Editor General, Barotseland Post
NOVENA PRAYER FOR THOSE IN PRISON DAY FOUR, SATURDAY, 29TH APRIL, 2017
# BRIEF REFLECTION
On this fourth day of our Novena Prayers for Mr. Afumba Mombotwa, Mr. Inambao Kalima, and Likando Pelekelo we ask the Lord once more to surround them with his love and consolation. The magisterium of the Catholic Church forbids all forms of injustices done against any human person because we are all created in the image and likeness of God.
BAROTSELAND POST COMMENTARY 7th FEBRUARY 2017
Those in support of Imikendu’s current litigation against the Litunga should do so on its cultural and national merits rather than emotionally blackmailing their counterparts on the opposing side. In fact, arguing against Imikendu’s action is not synonymous with supporting Lubosi Imwiko II’s alleged bad governance, neither does it mean taking pleasure in the continued persecution of Hon Afumba Mombotwa and others currently imprisoned under Lubosi Imwiko II’s reign nor the 19 innocent Barotse souls killed by Zambian assigned agents in 2011 under his watch.
BAROTSELAND POST EDITORIAL COMMENT, 22nd JANUARY 2017
‘Lunya lwa muso wa Kaunda’ is the Lozi phraseology the late Barotseland prime minister Rt Hon. Maxwell Mututwa chose to define Kenneth Kaunda and his government’s wickedness against the Barotseland government because, to most Lozi people, Kaunda is a double faced conniving diabolical schemer whose singular goal after Zambia’s independence was to obliterate Barotseland from the face of the earth if it were possible. The Bulozi prime minister’s monologue at the start of the epic documentary, Frightening Waters, will epitomize the overall feelings of the Lozi towards the man regarded as Barotseland’s archenemy.
"Although we are not happy to have been imprisoned by Zambia, we believe our imprisonment is helping in highlighting the cause for Barotseland independence,” incarcerated Barotseland Administrator Afumba Mombotwa has said in a Barotseland Post exclusive.
And the Barotseland Post can confirm that Inambao Kalima who was sick from suspected food poisoning at Mwembeshi maximum state prison has improved in his recovery.
“Go and tell the people of Barotseland that we are here (in jail) because God loves Barotseland! We could have delayed in attaining our independence if God had not brought us here. Therefore, we are very contented because (through us) the world now knows why we are here,” explained the highly spirited incarcerated Barotseland government leader.
“They (people of Barotseland) should not worry about us; and must never give up! We feel it is a blessing that we are here, so that the world may quickly know about the issue of Barotseland and why we are fighting to restore her to her original status.”
“We are not afraid of being kept here, and neither should they. We only wish to encourage all the people (of Barotseland) to work extra hard and entrench the Barotseland government,” concluded Afumba Mombotwa emphasizing that Barotseland has a capable government to carry on with the work even in his absence.
He also called for continued personal and collective national prayers for speedy and smooth transition.
Afumba Mombotwa (58), Likando Pelekelo (62) and Sylvester Inambao Kalima (55) are currently serving a ten year Zambian prison sentence each, with hard labor, over treason felony for allegedly usurping the powers of the Zambian executive, the charge and sentencing they continue to deny accusing the Zambian state of playing complainant, Judge, Jury and executioner all in one. This was in connection with their role in implementing Barotseland self-rule resolutions unanimously passed by 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 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 form Zambia since the agreement that joined Barotseland to Zambia could no longer be restored.
The three were arrested on the 5th of December 2014, for spearheading the setting up of the Barotseland government in 2013. Ever since their arrest, they have been in more than a couple of Zambian jails, where they continue to face deplorable treatment like common criminals, despite their alleged crimes being of a political nature.
BAROTSELAND POST EDITORIAL, 13th November, 2016
In our ‘name and shame’ series of articles and commentaries, Her majesty the queen’s UK government would befittingly occupy the first page of Barotseland’s 'Black' book as they, by all historical indications, were the architects and initiators of the ill fated conjoining of the two separate protectorates of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia. We have read and heard of the negotiations that spanned over eleven months prior to the signing of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 at the instigation of Britain.
