News Editor, Barotseland Post

News Editor, Barotseland Post

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Her majesty the Queen has acknowledged receipt of a letter written to her by DUGUÉ & KIRTLEY ( http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/2014_11_05_letter_to_the_queen.pdf ) legal representatives of the Barotse National Freedom Alliance who wrote in November last year (2014) requesting Her Majesty’s assistance regarding a former British Protectorate of Barotseland which they stated has been badly mistreated since independence through no fault of the United Kingdom.

In her response Her Majesty the Queen thankfully acknowledged receipt of the letter, advising further that the letter had been forwarded to the Right Honourable Phillip Hammond, MP, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs;

“While her Majesty has taken careful note of your comments, I should explain that this is not a matter in which The Queen would personally intervene. As a constitutional Sovereign, Her Majesty acts on advice of her Ministers, and I have therefore been instructed to forward your letter to the Right Honourable Phillip Hammond, MP, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, so that he may know of approach to The Queen on this matter and may consider the points you raise.” read the letter in part.

A copy of the entire letter, published for public records only, can be found here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/ellr_letter_of_20_11_2014.pdf

The Barotseland National Freedom Alliance has devised an agenda to form what they will call Barotse Transitional Authority, which according to them should be the official authority to implement the 2012 Barotse National Council resolutions 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, and not the Afumba led transitional government.

In 2013 when Linyungandambo, the leading Independence advocates and the majority in grass root membership proposed a transitional government that would implement the BNC resolutions, some liberation movements, mainly the MOREBA leadership, and other leaders of the BFM, and the Barotse Imilemas refused to support and join the transitional government, claiming that it would be “Illegal” as Zambian security forces and Lusaka administration still occupied Barotseland. Instead, they opted to form the Barotse National Freedom Alliance, BNFA, which would be under the leadership of Hon. Clement W. Sinyinda, who had just resigned his traditional Prime minister role of Ngambela, to join the activist movement.

Upon assuming BNFA, leadership Hon. Sinyinda and his BNFA announced and disassociated himself and his group from the ‘illegal’ Afumba-led government, and instead announced to the whole world through popular Zambian media that he and his group would seek to liberate Barotseland through more ‘peaceful’ and ‘legal’ ways, rather that Unilateral Declaration of Independence, UDI, espoused by the Linyungandambo entity, a move that surprised other activists as Hon. Sinyinda was the one who had read out, in his capacity as Ngambela, the March 27th BNC resolutions that declared Barotseland independence.

However, in this latest move the BNFA seek the blessing and the corporation of the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, who the BNFA propose to front, as a way of legitimizing this agenda.

In releasing, this agenda to this publication, a highly placed BRE source was highly suspicious and surprised by this latest move by the BNFA, saying that he wished the BNFA would be more sincere and more open with their real agenda for Barotseland, because so far they had flouted too many differing road-maps on what they wished to attain for Barotseland. Simply, the official said, most BRE leadership are not buying this agenda as the BNFA have proved lack of clarity on Barotseland matters compared to their Linyungandambo counterpart, who have consistently stated and acted out their plans for Barotseland.

Accordingly, the BNFA was to host, under the auspices of the BRE, a Barotse National Council or conference from the 26th- 27th March, 2015 at Lealui/Limulunga, whose agenda would be among other things;

• To devise and approve terms of reference for the organs of the Barotse Transitional Authority.
• To select or nominate the members of the Katengo stipulated in the terms of reference.
• To appoint a working party for the constitution of Barotseland.
• To appoint members of the Board of Revenue Collection for Barotseland.
• To elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker (Chairman and Vice-Chairman) of the Katengo.
• To appoint a secretariat to undertake the day to day functions of the BTA who shall include the head of the Secretariat and the Clerk of the Katengo.
• To appoint a Permanent Team of negotiators to the formal disengagement process with the Government of Zambia.
• To ratify or approve the members of the Ngambela’s Cabinet.
• To appoint a judiciary working party to separate the functions of the Kuta from the Executive functions and day to day administration.
• To appoint any other relevant organs to facilitate the smooth implementation of the BNC Resolutions of March 2012.

In his further objection to the BNFA proposals the BRE source, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the matter was still under discussion, said that they were further surprised that, apart from minor deviations, the BNFA outlined proposal, is a replication of what the Afumba led transitional government has already done or are already doing.

