Every country has a pledge of allegiance whether nominal or actual and formally written down as common national allegiance. In some countries the pledge of allegiance becomes a requirement only for holding very important office like President, Judge, Commissioner and so on while the rest of the citizenry are generally expected to show patriotism and nationalism in principle only. A Pledge of Allegiance can be one sentence, paragraph or other ways a state may gazette. Barotseland is no exception. Before then, now is the time to prepare by giving motherland the due allegiance, since ‘practice makes perfect’ as it were.
The crusade for Barotseland independence is indeed a Change Programme demanding change in both the Barotseland State and Barotse Nation for us to completely entrench our new status quo, as a country. These issues have been the focus or at least central to, a series of posts here on Barotseland Post and other local media publications for some time now.
As South Africans and the whole world commemorate Nelson Mandela’s death, the Barotse are also commemorating the arrest and imprisonment of Barotseland independence leader Afumba Mombotwa and two others; Likando Pelekelo (62) and Inambao Kalima (55), who were arrested by Zambia security forces for spearheading Barotseland’s independence from Zambia.
Afumba (58), now considered by many of his followers as Barotseland’s own Nelson Mandela (for his imprisonment on national independence related trumped up treason charges by an oppressive state), has been in jail since his arrest on 5th December 2014.
On 14th August 2013, Afumba Mombotwa publicly took oath of office as Administrator General of Barotseland, a position that would see him head a three year transitional Barotseland civil government tasked with the responsibility of, among other things, seeking international diplomatic recognition of Barotseland statehood.
Barotseland, an independent constitutional monarchy, is seeking peaceful disengagement from Zambia, having unanimously declared its independence from the latter in March 2012, a move the Zambian state will not tolerate, at least not for now.
The unanimous Barotseland independence decision was arrived at during the Barotse National Council (BNC) meeting of 27th March 2012, which called for Barotseland independence from Zambia after the latter repeatedly refused to restore a 1964 pre-independence treaty that guaranteed Barotseland’s autonomy within the new state of Zambia. The Barotseland Agreement of 1964 was, however, unilaterally annulled and abrogated systematically by Zambia’s first and successive governments without ever being implemented.
Over the past fifty years, several appeals to have the agreement restored and honored were denied, while those calling for the honoring of the agreement were often arrested, tortured or killed by Zambian government agents, until the March 2012 BNC called for the independence of Barotseland from Zambia since the agreement that joined Barotseland to Zambia could no longer be restored.
AND the people of South Africa are today commemorating the life passing of the great Nobel Peace laureate; world statesman and South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who also served as South Africa’s first black President from 1994 to 1999.
Mandela was personally an enthusiast of King Lewanika I of Barotseland, naming one of his children after the great king. The Lewanika name has now been passed down to Mandela’s grandson and great grandson. He died in December, 2013 at age 95, but his legacy will live on.
In Barotse Change I have come to understand that BAD HABITS have been among the worst enemies of our leaders living life to the fullest, why? Because habit is something we do over and over again capable of forming character. While we do other kinds of mistakes occasionally, bad habit is more than a mistake therefore, since it is something we consistently do over time. To make matters worse, often we don’t realize that we have bad habits. We think that we just live our life as usual while we are actually making mistakes (bad habits) again and again. It’s like having leaks in our Nalikwanda without realizing it during a Barotse Change of Kuomboka! The transition period for Barotseland is both for the Royal and Civil leadership a fact BRE knows very well, as parents who sanctioned the 2012 BNC. Your getting on board is therefore, long overdue.
So breaking bad habits should be among our top priorities to get the most out of our life, as we face the New Year 2017. If you do it right, then you are on your way to make significant improvements in your life and Barotseland at large. It is not yet late to do so. My conviction is that there is no smoke without fire; there must be something terribly wrong hence so much noise about the BRE. If this is true then may the BRE rise to the challenge of the hour and do the most honourable thing: breaking and burying the bad habits dividing the nation and even making the BRE fail to be fully constituted and function normally!
IDENTIFYING BAD HABITS
The first step to breaking the bad habits is to identify them. Only after identifying them can you decide to do something about them. Here are two tips for identifying the bad habits you might have:
a) COMPARE YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR VALUE SYSTEM
Do you live according to your value system as the Royal elitist of Barotseland? Or do you deviate from it here and there? Your Barotseland value system acts like a compass that guides your life. When you do things that are not according to your life compass, you know that you have a problem. So look for things you consistently do that deviate from your value system. Those are your bad habits.
b) COMPARE YOUR LIFE WITH A ROLE MODEL
Sometimes it’s easier to compare your life with someone else’s life (e.g. Lubosi Lewanika and Mulambwa)than to compare it with an abstract value system Zambia is moulding you into. Definitely we have more role models in Barotseland than in Zambia because the two territories have different and incompatible value systems. So find people whose life you want to emulate and find the details of how they live(d) their life. Is there anything they didn’t do that you consistently do? For instance, they lived for Barotseland as fearless commanders of Barotse nation even to the point of death. You, on the other hand, are perpetually at the mess of Zambian government your par but younger government to BRA historically. That’s a bad habit you should stop which greatly upsets us as Barotzis your children.