Official and logical reasoning has been advanced to portray the merits of granting independence to both of her majesty’s protectorates of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia through some form of shared sovereignty, the terms of which were clearly spelt out in a pre-independence treaty agreement. In fact, had these terms been honored to the letter, the British would have been proud to showcase their success in uniting two distinct territories whose only prior commonality was proximity and administrative convenience. One of the commonly advanced reasons for insisting on Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia proceeding to independence as one nation is the point that the British wished to guarantee the economic sustainability of Barotseland that would, by virtue of Northern Rhodesia’s independence, no longer benefit equitably from the resources of the copper rich mines. In retrospect, however, this was a wrong assumption as the ‘western province’ of Zambia, in reality, was never to benefit from the copper mines in Kenneth Kaunda’s government or any other Zambian government for that matter, as the region was always last on Zambia’s overall development agenda. Statistical evidence is there to prove this assertion.
Another school of thought popular to the Lozi was the fact that the British wished to merely minimise their losses as they did not have to pay reparations to both Zambia and Barotseland, as the case would have been, had the two been granted separate sovereignty. This to the Lozi has always been deemed a betrayal of the hearty relationship that existed between the English and the Barotse crown respectively. Remember, the two related for close to a century in mutual respect and friendship. The Litunga was a friend and darling of the British monarchy spanning over several sovereign de jures. In fact, many hold the view that that the British were only too eager to abandon the Litunga now that they had no use of him as political colonization had come to a shameful end globally. The British must be told in plain language that the Lozi feel greatly betrayed by their insistence on surrendering Barotseland to a novice state led by dishonorable people in the likes of Kenneth Kaunda who was an impostor from the beginning.
What further compounds the British monarchy’s bad positioning in Barotseland’s Black Book is that, when in 1965, Kenneth Kaunda started to repeal both the independence Order and Act of 1964 which sited Barotseland as a separate territory within Zambia, and further began to repudiate the municipal law of the country to take away powers reserved for the Barotse government and the Litunga within Zambia, looting the Barotseland treasury and judicial courts among other ordinances, the British merely took notice and conspicuously did nothing. In fact, they even debated Kenneth Kaunda’s default of the Barotseland Agreement in their parliament and sadly noted how Kenneth Kaunda and his government were failing to respect the agreement they had signed slightly over a year prior. However, what did her Majesty’s government do?
Having acknowledged in their parliamentary sittings of 1965 that Kenneth Kaunda had reneged from the terms of Zambia’s pre-independence treaty with Barotseland, they simply resigned themselves to their royal teas and dinners, hiding in the diplomatic veil of non-interference in internal affairs of the now sovereign state of Zambia, while continuing to benefit from the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. How convenient that was for them!
To this day, Britain still maintains this as their official position over this matter – see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. When asked about it in public, British high commissioners to Zambia have often regretted that Kenneth Kaunda and successive Zambian governments unilaterally abrogated the Barotseland agreement of 1964. Beyond that, no punitive or cautionary sanctions are recorded to have ever been imposed on the erring party to the treaty. Even when hundreds or maybe thousands of Lozi continue to be killed, maimed and suffer untold persecution at the hands of the erring Zambian government over a non criminal agreement that Britain was a party to, Her Majesty’s government stand aloof, pretending not to see, when in fact, without the damned British imposed Barotseland Agreement of 1964, the Lozi would be freely living peacefully in their own country Barotseland!
However, the Barotse now wish to demand that Britain can no longer continue to enjoy benefits of an agreement that is no longer in force, and that the excuse of noninterference is inaccurate because Britain was an active party to the agreement. Contrary to the Zambian government’s view that the agreement was between two parties, legally the agreement was tripartite. Each party was a beneficiary. Britain was to be ‘relieved’ of her responsibilities over Barotseland to the new Zambian state through the 1964 agreement. That was a major political and economic benefit in itself. By its abrogation, however, it legally follows that Britain can no longer seek to enjoy that relief.
Although Barotseland is not asking for Britain to ‘re-protect’ or ‘re-colonize’ her again, it is expected that Britain would mediate and facilitate in the on-going self-determination processes Barotseland has embarked upon since 2012 until Barotseland is fully independent from Zambia. This is why Barotseland will continue to include Britain in all her future demands for relief, and Britain will do well to actively get involved sooner rather than later. Britain, therefore, must own-up and facilitate the independent arbitration of this matter at the International Court of Justice or they will forever be on Barotseland’s name and shame list. Britain should avoid the embarrassment that will soon fall upon her for failing to oversee a legally sound decolonization process over her two former protectorates of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia. As for the Barotse, they would surely relish the idea of Britain continuing to be among her future development partners just like it has always been since King Lewanika the first.
The Barotse largely agree that Britain failed Barotseland and they deserve to be named and shamed in her Black Book. Britain now needs to desperately redeem herself and help Barotseland regain her lost glory. One way or another, Barotseland will be free and Britain must choose to stand on the right side of the Barotse history this time round!
