BAROTSELAND AT THE CROSSROADS - One Prince's perspective
After 500 years of existence the Kingdom of Barotseland is at the crossroads. Whatever we do today in response to the pending court case against the Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II, to endorse or not to endorse, will definitely set precedence.
Precedence is a dual dimensional phenomenon. One is to downplay the court case and save the person of Lubosi, at the expense of the people and the land, the other is to nip it in the bud and make it known that the position of Litunga is not indispensable, it is held accountable for the sake of the Kingdom as requisite for good governance, a successful transition to the next generation and transparency. This has always been the case in years past. Accountability ki Singulyangulya......Sawana Mbumu sa Wana mubika ni ku lyelela. Barotseland is at the crossroads because it is now or never to be saved and preserved.
While some of us worry about precedence being a possible danger, we must never forget that the high standard we subscribe to as a Kingdom, was already set by our ancestors in their wisdom and vision of the future. If our ability and rights to correct a sitting Litunga against reckless behavior, insensitivity, defection, self-preservation, incompetence and greedy in partnership with the corrupt Zambian foreign government intruders, are compromised, then Imikendu and company should be heard as a whistle blower. 'Ngongi i lilile'. The case at hand should be seen by the people of Barotseland as Ngongi, and Nokushimba, pass it on. The suing of Litunga, therefore, should be accepted in positive light as it is not a threat to Litungaship or Bulena, rather a means to create awareness and provide for shake-up, ensuring that Litunga is accountable to the people not the other way round.
Court cases must be scrutinized for merit whether they are good for our country or not; Substantial or something to be tossed out through the window. The difference between this case and the cases we have seen and heard of in the past is that, in the past the Litunga was sued over issues that pertained to those individuals’ personal interest. For example, Namuso and Mulonga authorizing development of public infrastructure through one's plot or farm and such, then that person sues Litunga, and the case is thrown out. We are aware that it is the Litunga's prerogative in Barotseland governance over land and so does any other government in the world for that matter, to consider any piece of land for public good as a priority.
This particular court case is unique in that it not only sounds the alarm, but lists total abrogation of the fundamental tenets that make our Kingdom special, and the reason for our existence in today's democratic world. It is not a referendum for Barotseland monarchy. It is a reinstatement and empowerment of our enabling mechanism for sustainable leadership based on commitment and transparency. What this court case means is not for people to wait for judgment either in favor of King Lubosi in his capacity as Litunga or in favor of the respondents in their individual capacity as mere aggrieved citizens for their personal interests, rather the people versus Lubosi and his behavior. He would rather be a Zambian minister than Litunga of Barotseland. This court case is a public testament to set him free so he can join his accomplice, President Lungu and his government and do what he enjoys most. Time and again Lubosi has clearly shown where his heart belongs. It is only fair to free the man. Let him peacefully abdicate.
As for Barotseland, the people must be united and peaceful, but firmly support the path Imikendu has charted, whose ramifications, and authority have run through his blood from time immemorial, a continuation of our valued constructive traditions and protocol. This is what will unite our entire nation. The abrogation and violations involved in this case are of treasonable nature, especially defection from National duty, failure to uphold King Lewanika's legacy to consolidate the remnant of his sweat and blood, Katongo ka shangwe. It is in this avenue or perspective that this case is bigger than just a win for Lubosi, or the usual corruptible Zambian court system to toss it out. Such a judgment in itself could be irrelevant in that the Zambian jurisprudence is flawed. But the people of Barotseland must rally behind the spirit, intent and motivation that prompt the respondents because it is noble and selfless. It represents the people of Barotseland. For this reason, Let all bana ba poho yensu ride on the momentum this court case brings in that it may be the only public announcement made without vendetta. It is Barotseland first and her posterity, then all these other things.
Whatever the case may be we should protect Bulena bwa Silozi. Buzwa kwa hule-hule. For that reason, follow the principles that if a snake has entered your house, don’t panic. It is better to wait a little bit than put fire on your house. Snakes come and go. But to expect Lubosi to change in one year or two in order to preserve the integrity of Lozi monarchy whereas he could not change in 17 years is like expecting a Leopard to change the spots of her skin. That may be expecting too much of someone, unless a miracle should take place. As a people however, we have a duty to perform in ensuring that we don't declare an end to our unique culture and tradition just yet. We cannot function on the basis of miracle expectancy. We ought to be intentional and methodical if we are to go another century over and above the previous 500 years our Kingdom has been in existence.
My opinion therefore, is that we should not downplay the significance of this court case and it's symbolism. It represents the feelings of the majority of the people of Barotseland who have been complaining for years and in pursuit of one courageous mouse that would step up and tie the bell around the cat's neck. This is precisely what Imikendu and group have done. It must serve as an opportunity to clean house and put things back in order once and for all, the future will be decapitated as needs arise. We will cross that bridge when we come to it. Unless we cross this one now we may as well stop talking about the future. Barotseland is at the crossroads.