STOPPING BAD HABITS
The next step after identifying the bad habits is to break them. Here are four tried tips to stop bad habits:
a) QUIT FEEDING THE BAD HABIT WOLF
Think of two “wolves” inside us that fight each other every day. One wolf represents good habits while the other represents bad habits. Which wolf will win the fight? The answer is the one you feed. So breaking bad habit is actually simple: just stop feeding the bad habit wolf. Leave the bad habit to starve and you are on your way to get it away from your life. This stands to be a very good New Year resolution someone can take for 2017!
b) REPLACE IT WITH A GOOD HABIT WOLF
To quit feeding the bad habit is essential but not enough. Therefore, one must also replace it with a good habit. Otherwise there is an empty space in your life where the bad habit could go back to anytime and thrive. So develop good habits to replace the bad habit ones. For instance, if you have the habit of thinking negative thoughts about fellow citizens, you should replace it with the habit of thinking positive thoughts. Whenever negative thoughts come, use it as a trigger to start thinking positive thoughts. Or if you have the habit of eating unhealthy food like alcohol you can start developing the habit of eating healthy food. Just don’t leave the space empty.
c) PRESS PAST THE INITIAL PAIN AND DISCOMFORT
When breaking a bad habit, the beginning of the process is the most difficult one. Just like getting a train start off from a station takes enormous amount of power, so it also takes enormous amount of willpower to break a bad habit. And just like it requires more amount of willpower to continue doing your new good habit also moving Barotseland’s Independence Train from the failed union treaty with Northern Rhodesia’s Zambianism pull requires more energy. The initial phase is the most difficult, but it becomes easy and easier over time. So whenever you think that it’s too difficult to stay on course, given Zambia’s threats on one side, just remember that it won’t be so for long. You just have to move forward with the nation of Barotseland or handover the mantle of leadership to someone else ultimately.
d) MAKE “NO EXCEPTIONS” POLICY
Once you decide to break a bad habit, stick with your decision. Make no exceptions to come back to it for whatever reason – no matter the promised fortunes from enemies of Barotse Change. I know it’s not easy, but this step is essential if you want the process and will get easier over time. I know that given the power of an elephant symbolism in our national ethos all is possible if only it is wielded accordingly. These four tips are simple but powerful. Using the feeding analogy, the tips to break a bad habit can be summarised as this: Quit feeding the bad habit. Feed a good one instead.
It is said that the first essential for a man’s being a good citizen is his possession of the home virtues to be called a man by the emphatic adjective of manly that No man can be a good citizen who is not a good husband and a good father, who is not honest in his dealings with other men and women, faithful to his friends and fearless in the presence of his foes, who has not got a sound heart, a sound mind, and a sound body; exactly as no amount of attention to civil duties will save a nation if the domestic life is undermined, or there is lack of the rude military virtues which alone can assure a country’s position in the world. In a free republic the ideal citizen must be one willing and able to take arms for the defense of the National Flag, exactly as the ideal citizen must be the father or mother of many healthy children. A race must be strong and vigorous; it must be a race of good fighters and good breeders, else its wisdom will come to naught and its virtue is ineffective.
WISHING YOU A BLESSED REFLECTIVE FESTIVE SEASON AND PROSPEROUS 2017.
One of the greatest tasks we have in Barotseland is to build trust, as something anyone wanting our new nation to be a successful nation and state must do; given all the hostilities that have attended our Independence struggle so far. Trust fortifies every relationship in the home, church, friendship associations, workplace, government and nation at large; between leaders and subjects, between colleagues, between employees and employers and between businesses, compatriots or between Barotseland and other countries. Trust isn't something that is inborn but is something that must be creäted through consistent action. For us in Barotseland this is of paramount importance and hence watchslogans like “Kopano ki mata” and “Tukongote wa mwanaa nongolo” handed over to us by our forefathers. While there are many ways for one to become a uniting factor and trustworthy citizen in new Barotseland, there are typical common traits among trusted people and united nations. Let me call these common traits or attributes the "twelve Cs character traits" of a proudly Barotzish in independent Barotseland.
A committed person is someone who is loyal to the cause, the vision, and the team. He or She perseveres despite setbacks. When an individual is committed, he will build the trust of those around him by staying nearby, involved, and productive. Commitment is the number one trait a person can live out to build trust, more so in Barotseland and this time around.
This is persuasion, passion, sincerity, assurance or having firm belief, opinion about something or somebody. It is one trait that makes commitment certain and without which commitment is nothing but hypocrisy. A convicted or proven Barotseland citizen is more than a need ‘mwa Bulozi’ as an outstanding Mulozi but repulsively Zambian, just because such a one is PROUDLY BAROTZISH! The conviction that if you do not do your part nobody else will; since you are a unique Barotse citizen.
While Barotse Change is a national agenda it is also a very personal one. Barotzish spend many hours each week at work with many considering their co-workers as a second family. A trustworthy Lozi is connected to those who look up to him or he looks up to. He resists the temptation to get bogged down in the day-to-day grind and become neglectful of those who depend upon him. He never comes off as distant or detached in the social, national or leadership circles. One is willing to take some time away from daily commitments to get to know his team members in a meaningful way thus help others see one as a trusted person who cares about them and values their association and contribution. Are you a connected individual in Barotseland? Remember, no man is an island.
A connected citizen communicates often, clearly, concisely, and coherently his or her convictions and impressions; what more about Barotseland Independence! Communication as the process of a person sending a message to another person or place with the intent of invoking a response or communication as the interpersonal exchange of information and understanding is very crucial to our total independence movement for Barotseland. It is a need in all our groups and teams. It is one key element that gets them initiated and sustained. It is this trait that enables individual citizens, in groups of twos, threes and so on, to exude the change; to eat change, act change, behave change, smell change, wear change, sing the change, dance the change, communicate change, walk and travel the change, think change, speak change and last but not the least, to plan the change, organise the change, coordinate change and lead the Barotseland Change, using all the free styled communication modes; songs, plays, WhatsApp-ing, Facebooking, E-mailings, and so on.
