News Editor, Barotseland Post

News Editor, Barotseland Post

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Mutungulu Wanga, Deputy Chairperson General-Strategy and Diaspora Liaison, BNFA

Reasonable people are not easily moved by happenings around them, taking action only when there is absolute need and not regretting it afterwards. But in society there are other people who are naturally unsure of themselves and these are prone to move with the wind, which ever direction it blows. A clear demonstration is found in harvested grain, such as maize, which is normally mixed with some remnants of off cuts of maize stock leaves or cob covers, otherwise known as biwawayi . When the wind blows the maize grain, on account of its high value, does not move or shake but the biwawayi will always manifest movements, depicting their unstable character.

The recent Barotse Post article by Shuwanga containing rumblings against the Movement for the Restoration of Barotseland (MOREBA) and its alliance partners in the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) calls for comments because it is a follow-up on a number of other postings by him, which have been ignored for their inconsequential content, thereby raising need for the writer to be made aware of his error lest he is carried away with the mistaken belief that his performance is anything to write home about. Meanwhile, it should pointed out, from the outset, that each and every time members of the BNFA have had to debate an issue with anyone on this forum it has been in form of a response to attacks on either the organization in general or specific individual members of the organization. Surprisingly, some contributors to the debate who bemoan the fact that the matters arising from the ensuing exchange constitute washing of dirt linen in public only come up with their wise counsel after those who were on the receiving end of the barrage of attacks have responded, forgetting the much more wise adage that prevention is better than cure. It is with this background that the following comments on Shuwanga's recent effort at painting red the BNFA and, through it, MOREBA, are made:

1. 1. Meaning and Purpose of an Organizational Alliance.

Clearly, Mutompehi Shuwanga has a very misleading understanding of not only the functioning of an alliance of organizations but also that of groupings of individuals. It appears, from the disappointment he displays on seeing MOREBA's characteristics emerging in the BNFA, that his expectations were that the organizations that formed the Alliance would cease to exist and a completely new set up devoid of any semblance of the partners will emerge. This is a very poor interpretation of the word Alliance as a noun, and he would be better advised to pick up the ELD (English learners dictionary) to acquaint himself with the correct meaning of the word so that he performs better next time he grapples with this subject.

The BNFA is an umbrella organ through which the programmes of the member organizations are channeled and coordinated, nothing more and nothing less. While it is expected that the Alliance partners will influence and even modify each others programmes and outlook, the major objective is that of coordinated effort and thus enhanced action on issues and not annihilation of member organizations of the Alliance. This is the basic ingredient of any Alliance or partnership, whether at individual or organizational level, and this extends even to amalgamation of nations into federal or unitary states. The reason the unitary state of Zambia has failed is that the characteristics of Barotseland as a partner have been suppressed by the governing authorities and this is a recipe for breakup of any such partnership. It is assumed herein that Mutompehi Shuwanga is married, and an examination of his family unit will show that the characteristics of both himself and his spouse are not only reflective in his homestead but the offspring of the marriage as well. Anyone who finds fault with such a revelation does not know what they are dealing with.

As for the complaint about MOREBA altering its colours to embrace total independence of Barotseland contrary to its original stance, this is a contradiction of the assertion that the same MOREBA has high jacked the Alliance. The truth is that MOREBA and its Alliance partners as well as those outside the Alliance were participants in the historic Barotse National Council Resolutions of 27 March 2012. The Chairperson of MOREBA was appointed to preside over the Resolutions Committee of the Conference and went on to present the resolutions to the Plenary Session of the Conference for their adoption. How then can MOREBA be expected to work contrary to its own resolutions? The fact is members of MOREBA are good at executing that which they commit themselves to, the only difference being that they do so in a reasoned, well thought out and coordinated manner as opposed to ku tulatula fela wa simbotwe sesi yambilwe ki sului.

1. 2. Report to Kuta on Meeting with President Sata.

