Around mid-20th century, a psychologist named Kurt Lewin identified a three - stage model of change developed to understand change in an organization. His model is the description of a three stage process of change known as Unfreeze, Change and Refreeze. This model has proved to be foundational to many change models and programmes for over half a century now; since 1950. This means the model is still applicable and a sure basis of Barotse Change approach today.
What we know so far is that progress of Royal Barotseland Government (RBG) programme of action has been marred by some inevitable resistance, from top to bottom, not really new but as something that is characteristic of every change programme. This resistance has presented itself in different types, classes and degrees of intensity. You may be surprised to learn at the fullness of time that even the news making and current affairs thorny issue regarding the Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II of Barotseland versus Induna Imbwae Nabiwa Imikendu court lawsuit is another manifestation of this resistance to the complete independence of Barotseland by the arch enemy of Barotse Change.
There is no doubt that both the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and Zambia’s successive ruling establishments have been the major beneficiaries of the Barotseland narrative. While the former derives mostly financial profits, the Barotseland saga has been used by the latter to perpetuate their hold to power and maintain the power balance.
The following is essentially a brief discourse on whether or not the Litunga of Barotseland is supreme, how he ascends the throne, if and how he can be dethroned. Hopefully, the article will give a ‘snip’ preview of the Barotse nation, its monarchy and cultural systems of governance from the past to the present.
IS THE LITUNGA SUPREME
I wish to submit with this article my considered view on the current subject seemingly polarising my nation and drawing so much attention – the suing of our Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II in the Zambian courts and the looming dethronement thereof. I must confess that it is a very sensitive and quite mentally challenging issue playing right at home due to the nature of the case. It is a situation that has not only prompted my response but also demands input from every other Mulozi. I must say upfront that Iam not really taken aback by the sad development because I could foresee it coming in one way or another due to the precursors in recent past. That is, Barotseland has already spoken three times over what she desires as stated following, and anybody or anything standing in our way to total independence deserves nothing better than our complete resistance and unison answer NO;
The news of a clique of Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) current and former indunas dragging the embattled Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II to a Zambian court is not only disheartening but also very disappointing; especially that it is spearheaded by people who ought to know better. Conversely, those supporting their move are either ignorant of the Lozi cultural norms regarding the Litungaship of Barotseland or simply fail to ‘perceive’ the changes that Barotseland is currently undergoing in her effort to become a self-determined and self-governed state territory.
As we accelerate to our complete freedom and independence in the best country this side of this planet called Barotseland, it is time to seriously remember the sacrifices that were made to gain incremental freedom and independence thus far as well as the frontier working toward the Complete and Ultimate Freedom and Independence of our motherland.
REMEMBERING DR. KING ON MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY
Martin Luther King Day is a United States of America federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.
It is today exactly seven (7) years since Zambia’s Rupiah Bwezani Banda government issued marching orders to their brutal police to use maximum force and stop unarmed peaceful Barotse people who had mobilized themselves to gather peacefully and discuss in a civilized manner, the future of their nation, Barotseland, with their royal establishment. Anyone who knows the Barotse will agree, without hesitation, that they are among the most peaceful and civilized people in the world.
Every country has a pledge of allegiance whether nominal or actual and formally written down as common national allegiance. In some countries the pledge of allegiance becomes a requirement only for holding very important office like President, Judge, Commissioner and so on while the rest of the citizenry are generally expected to show patriotism and nationalism in principle only. A Pledge of Allegiance can be one sentence, paragraph or other ways a state may gazette. Barotseland is no exception. Before then, now is the time to prepare by giving motherland the due allegiance, since ‘practice makes perfect’ as it were.
The crusade for Barotseland independence is indeed a Change Programme demanding change in both the Barotseland State and Barotse Nation for us to completely entrench our new status quo, as a country. These issues have been the focus or at least central to, a series of posts here on Barotseland Post and other local media publications for some time now.
As South Africans and the whole world commemorate Nelson Mandela’s death, the Barotse are also commemorating the arrest and imprisonment of Barotseland independence leader Afumba Mombotwa and two others; Likando Pelekelo (62) and Inambao Kalima (55), who were arrested by Zambia security forces for spearheading Barotseland’s independence from Zambia.
Afumba (58), now considered by many of his followers as Barotseland’s own Nelson Mandela (for his imprisonment on national independence related trumped up treason charges by an oppressive state), has been in jail since his arrest on 5th December 2014.
On 14th August 2013, Afumba Mombotwa publicly took oath of office as Administrator General of Barotseland, a position that would see him head a three year transitional Barotseland civil government tasked with the responsibility of, among other things, seeking international diplomatic recognition of Barotseland statehood.
Barotseland, an independent constitutional monarchy, is seeking peaceful disengagement from Zambia, having unanimously declared its independence from the latter in March 2012, a move the Zambian state will not tolerate, at least not for now.
The unanimous Barotseland independence decision was arrived at during the Barotse National Council (BNC) meeting of 27th March 2012, which called for Barotseland independence from Zambia after the latter repeatedly refused to restore a 1964 pre-independence treaty that guaranteed Barotseland’s autonomy within the new state of Zambia. The Barotseland Agreement of 1964 was, however, unilaterally annulled and abrogated systematically by Zambia’s first and successive governments without ever being implemented.
Over the past fifty years, several appeals to have the agreement restored and honored were denied, while those calling for the honoring of the agreement were often arrested, tortured or killed by Zambian government agents, until the March 2012 BNC called for the independence of Barotseland from Zambia since the agreement that joined Barotseland to Zambia could no longer be restored.
AND the people of South Africa are today commemorating the life passing of the great Nobel Peace laureate; world statesman and South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who also served as South Africa’s first black President from 1994 to 1999.
Mandela was personally an enthusiast of King Lewanika I of Barotseland, naming one of his children after the great king. The Lewanika name has now been passed down to Mandela’s grandson and great grandson. He died in December, 2013 at age 95, but his legacy will live on.