Editor General, Barotseland Post
Powerful pro-independence coalition says it will start secession process after September local elections, in defiance of government in Madrid
By Guy Hedgecoe, Madrid - 5:37PM BST 21 Jul 2015
Catalan separatist leaders have vowed to make a unilateral declaration of independence from Spain after local elections in September, putting themselves firmly on a collision course with the central government in Madrid.
The leaders of the two main Catalan nationalist political parties and pro-independence grass roots groups on Monday unveiled a united platform for the September 27 election in the semi-autonomous region. Although the election is for seats in the Catalan parliament, nationalists are treating it as a plebiscite on independence.
“The whole world needs to understand that this is for real,” Raul Romeva, a former MEP who heads the “Together for Yes” electoral list, said after the launch.
“If on September 27 this proposal has the sufficient and necessary majority, what we want is for the [Catalan] parliament to solemnly declare that according to that mandate, the process of independence should begin.”
According to this plan, a further, binding, referendum would take place in 2016, before the establishment of an independent Catalan state is completed.
Among those leading the independence charge is Artur Mas, the defiant regional premier of Catalonia and leader of the nationalist Convergence party. He has been the figurehead of the separatist movement since announcing his support for secession in 2012, after conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy refused to negotiate changes to Catalonia’s financial relationship with Madrid.
Many Catalans complain that their relatively wealthy region of seven million inhabitants subsidises the rest of Spain with their taxes. They also claim that Spain fails to understand Catalan culture and represses their language.
On Tuesday, Catalan civic organisations launched preparations for the north-eastern region’s national day, on September 11, when hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of Barcelona to call for independence in what has become an annual tradition.
The Spanish government staunchly opposes independence or increased autonomy for Catalonia, arguing such a move would violate the constitution.
Last week, Mr Rajoy reiterated his position, saying: “There is not going to be Catalan independence.”
On Monday Justice Minister Rafael Catalá insisted that the Spanish state has “enough tools” to thwart a declaration of independence, threatening to suspend the region's semi-autonomous status if it moved ahead with a separation process.
Last November, the central government used the courts to block an attempt by Mr Mas to stage a Scotland-style referendum on independence in the region. The Catalan leader responded by staging an illegal vote which saw around two million people turn out, over 80 percent of them backing a break away from Spain.
However, most of those who would have voted “no” stayed away.
A poll published in June by the region’s CEO study centre showed that 43 percent of Catalans support independence.
On Tuesday, tensions between Madrid and Catalonia were underlined again as Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz criticised Pep Guardiola, the Catalan football legend and former FC Barcelona coach, for putting his name to the pro-independence electoral list, albeit as a symbolic move.
The minister accused Guardiola, who now coaches Bayern Munich, of representing the Spanish national team during his playing career “not for patriotic reasons, but for financial reasons.”
Guardiola occupies the last spot on the list, so, barring an unprecedented landslide, would not win a seat in the Catalan parliament. But the support of such a high profile figure is a powerful boost to the separatists' campaign - THE TELEGRAPH
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has turned to his bitter regional rival Botswana President Ian Khama for a model to exploit diamonds to fuel economic development in Zimbabwe.
Khama has consistently rejected President Mugabe’s re-election as fraudulent and has often spoken out about Zimbabwe’s political crisis.
Nothwithstanding the frosty relationship, Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa will visit Botswana on July 2 to study the diamond model in Botswana — the world’s leading diamond producer by value.
Chidhakwa on Wednesday confirmed that he would be visiting Botswana on July 2.
He said he has also been to Namibia and South Africa to study their models and now wants to look at the Botswana model as he works on his plans to consolidate the diamond mining companies into one entity, with 50% government shareholding as is the case in Botswana. The government of Botswana mines diamonds in partnership with South African giant De Beers.
“Diamond mining is a very difficult sector,” said Chidhakwa. “It is difficult to monitor and manage, but if we consolidated the companies into one and have one monitoring mechanism the model of consolidation will allow for better monitoring thereby reduce the leakages.”
He added: “I will be going to Botswana to look at their model. We are relatively a new diamond-mining country.”
Botswana has used diamonds to develop the country from being a mostly rural backwater at Independence in 1966 to a booming economy.
While Zimbabwe was the second most industrialised country in the region after South Africa at Independence in 1980, it has since largely become a shell due to the de-industrialisation characterised by company closures and job losses, largely blamed on mismanagement of the economy.
More than 7 000 workers were retrenched last year alone and more than 1 000 workers from 67 companies have lost their jobs in the first quarter of 2015.