Shuwanga alleges that MOREBA high jacked the presentation of the report on the meeting with President Sata. This is twisted story telling. The fact is that at the time of that encounter with State House no established liaison arrangements were made among the organizations that had been invited, and the said organizations were invited in their individual capacities. As a matter of fact the representatives of Linyungandambo and BFM at that meeting did, immediately on their return to Mongu, present a verbal report to the Kuta and this they did without the involvement of MOREBA. The latter, on their part, decided to file in a written report which was copied to President Sata and the Cabinet Ministers who had been part of the State House meeting. When Shuwanga and his friends got sight of the report they were infuriated, not by its contents but the fact that they were not part of it. In their blind fury they forgot that they had already presented their own verbal report to which they did not invite MOREBA and the latter had no issues with this fact. In an attempt to make up for what they considered inadequate performance on their part they set out to produce their own written report, in which they copied everything from the MOREBA report, including commas and full stops. When MOREBA followed up with a visit to the Kuta on its report which had gone in advance, Shuwanga and company also chose to present their own written version at the same time. The Kuta was naturally amused by their action, after listening to the reading of the report and realizing it was a reproduction of the MOREBA paper. The Kuta, in its wisdom, decided that what was to be presented to the Kaongolo ka Nyambe would be the MOREBA report but that all who had presented themselves for the occasion would be allowed in the Kashandi to witness the same. Shuwanga and company readily accepted this decision and this is how they formally adopted the MOREBA report for the said presentation. What is evident in all this is that while Shuwanga and his likes detest the existence of MOREBA they, on many occasions, have had no problems associating themselves with its products. The issue of holding the BNC came up during both the Kuta and Kashandi sessions and all were agreed that the matter was urgent. The liaison meeting which followed was suggested to the rest of the entourage by Mutompehi Mukubesa Ilukena, the representative of Linyungandambo, and Shuwanga was in attendance at the time of the proposal which was made immediately after the Kashandi session. The MOREBA party accepted the suggestion and requested Ilukena and his Mongu based friends to arrange for the venue so that the liaison meeting could be held the following day. As matters turned out it took the initiative of the MOREBA side to secure the venue at Lyambai hotel because those who had proposed for holding of the meeting could not do so. This was the birth of the Liaison Committee for the groups, and MOREBA cannot claim to have initiated it and has never done so.

1. 3. BNFA as an Exclusive and Elitist Body.

As a background, it must be established that MOREBA was born out of efforts by organizations that existed prior to its formation, to create a joint front for securing Barotseland emancipation. Shuwanga is very much aware of those efforts as he was personally involved in recruiting would be member organizations and individuals. However, it turned out that some of the targeted groups and individuals chose to shun the meeting that was held at Mongu's Mumwa Crafts Center to launch the new organization and its objectives, but Shuwanga was in attendance and ended up as a member of the Steering Committee of what emerged as the Movement for the Restoration of the Barotseland Agreement, abbreviated as MOREBA. He was to pull out shortly thereafter. Nonetheless, the organization persisted in its endevours, through the petitioning of the National Constitutional Conference, the Roger Chongwe Commission whose recommendations tied up with the MOREBA presentation but was spurned by President Sata, right up to the holding of the BNC. It must be emphasized, for the sake of clarity, that it was Sata's u-turn on his promises with regard to Barotseland and, most importantly, his refusal to accede to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry which he voluntarily appointed, that precipitated MOREBA's review of its strategy on Barotseland and the fate of the organization in this respect was sealed at the BNC of 27 March 2012 .

The Groups Liaison Committee (GLC) which led to the formation of the BNFA was chaired by Mutompehi Mukubesa Ilukena of Linyungandambo. MOREBA missed most of its meetings, attending only two out of six and those missed include the last meeting which resolved to form the BNFA . The targeted member organizations were called upon to nominate five members each to form the Executive Committee of the Alliance which, by decision of the Groups Liaison Committee, was to invite Mutompehi Wainyaye Sinyinda to head it as Chairman-General. MOREBA, alive to the factors that had ensued at its own formation, where those who had initially been in the forefront withdrew at the last minute, took its time in formally joining the Alliance. Linyungandambo members, led by its Secretary General, Samuel Kalimukwa and Mukubesa Ilukena having been the Linyungandambo representative on the GLC, which he had also chaired, as well as the BFM members were the first to enter the Alliance Executive Committee. However, the inaugural meeting was delayed by MOREBA's late entry but this eventually took place. Nonetheless, it is a notorious fact the Afumba Mombotwa led Linyungandambo turned their back on the BNFA the moment it was formed, despite having held the position of Chairperson of the GLC whose activities caused the birth of the Alliance. To this end, their Secretary General, who had occupied the same position in the Alliance, attended only the inaugural meeting and was to disappear immediately thereafter, amidst statements of condemnation of the new Alliance by his Linyungandambo leadership. Those who had accompanied him in the Alliance were also eventually forced out by their leadership.

