Editor General

Editor General

It is this publication’s editorial position to publicize the divergent voices of the social, political and economic aspirations of the people of Barotseland who have suffered decades of isolation and underdevelopment in the ill fated fifty plus years old ‘union’ with the Republic of Zambia that should have been regulated by the now defunct pre-independence Barotseland Agreement 1964.

TODAY, 3RD FEBRUARY 2015 witnesses the 110th anniversary of the birth of Mbikusita Lewanika, the Founding President General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress and King of Barotseland. And, by the way, he was an unsurpassed Barotse African traditional paddler, drummer and dancer, before kingship inhibited him.

MBIKUSITA LEWANIKA was a Prince, by occurrence of birth at Lealui, on 3 February 1905. He was enthroned as King of Barotseland at Lealui, according to centuries-old tradition at Lealui, on 15 December 1968. He had died at Lewanika General Hospital of Mongu-Lealui, on 7 February 1977. He was buried as per tradition for a Barotse King, on 11 February 1977. However, contrary to uninformed perceptions and popular presumption, the royalty factor in his life has been more often a spear thrusting into his flesh. His distinguishing life service factor is that he lived and worked with this spear eternally injuring his every service endeavour and constantly obstructing every step paving people’s way forward. His life was a stipple jump race over spikes of hindrances at every turn, rather than being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, as some imagine of Royalty. The events and circumstances of Mbikusita Lewanika’s royal birth and kingship is not of substantive concern. The unremarkable factor of being a prince or being enthroned and buried as a king is not a distinction. History records are full of unworthy princes and kings and full of worthy persons of regal associations.

THE LIFE SERVICE OF MBIKUISTA LEWANIKA IS OF NOTE, in the context that an earlier generation of Western educated African natives, born around the turn of the 20th century, founded African freedom movements, thus sowing the seeds of independence. They had intensive upbringing in, and life time unbroken linkages to, African traditional leadership, to whose values, culture and governance they were positively predisposed at pre-colonial formation level. They made effort to acquire and understand what they could from Western education, Christianity, modernisation and governance systems at conglomerate colony level. They embraced this duality comfortably, but with determination to retain and recover traditional Africa and its lost autonomy, while steadily mastering and taking charge of new skills, operations and institutions of European colonialism. They strived to reach a happy medium outcome combining the best of European modernity and even democracy, while preserving what is anchoring and pleasing from traditional Africa, where possible and positive. Members of this generation were pathfinders, long distance runners and cautious petitioners for African sovereignty. Of these, John Langalibelele Dube (11 February 1871 - 11 February 1946) of South Africa and the Zulu Kingdom and Dr. Joseph Kwame Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah (December 1895 – 4 February 1965) of the Gold Coast and the Ashate Kingdom, among others, correspond to Mbikusita Lewanika (3 February 1905 – 7 February 1977) of Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland, all of them deserve full and positive recognition as planter of Africa’s trees of independence.

MBIKUSITA LEWANIKA’s life start with the distinction of having overcome the perils of being tossed about as an infant and out growing mal-adjustment in early school years at Luatile School. Thereafter, it is distinguished further as he became a good academic performer at the Barotse National School and, through his own stubborn insistence, he managed to get a South African Lovedale College education. He followed this by taking an independent minded path leading to becoming Founder Secretary of the Livingstone African Welfare Association in 1929, at the age of 24.

In the 1930s, in his youth, he was a principal participant at the Kafue first attempt to found an African National Congress north of the Zambezi, served as Private Secretary of the King of Barotseland, wrote the first full length English language book by a native in his part of Africa and embarked on translation of the Bible into SiLozi and the classic Pilgrim’s Progress.

In the 1940’s, he refused to be destroyed or incapacitated by the astounding shock banishment from the summit of the capital of Barotseland on bogus and malevolent charges. He marshaled the strength of mind to move on to another world and different life at Nkana-Kitwe, which did not depend on royalty. From a prince, he became a proletariat, owning no functional means of production but selling his services to capitalist for wages. He labored, for twenty years, as Senior African Clerk, Senior Welfare Officer, Personnel and Public Relations officer for an Anglo-American Corporation copper mine. At the same time, he became a leader of his fellow African proletariats, and served in a voluntary capacity as Founder President of the Kitwe African Society, proposer of the formation of the Northern Rhodesia Federation of African Welfare Association, pioneer promoter of trade unionism and Founder President-General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress. Not only this, he also took wrote several other books and publishing newspaper and magazine articles, in Africa and overseas, in addition to man voluntary civic services for Africans, when there were few people available to do so.

In the 1950, in one of his many firsts, as President General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress, he met Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and consummated what has become the Indo-Zambia bilateral relationship at state and people levels. He initiate programmes for sending young future leaders for overseas higher education, at least three of who were to be in the first post colonial Cabinet of Ministers. He followed this by becoming the first and only African from Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland (and even Zambia since) to address a meeting attended by Members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, at Westminster, in London – he spoke against the proposal to establish the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. He also corresponded with Kwame Nkrumah, in the run up to, and after his appointment as Prime Minister of the Gold Coast (Ghana) and met with leading African nationalist leaders in Kenya, including Mbiyu Koinange and Jomo Kenyatta, hence, pioneering cross border consultation and cooperation among leaders of the African freedom movement.