Next page will look at Kenneth Kaunda and possibly the Wina brothers, who are probably some of the most loathed Lozi nationals.
BAROTSELAND POST EDITORIAL, 1st November, 2016
Barotseland has had many ‘tormentors’ during her five decade long tumultuous interactions with her deceitful partner in the 'unitary' state of Zambia. Presently, three Barotse leaders are serving lengthy Zambian jail sentences, while close to a dozen others are undergoing trial on Barotseland related matters the Zambian government deems either seditious or treasonable. Such torment has been the fate of many Lozis for decades, and in these jails, the Barotse prisoners often get subjected to untold torture and suffering, as was reported a couple of weeks ago by an anonymous prison informant that one of the Barotse prisoners at Mwembeshi was critically ill from suspected food poisoning. Consequently, the Barotse have devised a listing of those they consider key or perpetual tormentors of Barotseland. These stand out because they, in one way or another, either in their personal, official or collective capacities aided or did nothing to abate the suffering and torment of the people of Barotseland.
Therefore, in the next series of commentaries, we will endeavor to name and shame them. We must name and shame them because they are considered conspirators, persecutors, tormentors, schemers, traitors, interlopers, sellouts or outright killers and murderers in some instances. If one was to ask any ordinary Lozi about any name on the list of those considered to be enemies of Barotseland, we would guarantee that they would describe them in a manner not different from one of the above. And because the list is long, we must name and shame them in successive parts in order for fairness and thoroughness in our approach. As such, a couple of times weekly, we will release a few names or institutions on our list until sufficient ground has been covered.
In naming and shaming them, we hope opportunity will be given to the culprits, real or perceived, to either speak out and exculpate themselves or indeed explain their alleged role in the persecution of Barotseland. Secondly, the commentaries will inadvertently accord the named the opportunity for introspection and possible repentance from their alleged evil against the nation, state or people of Barotseland. It is also our intention to prove to them that Bulozi and the world is watching, and that all that is done with ill motives will be exposed bare. We hope the named and shamed will also realize that they can no longer hide, but that perhaps the best would be for them to own up to their deeds or misdeeds, because sooner rather than later, their day of reckoning must come.
The list of those that must be named and shamed is based on the Barotse themselves as they encounter the Zambian state and or its agents. Some of the named are or were in position of state authority, and are often accused of having used or abused their state power to inflict pain on Barotseland. Others failed to seize the opportunity accorded by their privileged positions of authority to help abate or relieve the suffering of the Barotse; hence they now stand to be counted among the tormentors of Barotseland.
It is also a fair observation that Malozi are now a very angry people, and to help relieve this emotional stress, they must be allowed and given the opportunity to name and shame their tormentors. They largely feel that time has now come for all to stop pretending and ‘sugar coating’ reference to the named, but must rather publicly and courageously call them for what they really are: tormentors, oppressors, killers and outright murderers so that they may take stock of their own involvement in the Barotseland debacle and be challenged to use their present or past power linkages to stop the continued torture and suffering of the people of Barotseland.
Therefore, to set the proverbial ball rolling, we will here today merely list their names while the roles that they famously or infamously played in the torment of Barotseland will be outlined in consequent parts of this series of commentaries. The main objective, thereby, is to show the feelings and sentiments the people of Barotseland attach to their names. This list, which is not at all exhaustive and may grow as we proceed, will not be outlined in any particular order. Some of those that must be named and shamed are: Her Majesty the Queen’s government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Zambia’s first republican president Kenneth David Kaunda, the famous or infamous Wina Brothers and their colleagues, the ‘Young Turks’ of Barotseland, Zambia’s second president Fredrick TJ Chiluba, former republican presidents Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, Rupiah Bwezani Banda and Michael Chilufya Sata, current president Edgar Chagwa Lungu, vice president Inonge Wina, former vice president George Kunda, former minister of home affairs Mukondo Lungu, former defense minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, Zambia’s current ambassador to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba, state operatives Solomon Jere, Leon Ngulube, Kabonde, Kanganja and a few others.
Lubosi Imwiko II and some of his Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) Indunas will also not be spared because it must now be apparent to all that indeed the 'emperor has no clothes'!
Perceived Lozi traitors masquerading as activists will also make the cut. These and some more others are what make up Barotseland’s ‘black book’ and you must wait for the successive commentaries in this series to know who is named and shamed as conspirator, persecutor, tormentor, schemer, traitor, interloper, sellout or outright killer and murderer in as far as Barotse people’s woes are concerned. The listing is derived from popular Barotse sentiments towards the named individuals based on what is perceived to be their role in the continued suffering of the people of Barotseland so that they can know what is really thought and said about them.