"We know for instance that the Afumba government has a transitional constitution signed for by over 20000 people sent to UNPO, UN and other organizations, we know there is a penal code, 10 year development plan, a constituent assembly,etc. So are we going to have two governments in one country?" asked the bewildered BRE official.

The BNFA have lately come under fire for wanting to rewrite the history of Barotseland struggle, by deleting or erasing everything others have done and attribute credit only to the BNFA and Sinyinda as if BRE or Afumba or Linyungandambo have never existed, all because they claim to be the 'Umbrella and Mother Body of all activist groups', a situation that is not true as the Linyungandambo, BNYL, BNC and others are not officially members of BNFA.

To this effect they almost replaced the petition at the African Union to read BNFA Vs Zambia, rather than The Ngambela of Barotseland and Others Verses Zambia, had it not been the insistence of the African Union Commission of Human Rights that the petition remains unchanged. They have also successfully deleted any mention of Afumba Mombotwa and his transitional government and replaced it with the BNFA and Sinyinda, replaced every reference of Barotsepost by the BNFA web site on the UNPO web site as well as on all Wikipedia web sites so that, before long, the history of Barotseland will only have BNFA and Sinyinda.

However, it is highly unlikely that the proposed agenda will proceed as the BRE have shown no willingness to hold such conference.

The proposed agenda as submitted to this publication by our BRE sources is as below:

Barotse National Freedom Alliance

PROPOSAL TO IMPLEMENT THE BAROTSE TRANSITIONAL AUTHORITY

TO TAKE OVER THE FUNCTIONS OF THE BAROTSE NATIONAL FREEDOM ALLIANCE!

OBJECTIVE:

To establish a full time and mandated institution for the implementation of Resolutions 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the Barotse National Council held on 26-27th March, 2012 comprising the following administrative and policy governing organs:

. The Privy Council
. The Katengo Council
. The Ngambela’s Cabinet
. The Secretariat

SCOPE OF WORK

. To determine the best ways of promoting and affecting a popularly elected Katengo (Parliament/ Legislative Assembly) for Barotseland.
. To write an interim constitution for the democratic governance of Barotseland during and after the transition period.
. To establish a revenue collection body to support the Legislative Assembly and executive function for the governance of Barotseland.
. To organize, supervise and manage the elections of the Katengo based on universal suffrage of county (silalo) representation.
. To inaugurate the Katengo and dissolve the Barotse Transitional Authority at the close of the Transitional period.

AGENDA

. To devise and approve terms of reference for the organs of the Barotse Transitional Authority.
. To select or nominate the members of the Katengo stipulated in the terms of reference.
. To appoint a working party for the constitution of Barotseland.
. To appoint members of the Board of Revenue Collection for Barotseland.
. To elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker (Chairman and Vice-Chairman) of the Katengo.
. To appoint a secretariat to undertake the day to day functions of the BTA who shall include the head of the Secretariat and the Clerk of the Katengo.
. To appoint a Permanent Team of negotiators to the formal disengagement process with the Government of Zambia.
. To ratify or approve the members of the Ngambela’s Cabinet.
. To appoint a judiciary working party to separate the functions of the Kuta from the Executive functions and day to day administration.
. To appoint any other relevant organs to facilitate the smooth implementation of the BNC Resolutions of March 2012.

DATE OF CONFERENCE 26th- 27th March, 2015

VENUE Lealui/ Limulunga

DURATION 2 days
Delegates:
. Namuso (Saa ni Siikalo) 10 Delegates
. District Kutas 30 Delegates (5 Indunas each)
. Silalo Indunas 35 Delegates (5 from each district)
. BNFA Executive 15 Delegates
. Constituent Parties 20 Delegates (5 from each Party)
. Female Delegates 35 Delegates (5 from each Party)
. Youth Delegates 35 Delegates (5 from each Party)
. Royal Family 5 Delegates
. Technocrats 10 Delegates
. Diaspora Delegates 10 Delegates

Total 205 Delegates
Costs:
Transport for Delegates K40, 000.00
Accommodation K20, 000.00
Food for Delegates K15, 000.00
Stationery K5, 000.00

Total Cost K80, 000.00



Notes on costs:

We suggest that each constituent Kuta and Party should fund the transport component for its delegates estimated at about K200 return for each delegate. The BNFA should source funds for food, accommodation and stationery.

The number of delegates should provide sufficient room to elect/ nominate members of the governing organs comprised in the BTA from among those attending the meetings.