During the rest of the 1950’s 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 hundred of Zambians and Barotse individuals, both men and women. In the 1960’s, he as a Parliamentary Secretary in Ministry of External Affair of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; undertook a couple of years post retirement job in the personnel department of Wankie (Hwange) Collieries; and engaged in some Limulunga village and Wusakile Township retail trading business to finance his children’s education and make an independent living, in an unfriendly post-colonial environment. As if to complete the circle and bring closure to his life, three decades after expulsion from the capital of Barotseland, he has resurface and returned to be enthroned as King of Barotseland, in December 1968.

Despite all this, Mbikusita Lewanika is a victim of a cultivated campaign of history denial, which is motivated by three intentions. The first is the urge to justify the propaganda that architects and heroes of African independence are only those who inherited the button on the last stretch of the relay race to new African nation-statehood, who are actually harvesters and not planters of independence. The second is to avoid any challenge to the established denigrated portrayal and, sometimes, double standard condemnation, of the earlier generation of political leaders representing a different approach to independence and governance. The third is justify the decolonisation dispensation that retained both the colonial geographical and governance legacy, while effectively preventing the return power to the African governments and peoples from whom European colonialism took it. In effect, it obstructs minds and actions of Africans from reviewing and reconstituting the independence dispensation. This is unacceptable, because independence has failed to liberate Africa and Africans from vestiges of European colonialism and to set it unto the path of truly independent, effective sovereignty and human dignity. This lack of factual and well digested history hides and causes problems.

Distorting history poses problems for the present and is a fundamental stumbling block for Africa’s future. It erases and misrepresents contributions of those who planted African independence. It negates opportunities of establishing internal inclusiveness and consensus in the formation of the externally designed new African nation-states. It discourages consideration of optional paths towards overcoming impediments to political advancement, economic development and social liberation. Furthermore, it blind leaders and citizens from seeing whatever wisdom and positive guidance that may be in the legacies of the fore-runners of post-colonial leaders. In short, it creates and endorses an incorrect history that misinform and handicap people’s enlightened freedom for the self-determination and sovereignty that is the promise of independence.

In the case of Zambia, it is portrayed as if the freedom movement begins and ends during the last five years before Independence, under the sole leadership of UNIP and its office holders, which is a distortion of history. It like doctoring the Bible by rewriting the Exodus story, with all credit to Joshua and none to Moses! This topic is being raised now, in the light of unfolding anniversary cerebrations highlight and ignore selected parts of history with consistent partiality. The year 2017 marks the 40th Anniversary of the passing away of Mbikusita Lewanika. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the demise of his father, King Lewanika the First of Barotseland. 2015 shall witness the 110th anniversary of his birth, while 2014 witnesses the 50th joint-anniversary of his labours’ fruits, which are Zambia’s Independence and the Barotseland Agreement 1964, which provided for Barotseland to be an integral part of Zambia after independence.

In reflecting upon these anniversaries, it is instructive that the subject personality is Mbikusita Lewanika is founding President General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress from 1948 to 1951. He reigned as the last son of King Lewanika the First to seat on the throne of Barotseland, from 1968 to 1977. His place in history has been denied and distorted, for personal, partisan and sectarian reasons. He has a record of outstanding broad, varied and pioneering public service, from 1929 to 1977. The history and essence of the establishment and independence of Zambia is incomplete, unbalanced and unintelligible, in fact unacceptable, without appreciation and taking positive account of the life service of maligned figures, such as Mbikusita Lewanika. This is part of Zambia’s undoing through personal, partisan and sectarian history denial and distortion. It may be too late to say it, now - BUT THE WRITING HAS BEEN IGNORED ON THE WALL FOR FIFTY YEARS!

Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika

It is not un common to hear this question asked with many devoid of knowledge about Barotse history wrongly alleging the practice is an overtone of “colonialism” , and un African and can’t possibly be a part of the Lozi culture, or even some lately mocking that perhaps Litunga is a “Michael Jackson” wanna be.

Not very long ago even the Zambian head of state Mr. Michael Sata was publicly quoted mocking the Litunga’s attire as a “fake” British colonial uniform – amazingly as he made these remarks he himself was clad in a western style ‘colonial’ suit and tie!

To somewhat provide some answers to this question allow me to first clear some misconceptions:

Firstly it is not a “fake”  but an original admiral’s uniform because to this day every successive Litunga gets his own uniform tailor made from the United Kingdom, and I will try to explain why the United Kingdom later in the article. So it is not one century old uniform fitting all. It can also not at all be an imitation or an inspiration from Michael Jackson because this tradition is centuries old, meaning it existed many years before Michael Jackson was even conceived, late alone his parents.

Secondly and more importantly, Yes this is, without doubt, a part of and has been a part of the Lozi culture for centuries now. It is important to note that all earthly cultures are a mixture of other cultures. Even languages, English is mixture of German and other languages. Even the whole Zambia uses English as our national language and English is part of our culture because language is one of the main things of any culture. And we got English from our colonial master and English today is our culture. The Litunga's uniform is part of Lozi culture and not British anymore. You cannot call English as French simply because some English words are borrowed from French in their exact way. The fact that the Barotse King uses British uniform should tell you Zambian culture and the Lozi culture in particular and the British culture interact.