It is not our aim to point any accusing fingers, but rather to merely publish and echo the views of the people of Barotseland towards the alleged systematic abuse or use of state power against them.
Barotseland is indeed endowed with plenty of wildlife with an extensive variety of animal species of all kinds, including the Big Five game animals; the Barotse elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros.
However, for the Lozi picture of the month of October, 2016, we feature as our monthly pick the Barotse Pangolin, photographed and submitted by Canadian wildlife conservation expert Joanne Hutchinson, currently running some conservation projects in Barotseland under her organization, Socioeconomic And Environmental Development Solutions (SEEDS).
The pangolin is the most heavily trafficked wild mammal in the world, often trafficked because their scales are prized in traditional Chinese medicine.
Last month of September, 2016, the Pangolin was again in the international media because they were a subject at a big conference about protecting wildlife that took place in South Africa. The pangolin is such a rare and endangered species that it even has its own special commemorative day, the world pangolin day, which takes place on the third Saturday of February every year.
Barotseland is, therefore, truly blessed to be home to a couple of pangolin varieties.
However, because of the threat on the pangolin, there is need for scaling up initiatives that will protect it from the threat posed by its illegal international trade and its local consumption. This can be done through rescue and rehabilitation, education and awareness and even law enforcement among other interventions.
For more on the pangolin, see here below, thirteen (13) facts about the world's most hunted animal as presented by Guy Kelly in The Telegraph Science & Tech of 1st January 2015.
PANGOLINS: 13 FACTS ABOUT THE WORLD'S MOST HUNTED ANIMAL
With its armoured shell and peculiar gait, the humble pangolin looks more like an anteater prepped for medieval battle than an animal under threat. Illegal trade in South Asia, however, has now rendered the scaly mammals the most trafficked animal on earth, with some estimates claiming that sales now account for up to 20 per cent of the entire wildlife black market.
In response to the pangolin's plight, numerous campaigns have been launched to raise awareness, including the SavePangolins organisation and an app, Roll with the Pangolins, which was endorsed by Prince William in his role as President of United for Wildlife. What's more, in 2012 Sir David Attenborough chose the Sunda pangolin, a species distributed throughout South East Asia, as one of his ten favourite species he would 'save' from extinction.
So what is it that makes pangolin so special, and why has nobody heard of them? Here are 13 facts to get you up to speed on one of the most threatened species on Earth.
1) THERE ARE EIGHT SPECIES OF PANGOLIN
From one extant family, Manidae, there are eight species of pangolin still in existence worldwide, as well as several extinct species over their 80 million year evolution.
Four of the species are Asian: Chinese, Malayan (or Sunda), Indian and Palawan; while the others are African: Tree pangolin, Giant ground pangolin, Cape pangolin and Long-tailed pangolin.
2) A PANGOLIN’S TONGUE CAN BE LONGER THAN ITS BODY
When fully extended, a pangolin's tongue can be over 40cm long, and starts deep in the chest cavity. Pangolin do not have teeth and are unable to chew, however, so use their sticky tongues to collect insects - up to 70 million a year - which are ground up by stones and keratinous spines inside their stomachs.
3) PANGOLINS ARE THE ONLY MAMMALS IN THE WORLD COVERED IN SCALES
The pangolin's large scales are made of keratin, the same material of which our fingernails, rhino horns and bird talons are made - and account for 20% of its weight. The scales are very hard and protect pangolin against animal predators, yet in traditional Chinese medicine are dried and roasted as a method of relieving palsy, stimulating lactation and draining pus. As a result, pangolin scales can sell on the black market for over $3,000 a kilogram, and have even been used to make coats.
4) THE NAME MEANS 'SOMETHING THAT ROLLS UP'
The ground pangolin got its common name from the Malay (the national language of Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia) word 'pengguling', meaning 'rolling up', in reference to the animal's defence mechanism of rolling into a tight, near-impenetrable ball when threatened. Unfortunately, this practice makes it even easier for humans to capture and smuggle them, as hunters can simply pick up.
5) SOME CLIMB TREES, OTHERS DIG HOLES
With their large, curved claws, pangolins are able both to grip on to overhanging tree branches and dig through concrete. Arboreal pangolins, such as the African long-tailed species, live in trees, while others dig burrows so large a human could stand up in them.