At least 55 000 workers have been rendered redundant after 4 610 companies closed shop countrywide between 2011 and 2014, according to Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa in his 2015 national budget statement.
Top government sources said this week a request for the visit to Botswana to look at its diamond model was made by Mugabe in a meeting with Khama during his visit to that country last month.
This is a surprise development as Mugabe and Khama have a not-so-cordial relationship despite Mugabe’s claims that relations with his counterpart are genial.
Khama has repeatedly rejected Mugabe’s re-election, saying the polls were stolen.
The Botswana president hardly ever agrees with Mugabe at regional meetings such as Sadc and the African Union, with the latest case being on presidential term limits and the International Criminal Court from which Mugabe wants African countries to withdraw saying it is targeting African heads of state.
At the just-ended AU summit Mugabe said African leaders had made a mistake by endorsing legislation which sets a two- term presidential limit.
“It is a democracy, if people want a leader to continue, let him continue.”
However, Khama disagreed.
“… There comes a time where we think that once you get into office and you’ve been there for 10 years (two five-year terms), really that is enough, you should make way and let others come in,” Khama said a fortnight ago.
Meanwhile, Chidhakwa wants the mining companies to merge into one firm, in a move meant to streamline their operations while curbing leakages.
The move comes after most diamond mining companies in the Marange area of Manicaland failed to account for revenues they realised in their mining operations, save for Mbada Diamonds which in March last year declared to parliament that it had surpassed the US$1 billion turnover mark.
Chidhakwa’s plans also come after years of complaints from within government and ordinary Zimbabweans, civil society and opposition parties that diamond revenues were not finding their way to Treasury, but were being used to line pockets of top politicians and service chiefs through shady deals. Zimbabwe is the world’s fourth-largest diamond miner, producing an estimated eight million carats with potential to supply 25% of global demand. However, the country is in the midst of an economic crisis and has little to show for its diamond wealth.
Seven companies were operating in Chiadzwa, namely Mbada, Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Company, Gye Nyame, Jinan Ming Private Ltd, Kusena and Marange Resources.
Chidhakwa in an interview on Wednesday said the consolidation process would involve the merging of the wholly government-owned Marange Resources with the other diamond mining companies, including Murowa and River Ranch.
“The problem in Zimbabwe is that we have companies in Chiadzwa that were opportunistic and speculative. What we are now trying to do is to resolve that problem,” he said.
“We want to do it through consolidation. There is a basic way of doing it (sharing); 50 divided by let’s say seven. But it will not be equal sharing because they have different levels of capitalisation. We then say we are using net-asset-value of each company. You take the net asset value of Mbada, Anjin and others and you add them and come up with the total net asset value.
“You calculate Anjin as a percentage of the total and Mbada the same, and everybody gets their share. Because we now say that there is no limit, this company will mine all diamonds in the country and there is no other company that will be allowed to mine diamonds in Zimbabwe besides that framework. Everyone is coming on board – Murowa and River Ranch,” he said.
Chidhakwa said the companies would have latitude to do exploration across the country in the context of that bigger entity.
He said they would calculate how much equipment is required to mine the diamonds and its value; each company would then be required to inject capital, depending on the shareholding — like a rights issue.
If some fail to raise the money they will then be diluted and the bigger companies can buy additional shareholding.
“This mining is not for mickey-mouse miners, but serious mining across the country. The problem is that when you look at the agreements we signed, all the companies were expected to inject money either in the form of cash or equipment and it is in the agreements.
“If you go and look at what they (diamond mining firms) have injected, it’s generally less than half because some went on to lease equipment. When you calculate net-asset-value, the leased equipment is not included. So the panic now is that they are looking at what they are coming in with. Out of the lot, only one company brought about 45% of what was originally agreed on. That is where the first stage of company resistance is,” he said.
The second stage of resistance has to do with the loss of positions. The consolidation will mean one board, one CEO and one finance director.
Chidhakwa is considering two possible security systems at diamond mining fields: one where they will fire drones with cameras and another where they will use balloons with cameras to monitor activities on the ground to try and curb leakages.
It is expected that greater transparency in diamond mining will help revive the country’s ailing economy.
A South African court has issued an interim order stopping Sudan's leader Omar al-Bashir, who faces war crimes charges, from leaving the country.
The Pretoria High Court says Mr Bashir must stay until it rules on Monday on whether he should be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
President Bashir is in Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit.
He is accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the Darfur conflict.