Thirdly this practice is not and has never been an overtone of “colonialism” because those familiar with the history of the Barotse will agree that Barotseland was never conquered militarily or colonized but voluntarily acquired a “protectorate” status of the United Kingdom by mutual negotiation and through “Treaties”, meaning the two agreed and signed to further each other’s interest as partners or friends.

How did The Admiral’s Uniform come about?

Lubosi Lewanika

Research indicates that the first Litunga to have worn the Admiral’s uniform may be King Lubosi Lewanika I whose 1848 – 1916 rule was interrupted by a coup d’état in 1884, which he reclaimed in 1885. He is the King who first set up the Barotse Native Police in 1893. In his reign he was accorded the honour of attending the coronation Ceremonies of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra at Westminster Abbey in London in 1902. He was decorated with the medals of King Edward VII in 1902, and King George V in 1911. The Admiral Uniform may have been given to him as an honour and recognition of his “Royalty”. This King was acknowledged worldwide even by foreign press in the United Kingdom as well as the USA as having been a “Great African King” – a subject for another time. More of his pictures can be found here: http://barotseland.info/Lewanika_I.htm

King Mwanawina III

His son after him, King Litia Yeta III (CBE), who ruled from 1916 to 1945 had the Admiral Uniform because he also “earned” it through his military service on the side of the British in world wars (before he ascended to the throne in 1916). He was officially bestowed with the title of the Commander of the British Empire (CBE), c. 01st January, 1946. He also was accorded the honor of attending the Coronation Ceremony of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey in London in 1937. More of his pictures can be found here: http://barotseland.info/Yeta_III.htm

From then on every Litunga has had an Admiral’s Uniform specially made for them. Because of space and time we can’t show you all pictures.

Why Wear The Admirals Uniform?

Like stated above the admiral’s uniform is now a Lozi culture fused in through our interaction with other cultures, in this case the culture of the United Kingdom. I hope every reader appreciates that culture is dynamic and that usually is a collection of that culture’s interaction with nature, itself and other cultures. A further example is that Zambia has a culture of Nshima (maize meal) as our staple food and yet there is nothing “African” about Maize because as a crop it was introduced on the continent by the Portuguese?

So to understand the meaning of the Admiral’s Uniform let us refer to the meaning the people who “Dressed” the Litunga must have attached to the Uniform below:

Why Do British Royals Wear Military Uniforms?

I would like to borrow from some work done by Julie Bosman on the subject in an article she wrote in April 11, 2002 to the Explainer – Slate Magazine answering a similar question which became very popular after it was noticed that during the Queen Mother’s funeral all the British Royals were clad in the Admiral or military uniforms.

Prince Charles wore the dress uniform of a rear admiral, Prince Andrew the uniform of a royal naval commander, and even Princess Anne the trousers of a rear admiral. So why do British royals wear military uniforms?

According to Julie, Frequently, the royals earn their uniforms the hard way. Both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, for example, had long careers in the military. Prince Andrew retired from active service in 2001 after serving as an officer in the royal navy for over 20 years, earning the title of commander in the process (Kind of like King Litia Yeta III (CBE) of Barotseland.) Prince Charles served as an air vice marshal in the royal air force and rear admiral in the navy, retiring in 1976 after seven years of active service.

Other times, royals collect military ranks and uniforms as honorifics. Princess Anne didn't serve in the military, but she can wear military trousers because she is an honorary rear admiral. In addition to his earned military ranks, Prince Charles is the honorary colonel in chief of 17 regiments of the armed services.

Custom holds that those royals who don't hold a military rank wear standard mourning garb at state funerals. Prince Edward, who served only briefly in the military and holds no important earned or honorary rank, wore a long black morning coat to his grandmother's funeral.

Royals have donned military dress at state occasions since the 19th century. Princess Anne's military trousers were a departure from the norm, however. Though the queen mum's funeral marked the second time Princess Anne has made the feminist gesture, she reportedly is the first royal woman to wear military attire in public since Queen Elizabeth I—in 1588. For that occasion, in which the queen rallied British troops at Tilbury to battle the Spanish, she wore a suit of armor.

Bonus Explainer: The queen mother married into the monarchy and took on the title of queen. Her daughter Queen Elizabeth's husband married into the monarchy, yet holds the title of prince. So why isn't Prince Philip King Philip?

The husband of a female monarch is not recognized with special status, rank, or privileges, though they customarily act as major players in the royal family. Historians aren't sure why the practice started, but they trace it back to Queen Anne, who reigned from 1702 to 1714. The wife of a reigning king, like the queen mother, is given the title of "queen consort." The queen mum's daughter Elizabeth II, a queen by birthright, holds the title of "queen regnant." (The foregoing is posting by Julie Bosman done in April of 2002 and the actual accolades of the royals mentioned may have since changed. )

From the foregoing, it is clear that when the British honored or gave the Litunga of Barotseland they meant it as an honour and an acknowledgment of His royalty. As a Royal they may have accepted that he should be given Royal attire in accordance with their tradition. This I believe is the very reason people like Michael Jackson felt they should also were similar Uniforms to look like “Royalty” since he crowned himself as the ‘King’ of ‘POP’ Music. Elvis Presley, the ‘King’ of ‘Rock’ music, had similar attire.