6) EVEN BIG CATS DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THEM
Aside from humans, pangolins' main predators include lions, tigers and leopards. Often, though, rolling up in a ball is enough to outwit the big cats, as a pangolin's keratin scales are too hard for even a lion to bite through.
7) NOBODY KNOWS HOW LONG THEY LIVE
It is presumed that pangolins have a lifespan of twenty years in the wild, since the oldest recorded pangolin lived for 19 years in captivity. The creatures are very rarely found in zoos, however, as time spent in captivity tends to bring about stress, depression and malnutrition, leading to early death. As such, it is unknown how long a pangolin can live for.
8) THEY EMIT A NOXIOUS ACID LIKE SKUNKS
When threatened, pangolins defend themselves by rolling up in a ball and, if needed, lashing out with their tale - the scales on which can easily cut a predator's skin. In addition they are also able to emit a noxious-smelling acid from glands near the anus, similar to that of a skunk, though pangolins are unable to spray the liquid.
9) MILLIONS HAVE BEEN TRADED AND KILLED IN THE LAST DECADE
It is estimated that 100,000 pangolins are captured every year from across Africa and Asia, with most shipped to China and Vietnam, where their meat and scales are sold. As a result, all eight species of pangolin now feature on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of animals threatened with extinction.
11) THEIR EYESIGHT IS DREADFUL
Of the eight species of pangolin only one, the long-tailed pangolin native to west and central Africa, is regularly active during the day. The rest are nocturnal and, relative to their body size, have very small eyes. This means they have poor eyesight, instead locating termite mounds and ant hills with a strong sense of smell and hearing.
12) DATING CAN BE DIFFICULT
Pangolins are sexually dimorphic, meaning the genders differ wildly in weight. Most male pangolins are up to 50 per cent heavier than females, while the Indian species can reach 90 per cent. There is no defined mating season, and pangolins are largely solitary aside from mating, so males attract the opposite gender by marking their territory with urine and waiting for a female to find them.
13) THEIR CLOSEST RELATIVE MIGHT NOT BE AN ANTEATER
They may be prehistoric, but scientists have changed their minds over the taxonomy of pangolins. It was previously thought the mammals were a member of the Xenarthra family, which includes the similar-looking anteaters, sloths and armadillos. New evidence, however, has shown a closer relationship to the Carnivora, a diverse order containing hyenas, bears and wolves.
BAROTSELAND EDITORIAL COMMENT
Any undertaking, event or achievement may sometimes appear to be impossible, and only its actual occurrence will be enough to dispel every doubt and misconception. Indeed, how many things in history were looked upon as quite impossible, until they actually happened?
Pursuing the Barotseland dream is very hard and painstaking work especially that every caution is being taken to avoid bad lessons of history where avoidable spillage of blood was the price paid for national freedom. It is, therefore, important to regularly draw comfort and strength in words delivered by people who have been there and done what Barotseland is currently doing. These could give just the motivation needed. Their words could rekindle enthusiasm, re-energize efforts, dispel doubts, let the Barotse know they are not alone, and show that the ‘fight’ is not only worth it but also winnable.
The world freedom icon and statesman Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela of South Africa, a very keen admirer of Barotseland’s King Lewanika I, is attributed to have stated the words that form the title of today’s comment. Mandela in these words wishes to intimate that despite all the periodic and perpetual contradictions that Barotseland may encounter in pursuit of her dreams, she will one day reach that moment when it will be all over. In it, he also wishes to caution that it will not always appear evident that these dreams will be achieved, but he seems to imply that certainty only occurs when the pursuit has actually been attained. Therefore, if one quits along the way on account of the many doubts and contradictions experienced in the process, one would never really achieve their dreams.
Indeed, Barotseland’s pursuit for self-determination is not without many contradictions and doubts, to the point that sentiments of giving up are often common from both keen followers and participants alike. Expressions of doubt and cynicism are now a daily encounter, as many wish to have answers to their numerous questions. Some even demand to be given the exact date; day, month and year when Barotseland will be totally free! Their desperation is understandable because of a deep longing for rest in their own homeland. They know what five decades of servitude has offered or failed to offer Barotseland and her nationals, and their only hope now is that a free Barotseland holds the promise to a better life in every way imaginable.