The foregoing is a presentation of the attitudes of some of our compatriots to the idea of unified front over Barotseland. Their idea is that an alliance should be based on their partners discarding of their principles in favour of theirs or, indeed, they and only they should lead. When they do not get these conditions they cannot accept the alliance, even if they are the ones who initiated it in the first place. As for MOREBA, they will invite it along but the moment it makes its entrance they will be so petrified that they will immediately shoot up niku lusikisa lubilo kuli mane abayo yema ki kwa buse bwa Windhoek. Now Shuwanga is yet again inviting the BNFA , in which MOREBA is comprised, to join the so called Transitional Government. Does he want to start another long run to Windhoek? It is nonsensical to invite partnership from someone whose ideals and work methods you do not agree with. Indeed, it is a reflection of low level thinking to insist on such deals when they cannot work. Meanwhile, the idea that Barotseland independence can only be achieved when all political organizations merge is utopian. A look around SADC, Africa and the world proves that the general rule is that of multiplicity of liberation movements in countries which attained independence from oppressors, whether foreign or local. Mergers may have their advantages but they cannot be forced and, in this respect, it is important to recognize the inevitability of diversity and learn how to manage it.

1. 4. The Transitional Government.

This illusive government of Barotseland has changed nomenclature each time its existence is questioned. It started as the government- in-waiting but when we questioned if it was to wait forever it quickly changed to government-in-place . We then questioned how a government in place can tolerate the arrests and trial of its people and leaders by foreign forces within the territory in which it is in place. This question arose in our response to unfair attacks over the proposal for the establishment of the Barotseland Transitional Authority (BTA) submitted to the Kuta. We note that following that question and the issue of BTA the government-in-place became the Transitional government of Barotseland. This tells a lot about knowledge of what constitutes a government by the people concerned, the bottom line being that it is nothing but very big mandwani . Of late we have heard that this government had approached the BRE to give it a letter authorizing it to fund raise among the people of Barotseland in aid of legal fees for Botswana and South African Lawyers who should take the issue of Barotseland independence to the International Court of Justice. It boggles ones mind to hear of a government of a territory seeking someone else's authority to raise funds from its own citizens. The BRE, of course, did not take the issue seriously. Meanwhile, elements of this same government had poured scorn on the initiative by the BNFA to engage the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and The Hague based International Court of Arbitration, and their reasoning is that Barotseland is already independent and does not need court processes to get what it already has. This is infantile delinquency at its very best.

1. 5. Rumour Mongering and the Specter of Educated Illiterates:

There is a very bad element of easily being carried away by rumours, mostly generated by those who wish Barotseland ill. This unfortunate situation thrives on failure to counter check information and swallowing anything that paints the opponent black. Most unfortunately, even those better placed in terms of exposure and formal education fail to use their acquired attributes because they are too lazy to interrogate information being fed to them, to the total detriment of society. The specter of educated illiterates manifests itself in people who are gifted with the ability to read and interpret information being drawn into conclusions from loose and idle talk and even acting on it without taking the trouble to examine the relevant documents for guidance. This is what happened with the AGAPE Associates letter which was projected by rumour mongers as a letter from GRZ inviting the BRE and the BNFA to discussions on the issue of Barotseland. A lot of opponents of the BNFA went into a battle cry calling for the blood of Hon Sinyinda and his lieutenants, without seeking to read the letter first. This was an act of illiteracy on the part of these people, notwithstanding whether or not they are literate whenever they decide to be. When you are educated but fail to read literature to help society you are as good as the one who can't read, and if you fail to correctly interpret information because you are too lazy to read a document critically then you are semi-illiterate, notwithstanding the fact that you have ability to understand the written word if you really cared to do so, by reading instead of just glancing at the document. It is noted that Shuwanga has persistently brought up the phrases of semi- illiterates and picking wrong end of stick that were used in the article defending the BNFA against unfounded attacks on alleged invitation to a meeting by government on account of the AGAPE letter, which allegation continues to this day under a different form with different accused persons. But allegations are just that, ie, allegations. Nonetheless, Shuwanga's obsession in this respect arises from the fact that he is one of those who had swallowed the bait and sees the semi-illiterate phrase as having been aimed at him. As has been said by the wise, the guilty are always afraid, meaning that mu ipilaezi kiyena sifosi.