A trustworthy Barotse citizen gets to know her fellow citizens, listens to their concerns, and responds in a meaningful way - each and every time. One is able to put oneself in the other’s shoes and imagine how you would feel if engrossed in the same misfortune. This doesn't mean pampering them; knowing that no one is perfect and immune to challenges - people make mistakes, suffer hardships, and sometimes just need to know that someone cares. A great citizen is compassionate of other citizens in her team or group realizing that we are all members of Barotse web of humanity and like the rings of a chain the misfortune of one member befalls others directly or indirectly. So there is no time to stand aloof whether it is funerals, weddings, graduations and so on.
To confess simply means to say or admit commission or omission of something. Genuine confession is honest or transparent such that what is confessed is truly seen in the same light by the other side or parties. While far from being a sign of someone weak the ability to say sorry and confess is one prerequisite for reconciliation and national development, at all levels. At personal and all other levels it carries a lot of health benefits inherent in the power of forgiveness. This is very important because the story of Barotse Change has not been without conflicts, dissensions and the like making us solvent of healing in one way or another.
Consistency is a virtue especially in good leadership as well as in good citizenry of subjects and is equally key for success culturally and other aspects of human dealings. A trusted person maintains a calm and collected deportment, even under blaze. For a leader, his team is more likely to approach him with their great ideas, as well as with their legitimate concerns. By maintaining consistent expectations and reactions in a consistent manner, he builds trusts in others at the same time make himself worthy of trust thus making a reality the slogan “Tukongote wa mwanaa nongolo”.
Conversion is the transformation or change in something from one form to another. A converted BAROTSE PERSWARE ultimately entails transformations in BAROTSE HARDWARE (the Visibles/tangibles) and BAROTZISH SOFTWARE (invisibles/intangibles) issues of our life as a nation. Conversion in Barotzish software signifies a renewal of Barotseland nation and state life consciousness, a speeding up of the powers of Barotzish mindset and heart, a resurrection from national death when we were stuck in ‘Zambia’. On the other hand conversion of Barotse hardware signifies our reorganization, a change in ideas, policies and theories, habits and practices as individuals and nation of Barotseland. Among other key transformations is our conversion from Zambianism to fully embrace a purely Barotzish mindset, in new and independent Barotseland. That is the whole essence of Barotse Change – are you resonating with the Change or stuck and benumbed by resistance? Without it one only becomes a serious misfit mwa Bulozi!
A great nation invests time in getting to know the issues, expand her skills, and participates in continuous learning. She doesn't pretend to be an expert in all things. She surrounds herself with skilled, knowledgeable citizens and investors and relies on their expertise. Her citizens trust her for having leaders who are straightforward and honest. Furthermore, in new Barotseland, being competent goes beyond awareness of ones skills or endowments. It includes motivation to develop and nurture ones limited capabilities for greater challenges both for personal and national interests and Competitive Advantage on the global market. Competent individuals are the cornerstone to the much needed competitive advantage of our nation Barotseland in her newly found global niche. It is against this background that we salute the BTG’s announced bilateral and multilateral development pledges to this very end. In any government in the world it is the competent officers who make the difference and not really numbers. It is quite consoling to note that international law does not prescribe the number of officers who should constitute a government for it to be termed legitimate or effective government – it is all about being competent to give credible results.
The history of Barotseland is inherently religious. And whilst the history of the Luyi is bound up in myths and magic, this in no way diminishes its importance or relevance to the LOZI NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS today. The meanings embodied in the stories that are narrated in our history impinge directly on the way that Lozis identify themselves with the world today and link the past to contemporary notions of citizenship and subjectivity to BRA and RBG. More than consecration of our lives to Nyambe our God is the idea of ‘setting ourselves apart’ each one for the purposes of national service and success above self. This in essence is an expression of PATRIOTISM at its best and utilisation of ones peculiarity to advance our national interests above personal gains.
This is none other than showing certainty about something. It is also sureness, self-reliance, buoyancy, coolness, trust, loyalty, conviction, intimacy and the like. Without this trait some Barotzish can find themselves as diffidents, dissidents, cowards, indifferent and get entangled in doubts of all sorts to the extent of betraying themselves and their nation.
Last but not the least courage is the bonus trait which means ability to control fear when faced with uncertainty, opposition, danger, pain and other vexations. A trustworthy citizen of Barotseland will display this virtue in life and in own way as we build our nation, rising from the near valley of oblivion in both Zambian and global history.
As traits of a qualitative character needful in the New Independent Barotseland, if well cultured, one of these traits has a combined power and effect of all others acting as a whole simply because they are all closely meshed. Additionally, AT A TIME WHEN BAROTSE LIFE CHALLENGES US MOST EXTREMELY AND DEARLY, IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ULTIMATE – BAROTSELAND TOTAL INDEPENDENCE, IT IS TIME TO GATHER WARMTH FROM THE COLDNESS OF OTHERS; COURAGE FROM THEIR COWARDICE; LOYALTY FROM THEIR TREASON; LOVE FROM THEIR HATRED; KNOWLEDGE FROM THEIR PRETENDED IGNORANCE, AND HOPE FROM THE DESPONDENCE OF OTHERS. This is what these 12 “Cs” Character traits can do in us, with us and for us mwa Bulozi and to any Available, Willing and Able Subject of my Homeland!
One of those painful moments in life is when a child becomes circumstantially obliged to offer a parental advice to parents, when in actual fact it should be the other way round! It is an outcome I dread and yet a solemn responsibility one should gladly undertake as a child and citizen of Barotseland – just for how long, as BRE, will you keep standing off your 2012 BNC creation?
Mahatma Gandhi once said that “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” This is good advice to those of us who hobby criticising the Barotseland Transitional Government. He additionally stated that “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s (Barotseland’s) problem” especially if the gap is very narrow – HOW WIDE IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR REAL EFFORT AND CAPABILITIES NOW TO THIS VERY END? This means that we are where we are because most of us and our parents as BRE you are still hoarding your capabilities at the expense of Barotse Change. I implore you to unleash your full potential for Barotseland’s sake now. Most scholars know about this man who led the Indian people to independence from British rule in 1947. He was just human like all our leaders in BRE and BTG at large. What an honour it will be for the world and our posterity also to quote from your resultant Barotse Change good efforts and habits! So take time and reflect on the contents of this letter meant for you, as subjects and leaders in Barotse Change.