About 400,000 people have died and more than two million have fled their homes since rebels took up arms in 2003, the UN says.
Government forces and allied Arab militias are accused of targeting black African civilians in the fight against the rebels.
President Bashir was welcomed by South African officials as he arrived in Johannesburg. After the court announced it would rule on a request to arrest him, he posed for a group photo with other African leaders.
The High Court initially said it would issue its ruling on Sunday. But it later postponed the hearing until Monday, when the summit is due to end.
There are tensions between the ICC and the AU, with some on the continent accusing the court of unfairly targeting Africans.
The warrants against Mr Bashir, who denies the allegations, have restricted his overseas travel. He has, however, visited friendly states in Africa and the Middle East.
ANALYSIS: ANDREW HARDING, BBC AFRICA CORRESPONDENT
South Africa has often shied away from this sort of diplomatic headache, but this time the government has stepped straight, and deliberately, into controversy, courting Western fury by rolling out the welcome carpet for President Bashir.
The South African government must, surely, have foreseen the possibility of a legal challenge. If President Bashir is allowed to return home unimpeded, South Africa's actions will be bitterly condemned internationally - if less loudly within the continent - as a blow against the credibility of the ICC.
And if Sudan's president is detained, or perhaps even arrested, then Pretoria will be accused of luring a fellow African leader into a trap. Some would call that a no-win situation.
But it's clear that South Africa's government has chosen to flaunt its growing antipathy towards "Western" rules, and towards a court in which so many African leaders now appear to have lost faith.
SUDAN'S BLOODY STALEMATE
The ICC relies on member states to carry out arrests.
However correspondents have said the South African government - a signatory to the treaty establishing the ICC - is unlikely to move against the Sudanese leader.
South Africa's governing ANC said immunity had been granted to "all (summit) participants as part of the international norms for countries hosting such gathering of the AU or even the United Nations".
The ANC also said the ICC was "no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended".
The court, which sits in The Hague, was set up in 2002 to try cases of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, when national courts cannot handle them.
The official theme of the Johannesburg summit, chaired by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, is women's empowerment and development - BBC.COM
We have said it before and we will say it again, that Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia is not an Honourable man. Accordingly, he will not be until he publicly states why and how he has defrauded Barotseland and her people their right to Self-determination alongside their brothers in Zambia as guaranteed in the now defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
This is the same man who on 6th August 1964 stood before the Barotse King, HRM Sir Mwanawina III, KBE, his Kuta and Barotse government, in the presence of many Barotse people (BNC) as witnesses and said;
“….It is the (Zambian) government’s full intention that the Barotseland Agreement  will be honored fully after independence…. The government has no wish to interfere with the day to day running of the internal affairs of Barotseland. This is the responsibility of the Barotse government and the intention of the Central Government will be no more than to give the Barotse Government its maximum assistance and co-operation. …The customary rights in Barotseland will remain with the Litunga, National Council and the District heads of Kutas."
Further; “the government is satisfied that government requirements for land for development projects in Barotseland will receive the active co-operation of the Barotse government, this is all the Central Government is asking for…..” (Nyambe, 2010)
Kaunda said these assurances in affirmation to the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, he had just signed a couple of months earlier in May of 1964.
In 1969, however, through Constitution (Amendment) No.5, and without consulting the people of Barotseland, the same Kaunda and his government enacted that;
“The Barotseland Agreement 1964 shall cease to have effect and all rights (whether vested or otherwise) and liabilities thereunder shall lapse” – a piece of legislation that the people of Barotseland are now ready to argue, in courts of law, was devoid of any legal effect.
And we are not the only ones that seem to think Kenneth Kaunda is not an honourable man. His successor and fifth republican president of Zambia late Michael C. Sata (MHSRIP) in 2011 thought so too when he said, and as quoted by The Post Newspaper of Zambia's George Chellah who later became his press aide at State House;
“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.
“Only CROOKS, DICTATORS who want everything to be controlled by them from Lusaka can fear the BAROTSE AGREEMENT.”
Sata further said;
“The Barotse Agreement is still a valid agreement. How can you ignore an agreement that was signed, sealed and delivered almost 47 years ago?”
As such he even committed that;
“The PF government will honour the Barotse Agreement without hesitation because we have no problems with it. We see nothing wrong with it.”
“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?” Sata wondered.
Mr. Sata even dared to say 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.”