So whether we appreciate it or not, this Lozi culture will and must continue because it speaks of the journeys and interaction of the Lozi people and their past kings. This history is so rich that you will find it even curricula of the best of academic institutions such as Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, etc.

Zambians and Barotse people in particular must appreciate and value this history so rich that the world could see the value of teaching their people about.

Lozis should not feel any pressure, whether through scorn or otherwise, to try to deny their heritage. Like all cultures, they should embrace their uniqueness and teach it to their offspring so that through knowledge we can all become better.

Those who feel the need to mock other people’s cultures must be encouraged to focus on their own cultures and make them better. Sometimes focusing on speaking bad about others is a sign that one does not feel good about themselves in the first place, and so they seek self esteem making others feel bad.

We also appeal to all our  traditional authorities to be more revealing and educate us of our centuries old traditions so that we don’t feel lost or be swallowed up by other cultures, but that we will know how to assert ourselves in the global world without necessarily being pressured to abandon our cultures for the sake of ‘fitting’ in with what others seek to prescribe for us.

This article is written by a Lozi who felt the need to share knowledge.

File: HRM King SIR Mwanawina III, KBE ( 1948 - 1968 )

This republic we now call Zambia is a product of several currents. As we celebrate 50 years of its existence we must look at all the stories that could help us navigate through these currents so that we can learn from history and not repeat mistakes from that history. Fifty years after our independence, there is no issue that could potentially divide our nation more than the contentious Barotseland Agreement of 1964 (BA 64). Nevertheless, as contentious as it may be, we would be doing a great disservice to ourselves if we do not confront this story. The BA 64 and the role of King Mwanawina III in the formation of our nation are important Zambian stories. Discussions on the BA 64 have dwelt on its formation in 1964 and its abrogation months after independence. However, in order for us to understand the role, if any, it played in the making of our nation, we must situate it within its own context and milieu.

The Supreme Court in the case of Lewanika and Others v Chiluba (1998) paid some cursory attention to the fact that the homeland we now call Zambia pooled several territories administered by the British prior to 1924. Northwestern Rhodesia, Barotseland and Northeastern Rhodesia combined to form the British Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia administered by the British Colonial Office. In the treaty-making system, the British South African Company (BSAC) identified powerful chiefs, signed agreements with them and then used those treaties as the basis for colonialism. By far, one of the most powerful empires in what would become Zambia was Lewanika, whose Lozi Empire covered parts of present Namibia, Angola and Zambia prior to 1924. As such, it was quite natural that the BSAC’s desire to legitimize its colonial crusade involved signing some kind of a treaty with Lewanika. By the time the British Crown commenced its direct rule over Northern Rhodesia in 1924, Lewanika’s Kingdom was somewhat definable. During the struggle for independence, Mwanawina III was the Litunga of Barotseland. He reigned from 1948 to 1968.

President Kenneth Kaunda and King Mwanawina III

Both before and after 1924, when the British ruled over a unified Northern Rhodesia, the Litunga maintained some level of autonomy. This autonomy, however, was a two-edged sword. A Litunga would be influential only to the extent that the British permitted him to. As such, the Litunga’s power was simply an extension of British rule. Even though the British had early treaties with the Litunga, the only thing that seems to matter for them was that they had a dominant king whom they were “protecting”. The subtlest effect of this “protection”, however, had to do with how the British extended this protection to the rest of the Rhodesian territories. While the less powerful kings and traditional rulers still exerted some moderate influence over their areas, Litunga was more formidable over his areas due to the direct consent of the British. This became the dominant political perception of Litungas and the times they lived in. It was certainly so, for Mwanawina III who reigned during the difficult time of the dawn of independence. Barotseland subjects, had by the 1950s come to perceive and begrudge their king not as a liberator but as a collaborator with the British. At one time, the White settlers of Southern Rhodesia were even considering a federation of sorts involving Rhodesia, Barotseland and Katanga. Rumours of such maneuvers were damaging to the standing of Mwanawina III among his people. This became one issue Kenneth Kaunda exploited during the 1964 elections.

Sensing the changing tide for independence in what would later be called the Republic of Zambia, the British decided to side-step King Mwanawina III and gave in to popular demands for native direct rule for all territories in Northern Rhodesia including Barotseland. By the 1950s when Kaunda led the splinter group away from the ANC, there was clear consensus that it was he and his more radical group that would best epitomise and actualise the dream of freedom for all blacks in Northern Rhodesia. Indeed, in the elections of the Barotse National Council itself, Kaunda’s UNIP soundly defeated political parties that were aligned to the ruling aristocracy of the Barotse nation.