Costs for accommodation and transport may be scaled down through solicitation of donations and patriotism from invited participating organs.

13th February, 2015

I wish to thank Hon. on Nyambe Sapaya for his concerns. I would rather want to see them as concerns than attacks as he sounds to be immensely uncertain of what he is saying.

As you may bear witness with me, at no time have I insulted Hon. Sinyinda or insulted any genuine and clear minded Barotse activists.

I know we still have challenges where timely and factual information on the ground is concerned. This may have resulted in some of us sounding as though ‘one was insulting another’ when addressing a genuine concern.

Furthermore, I have never heard of Linyungandambo or Barotsepost insulting other Barotse activists. If I said I have, I would be lying, instead, the information we get from our informers in the BRE is to the effect that the latter have always wondered why the RESTORATION (of Barotseland Agreement) inclined activists have always attacked the likes of Linyungandambo at BRE while the Linyungandambo has not done such.

It is true that we need to be united. But how can we claim to all believe in the independence of Barotseland when other so called activists fail to simply comprehend that the BNC Resolution of 2012 calls for the emergence of a Barotseland Government and not an administrative authorities made up of disgruntled activists who never believed in our independence in the first place?

I have never heard the Linyungandambo initiated Barotseland Royal Government rejecting or having closed its doors to any activists who believe in a Barotseland government as the only way forward.

In the murky Zambian/Barotse politics waters, we cannot be certain as to deals those activists who operate freely have arranged with the oppressors' government. This is said because Hon. Mombotwa (Afumba) and others were arrested as soon as they showed up, while the likes of those who attack other activists and yet claiming to be zealous proponents of Barotseland's total freedom are roaming free. In such a scenario, would a normal thinking individual blame those who may find it a bit safer to "hide in holes"? Certainly not!

We heartily appreciate the sacrifices the likes of Hon. Sapaya have made. We also recognize that all genuine Barotse activists have made sacrifices one way or the other. The only way we can make all those sacrifices truly worthwhile is by realizing and living our independence according to the BNC Resolution 2012 (BNCR2012, if one may like).

We are aware of the enemy's infiltration and would, therefore, advise valuable activists like Hon Sapaya to really be very careful on that. Our focus should be the international recognition of our nationhood not individuals who may be actively working towards achieving that.

It matters less whether such recognition is achieved by Hon Mombotwa or Hon Sinyinda's efforts as long as the goal is arrived at. Personal animosity will not take us anywhere good. Barotseland does not belong to an individual. Some of us have even laid aside our ‘royalty’ all for the sake of our nationhood. Being called mwana' mulena does not thrill me at all as long as our people continue to suffer injustice. However, what is certain is that Barotseland is indeed free and Barotseland has a working government that has already made substantial gains on the international platform. That Barotseland government is for all Marotse.

The unity that Hon. Sapaya is talking about must start with his calling for the release of Hon Mombotwa and others since he well knows the situation they are in. As a matter of fact, we had internationally called for the release of Hon. Sapaya and others then.

Our motto should be "An injury to one is an injury to all."

The BNFA official web site and the BNFA aligned Social media platform, Barotseland Broadcast Network (BBN), have carried sharp criticism from a senior citizen by the name of Nyambe Sapaya, a Barotse nationalist and a Sinyinda enthusiast, who has directed his fury at incarcerated Barotseland Administrator Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Linyungandambo liberation movement, Barotse Post (this publication), independent writers Shuwanga Shuwanga and Saleya Kwalombota for what he has termed ‘insults’ against Hon. Sinyinda, leader of the Barotse National Freedom Alliance, BNFA.

We publish here below, his sentiments as published by the BNFA official web site in their March 6, 2015 article;

"KWALOMBOTA AND SHUWANGA TOLD-OFF BY A BAROTSE NATIONALIST" by Nyambe Sapaya, Barotseland Broadcast Network.

Linyungandambo's mission was good but has been lost half way through fighting other freedom fighters using fake accusations. We can’t worship Afumba or Linyungandambo, NEVER! They started well, but poor finishing is awaiting them. Just look at their mouth piece, the Barotse Post, they don’t even report or give others a chance to express their views over Barotseland statehood. Let them come out and stop hiding. Sinyinda’s office is open and what about theirs?

