“Barotseland was a separate country from Northern Rhodesia, and the same way Barotseland entered into Zambia through that agreement, she could also leave Zambia by the same Agreement, and it wouldn’t be termed as secession,” stressed Dr. Ludwig Sondashi much to the amazement of the radio moderator.
“Secession could only be applicable to the provinces of Zambia on the ‘Northern Rhodesia’ side and not on Barotseland.” Dr. Sondashi submitted as he briefly explained both the historical and legal context of the Barotseland Agreement 1964.
Dr. Sondashi further said that although he would not personally encourage Barotseland to separate from the rest of Zambia, he was merely stating facts and truth as they were, without dwelling on emotionalism. His proposed solution, instead, was to have the agreement restored and implemented in its original context of a unitary state, as that is what the agreement sought to accomplish, and that as republican president he would seek to further federalize the whole country.
“However, should the people of Barotseland desire separation from Zambia at any point in time, the same agreement would facilitate their separation and I as president would not stop Barotseland from separating, if that is what they really wanted, as it would be within Barotseland’s right,” he said.
He further castigated the Kenneth Kaunda regime for unilaterally abrogating the Barotseland Agreement 1964, which he referred to as an international treaty, without consultation. He said it was an act of ‘cheating’ for the Zambian government to abrogate the agreement through an act of parliament.
Dr. Sondashi who authoritatively deliberated on this subject more as a respected and qualified constitutional lawyer did not have any caller question his discourse on the subject, as he deliberated on it to the point without mincing any words.
AND appearing on popular privately owned MUVI TV five days later, Dr. Sondashi reiterated that Barotseland does qualify to be a STATE, by international and World standards, and could have its own government if its people wished so. This, according to him, would not be termed as ‘session’ contrary to the wrong notion perpetuated by the Zambian state and those ignorant of the subject matter.
To date, Dr Sondashi remains one of the most authoritative non Lozi Zambians with a clear and specific principle stand on the matter of Barotseland’s right to self determination given his status as a veteran constitutional lawyer.
Here below and embedded is the audio excerpts (VERBATIM) from the MUVI TV interview as monitored and captured by Barotseland Post at the time!
DR. LUDWIG SONDASHI INTERVIEW ON MUVI TV TACKLING THE BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT OF 1964.
DATE: 14TH DECEMBER 2014
INTERVIEWER: Costa Mwansa, MUVI TV
DR. LUDWIG SONDASHI: It was a state to state agreement, as you have that agreement it cannot be brought to an end unilaterally, as it happened with Kaunda’s government. So, eeh, that agreement, and I think misconception is that, people think that, when you talk about that, you are saying that, once it comes into place, Barotseland will be as big as coming up to the line of rail, this is what in essence, what I hear. This is not! Barotseland will remain as it is - Now we are calling it Barotseland province. That is where it ends! It will not have any …..(Interviewer interjects).
COSTA MWANSA: When you say you want to enact the Agreement, what do you mean, just the mere recognition of the fact that they have an option to secede?
DR. LUDWIG SONDASHI: No, No! You see, that is not the point. The point is that eeh, eeh, you see people are growing up! I am not a Lozi, but I can see their concern, because when people grow up they are questioning, what about the agreement which was signed by our fore fathers, where is it? Now that agreement stated that, it should be there, and to bring it to an end, you have to consult the Litunga of that, the Litunga of Barotseland, with his council and the people of Zambia (Barotseland). That is what it was.
Now what was wrong with that? So that can be there, but if the Lozis want to secede, as you point out to say secede, or to remain to Zambia, they must not be forced. They are a PEOPLE. You see, people like Barotseland, eeh, people, they are a PEOPLE, and even internationally, there is international recognition that when people are, Barotseland qualifies to be a PEOPLE and to run their own affairs if they so wish! They can even have a government of their own! So this is what I am saying …..(Interviewer interjects).
COSTA MWANSA: ….and that is what you want to come and enact when you are president?
DR. LUDWIG SONDASHI: Yes! And I don’t see anything wrong with that!
COSTA MWANSA: Even if they secede?
DR. LUDWIG SONDASHI: Even if, Yes! What is wrong if they secede? Because they were not in Northern Rhodesia before! They were a country! So even if they secede what is wrong with that? You know, it is only dictators who get worried about …. What’s wrong with Barotseland seceding? They qualify to be a STATE, by international world standards!
END as interviewer diverts to another topic!