However, the Barotse need to heed Mandela’s advice not to give up regardless of the many visible contradictory encounters along the way. They need to know that Barotseland’s total freedom will always appear impossible until it is finally achieved. They must also know that no one will ever give any specific date because self-determination and independence is not a singular event but a process. In fact, independence begins when one decides they want to be free. That is why it is called ‘self’ determination. To some, the day of independence began when Afumba Mombotwa and his Linyungandambo team decided to declare Barotseland independence on 8th September, 2011, and the world took notice. However, to others, independence began the day a more representative body of the Barotse National Council (BNC) affirmed and validated Barotseland freedom on 27th March 2012; and yet to others independence is an occurrence yet to come in some unforeseen future. Sadly, others still do not believe in the possibility of Barotseland self-rule.
The truth, however, is history and the world have already recorded both dates of 8th September 2011 and 27th March 2012 as the declaration and popular affirmation or validation of Barotseland independence respectively; but the question to the doubtful is ‘What date or event are you still waiting for to record Barotseland’s independence?’ While some are postponing Barotseland’s independence to some fairy tale day in which they dream to hear Zambia, the African Union or the United Nations declare that ‘Barotseland is now independent’, many others have already embraced Barotseland’s independence and are working daily to fully actualize it. They are already living this ‘independence’ realizing that self-determination is never ‘handed over’ but rather ‘taken’ by way of self-effort. These are those that continually share and affirm messages of Barotseland independence. They are the ones that participate in information distribution, funds and resource mobilization. They don’t ask ‘When is Barotseland going to be independent’ because they already know and are working to actualize the declared independence. Even the whole world knows Barotseland was long declared independent. Therefore, it will be unwise to expect and wait for yet another independence day, but rather, Barotseland’s preoccupation now must go towards growing and enhancing her already declared independence. That way the world will be compelled to affirm her independence through bilateral and multilateral recognition.
The world also knows that Barotseland has a government in transition; although not yet territorially rooted, it is nevertheless a legally constituted government in conformity with international law and politics. In fact, the world is already talking to this government. The world also knows that the declared state of Barotseland is a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch is ceremonial and non-political, while the people make all the national decisions. Therefore, the Litungaship is not expected to have a national political stand contrary to the people’s declared wishes.
Knowledge and decisive actions are, therefore, what the Barotse need to have at this moment. Why would anyone stand on the side-lines watching others ‘fight’ and ‘die’ daily for that which is for common national good and not even ask what it is they could do to participate? And without any excuse, everyone is expected to do something. One does not need to be based in Barotseland. Those in the Diaspora could help mobilizing resources, approach international offices of power on behalf of Barotseland or engage in civil non-violent protests at relevant international fora held close to where they reside. The Barotse should not move one step forward and two steps backwards; Ku ya pindingwa ku kuta pindingwa. It is time they decisively moved on growing their independence!
BAROTSELAND POST EDITORIAL COMMENT
As a territory emerging out of five decades of subjugation, Barotseland now needs to cultivate a deep sense of nationalism to find her true self esteem. We are not recommending a senseless misguided nationalism but one based on restoring and building a truly healthy national identity that will anchor the furtherance of sensible cultural and national values. The Barotse are a proud and independent people throughout history. Momentarily, they will tolerate pain and inconvenience, symbolic of the elephant nation that they are. However, a time comes when even the elephant must arouse its aggressive self to determine its own righteous course of destiny. Responsible nationalism will unite Barotseland towards her deep-rooted values of self-determination, independence and respect for the indelible rights of all her people.
While it may appear better for an independent and self-determined state to focus on nurturing patriotism, a pariah state such as Barotseland must firstly inculcate nationalism in all her citizenry. A patriot will stand and fight because land and territory is under threat, but a nationalist must fight because identity, culture and values are undermined. Therefore, before Barotseland can fight to defend territory she must momentarily strive to restore and inculcate independent national thought and unique identity. Barotseland must use any means necessary to win this war against national mental servitude, and fortunately, this current battle need not be fought with guns, clubs, spears or pebble. It must, however, be tenaciously faced with an equal sense of patriotism.