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 before him. No sooner had he assumed the highest political office than he started abusing the rights of the Barotse people, recording at one time in 2013, the highest number of indiscriminate arrests and incarcerations of over 87 Barotse people; including women and children, among them two ten year old school going boys, and one ninety 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. Of course these were all let free, without any compensation after three months of deplorable prison conditions, due to having no real case against them. What a tragedy!
Reading, therefore, about Kaunda's reciting of the so called “Blessing of Peace” upon the nation of Zambia on 25th of May 2015 African Freedom Day commemoration, in his capacity as the self assumed 'Founding Father of the Zambian nation' was nostalgic, to say the least, to many people of Barotseland, and to all those who value tenets of human rights, as currently a total of eight Barotse nationals, including the leading Barotseland independence movement, 'The Linyungandambo' leader Afumba Mombotwa and three members of his Barotseland transitional government, are still languishing in Zambian jails for over six months without trial, over treason related charges yet again. Kenneth Kaunda, in our view, missed yet another good opportunity to confess to his maltreatment of the people of Barotseland, and explain the true meaning of the ‘One Zambia One Nation Motto’ he so eloquently eulogise. Although unity among diverse ethnicity is desirable in any nation, we know that the real meaning of the motto emanated from the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 that he unilaterally abrogated. However, today due to systematic brain wash, many have come to understand it to mean merely the unity among the more than seventy two ethnicities of Zambia.
Kenneth Kaunda’s sentiments on this occasion sounded much like that of a man, who after illegally possessing another man’s estate, sits with his family in the dark pronouncing 'blessings and peace' upon his loot, while praying and hoping that he has so incapacitated and impoverished the real owner to the extent that he will never be strong enough to claim and contest for his entitlement of the estate; while the fraudulent man’s largely unsuspecting family agree and shout loud ‘Alleluias’ and ‘Amen’ as they break into “How Great Thou Art” father!
The good news, however, is that the God of PEACE and BLESSINGS is also the God of JUSTICE and RESTITUTION! It is our prayer, therefore, that God will accord Kenneth Kaunda long life, and possibly another opportunity soon, for him ‘to come clean on Barotseland’, one way or the other! One who prays for PEACE must also act JUSTLY! We also pray for real Peace and Unity in the nation of Zambia, not one held by old and weak threads of sloganeering.
Short of this we will continue to hold the view that Kenneth Kaunda is a dishonorable man who entered his government and the nation he now claims to be father of, into an agreement he had no real intention to honour, but rather signed it probably only to appease the British Government, and, of course, to get his hands on Barotseland and its approximately 3 ½ million people, forming a perpetual governmental policy stand that has potential to drive the nation of Zambia into untold misery.
Unity in diversity does not mean uniformity, but rather that there is unity of purpose. More than ever before Barotseland now needs her people to be one, especially with the legal processes we have embarked upon against Zambia. We need the activists in their two broad categories of Linyungandambo and BNFA to work with the BRE Kuta, and the Kuta itself to be one with the masses. We may have past and present differences but, like Dr. Matengu Situmbeko has said in his latest statement, the route we decide to take at resolving our differences will determine whether or not we actually succeed at resolving them.
Some activists have decided to petition that the entire BRE Kuta be dismissed for some alleged ‘compromise’ in as far as the quest for Barotseland independence is concerned. This is a commendable exercise of their right. However, we should emphasize that because it is not the entire Kuta that has compromised, it is, therefore, important that the Litungaship is left to collate the allegations in fairness, without undue pressure. Justice will demand thoroughness in this regard. Civil unrest may only breed miscarriage of justice.
We have two or three legal processes that have commenced or have been initiated in which Barotseland or a section of it, seek to make Zambia answerable for her treachery and injustice against Barotseland. The nature of these processes requires that we are united as one people and one nation.
1. NGAMBELA OF BAROTSELAND AND OTHERS VERSES ZAMBIA AT THE BANJUL COURT OF THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES' RIGHTS (ACHPR)
This case was lodged by the NGAMBELA of Barotseland and OTHERS on behalf of Barotseland (The Litungaship, the Kuta and the activists or masses.)
The success of this process entails that the head of the Kuta, THE NGAMBELA, works with OTHERS (the activists or the masses). Therefore, whoever occupies the office of Ngambela and his Kuta is conjoined with the people to ensure that this process goes through. However, if the Kuta and the activists are at war with each other, how are they expected to work together successfully to petition the Banjul court against Zambia? Tukongote or Kopano will indeed be the key here. We are reliably aware that this case is progressing very well.