Conclusion

The Barotseland struggle is a long and tedious undertaking, requiring the contribution of all who care. However, as we rise from time to time to put in whatever we can, we should at all times strive kuli lube limbonyi, lusike lwaba siwawayi.

As the Royal Barotseland Government winds up its programs leading to the end of Zambia’s illegal occupation of Barotseland, we wish to advise that the Colonizer, Zambia’s activities are erroneous, illegal, intimidating, false, misleading, null, void and misplaced, and as such must not discourage us from lawfully functioning as a Nation State awaiting full International Cooperation.

The recent illegal arrests, detention and erroneous sentencing of our gallant, noble and visionary heroes and leaders of our political struggle honorable Boris Muziba, Mwenda Nayoto, and Sikwibele Wasilota, who are Barotseland National Youth League officials as well as government leaders, including our Barotseland Administrator General Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Hon. Likando Pelekelo, Hon. Silvester Kalima, Hon. Mubita Waluka and Hon. Masiye Masiyaleti, must not deter us from achieving our TOTAL INDEPENDENCE. It is now a well known fact that Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) is not only an illegal and failed ‘unitary’ experiment, but also a Satanic State!

Therefore, as a Royal Barotseland Government Official who by political affiliation belongs to the Barotseland National Youth League, I wish to categorically emphasize the following factual points of history;

1. Barotseland as a Nation existed long before Northern Rhodesia (modern Zambia) was dreamt of.

2. Barotseland’s most famous and prominent King Lubosi Liwanika signed treaties that led to the birth of Northern Rhodesia. In short, Barotseland is the ‘Grandmother’ of the ‘stubborn Girl’ by the name of Zamb(ez)ia!

3. Northern Rhodesia (which rejuvenated to Zambia), being a plastic State, bore the name of its Father, Cecil John Rhodes while Barotseland is a natural and organic nation and acclaim only God (Nyambe) to be its Principal Founder, Protector and Defender.

4. Barotseland was and still is a peaceful and democratic Kingdom Nation whereas Northern Rhodesia is a draconian and lawless Republic.

5. Barotseland was a British Protectorate while Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) was a British Colony: a Protectorate and a Colony, however one probably wishes or thinks, are—regrettably—not one and the same thing!

6. Barotseland was not part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland: for how could a Protectorate enjoying full legal protection enshrined in the various International treaties be a part of the Federation of Colonies? That is mere wishful thinking! Those with arguments should refer to the 1953 Northern Rhodesia Order-in-Council.

7. Barotseland had and still has a far much different yet democratic governance system from that of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia).

8. Barotseland signed the BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964 in Great Britain with Northern Rhodesia as an economic ‘partnership’ treaty replacing the diverse previous Concessions between Barotseland and the Great Britain, and not as a union treaty: for there was no mention in the Barotseland Agreement 1964 for the dissolution of the Barotse government Systems but rather that the Litunga and his Barotse government would still be in charge of the Barotseland territory within the new republic of Zambia.

9. BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964 never entered into force because it was unilaterally abrogated by the Northern Rhodesian Parliament partly in 1965 and fully in 1969.

10. The ‘unitary’ nature of Zambia was a declaration not a law; therefore, it is illegal!

11. If BAROTSELAND + NORTHERN RHODESIA through BA1964 = ZAMBIA, then without the BA1964 we can simply say: ZAMBIA – BAROTSELAND = NORTHERN RHODESIA. This is the simplest explanation of this scenario especially after Barotseland accepted the spiteful unilateral abrogation of that International treaty at the 2012 Barotse National Council.

12. Barotseland was deprived of its Sovereignty and its Nationhood arbitrarily by the Zambian Government, including the right to existence. Grave atrocities have been committed to the general populace of Barotseland. Hence the need for reversion.