Sadly, five decades of brainwash and blind patriotism to a Zambian state that was not even theirs have made the Barotse lose their own self worth as a self governing state. In 1964, the nation of Barotseland was promised a continued and guaranteed self-determination within the borders of the novice state of Zambia through a treaty spelt-out in ‘black and white’. Barotseland was, however, slapped with surrogacy and forced annexation as Zambia’s new governors, with no regard for law and tenets of democratic governance, sought to defraud the entire nation by unilaterally terminating the 1964 pre-independence treaty. Luckily, Barotseland had practiced both law and tenets of good governance for over a century before Kenneth Kaunda’s treachery, and history teaches that as far back as the dawn of the 19th century, Litunga Mulambwa was already instituting notable legal reforms which saw vices such as slavery abolished in his Kingdom, and became the first to do so this side of the equator. Long before Zambia’s independence, Barotseland was already governed under a vibrant form of decentralized system that made her people truly self-determined. Tribal and conquered territories were often left with some form of internal autonomy. For instance, Butoka, Bunkoya, Bulovale, Bushanjo and Busubiya all had their own regional governments or kutas, which were themselves replicas of Namuso, the central government. By 1964, Barotseland was an already functioning state with over a century of self-governance. Even Barotseland’s very interactions with the British Empire were not under 'colonialism' but 'protectionism'. Barotseland was not a property of the British crown but rather a protected and mutual friend supported by treaties. It was this relationship that was guaranteed to endure in her interaction with the new state of Zambia, had the latter been a respecter of law.
Now Barotseland is in captivity, and her captor wishes her to believe she is a vanquished nation, never to bear her own identity. In their own scheme of things, Zambia’s ruling elite wished that by now, no one in Barotseland would have the faintest vision of separate statehood. The scheme was a dangerously calculated manipulation of facts of law and history by Kenneth Kaunda and his cronies who envisioned a Zambia devoid of any fabric of Barotseland. No trace of her residue would be visible once they were done with the old nation. The scheme mainly enforced a sequential abolishment of Barotseland’s legal status within Zambia, replacing it with repeated sloganeering of the purported national unity through a superficial non-legal national motto. Erasing the memory and evidence of Barotseland was simply effective but for a while. After all, the human mind has one weakness; it can be conditioned to forget or retain both new and old information.
However, while Kenneth Kaunda’s UNIP led Zambian government employed tactics only reminiscent of Hitler’s Nazi Gestapo to achieve their diabolic intention, the Barotse were engineering ways of preserving the facts they considered immutably sacred for their future generations. After all, even the human mind has a tendency to sometimes refuse to relinquish deeply embedded information of choice, and no amount of pressure exerted on it could successfully erase such truth as one’s identity.
Nevertheless, the Kaunda regime still tried, and if anyone dared to resist the brain wash, one did not deserve to see the light of day. And so the program claimed success as all historical records printed on paper and other media were discarded. New record books skewed to favor the captor’s plans were printed in their place, and what should beat all reasonable logic is how Kaunda and his crew believed they could indeed obliterate an entire nation, and hope to get away with it. Considering that nations are too complex to simply vanish in one or repeated feats of magic, Barotseland could not so easily be expunged. The truth is, it could never be erased, but perhaps they could explain it away by misleading unsuspecting minds of successive generations that Barotseland was never more than a province of Zambia. Anything more was merely the work of rebellious active imagination.
A question must then be asked why a monolithic state would need to sign a pre-independence agreement with a mere province, essentially signing an international treaty with itself! Falsehoods must then be peddled to suggest that the so called treaty was just a mere assurance made with the Barotse ruling elite to perpetuate the privileged ‘positioning’ they once enjoyed under the British. Is it any wonder that Zambian authorities insist on calling it ‘Barotse’ or ‘BRE’ agreement rather than by its actual legal name, ‘Barotseland’ Agreement 1964? The former implies an agreement with a group of people within the same state while the latter spells a ‘state to state’ agreement. And indeed, the Barotseland Agreement 1964 was a ‘state to state’ accord. One distinct state, Barotseland, was signing a treaty with another state, Northern Rhodesia, which was becoming Zambia, while Britain - another sovereign state, signed as a witness!
Secondly, either Kenneth Kaunda was really ignorant of the law on citizenship, or was plainly contemptuous to it, when he did not ask the Barotse to renounce their Barotseland citizenship before acquiring their new Zambian 'citizenship'. In fact, the Barotse were told to simply acquire the new Zambian national identity card to enable them to interact and travel within the regions of Zambia. Prior to this, the Barotse had separate national identity cards called Situpa for Barotseland nationality. It can be argued, therefore, that the Barotse in Zambia are technically and legally of questionable citizenship, and Zambian politics amplify this fact in derogatory statements such as, ‘no Lozi will ever rule Zambia!’ In fact, the only basis that united the two was irreparably severed in 1969 by Zambia’s unilateral abrogation of the 1964 agreement through an ACT of parliament, and certainly by Barotseland’s formal acceptance of its abrogation at the 2012 Barotse National Council.