2. BAROTSELAND VERSES ZAMBIA AT THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE (ICJ) - CASE OF ILLEGAL OCCUPATION
This case is being lodged by the Afumba Mombotwa led Transitional Government on behalf of the people of Barotseland (The Litungaship, the Kuta and the activists or masses).
The success of this particular case too entails that the Head of the Transitional Government works with the Head of State, The Litungaship, the Kuta and the citizens.The lodging of this case has progressed very well. The unity of purpose is greatly required, in this regard, so that the desired outcome is achieved.
3. BNFA CHALLENGE TO ZAMBIA TO SIGN A SUBMISSION OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENT AT THE PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION (PCA)
The Clement W. Sinyinda led BNFA has also challenged the Zambian government to sign a 'Submission of Arbitration Agreement' at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). Although Zambia has not yet signed this Agreement, this process is still on and will require the co-operation of everybody to go on.
Time and again, it has been emphasized that the matter of Barotseland is not of WAR but of LAW. It has been noted, however, that there are some among us who think that ACTION only means FIGHTING! These are those who often criticize their leadership for doing ‘NOTHING’ only because the leaders have refused to beat the Barotse WAR DRUMS! Barotseland, however, decided to give peaceful settlement the foremost chance. Therefore, we must show total commitment to PEACE before we can relish the idea of WAR!
Barotseland has already tried and will continue to pursue POLITICAL processes such as the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) on the 27th of March 2012. Zambia did not and has not heeded our POLITICAL declarations. That is not to say what we did on 27th March 2012 was not VALID! It simply means IMPUNITY on the part of Zambia. Now, as we seek LEGAL processes, can we give chance for these processes to reach their logical conclusion? The required action now is NOT Fighting but financial contributions to further all these legal processes. Those who think they have a lot of energy should direct it towards raising funds for all our legal efforts and processes.
It is not our desire to see one big movement but that we learn how to pursue UNITY in DIVERSITY. Our common denominator should be a FREE and INDEPENDENT Barotseland. Ideological differences will be there. This is expected and most desirable in any progressive society such as ours. But these differences should not make us lose focus on our immediate prize! Therefore, let us heed Dr. Matengu when he calls for CALM and revisit of our individual and collective strategies so that we can now all work together; Linyungandambo, BNFA, The BRE Kuta and The Litungaship, The transitional government and all the people for the sake of Barotseland. Bigger hurdles still lie ahead. But we will together cross over them and create the change we all seek!!
Tukongote! Litunga Nilyetu!
THE BAROTSE PARK 1898 - A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BAROTSE PARK
The piece of land historically known as the Barotse Park was designated thus because it was the site on which numerous protocols between King Lewanika and his successors on one part and the agents of British South Africa Company and later the British Crown on the other part were negotiated and sealed. From its inception, the Barotse Park was a soft spot of encounter between the settler communities and the indigenous people of Zambia. The following are some of the important meetings that were held on the site:
1898 THE LAWLEY TREATY
The Company asked its senior representative the Rt. Honourable Captain Arthur Lawley, then resident in Bulawayo (Matebeleland), Southern Rhodesia, to inform Major Robert Coryndon, then resident commissioner in Barotseland-North Western Rhodesia who resided at Kalomo, the then capital of North-Western Rhodesia to officially request the Litunga of Barotseland Lubosi Lewanika to meet at the Victoria Falls. The three party talks were aimed at consolidating territorial jurisdiction and the treaties that Lewanika had earlier agreed with Harry Ware in 1889 and Frank Lochner in 1890, whereas these treaties culminated into THE BAROTSELAND-NORTH WESTERN RHODESIA ORDER-IN-COUNCIL of 1899. The talks were scheduled to take place on 25th June 1898 at Victoria Falls, but the high water level of the Zambezi River affected the preparations of receiving the Litunga as the surroundings of the Old Drift or Sekute's Drift were damp and muddy. The Coryndon Administration, after consultations, decided to change the venue to a higher and dry ground on the Sandbelt. The site that was chosen was where Lubosi Lewanika's Royal Pavilion was constructed. Talks were held between the Litunga and the British Resident Commissioner in Barotseland-North Western Rhodesia on the one part and representatives or agents of John Cecil Rhodes of the British South Africa Company on the other part, agreed to provide a path for the British South Africa Company (BSAC) to proceed to the north bank of the Zambezi river, constructing the railway from Cape to Cairo. It was at this site where the Lawley treaty was concluded.