THE QUESTIONS BRE MUST REFLECT ON – ‘KUIBOOLA KASAWELO’ BASHEMI
The setting is that there is no longer anything that can be done to keep the aborted marriage between Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia a fact that the BRE must seriously realize and come to terms with. No amount of bribery undertakings will really help at the end of the day. The fact is that Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia are two separate nations and states and forever will be, partly by action of His Royal Highness Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II and BRE’s sanctioning of the famous 2012 BNC and UDI Mandate. The whole world and lovers of law and justice highly commended you for that worth move. But is it true that our parents as the BRE now do not know this fact? There has been so much rot about BRE and Litungaship which must be halted for the sake of our identity and preservation as a nation and state.
A well-known fact is that on the 18th May, 1964 the much spoken Treaty and now ‘Song’ BA’64 was signed to pave way for what would soon be the unitary state of Zambia; comprising Barotseland Monarch and Northern Rhodesia as republic of Zambia. Is it really true the BRE doesn’t know all this?
No sooner was the deal done deceitfully by Mr Kenneth Kaunda than he quickly repudiated and abrogated it beyond remorse, recognition and adoring by most ‘Zambians’; both the freedom fighters and their posterity! We know from other histories that it was possible for Barotseland and Zambia to cohabit as one nation with Barotseland maintaining her autonomy, just as she was, as a British protectorate running up to 1964. Instead the leaders and regimes then chose to entertain failure when other similar unitary treaties succeeded elsewhere, doesn’t the BRE really understand all this?
We have importuned for the restoration of the honourable but defunct BA’64 petition after petition, commission of inquiry after commission of inquiry, but all to vanity and hence the 2012 BNC; is it true our BRE parents do not know all this? In giving Northern Rhodesia a benefit of doubt we initiated and solicited for the restoration of BA’64 for nearly 50 years as if it were us who repudiated and abrogated the treaty only to be denied the more our rightful position, company, friendship in Zambian life; is it really true that as BRE you do not know this?
Having implored and worked for restoration of BA’64 with God blessing Zambia, for nearly fifty years, with riches through Barotseland endowment contributions of labour, physical resources, culture, intellectual properties and so forth only to be given in turn alms for the financial support in development; is BRE blind to all this? That the more we prayed for one more year in the ‘Golden Jubilee’ 50 years of Northern Rhodesia the more we became maimed, killed, persecuted, even incarcerated before sentencing, with Zambia in turn becoming less involved and committed to the BA’64 cause; doesn’t BRE really understand all this?
We have asked the international community to intervene only to get a stuck response to a political impasse that is half a century old, despite letter after letter and communique after communique, with newer cases having received priority attention! Doesn’t the BRE understand that all this is partly due to their cold feet and lost vivacity of 2012?
Is it true that BRE does not know that we have done all the good efforts toward harmonious living with Zambians but only to be given more trials, labels to even dare curse us and be foul-mouthed at Barotzis for doing what is rightfully and honourably ours; what does all this mean? And yet, for all these offenses, if it were Barotse’s deeds against Northern Rhodesians, Zambians would have been counting, grudging and hoarding up and say now “enough is enough we have been forgiving you all these years!” We have been patient with our brothers and sisters and yet they still crave more blessings of our company only to abuse, misuse and corrupt or bribe us and especially you our leaders, in their quest to obliterate Barotseland from the face of planet earth; is this BRE’s shared stratagem with Northern Rhodesia?
Meanwhile, history well informs us that Barotseland is among the oldest nations to be established; long before there was a territory called Zambia and northern Rhodesia. The BRE then was rightfully called BRA with the Litungas thereof quite formidable political and royal functionaries. Is it true that the BRE doesn’t have this history at Lealui or Limulunga? As our parents, is it true you do not know that ultimately the divorce with Zambia in 1969 and the 2012 UDI are final, irrevocable, inevitable though anomalous to some but the ideal affair to do, in honour of the defunct BA’64 treaty, the only foundation for the failed unitary statehood of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia as Zambia?
Won’t you feel for motherland Barotseland, as parents, and amend your ways to correct her plight for a better life tomorrow for all, even as we approach the Christmas Advent when people make resolutions for the ensuing year - 2017? With the seriousness Barotseland has yearly attended to your sustenance through her bounty and the heritage that you are, and yet you can afford to approach the matter so indifferently, defiantly, uncouth, cowardly, carelessly, differently to your predecessors just Imagine how your children Barotzis feel! Haven’t you read the quote from Dr. Martin Luther King who once said “he who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. Change does not roll in on the wheel of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. And so, we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom” BRE inclusive.
Barotse Change and Barotseland Independence therefore, is simply protracted and evidently work in progress and not a flop, as supposed by the enemies – IT IS A FALLACY; Barotseland will certainly overcome no matter what but what will all this bad legacy do for you when you are no longer there?
1. SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER: Martin Luther King was the leading civil rights voice for truth, reason and justice. He refused to back away from seeing reality as it was and speaking his mind about what he saw. That made him quite different from all other revolutionaries. Equally, Barotseland today needs revolutionaries who can speak the truth only to power the Barotse Change to its logical conclusion no matter what may betide.
2. BE AN INSPIRATION: King Luther understood that people are rarely swayed by facts and logic alone. He knew how to engage the mind and heart to bring truly revolutionary change. The same we need concerning Barotse Change today – men and women, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen who are truly inspired to completely free Barotseland.