13. Barotseland, as a lawful Nation, peacefully declared total Independence firstly on the 8th of September, 2011 under its current Administrator General, His Excellency: Rt. Hon. Kenny Mombotwa Afumba and Zambia did not legally react internationally to challenge that Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).

14. Barotseland suffered injustice at the hands of the Occupier (Zambia) and had its (Barotzish) citizens massacred on January 14th, 2011. This is the major reason why the Royal Barotseland Independence struggle could not be reversed by anybody.

15. Barotseland held a historic Barotseland National Council (BNC) in 2012 which sought to legally accept the termination of a valid international treaty, BA1964, and to confirm the 2011 Afumba Declaration of Independence.

16. Barotseland made its people driven Emancipation Order 2012 (Royal Barotseland Kingdom’s Transitional Constitution) approved and signed for by over 20,000 indigenous Barotzish Citizens as per international requirement on Statehood. It is just over a thousand signatures that are required.

17. Barotseland is reflected in many early World Atlases. Many of the super powers know what Barotseland has been and currently is. We have our international identity already because we have been operating on an international scale way before 1964.

18. Barotseland formed the Royal Barotseland Government on August 14, 2013 and His Excellency Rt. Hon. K. Afumba Mombotwa took Oath of Office as the Administrator General of Barotseland, and he subsequently announced his Cabinet publicly on the 15th August 2013.

19. Barotseland attained international recognition as a Sovereign State on the 3rd and 4th October, 2013 by the Federation of Free States of Africa (FFSA) and the Union of Free States (UNFS), respectively. And after that the other recognition by the Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organization (UNPO) on 1st January, 2014. Barotseland consequently became a Member State of these International Organizations.

20. In March 2014, United States’ Secretary of State, Rt. Hon. John Kerry mentioned in his 2013 Country Reports of the existence of the Royal Barotseland Government. That on its own is implied recognition.

21. Barotseland has its media; Radio Barotseland and The Barotseland Post. All of which operate on an international scale, 24 hours’ service.

22. Barotseland signed about 48 treaties with the Great Britain but:

  • Was never a British Province;
  • Was never ruled by Britain; and
  • That did not turn the Barotzish into British Citizens.
  • How could we, therefore, accept to be Zambians by the Agreement (BA’64) that never even entered into force?
  • How special is Northern Rhodesia’s claim over us and our territory without the BA1964?

Please, these above points are evidence that legally and rationally, Barotseland is FREE! This, however, does not mean we must sit by and calmly watch the enemy (Northern Rhodesia) carry out her illegal and provocative activities in our land. No!

Therefore, this is a wake-up call to all those who have not been living up to their potential, either for fear of being arrested by the illegally occupying forces or for the lack of patriotism. If ever there has been a suitable time for the youth to face the foreign law enforcement agencies defiantly head on, it has never been more appropriate than now!

We must also understand that Barotseland is not Northern Rhodesia, and Barotseland is not ‘western province’ but that in fact ‘western province’ is just a small part of Barotseland. The two, therefore, do not mean one and the same thing.

Finally, we must all unite and continue the fight against forced assimilation of Royal Barotseland by these lawbreakers in the name of Zambians. This is our one and only Barotseland, and we, therefore, should cherish, defend and be proud of it!

Long live the gallant men and women leading these foreigners out of our Motherland.

TUKONGOTE, LITUNGA NI LYETU!

Chris Lubasi wa Luzongo
BNYSC National Secretary,
Department of Youth and Sport
Royal Barotseland Government.

The matter between Mweene Mutondo and senior Chief Amukena both of Kaoma today (Thursday 26th) heard evidence from the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE’s Induna Imandi as the last witness from the defendant's side.

Induna Imandi introduced himself as the Induna in charge of education and Customs in the BRE structure. Like the other four witnesses who had given their evidence in court before, he was required to outline how the Lozi culture and customs work, which he explained clearly, citing on how a chief is appointed and how the installation process is done. He also explained the governance structure from the Litunga, who he described as the supreme ruler of the Barotse Kingdom, followed by the Ngambela, who himself is assisted by Indunas in terms of day to day administration of the Kingdom. These all report to the Litunga accordingly. Then comes the level of the Resident Prince and Princesses assisted by their own Indunas at that level. These report to the Ngambela on administrative issues. Thereafter, comes the Chief area, headed by the chief, to which level Mweene Mutondo and Mweene Kahale belong. These chiefs at that level preside over a Silalo headed by sub-chief. Then comes the Lilalanda Indunas and finally village indunas and village headmen who are assisted by elders in the villages.