IN 1900 CONCESSION A AND B
Following the passing of THE BAROTSELAND-NORTH WESTERN RHODESIA ORDER-IN-COUNCIL which was passed in 1899, two concessions were signed at this site. The first one was Concession A which was commonly known as LEWANIKA'S TREATY. The second Concession B was signed in November of the same year. The treaty was for the mining syndicate and for sanctioning the British South Africa Company to generate hydro-electric power from the Zambezi at the Victoria Falls for usage in the mining industry on the Copperbelt. In 1901, the said concessions were ratified.
1901 CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE
The Constitutional Conference was held at this site to ratify the two treaties agreed to in 1900. This lead to the subsequent naming of the Sandbelt on which this site was situated The Constitution Hill. At the same time the site was named the Barotse Centre in honour of King Lubosi Lewanika, his council and the people involved in the advancement of development in the territory of North-Western Rhodesia.
In 1902, the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika was invited to attend the coronation ceremony of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria in England. The Barotse Centre at the heart of the Constitution Hill is where the Litunga bade farewell to his council and the people who wished him a safe journey. It was at this same site where Lewanika assured and impressed the crowd that feared for his safety, by planting his royal walking stick into the ground as a sign that would predict whether his entourage was safe. This historic event was evident enough that the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika's royal wooden walking stick germinated, rooted, branched off and grew into a big tree. Lewanika's way back from England at the end of 1902 in December was welcomed by a great royal traditional guard of honour at the Barotse Centre, which he marked by the unforgettable legacy. The Litunga arrived at his capital Lealui at New Year's first day of 1903 to a thunderous welcome, which was anti-climaxed as the final briefing was about his mother Inonge who had died.
Gradually, more settlers arrived in the Victoria Falls area, the administrators at the Old Drift or Sekute's Drift (which was unhealthy) decided to have a new township planned at the Constitution Hill. By the end of November 1904 the new township was being surveyed and the roads were marked. The township was layed out as a rectangular grid of streets and sanitary lanes forming fifteen blocks in all covering an area of rather less than one square kilometer. The central street main way (now Mosi-O-Tunya road) was to be 43 metres wide. The central block was to be an open park known as THE BAROTSE CENTRE, which still survives. The remaining fourteen blocks comprised two hundred and four stands. Some of these were reserved for the Administration's offices and other residents who were to be forced to abandon their old settlements at the Old Drift. The remaining stands were sold at an auction held on 23rd January 1905.
In 1904, when the railway line from Bulawayo reached the Zambezi River at the Victoria Falls, the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika came to the Victoria Falls for the official opening ceremony of the bridge conducted on 12th September 1905 by Professor George Darwin, President of the British Association. The first regatta which featured the Barotse royal badges of Mwandi Palace under Litia Yeta, son of Lewanika in Sesheke and Lealui the capital of Barotseland raced and Mwandi won.
It was at this very important event that the first curio shop was put up by Lewanika in the new town at the Barotse Centre. King Lewanika further declared the centre should be held unto perpetuity as a soft spot for all Africans who had less access to the new settlement, to utilize it as trading area for their crafts and as a green market. The official ceremony was the first of its kind. There were crafts and a lot of artwork from Barotseland, vegetables and fruits from surrounding areas of the Victoria Falls displayed for sale. As years passed activities among the White settlers and Africans at the new town increased. The main meeting place remained the Barotse Centre. Here the White settlers could buy crafts, artwork, vegetables and fruits from Africans.
The Barotse Centre further served as a recruitment point for native labour and as a venue for activities which involved the BAROTSE NATIVE POLICE and the BAROTSE NATIVE POLICE BAND, where Africans were actively involved.
The end remark by the parties involved during the official opening of the Victoria Falls bridge was to consider naming the Constitution Hill and areas surrounding the Victoria Falls as Doctor David Livingstone in honour of the great explorer who put the falls, the mighty Zambezi river, south and central Africa, including the people who were party to his expedition on the world map.
Two years after the official opening of the bridge in 1907, a decision was made by the White Administration of North-Western Rhodesia headed by Sir, Robert Codrington, in consultations with the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika of Barotseland, to shift the capital from Kalomo to Livingstone. The Barotse Centre was the venue for the celebrations that marked the importance and growth of the town. The town by then had two hotels, a restaurant, two mineral water factories, at least eight clothing and general stores, two butcheries, four building contractors, a chemist and a barber. Also Standard Bank of South Africa and the first North-Western hotel were opened at the capital.