3. TELL STORIES AND USE VIVID IMAGERY: King used memorable stories and compelling metaphors to help his listeners remember his message and share it with others. His use of stories not only helped people to understand, but to spread the message far into the future. Indeed we have heard stories and seen imagery so far about Barotse Change much to our delight and education for prosperous Barotseland tomorrow.
4. CAST A COMPELLING VISION: over and over again, we see that great leaders are repeatedly associated with great visions—Martin Luther King was no exception. In fact, King's vision of a future America, a country where people are judged by the "content of their character" continues to lead and inspire the world up to date. Every Mulozi needs to catch the cast Vision of completely independent motherland by hearing and listening to Team Barotseland leaders when they speak AND NOT to the enemy of Barotse Change truth!
5. LIVE FOR SOMETHING BIGGER THAN YOURSELF: Martin Luther King was a bright, articulate, well-educated and powerfully connected young man. He could have easily stayed in the North after attaining his Ph.D. and lived a relatively comfortable and successful life. But instead he chose to focus on helping others less fortunate than himself. He chose to give his life to a cause that was more important than his individual life. This is the price of greatness. It is the leaders that focus on the needs and interests of others that leave a lasting impact. This is a clarion call to all Barotzish leaders whether confessed citizens in Barotseland or expatriates in Northern Rhodesia (‘Zambia’).
6. PERSEVERE: Never give up. We hear this message all the time: you have to stay in the game. When you fall, you have to pick yourself up. When life hands you a lemon juice, add a little bit of sugar to turn it into lemonade! This was the message of King Luther, too. He said, "IF YOU CAN'T FLY THEN RUN, IF YOU CAN'T RUN THEN WALK, IF YOU CAN'T WALK THEN CRAWL, BUT WHATEVER YOU DO YOU HAVE TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD."
7. THINK AND ACT INCLUSIVELY: Martin Luther King understood the value and power of including a broad and diverse group of people in his coalition. He understood the hate that many whites had toward blacks (including himself), but he also recognized that many whites were simply afraid and many others wanted what he wanted and were willing to do whatever they could to help (including sacrificing their own lives). Thus, King cultivated a broad, diverse coalition that included a number of leading politicians. As a result of King's inclusiveness, many whites were less afraid and more open and ready to do the right thing. Imagine how wonderful when all the Barotzis, international community and Northern Rhodesians become ready to do the right thing in resolving the political impasse between the once partners in the former Unitary Zambia! This is with the understanding that the breach between the two nations is irreparable, irreversible or unsalvageable.
8. ADOPT A SERVANT'S MINDSET: Martin Luther King's desire to serve was perhaps his greatest quality as a leader, and the factor by which he is most remembered. What's more is that King Luther understood the central role of service in creating a legacy. King Luther said, "Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."
Are you ready to serve your country Barotseland regardless of your life qualifications? Adopting a servant’s mindset means, among other things, being ready at all times at the service of Barotseland not only when you have a post as a leader rather because you are a member of the web of Barotseland family with a unique niche to perform.
Tukongote wa mwanaa nongolo.
Due to popular demand, we have here below arranged and reproduced the entire section that Dr. Ndangwa Noyoo made on Barotseland’s quest for self-determination at the Workshop on Contemporary Zambian Politics, Centre for Social Science Research, 29 - 30 September, 2016, at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
The section was titled, BAROTSELAND AND CALLS FOR TOTAL INDEPENDENCE:
I argue in my latest book, Barotseland’s amalgamation with Zambia: A political conundrum, that the Barotseland question was a conundrum that was solely created by the founding Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP and then cemented by successive Zambian political administrations from 1991 to date.
This issue cannot be crushed or wished away. It is actually going to reconstitute Zambia in one way or another…Even if the Zambian Government and Zambians in general do not want this to happen…it will happen.
Zambia is an amalgamation of two former British colonial territories viz: Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia.
Zambia was consummated in May 1964 (before Zambia’s independence on 24 October 1964) when Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia merged after the signing of the now defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964.
Despite this, the Constitution Amendment Act 3 of 1969 - a so-called Constitutional Referendum reform of Kaunda and UNIP abrogated this treaty and henceforth criminalized the Barotseland question.
Whilst relying on draconian legislation and other instruments such as the State of Emergency, Barotse nationalists were detained at will by the Kaunda regime throughout the One party state era. The largest number of Barotse nationalists detained to date was 160 in 1973, including the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Barotse Government or Katengo, the late Hastings Ndangwa Noyoo (Government of the Republic of Zambia, 1995).
For many Zambians, this issue only ‘came to light’ after 1991, when the political space was opened – much to the irritation and consternation of many Zambians.
But the quest for an autonomous Barotseland had always been sought by the Barotse or Lozi as they had negotiated for this status in Zambia via the Barotseland Agreement.
The continuities of the past, as regards Barotseland are exemplified by, inter alia, the continuous criminalization of the Barotseland question by Zambian Governments for five decades.
But the tactics of UNIP cannot hold sway anymore as the world has changed.
Information is readily available due to the Internet etc. The tactics of UNIP of distorting and hiding information regarding the Barotseland question are obsolete.
Massive troop deployment, mass arrests and intimidation have not cowed the Barotse.
The Barotseland question can no longer be caricatured as ‘secession’ as it is a national question which Zambia has failed to answer in five decades.
Curiously, successive Zambian governments after 1991 had employed Kaunda’s and UNIP’s tactics to crush the Barotseland issue (in a so-called democratic dispensation) with thousands of Barotse or Lozi being killed, maimed, arrested at will, on mostly trumped up charges.
