Although this publication will continue to highlight what Zambian political leaders and parties may continue to say or do in relation to the contested territory of Barotseland, it is the editorial position of this publication that Barotseland already declared independence from Zambia in 2012 when formally accepting that their position in Zambia was no longer tenable. This was after the latter consistently and persistently refused to restore the Barotseland Agreement 1964 which they annulled and abrogated in 1969, despite repeated appeals from Barotseland to have the pre-independence agreement restored and honoured at sundry times. The 2012 declaration of independence by Barotseland’s supreme council, the Barotse National Council (BNC), is very valid and in progressive force.
As such, it is this state of affairs that Barotseland Post will continue to dedicate maximum space to. In fact this publication will wish to encourage the Barotse people to continue devoting their energy, time and skills to entrenching and advancing Barotseland’s declared freedom from Zambia, in full exercise of their various legal and human rights, so that the free state of Barotseland can quickly demonstrate its resolve on Barotseland independence from Zambia.
Although Barotseland’s aspiration for total independence will not come suddenly, it is also true that it will not come at all without the Barotse continually asserting and expressing their declared independence fully. In fact, it is in such circumstances as the approaching August 2016 Zambian elections that the Barotse needed to take advantage and demonstrate to the whole world how determined they really are towards Barotseland independence. What a resounding victory that would be if all the Zambian polling stations in Barotseland recorded zero votes on all Zambian political parties participating! However, that would probably be too much to ask of the Barotse who have largely known no other life outside of Zambian colonization. Many of our people still need the political and legal enlightenment to understand that seeking freedom and exercising one’s legal and human rights is not criminal at all. AND it is to the changing of this mindset that our publication will continue devoting time and space so that we may see many more Barotse, high and low, at home in Barotseland or abroad in Zambia and elsewhere in the world begin to get involved openly in Barotseland’s quest for full independence. We will also continue to encourage the Barotse to stop giving excuses on why they cannot fully participate in the process of Barotseland independence right now.
As a publication, we are probably more aware that the Barotse still need more time for education and enlightenment. We are also well aware that there are a lot of transitional matters that the Barotseland transitional government is still pursuing. Therefore, we must need to cooperate fully with both the transitional Barotseland government as well as the people, for maximum and speedy harmonious advancement of our national emancipation. Nevertheless, what we also know for sure is that the march to total self rule is on course and in top gear, as we will soon start periodic reporting to the public, and at appropriate times, on how much the Royal Barotseland Government has achieved, and that as more of this progress becomes evident, we are confident that then more and more of the Barotse will begin to assert themselves more confidently and with very little or no encouragement at all.
This publication will also not campaign for or endorse any specific Zambian political party, although we will continue highlighting the failures of those who already made promises and commitments towards Barotseland but decided to renegade on their previous promises once they got the chance. This policy would, however, be revised in case of a publicly announced and negotiated direct bilateral agreement between the Royal Barotseland Government and any of the contesting political parties, with full recognition of Barotseland sovereignty. Suffice to say also that whether some Barotse participate in Zambia’s August 2016 election as voters or candidates matters less as the Barotseland transitional government is very much on course with their programs of engaging various international institutions and the corporate world to prepare adequately for full Barotseland government take off. Our main focus is on the Royal Barotseland Government, for now also known as Barotseland Transitional Government (BTG), and not the Government of the Republic of Zambia whose legality in Barotseland is already under political and legal contest.
In view of the above, we wish to advise and clarify that all those Barotse wishing to promote their Zambian political parties of choice should not count on this publication to assist them in their quest, although we may from time to time feature stories that are relevant to Barotseland’s main thematic focus if said or done by any contesting Zambian political party, ruling or in opposition.
We will continue to highlight that Barotseland’s claim to her rights of freedom of expression and self-determination are legitimate in accordance with various international statutes, conventions and laws.