Kanti Saleya Kwalombota kimani (who is Saleya Kwalombota)? Information has it that he is a young man living in comfort in Gaborone, Botswana. He has never shown his face to the Barotse. What has he done to the people of Barotseland or to Barotseland itself? He is a new kid on the block who starts by insulting our integrity. He should know that, we have suffered a lot. We have been arrested, beaten, shot and jailed by the illegal Zambia regime over the issue of Barotseland statehood. I, in particular, lost my family’a nephew and a young brother who died in Zambia jails. Even today, my nephew, Kabayo Kabayo, is still in my heart. It bleeds when I see insults from the likes of Kwalobota. Where was Kwalombota? This man stands and insults us here today. Please stop insulting us.

What does he know about Hon. Clement Sinyinda? Hon. Sinyinda is a man of integrity with a passion for continuing the freedom struggle for Barotseland. Kwalobota and his kind are bitter and jealousy over Sinyinda’s achievements. The so called Royal Barotse government or whatever they call themselves is fake, where are their offices, on the internet or in Windhoek? Let them just know that, we are watching them.

I am disappointed with Shuwanga Shuwanga. Soon after I was introduced to him by a dignified Barotseland national, he is already making outbursts on other Barotse freedom fighters and everyone is wondering if that is indeed how you can achieve independence? Is he in Nakonde or Tanzania from where he keeps on talking ill about Hon. Sinyinda? Jealousy ikamunyokola sha (He will die of jealousy). Please come to your senses. END

We want a united family, co-operation ki mata - BNFA

About the author as published on the BNFA website:

Mr Nyambe Sapaya is a Barotseland freedom fighter arrested twice by the illegal Zambian regime, first on 23rd October 2010 after telling-off then Zambian president, Rupia Banda, then Police Inspector, Francis Kabonde and then Barotseland (Western Province) Zambia Police Commander, Fanwell Siandenge over the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, he together with other Linyungandambo founders, such as Mr Mukubesa Ilukena, Nawa Luyanga, Pastor Nawa Mutakela started their civic education campaign in Barotseland, which shock the Zambian government. Mr Nyambe was arrested for the second time in Limulunga in January 2011 together with the former Ngambela (Prime Minister) of Barotseland, late Maxwell Mututwa, aged 90years at that time.

I note Mutompehi Saleya Kwalombota's response to my article titled Shuwanga on Moreba--A  case of siwawayi, which was in turn a response to Shuwanga’s article. I wish to make the following observations:

1.    Creation of Provisional or Transitional Government

Mutompehi Kwalombota has made great effort in defining the spheres of government, though in the context of Barotseland Kingdom he forgot to mention the Monarch. While his effort is appreciated, it was not the matter of contention. Further, there is nowhere in my article where I demanded that the start-up government should be elected and neither did the question of legitimacy arise. Indeed, the issue of legitimizing any governmental set-up should be one of the key ingredients of the process of establishing sovereignty, but it is not necessarily a starting point.

The point I raised was that of visibility of the Afumba government or whatever it calls itself in terms of tangible performance in areas such as the ones Mutompehi Kwalombota outlined—Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. A government, whether provisional or substantive, should be felt by the people it is serving through tangible outcomes, otherwise it is nothing but mandwani (child play). With substantial performance being churned out, there will be no need to beg uninterested people to join, support or recognize it as they will simply be sucked-in by its whirlwind. On the issue of who was mandated to run governmental affairs by the Barotse National Council resolutions of March 27, 2012, Mutompehi Kwalombota should pinpoint which one supports his provisional government.

2.    Co-operation with others

Mutompehi Kwalombota is suggesting that Moreba and/or BNFA members are uncooperative and arrogant in not wanting to work with other organizations. He forgets that Shuwanga’s theme, as reflected in the title and the rest of his article, was that BNFA should DISBAND and WORK WITH the so called transitional government. Who created this illusive Provisional government? I pointed out that BNFA was a creation of the efforts of Linyungandambo and the other organizations that are now comprised in it while the said Linyungandambo has stood aloof after assisting that creation. Mutompehi Kwalombota has not disputed these facts. So who is uncooperative and arrogant? What does the phrase ‘disband and work with entail? We should learn to understand the words we choose to use.

