Due to popular public demand, we have decided to revisit the topic of the Nkoya people of Barotseland. Such questions as, ‘are Nkoyas Lozi,’ or ‘are they the majority tribe’ and ‘were they the first to arrive in Barotseland’ will be answered with references from authentic and recorded history.
Further, the topic about whether they are subjugated by the Lozi and, therefore, are against Barotseland self-determination and all the related current politics about the Nkoya people will be tackled in greater detail too.
THE NKOYA PEOPLE - INTRODUCTION
The subject of the Nkoya relationship with the rest of Barotseland has been in the public domain for some time now, and because of the misinformation that is carried on about it by those who deliberately wish to use it as a tool to divide and rule Barotseland, we will feature an extensive and comprehensive paper by Namushi Nyambe, which was officially produced as a consultative report for the government of the Republic of Zambia.
Nyambe Namushi was then serving as Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) Induna Yutanga, in charge of the Security at Naliele Kuta, and also serving as Acting Imangambwa, the Second in command to the Senior Chief at the District Kuta of Kaoma, which is at the centre of the Intransigence of the Nkoya of Mwene Mutondo.
This paper, in our opinion, is one single most contextualized writing on this matter, as it features not only the historical genesis of the problem, with references to correspondence between the Litunga of Barotseland and the Zambian presidency, but also outlines the efforts made by the BRE to have this matter amicably resolved to date.
All Zambians know that Zambia is a proclaimed Christian nation and I quote: “ACKNOWLEDGE the supremacy of God Almighty; DECLARE the Republic a Christian Nation while upholding a person’s right to freedom of conscience, belief or religion” [Constitution of Zambia]. It is well over fifteen (15) years ago since the constitutional proclamation and over ten (10) years before the famous 2012 BNC Resolutions and UDI Mandate imperatives for Barotseland. However, looking at the behaviour displayed by Zambia at Barotzis so far it leaves much to be desired and does not affirm the self-acclaimed Christian status. The same Bible read in Zambian churches states in Mathew 22:39 “…. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The great paradox is that before we became neighbouring countries in 2012 we were still neighbours in the Rhodesian British Imperial territory that climaxed into a unitary territory called ‘Zambia’. We have always been neighbours, captivity or no captivity, colonialism or no colonialism, Zambianisation or Zambianism; but just how could the Christians all of the sudden have the audacity to commit all kinds of vile crimes and sins against their neighbours (Barotzis) and yet remain mute! In fact, the list of wrongs committed against Lozis is quite long antedating Zambia’s proclaimed Christianhood from as far back as 1969, just for claiming what is rightfully ours! One only wonders if at all Zambia understands the full import of proclaiming herself a Christian nation in the eyes of God; there are great blessings and serious curses to reap accordingly. If this is not hypocrisy then I wonder what else it is!
This Christian perspective approach herein is preferred because both Zambians and Barotzis are inclined to the religion of the Bible. Therefore, most readers should easily cognize the gist of this article.
Douglas MacArthur a renowned American five-star Army General once stated that “In war, there is no substitute for victory” – there is no other way for Barotseland other than complete independence. All Barotzis should take comfort in this entire truth. It is the normal and legal route to attain though anomalous to some, while the unjustified coerced Zambian-ship has been absurd and illegal. No matter and no amount of Zambian tactics of divide and rule fueled through ethnic infighting and the like will help to the contrary, Barotseland is a country as ever before, since medieval ages. This resonates well with Tiger Woods’ famous quote that “The only reason why I enter an event is to win. There’s no sense in going into a tournament if you don’t believe you can win it.”
François Coillard, born 17th July 1834 in Asnières-les-Bourges, Cher, France and died on 27th May 1904 in Lealui, Barotseland was a French missionary who worked for the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in southern Africa.
Coillard was the youngest of the seven children of François Coillard and his wife Madeleine. Both parents were of Huguenot descent. In 1836, Coillard’s father died, leaving behind a nearly destitute widow.
Today, as the world commemorates the World Toilet Day, we must take time to appreciate the powder room, the lavatory, the outhouse, the ladies, the gents, the convenience, the washroom, the men’s room, the women’s room, the bathroom, the dunny, the bog, the garderobe, the necessary, the restroom, the potty, the privy, the smallest room, the cloakroom, the latrine, the place of easement, the water closet (WC), the John, the Can, the little girls’ room, the little boys’ room, the ‘throne’ room and the facilities or whatever name you are most comfortable to call it.
In Barotseland, we may prefer to call it ‘Ndu ye tuna’, the Big House, because of its great importance!
While we are at it, we must make a stand against and work towards eradicating open defecation in Barotseland!
In their January 29, 1899 Edition, and on page Number 19, The New York Times published a piece from Blackwood's Magazine about Lewanika I, King of Barotseland, simply titled “An African King”, in which the author seemed to have been immensely awed by Lewanika’s persona and sense of fashion!