However, the greatest historical mistake Kaunda ever committed was misinterpreting the meaning of this win in Barotseland. The reason why the BA 64 will continue to haunt Zambia is closely connected to the way UNIP’s win was taken both by the British and by Kaunda himself. For sure, Kaunda interpreted his win in Barotseland as a sign that the people were solidly behind him to push through an independent nation while ignoring Litunga Mwanawina III. The British too, fearful of UNIP and its mandate were reluctant to side with Mwanawina. Indeed, the king of the once great Lozi Empire was now in a corner. He had no political capital and his British backers had abandoned him. It seems Kaunda had the support of the people of Barotseland, but Mwanawina III still had the throne. A compromise had to be forced. It is this compromise, which would continue to haunt the new nation 50 years after its independence.

What can we learn from the context surrounding the Barotse negotiations? First, Kaunda should have treated Mwanawina III more like a partner than as a minor. Truly, Kaunda had the people, but it was naïve of him to push through some changes without having recourse to Mwanawina III’s genuine concerns. Second, KK should have known that winning elections in the Barotse National Council did not mean that the people of Barotseland had decided to do away with their king or their customs. Third, KK should have been more humble after winning and he should have used that leverage to come up with an agreement that was more acceptable to the Litunga and through him, the people of Barotseland. Perhaps KK should have been open to the idea of either federalizing or even prevailing upon the British to grant Mwanawina III some boosted autonomy. It has been 50 years since the BA 64 and yet the question of Barotseland still haunts our young nation. Nevertheless, King Mwanawina III remains one of the important figures in Zambia’s history. He was a king, in Zambia.

Elias Munshya: The story of Zambia is incomplete without Mwanawina

 

Editor's Note: The foregoing are independent views of a Canadian based Zambian scholar, Elias Munshya LLB (Hons)., MA., M.Div. who uses a multidisciplinary approach, combining a passion for law, theology, history and politics to reflect on issues affecting both personal and national development in Canada and Zambia. They are in no way representative of Barotse Post views and or indeed Barotse Post associated social media blogs. They are, however, hereby reproduced entirely with full credit of Elias Munshya blog. (www.eliasmunshya.org)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013 11:02

A Little About HRM King Mwanawina III (KBE)

King Mwanawina III KBE

King Mwanawina III was the 20th Litunga of Barotseland who ruled Barotseland from 1948-1968. He was born in 1888 at Lealui, and was educated at PMS missionary school in Barotseland, Lovedale college and University of Cape Town in South Africa.

He served in the great war as a commander of Barotse carriers in East African campaign. He excelled, and was, therefore, honored with Allied victory and British war medals. He also attended the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II in London. In 1959 he was bestowed with the title of Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE).

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 "One Zambia One Nation".

This attempt of One Zambia One Nation which sought to make Barotseland an Autonomous region with her own Barotse Government failed even before it started as barely 18 months after signing it Kaunda's treacherous government repudiated and abrogated the agreement and has since subjugated the region of Barotseland to a mere province they called western province in what is clearly Black on Black colonization.

King Lubosi Lewanika, second from the left with British officials at Livingstone in 1905 for Official opening of Victoria Falls (Mosi-Oa-Tunya)

It was at Mosi-Oa-Tunya where the agreement leading to a treaty between Barotseland and Britain was concluded by King Lewanika of Barotseland in 1900. Victoria Falls was named after Her Majesty Queen Victoria of Great Britain during King Lewanika’s reign.

King Lewanika was the one who permitted the B.S.A Company to establish Livingstone Town in 1905.

Overwhelming and documented Barotse history and geography points to and proves that the town of Livingstone belonged to and shall forever be part of Barotseland.

Silozi - Barotseland national Language and Lingua franca, has always been used as the official local language in schools until 2007.

Identification of the territory of Barotseland and its frontiers

The National territory of the Kingdom of Barotseland currently under claim shall consist of the whole territory of Barotseland as it were from 1900 to 1947, without taking areas that were regarded as her subject or dependent territories into consideration; that is:

 

  • Eastern boundaries shall stretch from Itezhi-Tezhi to the confluence of river Chiababi with Zambezi (longitude 26 degrees East)
  • Northern boundaries shall stretch from the confluence of Lufupa river with river Kafue, Westwards to the Lungwebungu river, (longitude 22 degrees East);
  • Western boundary shall start from Lungwebungu river (Latitude 13 degrees 28 minutes South) then
  • Southward to Cuando river, down to the confluence of Cuando with river Luiana extending to Katima Mulilo Rapids, running along the Zambezi, Eastward to its confluence with river Chiababi (longitude 26 degrees East).
Friday, 31 October 2014 00:00

About Us

The Barotseland Post is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination. The Barotseland Post was also adopted as the official news platform for the royal Barotseland government in transition and beyond. However, the Barotseland Post also gives unrestricted and uncensored coverage of the Barotse voice in its entire diversity, ranging from the various liberation movements, to the royal authority, the monarchy, and all individuals who have something and anything to say about any of the stories and matters covered and published here on. These diverse views are published under the principle of freedom of expression in accordance with rules of civility and respect for all other human rights.