This governance structure is replicated across the Barotse kingdom and is not applicable to the Nkoya ethnic only.

He further stated that the current Mweene Mutondo is not a recognized Chief according to Lozi custom and tradition because he did not go through the normal installation process that every chief go through, this is despite other Mweenes who ruled before him having gone through the same process.

Apparently Induna Imandi had no kind words to former Zambian presidents Kenneth Kaunda and FTJ Chiluba, first and second republican presidents respectively. When asked by the defense lawyer as to whether both presidents were wrong to gazette the chief as a recognized chief without going through the process he had described as the legal one.

“My lady Chiluba was a master dribbler who wanted votes from the Nkoyas,” the visibly emotional Induna answered.

He added that it is the Zambian politics which has caused problems in Barotseland,

"My Lady, I am disappointed with Zambian leaders; they preach one Zambia one nation, but on the other side they promote division.

“We in Barotseland have managed to rule ourselves with 38 ethnic tribes in unity, although diverse, for over 400 years without these problems, but the last 50 years of our union with Zambia has been full of problems because of political interference in the governance of traditional affairs.

“Leave these issues to us; we can solve them without problems at all. If the Nkoyas had come to us their parents, we could have listened to them because they are our children. But they did not do that.

“ Instead they chose to be influenced by politicians to cause problems.“

The lawyer representing the Nkoyas asked Induna Imanda if he knew what Kaunda had said in his public press in 1969 entitled "I wish to inform the nation", to which he responded that in fact Kaunda had violated a number of laws like the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which was signed in good faith by the Barotse people, as well as the Zambian constitution.

“My lady I do not know how to describe Kaunda. I do not have any good word to say, but what I am trying to say is that he is a person who says something but on the other side does something opposite. Hypocrite! Both Kaunda and Chiluba should have been impeached for gazetting a chief against the law which they swore to protect.

“Therefore, I ask this honorable court, My Lady, to consider their actions ULTRA VIRES, and declare their actions NULL and VOIDprayed Induna Imenda.

When asked if he, too, agrees with Induna Mutwaileti who said yesterday (Wednesday 25th) that if Nkoyas are not ready to be ruled by Lozis they should go where they came from, he answered;

“Yes, My Lady. They should go back. It is like, My Lady for example, you adopt a child and later on the child wants to be at the same level like you? You chase him. Nkoyas, My lady, if they want to create their own Kingdom, it is not possible. The creation of the Kingdoms was not by mistake. How can they claim to be at the same level like the Litunga? That is not possible in Barotseland. Maybe, somewhere else.”

The induna also refuted and dismissed claims of oppression of the Nkoya, the banning of their music and teaching of the Nkoya language from schools as the BRE was not government, and he could therefore, not answer on the behalf of the Zambian government. He was quick to mention though that Nkoya music was lovely;

"My lady we enjoy Nkoya music. Even up to now during Kuomboka its played as an intergral part of the ceremony. It is nice and lovely. So the claim is false.

Asked as to how the 'Lozi' minority in Kaoma could rule over the majority Nkoyas, the Induna said that was not true that the Nkoya were the majority as there other many tribes in the district who together make up one tribe called Lozi.

"My lady, Lozi is merely a 'Lingua franca' in Barotseland and it encompasses all tribes,"said the emphatic Induna.

To this effect the Induna submitted a government document dated 1962, which showed the composition of languages in Kaoma at the time, and it revealed that there were more than 43,000 people in Kaoma, and only 7080 were Nkoyas, much to the surprise of everyone in the court.

The Nkoyas will now have to wait for another five months before they could hear their long awaited judgment. This is because the matter has been adjourned to Monday 27th July, 2015 at 10:00 hrs as the state's key witnesses were not ready to testify in the matter.

