in Zambia, but have simply adopted a silent revolt, like the now growing ‘watermelon revolution’ where UPND cadres wear green PF party regalia on the outside while their under garments are the red regalia of the opposition party for fear of reprisals from the violent PF cadres? The Lozi in Zambia have similarly had to learn how to bear their pain and heartache in silence because they know that if they openly showed their emotional distress caused by their torturous existence in Zambia, they would attract government and police reprisals without any Zambian sympathy. In fact, the quickest way for any Lozi to get imprisonment today is voice out publicly or audibly what one really thinks about Barotseland. What is distressing is that to the Lozi, Barotseland is home, and now they are forbidden to even talk freely or read literature about Bulozi (Barotseland), their home land!
If the death of one or three Zambians at the hands of the state police hurt Zambians so much, can one imagine how the similar senseless killing of 19 innocent Lozi must feel in the hearts of the Barotse?
It is no longer a secret that the 14th January 2011 Barotse massacres were so gratuitous that even the presidency seems too ashamed to release the findings of the Chongwe commission four years after it was submitted, although the inquiry gobbled over K5 billion (about USD1 million) tax payers’ money at the time.
The political pronouncements promising to restore the defunct pre-independence Barotseland agreement whenever critical elections are imminent by successive presidents of Zambia is now an overused political gimmick aimed at nothing more than garnering electoral votes from the people of Barotseland. First republican president, Kenneth Kaunda, did it at Senanga grounds on the campaign trail in 1991, FTJ Chiluba did it in 1996, so did Patrick Mwanawasa, Rupiah Banda. Michael Sata did it at Mongu’s Blue Gum grounds on the campaign trail in 2011 and now Edgar Lungu is doing exactly the same at statehouse. What is disappointing is that the same Barotseland Agreement 1964 document becomes treasonable immediately after the politicians win the elections, with mass arrests of the Lozi people who remind them of this one electoral campaign promise.
How the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the Litungaship keep buying into this cheap political treachery beats the imagination of any rational thinking, and the common citizen of Barotseland can no longer be fooled by it and they are right not to. In fact, the people of Barotseland have said that they are no longer interested in the restoration of the defunct agreement because they have already unanimously declared Barotseland independent in 2012, and it is the pursuit of this independence that the progressive Lozi are now devoted to. The BRE, with their shameful insistence of dragging the people backwards, defying the popular and unanimous wishes of the people of Barotseland should be ignored.
However, it is important to understand the political matrix that drives the excitement around the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. It is becoming very clear, for instance, that both Lusaka and Limulunga use this matter to seek desired attention using the common Lozi in Barotseland. Whenever Limulunga has felt that they no longer receive due attention, financial and otherwise from Lusaka, they have often used the people of Barotseland to sing the Barotseland independence song and Lusaka would immediately rush with hefty goodies, literally bribing the BRE, to calm their people into silence. This way, Limulunga would get their desired attention once again, while the ordinary people remain yearning for their real freedom. On the flip side, whenever Lusaka feels that they are in real danger of losing Zambian elections as a ruling party, or if they need the Barotse vote to win it, as was the case with Mr. Sata in opposition, all they have to do is dangle the Barotseland Agreement restoration carrot, and the Lozi would be excited to give them the vote in the hope that they would truly have their self-determination. In fact, the Lozi love their Barotseland or ‘Bulozi’, as they call their homeland, so much that it is almost the only thing that they really want to hear about from the politicians in Lusaka. Sadly many don’t know the difference between the ‘restoration’ of the 1964 agreement and the ‘independence’ of Barotseland. They think it is one and the same thing.
Below outlined are a couple of reasons why Barotseland Agreement 1964 restoration will still not satisfy the ordinary person in Barotseland.
The Barotseland Agreement 1964 promises power and ‘benefits’ only to the ruling class of Barotseland in some autocracy style government, while the poor common Lozi would remain impoverished. It was this undesirable phenomenon why many commoners in 1964 desired to be part of the new republic of Zambia, if only to escape from the excesses of the ruling royal class. Many loathed the ruling aristocracy at the time and hoped the republican government in Lusaka would put the royal authority at Limulunga in check. Sadly, however, such a political status would now benefit the ruling class in Lusaka because they will now only have to satisfy the few Limulunga aristocrats, and together they would rape the vast virgin resources of Barotseland such as timber, diamonds, oil and others which are in prospect. The ordinary people would still be nowhere in the equation.