From inception in 2012 the Barotsepost, which later became the Barotseland Post, has been guided by the conviction that the aspirations and human rights of the people of Barotseland for self-determination are not only valid, but also as paramount as any other, therefore, the need to broadcast and publish these views without fear or favour. These rights have been for many decades under Barotseland’s disputed integration into the republic of Zambia through the express terms of the now defunct 1964 pre-independence agreement referenced to as the Barotseland Agreement 1964, largely suppressed, while their views of self-determination considered secessionist, and hence treasonous under the laws of Zambia. The Barotseland Agreement of 1964 was systematically repudiated shortly after independence, and unilaterally abrogated in 1969, through an ACT of parliament, by Kenneth Kaunda’s first Zambian government, and any matters relating to it were considered treasonous all throughout Kenneth Kaunda’s state of emergency rule until 1990–1991, when he made an electoral promise to the BRE that should he win the impending first multi- party election in nearly two decades, he would be willing to discuss the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.

His main challenger and eventual winner in the 1991 multi-party election was FTJ Chiluba. However, upon assuming state power as president, Chiluba and his new government officially responded to the Barotse Royal Establishment’s request for dialogue stating that the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 had become ‘stale’ due to the ‘passage’ of time and would, therefore, not be a subject of further discussion. His successors, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa and Rupiah Bwezani Banda, Zambia’s third and fourth Republican presidents, respectively, maintained the same ‘non-negotiable’ position.

Then the matter degenerated to what has now officially been called ‘The Mungu Riots of 14 January 2011’, although the Barotse people are more inclined to calling it as the ‘Zambian government instigated January 14 Mongu massacre’, arguing that it was in fact the Zambian police, under fourth republican president Rupiah Banda, who fired live ammunition indiscriminately on unarmed ordinary Barotse citizens who had expressed a desire to gather peacefully with their traditional and royal leadership and chart a Barotse national response together on the way forward for their nation of Barotseland, now that it had become clear that successive Zambian governments would not be willing to dialogue on matters relating to the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.

Officially, two fatalities were acknowledged by the Zambia police and government. The Commission of Inquiry instituted by President Sata and chaired by Dr Rodger Chongwe reported that the actual number of fatalities was as high as nineteen persons, with several others either injured or still missing. Prior to the 2011 presidential and general elections, President Banda published an official statement in national mass media how he regretted the Mongu fatalities, and he also promised to engage the Government of Barotseland under the Litunga over the Barotseland Agreement 1964, if he won the 2011 election.

In the same electoral campaigns, candidate Michael Chilufya Sata promised through the mass media and at public election campaign rallies that he and his Patriotic Front government would restore and honour the long disputed Barotseland Agreement of 1964 within ninety days of assuming the presidency. He went on further to say that there was nothing to fear about the agreement. This promise was widely covered by both private and public national media. Commenting on then vice president George Kunda’s meeting with the Litunga of Barotseland, the Ngambela and some senior Barotse Indunas in Limulunga held on Tuesday, 4 January 2011, Sata said that

‘the Barotse Agreement is still a valid agreement,’ Sata said. ‘How can you ignore an agreement that was signed, sealed and delivered almost forty-seven years ago? . . . There is no honest person who can deny the existence and validity of the Barotse Agreement. And those with honour and integrity honour valid agreements they have entered into whether they still like them or not . . . The PF [Patriotic Front] government will honour the Barotse Agreement without hesitation because we have no problems with it. We see nothing wrong with it.’

Sata said Zambians needed to learn to live in a country of diversity and that it was also a fundamental principle even in international law for successive governments to honour agreements they find.

‘We have always said we have nothing to fear about the Barotse Agreement. It is a decent agreement that must be honoured,’ Sata said.

Only crooks, dictators who want everything to be controlled by them from Lusaka can fear the Barotse Agreement. . . . How can an agreement that brought our country together as a unitary sovereign state be seen to be a divisive instrument; to be about secession and treason? . . . The Barotse Agreement united and brought together what was not united; what was divided. It is an agreement that brought unity in diversity to our people and as such must be honoured and respected.’

He said intimidation and threats of treason would not resolve the matter.

‘How can an agreement that exists be treasonable? That agreement is real, so what’s treasonous about that? In fact, the peace and unity that Zambia has enjoyed since independence as a sovereign state can be partly attributed to the Barotse Agreement,’ Sata said.

PF would like to see to it that Zambia remains an oasis of peace by engaging the people of Barotseland over the Barotse Agreement and ensure that their grievances are resolved once and for all.’

However, in spite of all the above political rhetoric Mr Sata made as an opposition leader while seeking the Barotse vote, he too followed the dishonourable path of his predecessors. No sooner had he assumed the highest political office than he started abusing the rights of the Barotse people. In 2013 he recorded the highest number of indiscriminate arrests and incarcerations of over eighty-seven Barotse people, including women and children, among them two 10-year-old school-going boys, and one 90-year-old man, who he all charged with the capital crime of treason, punishable only by death upon conviction under Zambian laws, for allegedly celebrating the setting up of the Afumba Mombotwa transitional Barotseland government. These were all let free, without any compensation after three months of deplorable prison conditions, due to having no real case against them.

Consequently, with all this effort and several attempts made by the Barotse people to have the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 restored and its terms honoured or resolved through dialogue, and with all this repressive mass arrests, lengthy detentions without trial, psychological and physical torture and deaths, the Barotse people organised a BNC. This is the highest and directly representative gathering of the Barotse people. On this occasion, this gathering took place in the presence of high ranking Zambian government political, military, and security officials, as well as representatives of various foreign missions accredited to Zambia. This event was not only held in public but was also beamed via satellite to the whole world, with major national and world broadcasting networks such as CNN, VOA, BBC, Aljazeera, and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) reporting on the BNC resolutions.