This publication was in 1899, three years before Lewanika embarked on the journey to attend King Edward VII’s coronation where he was given the British Admirals’ Uniform, which has now become part of Barotseland’s ceremonial etiquette for all successive Kings.
This article is very important as it dispels innuendo and propaganda rife in Zambia about the origin of the King of Barotsend’s ceremonial regalia, the British Admirals’ Uniform, which many Zambians mock and allege was given to Lewanika for lack of proper clothing, assuming further that Lewanika must have looked primitive and uncivilized, prompting Edward VII to give him the Admiral’s Uniform!
'With everything else having been stated thus, BAROTSE CHANGE categorically submits that the first credible “World Heritage Site” agenda involving new Barotseland should be endorsement of the most sought-after recognition and adoption of Barotseland country [in UN, AU, SADC, and Commonwealth] through the ongoing lobbying; in reinstatement for preservation of the Barotseland state and nation that have been, since time immemorial, long before there was UN, UNESCO, and Zambia.'
Other than the unpopular GMOs to the defunct BA’64 the notion of declaring Barotse Plain as a World Heritage Site has been one trending story in the media and wrong News Headlines for some of our leaders in Barotseland in recent past. In this series of Barotse Change, we take a look at this very important subject, for our readers’ digest, in the context of Barotseland’s status quo post-2012 BNC.
The much awaited historic 24th October; the Independence Day for Northern Rhodesia, is once again here this month of October. Since 1964 when Northern Rhodesia was pronounced independent from the British colonial rule the event has been recurrent yearly, just like any other important anniversary. Unfortunately, it will forever symbolize the ironic climax of the paradoxical 48 years union between Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland dubbed as Zambia from 1964 to 2012. This union is what rightfully qualifies to be termed as “FREEDOM OF DEPENDENCE” for both territories in 1964, as opposed to “FREEDOM OF INDEPENDENCE” of March, 2012 for Barotseland and earlier on 1964 for Northern Rhodesia.
As reactions continue to flow over the Supreme Court of Zambia’s verdict on Barotseland Independence leaders, one prominent Barotse independence advocate, Saleya Kwalombota, laments as he questions the silence of the Zambian media, international community and the Barotse elite;
HARD TO BEAR
The recent Supreme Court ruling in Ndola where Barotseland provisional government leaders have been sentenced to an additional five years from the initial 10 years following their appeal against the Kabwe High Court judgment of 2016 that handed them a 10-year sentence each is hard to bear.
The people of Barotseland and the world over should stand to condemn this kind of mistreatment of Barotseland independence advocates by the Zambian courts.
It has become clear that taking issues relating to Barotseland in any Zambian courts is not of any help as it will never receive a fair judgment in the face of Zambian courts.
This has further been demonstrated by Zambian media silence over the Supreme Court Judgment in Ndola.
It is a total lie to allege that to resolve matters arising out of the 1964 agreement, the Zambian government must only deal with the Litunga because it is his signature on it. In fact, even if they made Kenneth Kaunda and Lubosi Imwiko II sign an agreement today, it would not constitute a legitimate national agreement as long as the people were sidelined prior to signing it.
Barotse people must, therefore, not be deceived by the Zambian government officials when they claim that the Litunga is the ‘only authority’ they recognize in Barotseland and that he wields such immense powers as to act and make critical national decisions over Barotseland unilaterally! They only use this claim to blackmail Barotse people into accepting the government schemes over Barotseland using the Litunga’s ascribed sovereign powers!
We trust and pray that this correspondence finds you in the best of your health and spirits. Our calendars indicate that we are now in the month of September; a time when your clandestine negotiations regarding the defunct BA ’64 are supposedly commencing. We implore you, as Barotse nationals, to engage in serious self-introspection at least this once, aimed at reviewing the dangerous course you are taking against your own country, Barotseland, in the GMO Syndicate with the Zambian government. It is never too late to mend or reconsider your ways. Barotse Change is convinced that, given your high profile standing, are capable of defusing the beguiling and benumbing Zambian leaven of deception and act rationally and with dignity, coupled with nationalism and patriotism for Barotseland’s sake. It is our greatest desire, as proponents of Barotse Change, to appeal to you once more brothers and sisters for you to reconsider so that you do not find your names finally indelibly chronicled on the wrong and bad side of the history of both Northern Rhodesia “Zambia” and unquestionably Barotseland.
In restoration, the Litunga, King of Barotseland will merely be a glorified chief, with the superficial title of King, conferred on him by the Zambian president or government, which will be recognized only in Zambia, with a jurisdiction limited only to the Western Province - to be renamed Barotseland.
However, with Barotseland independence, Lubosi Imwiko II, King of Barotseland stands to be the first Sovereign De jure, Head of State of the Kingdom of Barotseland, who would be recognized by the whole world as such, and would freely interact with all the other reigning monarchs and presidents across the world as King and head of a sovereign state!