Meanwhile, this particular court session was not without drama when one Nkoya man’s mobile phone rung during the court proceedings, despite the court having informed everyone that they needed to switch off their mobile cell phones; forcing the court to get it from him as they declared it state asset.

Judgement set for July 27th, 2015.

Barotse Imilemas, BIs, the youth wing of the Barotse Freedom Alliance BNFA, is currently embroiled in internal wrangles with one faction suspending 8 of its key members on allegations that they recently visited State House in Lusaka. It is also reported that the 8 accused received undisclosed amount of money from some Zambian government officials during their visit to Lusaka to frustrate the independence struggle of Barotseland internally. The BNFA aligned social media BBN, Mongu based Radio Lyambai and the Zambian privately owned MUVI TV have all reported that the eight were suspended after it was discovered that they were involved in clandestine meetings with Lusaka administration and selling of Barotseland privileged information.

Announcing the news of their suspension today (20th February 2015), the eight have been accused of been involved in selling information to GRZ (Government of the Republic of Zambia), and holding private meetings. They (BI) have said that this suspended team was actually in Lusaka twice, holding meetings at state house without their consent, BBN reports.

According to BBN the suspended people have been receiving money and pretending to be fighting for the independence of Barotseland when in fact not. Among the suspended are named as the out-spoken Muyunda Makala, Mushokabanji Wamuwi, Anthony Sinonge, Situmba Lyamba, Brian Simataa and Mutemwa Pumulo and two others, all from Kamulanga branch.

On further investigation, BBN reports that their findings were that the suspended group was actually in Lusaka for meetings under the auspices and in accompaniment of some top BNFA leadership over matters related to the AGAPE ASSOCIATES who proposed the RESTORATION of the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 last year. BBN further reports that the Agape Associates conflict international team met in Lusaka last month. The AGAPE Associates group had offered and proposed to mediate between the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and Zambian Government last year, the time when the late Zambian president Michael Sata was about to hold a national meeting with Litunga and resolve the impasse by way of RESTORING the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 as an alternative to TOTAL independence of Barotseland, a proposal that was strongly reject by the leading Barotseland independence advocates and more radicalized Linyungandambo movement and others. The proposed plans also failed to proceed due to the illness and demise of the Zambian leader.

Meanwhile, the suspended group has today ‘rubbished’ their reported suspensions calling it ‘fake’ and ‘malicious’ work of some ‘sponsored’ individuals who wish to bring the BI name into disrepute.

“No one has been suspended or expelled from the BI organization. The BI leadership is intact and perfectly working well and still remains under the Umbrella of Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA)” said Jason Situmbaeto speaking in his capacity as national chairman.

The BNFA, under the chairmanship of Hon. Clement Sinyinda, is an alliance of some Barotseland liberation movements, although it lacks the official support of the major liberation movement Linyungandambo who are instead backing the Afumba Mombotwa led transitional Barotseland government.

There has been recent calls for the BNFA to disband and instead join in support of the transitional government in line with the 27th March 2012 independence declaration. The BNFA has often been accused of supporting an agenda towards the RESTORATION of the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 rather than the total independence of Barotseland as declared by the 2012 BNC because of their their refusal to participate and support the transitional government headed by the now incarcerated Barotseland Administrator General Hon. Afumba Mobotwa.

Se here below the entire press release refuting the reported suspensions as well as the MUVI TV news report on the wrangles:

PRESS RELEASE BY THE BAROTSE IMILEMAS (BIs)

Please note that the reported suspension of some members of the Barotse Imilemas (BIs),from the BI executive committee is fake and malicious. The reported news on Facebook and MUVI TV was not from the BI executive committee, but done by some sponsored individuals who are not BIs but serving the interest of our enemy Zambia, with an agenda to bring the BI name into disrepute, undermine and destroy the BI organization.

No one has been suspended or expelled from the BI organization.

The BI leadership is intact and perfectly working well and still remains under the Umbrella of Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA),coordinating the implementation of the sovereign resolutions of March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) in the pacific Manner.

Jason Situmbaeto- National Chairperson

On 19 February 2015, the Mauritanian diaspora in Brussels staged a demonstration in front of the European Parliament demanding the release of Biram Dah Abeid, President of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA-Mauritanie) and other anti-slavery activists from prison in Rosso, Mauritania. The demonstrators also called for the European Parliament to do all they can to pressure the Mauritanian government to eliminate slavery which remains deeply institutionalized within the country.