3.    Interpretation and application of the BNC resolutions

The BNFA has not held itself as a government and does not wish to prevent formation of government. The BNFA’s main objective is to facilitate implementation of the BNC resolutions as correctly interpreted, including assisting the Barotse Government, as it existed at the time of the BNC meeting and supporting the modernization of its institutions as laid out in the resolutions. Resolutions 8 and 10 are very clear in that regard and they do not mandate any one of the participating groups to unilaterally form a parallel government or structures. Has Mutompehi Kwalobota forgotten that BRE was Kaunda’s creation and mockery? We have always had the Barotse Government, despite the onslaught by successive Zambian regimes.

The BNFA’s activities which are in the public domain include:

1)    Barotseland membership to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). It is Barotseland as a nation that has been admitted as a member not an individual activist group. No individual activist group has been registered or de-registered;

2)    Prosecution of the matter laid by the Ngambela of Barotseland and Others before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR), which is an organ of the African Union based in The Gambian capital of Banjul. The Commission is in session right now and I trust that it will be considered as per our plea—it is common knowledge that the Zambian government failed to provide counter evidence;

3)    The matter of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague where the immediate past Zambian president ran-away from the process by refusing to append his signature and thereby admitting guilty. We have since challenged the new president to rise to the occasion and do the needful—Already, he is also showing symptoms of running away;

4)     Engaging SADC to support Barotseland statehood as clearly demonstrated by Zambia’s admission of guilty by failing to append its signature to the PCA process as in (3) above; and

5)    The reconstitution of the Barotse government via the establishment of an all embracing Barotseland Transitional Authority (BTA)—Transitional Katengo Legislative Council.

In what sense are these activities contradicting the BNC resolutions? Going forward, it will be very useful for anyone claiming to be acting on the basis of the BNC resolutions, or accusing others of violating them, to cite the specific resolution/action that is being violated or implemented in contradiction thereof by such a party. Wild claims or accusations do not help the attainment of Barotseland statehood.

Zambia's SPORTS minister Vincent Mwale says the government is scrutinising the K294 million Mongu Stadium contract as it is too expensive for a 20,000-seater facility.

And Parliament heard on Tuesday that Wakong Enterprises and PJP Associates Limited, who are the contractors engaged to jointly erect the stadium are demanding K59 million to move on site.

Responding to concerns raised by opposition backbenchers on the reasoning behind the signing of such an expensive contract for a small stadium, Mwale said the government was reviewing the whole issue.

Kalabo Central UPND member of parliament Chinga Miyutu wondered whether the initial amount would suffice to complete the stadium, to which Mwale responded in the negative.

“It’s true that time has passed since this contract was awarded to the contractors. I know that obviously the prices for things like cement and other materials have escalated but I must mention here that the Ministry of Finance is really finding it hard to raise this money because even just the initial payment looks so huge,” Mwale said.

“I mean, K294 million, more than US$40 million for a 20,000-seater capacity stadium; I think that it’s so exorbitant.”

Mwale said his ministry was working out modalities of seeking a cheaper contractor for the project, even though it had already engaged those awarded.

Keembe MMD member of parliament Lieutenant-General Ronnie Shikapwasha wondered why the government did not sign the contract after securing funds, to which Mwale said the state had negotiated with the contractor, who had agreed not to move on site untill funds were secured.

“We have had challenges and the ministry has raised very serious questions of the pricing of this stadium. We are trying to get back to the contractors to look at the whole pricing and negotiate,” Mwale said.

Mafinga MMD member of parliament Catherine Namugala asked Mwale to be categorical, that the contract would be cancelled and a new one entered into, so as to save resources, but the minister said negotiations were ongoing with the substantive contractors.

“We have to wait for the negotiations to be concluded, we are not sure. We are going to lose money because we might get a better price after negotiations with the contractors,” he said.

And earlier, sports deputy minister Ronald Chitotela told the House that the contractors were demanding K59 million as initial payments to move on site.
Chitotela was responding to follow-up questions by Lubasenshi independent member of parliament Patrick Mucheleka and Miyutu over the matter.
He explained that the contract would run for 24 months after works resume.

“So far the contractors have issued a demand for down payment of K59 million. Once this money is paid, they will move on site,” Chitotela said.

He explained that the construction of the stadium would only resume once the government had sourced funds.
He said so far, over K300,000 had been spent on the project for bush clearing.

Kasempa MMD member of parliament Kabinga Pande asked why the government signed a contract without money, to which  Chitotela said the project was launched in 2013 by late president Michael Sata even when it was not budgeted for - postzambia.com

The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, 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.