Secondly, the restoration of the 1964 agreement is also very undesirable in the minds of many Zambians who see it as a creation of a ‘special’ prestigious status in the Lozi ‘tribe’. The Zambians do not really understand, and those that do understand do not really wish to accept that the Lozi can be and should be treated more ‘special’ than the rest of the ‘tribes’. The reality, however, is that this is not a matter of Lozi superiority but rather that the Lozi have always had their own national status different from Northern Rhodesians and only joined Zambia even at independence through this defunct treaty. Historically, Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia were two separate British protectorates which were administered jointly by the British for mere administrative convenience because of territorial proximity, and having amalgamated the two territories in 1911 – 1924. In essence, these were and needed to be administered as two separate countries, a status unacceptable to most Zambians currently who blame the British for having given such status on the Lozi to merely serve as surrogates of colonialism. In fact, many Zambians would only be more open to a situation where such devolution of power is granted to all the other provinces of Zambia, except that the Lusaka ruling elites rejected such proposed devolution of power in the new draft constitution last year.
Therefore, in the restoration of the 1964 agreement, only the ruling class at both Limulunga and Lusaka benefit while the people of Barotseland will remain impoverished, ever desiring their total freedom.
In 2011 – 2012, the BRE again found themselves needing attention from Lusaka because they had supported Rupiah Banda’s MMD which lost the 2011 election, having massacred 19 Lozi youths extra judicially barely 9 months before the September elections, while the ordinary people supported Sata’s PF in opposition who promised to honour the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 in 90 days of his presidency if the Lozi gave him the presidential vote. However, Sata reneged on his Lozi electoral promise, angering the ordinary Lozi who voted for him, while the BRE needed to reestablish attention with Lusaka under the new Sata government. This created a common rallying point. The BRE and the people of Barotseland could now work together, not knowing that their agendas were different. While the people desired TOTAL freedom from Zambia, the BRE as always, merely wanted some usual financial and political ‘attention’ from Lusaka. It was no wonder that the BRE and Lusaka were very shocked that instead of demanding the usual RESTORATION of the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 at the March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC), the people were actually unanimous in their demand for TOTAL independence of Barotseland.
Limulunga and Lusaka panicked at this UNUSUAL and UNFORESEEN BNC demand because both Lusaka and Limulnga know that BNC in Barotseland is SUPREME and even the Litungaship and the BRE are bound by its decisions. This was the first time ever that the people of Barotseland had publicly declared Barotseland independence. While the people expected the BRE to help facilitate the furthering of Barotseland independence from Zambia peacefully, it became clear that the BRE and the Litungaship were instead now working with the Lusaka government to find ways of coming out of this precarious eventuality that came out of the March 2012 BNC that both Lusaka and Limulunga not only endorsed with their attendance but also helped organize. This is why Lusaka has been on the offensive arresting and imprisoning Barotse in favour of Barotseland self-determination while Limulunga sits by without doing anything to dissuade Lusaka.
Realizing that the people no longer had the willing participation of the royal establishment in pursuing Barotseland sovereignty, the main independence movement, Linyungandambo, under Afumba Mombotwa with other like minded activists of other groupings, went on ahead to constitute the Royal Barotseland Government, also known as Barotseland Transitional Government (BTG) in transition to take the lead in establishing Barotseland self government based on a parliamentary system type of democratic constitutional monarchy.
Although Afumba Mombotwa and two other key figures in the Barotseland government were tried for treason and imprisoned for 10 years, this government has continued to mobilize for international diplomatic recognition and resource mobilization in preparation for Barotseland self-rule which now stands imminent, and no pronouncements from Lusaka or Limulunga to the contrary will prevent Barotseland independence.
Meanwhile, Lubosi Imwiko II, the Litunga of Barotseland, remains embattled with few of his cronies at the Limulunga BRE kuta for their willing collaboration with Lusaka’s Edgar Lungu, a stance widely seen by his subjects in Barotseland as treachery, with many now wishing and demanding that he could freely abdicate the Barotse throne to pave way for a more progressive Litunga that would lead the march to Barotseland independence.