THE FOLLOWING KEY ISSUES WILL DEFINE THE BAROTSELAND ISSUE GOING FORWARD:
1. The MMD government of Rupiah Banda (2008-2011) will go down in Zambia’s history as one political administration that had perpetrated the most gruesome acts of state-led violence against the people of Barotseland. The Zambian Government’s brutality had resulted in the deaths of many Barotse nationals. These acts of violence were precipitated by what are now referred to as the ‘Mongu riots’ of 14 January 2011. This massacre had resulted in the deaths of about 18 individuals even though the Zambian Government claimed that there were only two people who died.
2. The Barotseland issue is no longer a ‘traditional affair’ but a nationalist struggle waged by various Barotse liberation movements whilst the current Litunga (King) of Barotseland and the so-called Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) have effectively become moribund after allegedly being bribed by the Zambian Government and taking highly puzzling stances which directly violate Barotse governance, laws, customs and traditions.
3. On 14 August 2013, a Transitional Government of Barotseland was set up and an ‘Administrator General,’ Afumba Mombotwa. Mombotwa, who was also the Chairperson of LINYUNGANDAMBO (a Barotse nationalist movement), was ‘sworn in’ as the ‘Administrator General’ of Barotseland by the ‘Chief Justice’ in Mongu.
* AFTER THIS BAROTSELAND DECLARED A UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (UDI) ALONG THE LINES OF KOSOVO.
4. On 27 March 2012, the people of Barotseland convened a Pizo or Barotse National Council (BNC), where they all unequivocally expressed their desire to reconstitute Barotseland into a sovereign nation (Barotseland’s ‘Brexit’ or Referendum). The BNC is the highest policy-making body in the indigenous Barotse political and governance systems. All seven districts of Barotseland were represented at the BNC through their traditional rulers with some people from the Barotse Diaspora in attendance. There were also some Zambian Government officials of Lozi origin who witnessed this occasion. Among other issues, the BNC gave notice in this manner:
“WE NOW INFORM ZAMBIA AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THAT WE FINALLY ACCEPT THE UNILATERAL NULLIFICATION AND THE ABROGATION OF THE BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964 BY THE ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT, WHICH ACTION HAS FREED BAROTSELAND FROM BEING PART OF ZAMBIA. IN LINE WITH THE POSTLIMINIUM DOCTRINE WE CAN NO LONGER BE OBLIGED TO HONOUR AN INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT THAT THE OTHER PARTY HAS NULLIFIED AND ABROGATED, WHICH HAS REVERTED US TO OUR ORIGINAL STATUS.”
5. Afumba Mombotwa, Likando Pelekelo and Sylvester Inambao Kalima were arrested on ‘treason’ charges and subsequently sentenced to 10 years.
6. The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) another Barotse nationalist movement recruited international Lawyers at the Dugué & Kirtley International Law Firm to take this matter to the International Court of Justice at the Hague.
7. It also launched an online petition for all nationals of Barotseland and those in the Diaspora to electronically sign a Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) which would allow for Barotseland’s legal status to be determined peacefully and in accordance with international law.
8. The late and immediate past president of Zambia, Michael Sata refused to sign the submission. More than 10, 000 Barotse signed the petition and more are still signing it. The international lawyers also sent through the PCA to the new Zambian president Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Thus far Lungu has not signed the PCA.
9. To its credit, the BRE through the Ngambela or Prime Minister, launched a case against the Zambian Government at the African Union’s (AU’s) African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). After months of delay, the Zambian Government had responded and requested the case to be thrown out. However, the people of Barotseland through the Office of the Ngambela countered and added more evidence to their case. This process has not been concluded.
10. THE YOUTH FACTOR:
The struggle for Barotseland’s sovereignty has been taken up by the youth and in my opinion, they will decide the conclusion of this saga. They are more radical, many are incorruptible and resolute.
11. A case-in-point is that of the Barotse Youth League (BYL) leaders namely, Nayoto Mwenda, Boris Muziba and Sikwibele ‘Skwiz’ Wasilota who were arrested on trumped up charges. They were subsequently each sentenced to three years in prison with hard labour by Magistrate Malata of Kaoma Magistrate Court for “publication of false news with intent to cause fear or alarm to the public contrary to the laws of Zambia.”
12. The Magistrate also noted when passing sentence, that the trio’s “conduct during the court process was not good.” The young militants had contended throughout the trial that they could not be tried by a Zambian court as they were citizens of Barotseland.
13. The trio argue that Zambian courts were partial when it came to cases involving people from Barotseland. Incidentally, one of the accused, Mwenda, is a qualified lawyer. They then asked that their case be transferred to the Commonwealth Court which they said would impartially adjudicate the matter.
14. They defiantly went on to serve their three-year jail terms unshaken and not compromising on this held position. They were later released by Edgar Lungu through a presidential pardon.
15. As we speak five Barotse youth freedom fighters who were freed on 28 June 2016 by Kaoma Magistrate Chingumbe, who found them not guilty, over ‘seditious practices’ will be back on trial in Zambia’s higher court after the Zambia Government appealed the verdict. These youths were arrested for merely carrying and displaying an Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) Flag. Barotseland is now registered with this organisation.
16. The BAROTSE INTELLIGENTSIA FACTOR:
Previously this group was instrumental in propelling the UNIP nationalist struggle against colonial rule and ironically undermining Barotseland.
17. These were notably the Wina brothers Sikota and the Arthur (deceased), Kabeleke Konoso and Munukayumbwa Sipalo (who the Barotse Youths refer to as ‘sell-outs’).
18. Other Barotse intellectuals were more pro-Zambia or simply disinterested. However, things are now different as the Barotse intelligentsia is playing a critical role in this struggle.
1. Immediately after signing the Unitary Treaty BA’64 it was Zambia that repudiated and abrogated it indicating she was repentant of her former act and thus craved for separation and divorce.
2. Zambia never included the Unitary Treaty BA’64 and its principles in her subsequent constitution meaning that she was not interested in it altogether in consequence to reason no. 1 above.