In 1909 King Lewanika travelled to Livingstone to welcome the new Administrator Mr. Wallace, who replaced Robert Codrington who died. He was accorded a reception by the White Administration and Africans at the Barotse Centre especially the two pioneer Lithuanian business brothers, Harry and Elie Susman, who had been cattle traders in Barotseland, who took over the pioneer butchery, Mopane Clarke's store and a bar. The two brothers paid great tribute to the Litunga.
A major event in the early history of Livingstone town was the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught in 1910. They came to South Africa to open the first session of the Union Parliament and then proceeded on a tour to southern and northern Rhodesia. The Litunga Lubosi Lewanika and other Barotse royalty came to Livingstone for the occasion and were accommodated in town. Lewanika arranged an exhibition and demonstration of traditional Lozi crafts in the Barotse Centre, of which he took the visitors on a conducted tour. As usual, Lewanika made an excellent impression on both the visitors and settlers.
In 1911, the British South Africa Company with the approval of the British Government passed an ORDER-IN-COUNCIL to facilitate the amalgamation of the two territories of North-Western and North-Eastern Rhodesia into one but for Barotseland of the Litunga, which was reserved as a state within a state. Livingstone became the capital of Northern Rhodesia. The Barotse Centre was where the celebrations took place involving the peoples of the said territories backed by the two bands of the Barotse Native Police and the North-Eastern Rhodesia Constabulary which also amalgamated to one Northern Rhodesia Police.
Three years after the amalgamation in 1914 world war one broke out. Attention in all the British colonial territories, Northern Rhodesia included, turned to war activities at the expense of development especially in Barotseland. The events of this war bothered Lewanika (who wanted to develop his nation) so much that he did not live any longer and died in 1916.
Thereafter, it was not until 1921, when the Litunga Litia Yeta III CBE who succeeded his father Lewanika, who while on his way to Cape Town via Livingstone where he was invited to meet the Prince of Connaught, met with his people in the area and the Governor General.
Another exciting event at the Barotse Centre was in 1924 when Litia Yeta III CBE travelled to Livingstone for the great celebrations that marked the handover power from the British South Africa Company to Great Britain under the rule of King George V. The Litunga was to meet the first Governor Sir Herbert Stanley.
A spectacular visit by King George VI in 1947 who was to meet his friend the Litunga Imasiku Mwanan'ono Imwiko I put the Barotse Centre on the world map because of the modern print and electronic media that covered the Royal counterpart's shake hands, bolstering links between England and Barotseland. An occasion comprised of impressive activities such as the flotilla canoes that accompanied the regatta involving the Litunga's Royal badges at the boat club, a guard of honour on the Northern Rhodesia regiment and a Royal Walk (Kutamboka) where the two Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth participated.
Sir Mwanawina III KBE, too had extensively utilized the Barotse Centre as a venue for important activities on his many visits especially when he went to Salisbury in southern Rhodesia to sign for Barotseland as a state within states in an order of the federation that was evoked in 1953.
More importantly was when the Litunga Sir Mwanawina III KBE, the Ngambela Imenda Sibandi and some high ranking Indunas flew from Livingstone to England to sign the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. The Barotse Centre has been so significant to most Litungas (even at the time of Godwin Mbikusita Lewanika II) that whenever any of them visited Livingstone they passed by to see the centre.
This site therefore where these legal documents which described Zambia as a state and nation were signed and ratified is an important historical site which should be preserved without any uderlterations.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION AND REFERENCE
1. London; Colonial Office; (Commonwealth Library)-Public Record Office; (Affairs North of the Zambezi); News from Barotseland, Une Collection Comple'te, 4 Volumes 1897-1932
2. PEMS; (Paris Evangelical Mission Society) Headquarters, 102 Boulevard Arago; Francois Coillard, Personal Papers, Letters and Journals 1880-1904 (Zambezi Files; 1885-1904), Administration Britannique, Kalomo-Mongu, 1908-1933, Sefula Mission Station.