The demonstration followed the release of an open letter sent to the Mauritanian government by imprisoned activists Biram Dah Abeid, Brahim Bilal Ramdhan and Jibril Mamadou Sow. The letter called for the trio to be detained within what they see as the correct jurisdiction in Nouakchott, instead of Rosso; for their families to be allowed visitation rights which, up to now, have been denied; and for fellow activists and those held in arbitrary detention to be given the right to a fair trial and proper judicial process.

On 15 January 2015, the court in Rosso, Mauritania, sentenced the three activists to two years in prison following their arrests on 11 November 2014. Since then a number of high profile statements condemning the actions of Mauritania have been made by the U.S. Department of State, the European Union, Amnesty International and many others. Those who have participated in demonstrations in Mauritania calling for the release of these three activists, as well as the fair treatment of many others, have been dealt with violently by the authorities.

The demonstrations on 19 February 2015 in Brussels echoed the growing sentiment within the international community that more must be done to end slavery within Mauritania. Members of the Mauritanian diaspora gathered outside the European Parliament to express their disgust of the actions taken by the Mauritanian government to suppress civil society and perpetuate the racially motivated practice of traditional slavery. As well as demanding the release of anti-slavery activists within the country, they also called for Mauritania to “end the feudal system” and implored those at the European Parliament to aid them in their struggle, shouting: “We demand justice, we demand equality, and we demand our freedom”.

According to the Global Slavery Index, there are over 150,000 people still in conditions of slavery in Mauritania, accounting for around 4% of the total population. This means Mauritania has the highest estimated proportion of slaves by population in the world. Slavery remains a highly racial issue within the country and it is estimated that over 20% of the Haratin ethnic community in Mauritania are subject to traditional slavery.

UNPO condemns the actions of the Mauritanian government with regards to these activists and its failure to realise the elimination of slavery. As a democratic and non-violent organsiation, UNPO will continue to support the peaceful actions of civil society within the country and remains united with IRA-Mauritanie in its mission to eradicate slavery and all other forms of discrimination within Mauritania. To learn more about the situation please read our timeline of events.

Please support us in freeing the anti-slavery activists and ending slavery in Mauritania: sign our appeal.

Please click to view UNPO’s joint statement calling for the release of the jailed activists.

The Zambian government will soon deploy Commandos in Kazungula and Zambezi River following the splitting of the Commando unit to form a marine troop.

Zambia army Commander Lt General Paul Mihova recently revealed that the government had authorised him to split the Commando unit and form a marine troop to protect water bodies shared with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Marine school will be based in Kawambwa but some marine troops will also be deployed on Lake Kariba, Zambezi River and Kazungula.

The Commandos to be deployed in Kazungula will add to the thousands of soldiers that Zambia has stationed in Barotseland.

President Edgar Lungu will soon launch the marine unit.

Meanwhile, the Zambian president, Edgar Lungu, has directed that the ‘One Zambia One Nation’ propaganda slogan be recited before the broadcast of any and every news bulletin on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation ZNBC - the only broadcasting house with national coverage. This, he claimed, would enhance ‘Tribal’ unity, when the historical and apparent truth is that it is actually aimed at brainwashing unsuspecting citizens to suppress the eminent full separation of Barotseland.

The truth the Zambian government is yet to come to terms with is that Barotseland’s independence as declared on 27th March 2012 Barotse National Council is final, and that it is just a matter of time before major and visible structural changes begin to occur in the two regions of Zambia and Barotseland.

Therefore, tactics like propaganda sloganeering and heavy Zambian militarization of Barotseland, coupled with arbitrary and mass arrests of Barotseland independence leaders, is now what is left for Zambia in her last attempts to keep Barotseland subjugated after they (Zambian government) unilaterally abrogated the unitary agreement of 1964, The Barotseland Agreement 1964.

On March 27th 2012, Barotseland unanimously accepted Zambia’s abrogation of the 1964 treaty and declared that henceforth Barotseland would be an independent state separate from Zambia, a process that Barotseland has pursued since then, with an interim government currently seeking international recognition.

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.