3. Zambia was there comfortably and officially represented and never objected as if in relief from the importunate acts by Barotseland for nearly 50 years golden period of futile efforts to reason with Zambian regimes for restoration of the defunct BA’64, during the historic day when Barotseland proclaimed the 2012 BNC Resolutions and ratified the UDI Mandate for total free Barotseland.
4. Zambia received communiques regarding Barotseland’s new status quo and was given chance according to international law principles to challenge Barotseland’s declared independence but Zambia remained mute and has never challenged it up to now. Silence means consent.
5. Zambia knows that Barotseland boundaries are equally documented at the world centre in Washington even long before there was a country called Zambia. This is a clear testimony that Barotseland and Zambia are two separate geographic territories, a fact that she cannot refute.
6. Zambia’s continued mal-interaction with Barotseland monarchy structure (BRE); the persistent preying of Zambia on Barotseland only validates the incompatibility of the once companions of the monarchy and republic government system in the abortive unitary state form.
7. The continued abuse of BRE by ‘Zambian’ government is a clear testimony that the Royal constitutional monarchy system of government of Barotseland is the best option of administration of Barotseland as RBG. I presume the British opted to give newcomer North Eastern Rhodesian governance political power over Barotseland monarchy in the unitary statehood of Zambia because we lacked a 100% political structure then in Barotseland to also continue enjoying our surrogate protectorate status under Zambia. Zambia should now be ready to face the political counterpart governance function of RBG for amicable disengagement talks, instead of fretting the weaker function of BRE.
8. Zambia’s 2016 abrogation and repudiation of her constitution is a clear ratification of the abrogation and repudiation of the BA’64 that Barotseland has no trace chance to get back into the rogue union treaty and would be a complete misfit in such a bogus unitary statehood with a partner highly contemptuous of her national and international legal framework.
9. The voting pattern (5 years after the last 2011 tripartite elections) in the just ended controversial quadripartite election pronounced a blessing in honour of the 2012 Barexit from the failed union of states of former Zambia, in addition to declaring the national and state boundaries.
10. Against all these reasons ‘Zambia’ has totally failed to demonstrate any valid reason and legal documentation why Barotseland should continue cohabiting with her illegally, given the fact that there is NO GHOST OR MONO UNITARY PARTNERSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL LAWS!
Barotseland could only do so at the very cost of sacrificing her nationality and culture whilst being objects of derision, human, economic and political abuses. Thank God for visionary elders of motherland who rose up to the challenge of the occasion which culminated in the 2012 BAROTSE NATIONAL COUNCIL (BNC) RESOLUTIONS AND UDI MANDATE we wholeheartedly uphold at all cost!
Tukongote wa mwanaa nongolo.
President Ian Khama’s celebratory mood was dealt a serious blow when his colleagues within the SADC region snubbed the country’s golden jubilee celebrations on Friday. Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation had early in the week refused to state the number of Head of state they were expecting. Only Mozambique and Swaziland were represented by the heads of state while Cuba and Namibia sent their vice presidents and Zambia was represented by the minister of foreign affairs. BOT50 organisers had early this year revealed that they are expecting more than 10 heads of state to attend the celebrations. Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia and Tanzania are the only countries within the SADC region which have gained the golden jubilee status. On Thursday morning, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe cancelled his trip Gaborone though he had earlier confirmed attendance. His cancellation is seen as arising from the recent utterances by President Khama in which he called for his retirement on basis of old age and failing policies. Khama told Reuters that Mugabe should step aside without delay for the sake of Zimbabwe and the region, comments that "shocked" officials in Zimbabwe. "The government of Zimbabwe is shocked by this uncharacteristic behaviour on the part of President Khama. It is taboo in African etiquette and diplomacy," Zimbabwe's Information Minister Chris Mushohwe said in a statement. "We sincerely hope that this will be the last time Botswana's leader opens his mouth to bad-mouth President Mugabe and fellow African leaders. Why should President Mugabe be removed from office unconstitutionally as President Khama's sentiments seem to suggest?" hit out Mushoshwe.
Zambia, which celebrated their golden jubilee last year, send its Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba. During the Zambian golden jubilee celebrations President Khama delegated former Presidents Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae. The foreign dignitaries that attended the celebrations included presidents of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi, King Mswati III of Swaziland and King Letsie III of Lesotho. Namibia’s vice president Dr Nickey Iyambo, Cuba’s vice president Mr Salvador Valdes Mesa, Former president of Namibia Hefikepunye Pohamba, former president of Nigeria Gen. Dr Yakubu Gowon and US assistant secretary of state for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield as well as UK’s Prince Andrew and King Leruo Molotlegi of Bafokeng from South Africa. Some political pundits have said that the snubbing was inevitable as President Khama has failed to attend a lot of Heads of State meeting in Africa and beyond. Political analyst Anthony Morima said the absence of both regional and continental heads of state is a clear indication that Botswana has been absent in the foreign affairs through its head of state. “It shows that our relationship with our fellow African leaders is not cordial as President has seldom visited other countries and or attend both regional and continental meetings,” observed Morima.
Meanwhile, Batswana didn’t seem to be affected by those missing from the guest list as they went fully out to enjoy the moment across the country. The country was in a fervent mood as the nation united in celebration of the golden jubilee in grand style. For two days the National Stadium was filled to capacity as people from all walks of life donned in Botswana national colours to enjoy ceremonial proceedings. On the independence eve, the nation broke into song and dance enjoying cultural performance and retreat ceremony by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF). The cultural performance took the crowd through the history of the country – from being one of the poorest in the world to be one of fastest developing in the world. There was deafening silence when an actor mimicked the speech by the first President Sir Seretse Khama made 50 years ago. The engaging drama was well choreographed. It was when they started to narrate the modern history of Botswana that spectators broke into ululations as they related well with the events.