3. National Archives, Southern Rhodesia Salisbury (Harare Zimbabwe). Administrator's Files-A15/1-15 Miscellaneous, 1889-1899. A 3/18/5 Lewanika 1896-1903. A 11/2/12/5-6 Lewanika 1901-1903 A11/2/14/1-23 North-Western Rhodesia,1902-1909
4. British South Africa Company Files, Cape Town (C.T.1/4/1-7 Barotseland, 1890-1895; C.T.1/11/1 Concessions, Barotse, 1890-1895; C.T.1/15/1 Matters relating to Native Affairs 1892, Barotseland. London Office [L.O.5/2/1-58; L.O.5/3/1-4; L.O.5/7/1-6)
5. National Archives, Northern Rhodesia Lusaka (Zambia) A Series: Papers of the Administrator, North-Western Rhodesia, (NW/A) NW/A1/1/1-13, In letters 1902-1911, High Commissioner for South Africa; A1/2/1-17 In letters 1902-1911, London Office; A2/1/1-5 Out letters 1908-1911, High Commissioner; A2/2/1-6 Out letters 1901-1911, London Office; A2/3/1 Barotse Boundary Commission (January 1904); A3/25 Barotse Native Police, Lealui 1905-1906. Reports by Harding and Gibbisons.
6. Papers of the Northern Rhodesia Secretariat (NR/B) B Series: NR/B1/1; B1/1 (A353D) Concessions-Litia Yeta III CBE Correspondence with the Secretary of State, 1922-1924; B1/1 (A281A) Boundaries, District Barotseland 1912-1925.
7. NR/B1/2/1927 Series. NR/B1/2/177-9 Barotse Concessions 1901-1911; Lewanika: 1901 Amendments: 1905 and 1906; Lewanika; 1909: Lewanika to T.B. Davvies; Barotseland boundaries 1899 March to September 1925; B1/2/291 Control of Barotseland by the Imperial Government, 1921-1922; B1/2/302-3 Barotse Government: Land cases and outline of political system 1921
8. B1/3/1928 File Series: B1/3/677 The Litunga Litia Yeta III CBE's visit to Livingstone 1928. B1/3/688 Native Affairs, Barotseland 1928.
9. B1/7/1929 Series Lewanika Concessions, 1900-1912; Reconsideration of Concessions, 1927-1931
10. KDE Series Papers of Resident Magistrate, Barotseland: KDE 2/43/1-5 Anthropological, Historical, Slavery, Language, Customs; KDE 2/44/1-21 History of Barotseland, Notes and Documents.
11. OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS British Government Agreement between Great Britain and Portugal Relative to Spheres of Influence North of the Zambezi. Cmnd 7032 (London, 1893) Award of His Majesty the King of Italy respecting the western boundary of the Barotse Kingdom Cmnd 2584 (London 1905). Barotseland Agreement 1964, Cmnd 2366
12. ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT (Northern Rhodesia) Barotse Native Authority, Constitution Committee Report, Rawlings 1957. British South Africa Company, Report by the Ministry of Finance, Lusaka, on the Company's claims to Mineral Royalties in Northern Rhodesia, Government Printers, Lusaka 1964.
1. Bertrand Alfred-The Kingdom of Barotsi, upper Zambezi, London 1899
2. Col. Colin Harding-In Remotest Barotseland, Hurst and Blackett London 1905
3. Coillard Francois-On the Threshold of Central Africa, Hodder and Stoughton, London 1897
4. Stirke D W Barotseland; Eight Years among the Barotse, London 1922
5. Jalla Adolphe- Lewanika, Roi des Ba-Rotsi, Geneva 1902 Litaba za Sicaba sa Malozi; Oxford University Press, Cape town 1921, revised; London 1959
6. Baxter T. W; The Barose Concessions' Part 1, Northern Rhodesia journal, June 1951, no. 3, pp. 39-49. Part 2 Northern Rhodesia journal, December 1951, no. 4, pp. 38-45.
7. Bradley Kenneth; "Statesmen" Coryndon and Lewanika in North-Western Rhodesia; 'African Observer, Sep. 1936, volume V, no. 5
8. Caplan Gerald Lewis; A Political History of Barotseland, 1879-1965, thesis for Ph.D, London University 1968, published as The Elites of Barotseland, 1878-1969, C.Hurst and Co. London 1970.
9. Clay G C R; Your Friend, Lewanika, Litunga of Barotseland, 1842-1916 Robin's Series no. 7, Chatto and Windus London 1968.
10. Gluckman Max; Economy of the Central Barotse Plain, Roads-Livingstone Institute Paper no. 7 1941. Administrative Organization of the Barotse Native Authorities, with a plan for reforming them. Roads-Livingstone Institute Commn. no. 1, 1943.
11. Mutumba Mainga; Ph,D. Bulozi Under The Luyana Kings, (Political Evolution and State Formation) in Pre-colonial Zambia, 1973.
12. Brian M Fagan, M.A, Ph,D. The Victoria Falls, the Batoka Gorge and Part of the Zambesi River