This is the open and public occasion when the Barotse declared that henceforth they had officially and formally accepted Zambia’s abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. Consequently on Tuesday 27 March 2012, the BNC unanimously resolved to accept the unilateral nullification of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 by Zambia. They also resolved that Barotseland immediately initiate all formal and necessary procedures and acts for the re-establishment of Barotseland sovereignty and independence.

Further, on 14 August 2013, Afumba Mombotwa took oath of office to head a provisional care taker Barotseland government which he publicly named on the 15 November 2013. So far three international institutions - the Union of Free States (UNFS), the Federation of Free States of Africa (FFSA), and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples’ Organization (UNPO) - have recognized Barotseland. It is, therefore, our considered mandate at the Barotseland Post to cover and follow this story as it evolves, keeping the world and Barotseland citizens home and away informed of the progression of events in Barotseland, and covering other matters of both national and international interest.

The Barotseland Post Team.

Thursday, 18 April 2013 00:00

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TODAY, 3RD FEBRUARY 2015 witnesses the 110th anniversary of the birth of Mbikusita Lewanika, the Founding President General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress and King of Barotseland. And, by the way, he was an unsurpassed Barotse African traditional paddler, drummer and dancer, before kingship inhibited him.

MBIKUSITA LEWANIKA was a Prince, by occurrence of birth at Lealui, on 3 February 1905. He was enthroned as King of Barotseland at Lealui, according to centuries-old tradition at Lealui, on 15 December 1968. He had died at Lewanika General Hospital of Mongu-Lealui, on 7 February 1977. He was buried as per tradition for a Barotse King, on 11 February 1977. However, contrary to uninformed perceptions and popular presumption, the royalty factor in his life has been more often a spear thrusting into his flesh. His distinguishing life service factor is that he lived and worked with this spear eternally injuring his every service endeavour and constantly obstructing every step paving people’s way forward. His life was a stipple jump race over spikes of hindrances at every turn, rather than being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, as some imagine of Royalty. The events and circumstances of Mbikusita Lewanika’s royal birth and kingship is not of substantive concern. The unremarkable factor of being a prince or being enthroned and buried as a king is not a distinction. History records are full of unworthy princes and kings and full of worthy persons of regal associations.

THE LIFE SERVICE OF MBIKUISTA LEWANIKA IS OF NOTE, in the context that an earlier generation of Western educated African natives, born around the turn of the 20th century, founded African freedom movements, thus sowing the seeds of independence. They had intensive upbringing in, and life time unbroken linkages to, African traditional leadership, to whose values, culture and governance they were positively predisposed at pre-colonial formation level. They made effort to acquire and understand what they could from Western education, Christianity, modernisation and governance systems at conglomerate colony level. They embraced this duality comfortably, but with determination to retain and recover traditional Africa and its lost autonomy, while steadily mastering and taking charge of new skills, operations and institutions of European colonialism. They strived to reach a happy medium outcome combining the best of European modernity and even democracy, while preserving what is anchoring and pleasing from traditional Africa, where possible and positive. Members of this generation were pathfinders, long distance runners and cautious petitioners for African sovereignty. Of these, John Langalibelele Dube (11 February 1871 - 11 February 1946) of South Africa and the Zulu Kingdom and Dr. Joseph Kwame Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah (December 1895 – 4 February 1965) of the Gold Coast and the Ashate Kingdom, among others, correspond to Mbikusita Lewanika (3 February 1905 – 7 February 1977) of Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland, all of them deserve full and positive recognition as planter of Africa’s trees of independence.

MBIKUSITA LEWANIKA’s life start with the distinction of having overcome the perils of being tossed about as an infant and out growing mal-adjustment in early school years at Luatile School. Thereafter, it is distinguished further as he became a good academic performer at the Barotse National School and, through his own stubborn insistence, he managed to get a South African Lovedale College education. He followed this by taking an independent minded path leading to becoming Founder Secretary of the Livingstone African Welfare Association in 1929, at the age of 24.

In the 1930s, in his youth, he was a principal participant at the Kafue first attempt to found an African National Congress north of the Zambezi, served as Private Secretary of the King of Barotseland, wrote the first full length English language book by a native in his part of Africa and embarked on translation of the Bible into SiLozi and the classic Pilgrim’s Progress.

In the 1940’s, he refused to be destroyed or incapacitated by the astounding shock banishment from the summit of the capital of Barotseland on bogus and malevolent charges. He marshaled the strength of mind to move on to another world and different life at Nkana-Kitwe, which did not depend on royalty. From a prince, he became a proletariat, owning no functional means of production but selling his services to capitalist for wages. He labored, for twenty years, as Senior African Clerk, Senior Welfare Officer, Personnel and Public Relations officer for an Anglo-American Corporation copper mine. At the same time, he became a leader of his fellow African proletariats, and served in a voluntary capacity as Founder President of the Kitwe African Society, proposer of the formation of the Northern Rhodesia Federation of African Welfare Association, pioneer promoter of trade unionism and Founder President-General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress. Not only this, he also took wrote several other books and publishing newspaper and magazine articles, in Africa and overseas, in addition to man voluntary civic services for Africans, when there were few people available to do so.