It is, therefore, this suppressed Barotseland nationality that the Barotse must now awaken, and they must do so immediately to be able to move forward as a self-determined nation that they have always been. Nationalism the world over is a very strong instrument for uniting people against forced assimilation. Love for one's nation is imperative as it propels someone to strive for their nation’s independence from domination, and it expresses a deep concern for one's own country in an active political way.
Some may often think of nationalism only in narrow and parochial terms. However, to the subjugated and oppressed, it is often an essential ingredient for fighting suppression. Therefore, fighting for one’s right of self-determination, or even freedom of conscience, association and free expression, becomes a national duty to the nationalist. It is neither evil nor sinful to reclaim what belongs to you, and ideally one does not always need to pick up arms to fight for their economic, political, cultural or national values. Examples exist globally where nations attained their self-determination without fighting bloody battles. Nevertheless, and if need be, it would be the nationalist’s patriotic duty to pick up arms and fight in defense of national entitlements.
May the spirit of nationalism awaken in Barotseland sooner rather than later.
BAROTSELAND POST EDITORIAL COMMENT
There is no room for ‘tribalism’ in independent Barotseland. In fact, anyone talking about ‘chasing’ this or that group of people from Barotseland has no CLUE what Barotseland independence is really about and MUST be TOTALLY ignored if they resist correct enlightenment.
‘Tribalism’ without misanthropy (strong urge to do evil to someone or everyone out of perceived self-preservation) is fairly harmless. If you are optimistic about the potential of the typical human, you will see out-groups as opportunities for mutually beneficial trade. You will not say, "He does not belong to our tribe, so let us get rid of him." You will instead say, "He does not belong to our tribe, but he can still be very useful for our tribe. Therefore, let us welcome and embrace him for mutual benefit." - Tribalism, Misanthropy, and the Lesser Evil by Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, in Library of Economics and Liberty (emphasis added).
Barotseland, as an independent sovereign state will still be open to all people groups and nationalities because the national constitution will respect all INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed human and peoples’ rights coupled with GOOD DEMOCRATIC governance based on UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE (regular elections) with our LITUNGA Ngocana King as the constitutional head of state. While the elective Prime minister will head the civil government and parliament, the Mulonga (Royal Authority) will constitute a separate chamber of parliament.
The independent Barotseland is a DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTIONAL monarchy and not a TOTALITARIAN monarchy. Therefore, no TRIBE or NATIONALITY will be ‘CHASED’ or excluded from Barotseland. Not even Nyanjas, Bembas or any other Zambian tribes because after over SIXTY years of our close SOCIAL and CULTURAL intercourses with Zambians and other nationalities, it is only natural to expect that some of our own BAROTSE (LOZI) citizens will be Nyanjas, Bembas or any other Zambian tribes and nationalities which we may have interacted with through marriage.
In fact, some will even qualify to be LOZI by applying for Barotseland CITIZENSHIP through our constitutional laws, and that will not make them second class citizens. Barotseland will truly be an interesting country because we will even have a situation where a BEMBA or NYANJA becomes a LOZI! This will be shocking to many of our Zambian counterparts who may have grown under Kenneth Kaunda’s brainwash that ‘reduced’ LOZI nationality to a mere non-existent Zambian tribe they called ‘LOZI’.
Therefore, we all really need to think OUTSIDE our little TRIBAL mindsets.
Suffice to say that no Nkoya, Mbunda or anyone for that matter will be ‘chased’ from Barotseland, on account of their ethnicity, because the struggle for a FREE Barotseland is not about TRIBALISM but rather about claiming our rights of SELF-DETERMINATION together as one UNITED nation that we have been for centuries. In fact, we expect to see the growth and promotion of all our unique cultures and market them for national tourism. Ceremonies such as the Kazanga, Makishi, Mukanda, Siomboka, Sipelu, Likenge, Mikiti and many others must be grown as unique tourism products to compliment the already thriving Kuomboka ceremony.
Barotseland citizens, must therefore, be well advised to desist from and avoid talking about tribalism in such negative ways as debating who is more ‘LOZI’ than the other, because, in reality, no one is more LOZI than the other in Barotseland. Such a debate was deliberately engineered by those that sought to divide us so that they could more easily perpetuate the colonization of a weakened and divided Barotseland. Alui/Luyanas are not more LOZI than Nkoyas, Mbundas, Tokas, Totelas, Subiyas or any of the other 35 PLUS tribal, ethnic and linguistic people groups of Barotseland.
WE ARE ALL ONE BAROTSE / LOZI / MALOZI / BAROTZISH PEOPLE! TUKONGOTE!