In the 1950, in one of his many firsts, as President General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress, he met Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and consummated what has become the Indo-Zambia bilateral relationship at state and people levels. He initiate programmes for sending young future leaders for overseas higher education, at least three of who were to be in the first post colonial Cabinet of Ministers. He followed this by becoming the first and only African from Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland (and even Zambia since) to address a meeting attended by Members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, at Westminster, in London – he spoke against the proposal to establish the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. He also corresponded with Kwame Nkrumah, in the run up to, and after his appointment as Prime Minister of the Gold Coast (Ghana) and met with leading African nationalist leaders in Kenya, including Mbiyu Koinange and Jomo Kenyatta, hence, pioneering cross border consultation and cooperation among leaders of the African freedom movement.

During the rest of the 1950’s 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 hundred of Zambians and Barotse individuals, both men and women. In the 1960’s, he as a Parliamentary Secretary in Ministry of External Affair of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; undertook a couple of years post retirement job in the personnel department of Wankie (Hwange) Collieries; and engaged in some Limulunga village and Wusakile Township retail trading business to finance his children’s education and make an independent living, in an unfriendly post-colonial environment. As if to complete the circle and bring closure to his life, three decades after expulsion from the capital of Barotseland, he has resurface and returned to be enthroned as King of Barotseland, in December 1968.

Despite all this, Mbikusita Lewanika is a victim of a cultivated campaign of history denial, which is motivated by three intentions. The first is the urge to justify the propaganda that architects and heroes of African independence are only those who inherited the button on the last stretch of the relay race to new African nation-statehood, who are actually harvesters and not planters of independence. The second is to avoid any challenge to the established denigrated portrayal and, sometimes, double standard condemnation, of the earlier generation of political leaders representing a different approach to independence and governance. The third is justify the decolonisation dispensation that retained both the colonial geographical and governance legacy, while effectively preventing the return power to the African governments and peoples from whom European colonialism took it. In effect, it obstructs minds and actions of Africans from reviewing and reconstituting the independence dispensation. This is unacceptable, because independence has failed to liberate Africa and Africans from vestiges of European colonialism and to set it unto the path of truly independent, effective sovereignty and human dignity. This lack of factual and well digested history hides and causes problems.

Distorting history poses problems for the present and is a fundamental stumbling block for Africa’s future. It erases and misrepresents contributions of those who planted African independence. It negates opportunities of establishing internal inclusiveness and consensus in the formation of the externally designed new African nation-states. It discourages consideration of optional paths towards overcoming impediments to political advancement, economic development and social liberation. Furthermore, it blind leaders and citizens from seeing whatever wisdom and positive guidance that may be in the legacies of the fore-runners of post-colonial leaders. In short, it creates and endorses an incorrect history that misinform and handicap people’s enlightened freedom for the self-determination and sovereignty that is the promise of independence.

In the case of Zambia, it is portrayed as if the freedom movement begins and ends during the last five years before Independence, under the sole leadership of UNIP and its office holders, which is a distortion of history. It like doctoring the Bible by rewriting the Exodus story, with all credit to Joshua and none to Moses! This topic is being raised now, in the light of unfolding anniversary cerebrations highlight and ignore selected parts of history with consistent partiality. The year 2017 marks the 40th Anniversary of the passing away of Mbikusita Lewanika. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the demise of his father, King Lewanika the First of Barotseland. 2015 shall witness the 110th anniversary of his birth, while 2014 witnesses the 50th joint-anniversary of his labours’ fruits, which are Zambia’s Independence and the Barotseland Agreement 1964, which provided for Barotseland to be an integral part of Zambia after independence.

In reflecting upon these anniversaries, it is instructive that the subject personality is Mbikusita Lewanika is founding President General of the Northern Rhodesia African Congress from 1948 to 1951. He reigned as the last son of King Lewanika the First to seat on the throne of Barotseland, from 1968 to 1977. His place in history has been denied and distorted, for personal, partisan and sectarian reasons. He has a record of outstanding broad, varied and pioneering public service, from 1929 to 1977. The history and essence of the establishment and independence of Zambia is incomplete, unbalanced and unintelligible, in fact unacceptable, without appreciation and taking positive account of the life service of maligned figures, such as Mbikusita Lewanika. This is part of Zambia’s undoing through personal, partisan and sectarian history denial and distortion. It may be too late to say it, now - BUT THE WRITING HAS BEEN IGNORED ON THE WALL FOR FIFTY YEARS!

Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika

Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00

24. King Lubosi Imwiko II (2000 - )

  • He is the current Litunga, son of King Imwiko, ascended to the throne on 13th, October 2000
  • His capital is Lealui
  • He utilizes all the regiments
  • Hitherto, he has had the following Ngambelas: Mukela Manyando, Imbuwa Imwaka, Imasiku Lyamunga, and Litia Walubita, Clement W. Sinyinda, in acting capacity is Induna Kalonga (Godfrey Siisi) 2012 ....
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