The performance by local artists especially Scar, Franco and Charma Girl, Jeff Matheatau and Maxy took excitement to the highest level. It was Dr Vom’s performance that had everyone on feet; singing and dancing his famous song ‘Tsaya thobane’. Even President Ian Khama danced along. Independence Day celebrations started slowly with a parade by BDF followed by the arrival of the roving torch. The crowd went wild when over 7000 school children performed the Chinese callisthenics showcasing the history of Botswana. BDF Air force raised the bar when their jetfighters flew past; the crowd broke into ululation. In his address to the nation, President urged Batswana to think what they can achieve as nation. “As we celebrate our progress over the past fifty years, let us further contemplate what we can and should achieve if we continue to work together towards overcoming our current challenges, while building a society that delivers a dignified life to all,” he said. He urged the nation to work hard to achieve more.
Frank Elliot Lochner made several attempts to persuade King Lewanika of Barotseland to sign a concession with him. After extensive consultations within the Kingdom, an assembly of the nation, comprising members of the King’s Council, area indunas, village headmen and ordinary people was convened at Lealui on 27-6-1890 for the signing ceremony.
The signatories were as follows:
Lewanika (the King), Litia, his eldest son and heir to the throne. ( Litia succeeded his father in 1916 as King Yeta III).
Other signatories were Mwauluka, who was Ngambela (Prime Minister), and members of the inner cabinet (Councilors) as follows: Akufuna, Mukulwakashiko, Galibotse, Beunya, Kalonga, Nalishuwa, Namunda, Ingangwana, Lucanana Muwana, Imasikuana, Sikota and Alisheke.
The concession was further endorsed by representatives of regional authorities as follows;
From NALOLO KUTA – SENANGA: Induna Sambi - Administrator and Chief Advisor to the Regent Princess of Nalolo (Senanga), with fellow Councilors Ishee Kwandu, Mukwakwa, Imbuwa, Saywa, Sambiana, Namunda and Mukata.
From LIBONDA KUTA – KALABO: Induna Muleta - Administrator and Advisor to the Resident Princess and a Concillor Munono.
From SESHEKE REGION the following tribal leaders endorsed it; Induna Ratau, Katukula, Tahalima, Mwanamwalye, Nalishuwa, Mulife, Sekombwa, Mukamba (Chief of KAZUNGULA/KALOMO region), Liku (Chief of the NANZWA at WANKIE) Kwenani and Mukwela (of the LINYATI region), Musialela and Munukayumbwa (King’s brothers), and Likokwani (King’s nephew). Lastly, Liatika (King’s Secretary) also put his mark on the document.
The concession permitted the company to prospect for minerals in selected areas of the Kingdom. In return, the company, on behalf of the British government, gave guarantees of protection for the Kingdom and an annual grant of 2000 pounds to be paid in perpetuity.
Frank Elliot Lochner signed for the company with Francois Coillard and Adolph Jalla as witnesses. These two witnesses were missionaries of the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS), which established its first station at SEFULA (near Mongu) in 1897. They had earned the trust of the King and were entrusted with translating and explaining the implications of the document to the King and Council prior to its signing.
After the conclusion of these concessions, the company administration established fortresses at Fort Jameson (Chipata), Fort Rosebery (Mansa) and Abercon (Mbala). These fortresses were established to check against incursions of the Portuguese from East Africa, the Belgians from the Congo and the Germans from Tanganyika. At this stage the British Central African Protectorate was split into two administrative zones, with Fort Jameson becoming the headquarters for the area surrounded by the new fortresses which was named North Eastern Rhodesia. Zomba remained as the headquarters for the other part, named Nyasaland (Malawi).
Later, apprehensions were expressed regarding the authority of the 15 chiefs who had signed concessions with Joseph Thomson. See ‘The origins of the North Eastern Rhodesian Territory'
In a telegram addressed to Codrington, Administrator of North Eastern Rhodesia, on 15 March 1904, H. Wilson Cox of London Wall Buildings said, inter-a-lia, “Under the Lewanika Concession, our rights to minerals are very clear. But in North Eastern Rhodesia, our rights are founded upon a very large number of contracts made with personages whose existences today are somewhat mythical.
Subsequently, Henry Hamilton Johnston, Commissioner and Consular-General at Zomba, was tasked by Her Britannic Majesty’s Government to enquire into this matter, with a view to settling all land claims within the territories under British influence. In the process, the authority of the signatories to the concessions of North-Eastern Rhodesia was proven unreliable.
In order to remove the ambiguities and uncertainties of the ‘mythical personages,’ Johnston issued certificates of claim in favor of the BSAC dated 25 September 1893 in respect of all land within the areas represented by the 15 chiefs who had signed concessions with Thomson.
Four such certificates were issued as follows;
i) Certificate of Claim “A” covering areas of the present day Central, Lusaka and some parts of Luapula and Northern provinces up to the Luangwa River.
ii) Certificate of Claim “B” covering present day Eastern and some parts of Luapula and Northern provinces.
iii) Certificate of Claim “EF” and “K” covering the area around Mbala and part of Tanganyika (Tanzania) territory.
iv) Certificate of Claim “L”, known as the North-Charterland concession, covered present day Chadiza and Katete districts in the Eastern province.
With these certificates the company and its successors secured direct access to the land without resort to any other authority.
The areas covering present day Zambia’s Copperbelt province together with the land buttressed by the lower part of Kafue River and the lower Zambezi were treated separately by the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
In order to bring a semblance of order in these areas, the British authority requested King Lewanika of Barotseland to hold the lands by establishing control structures within the areas.
The British offered Lewanika mineral royalties as remuneration for this service.
It should be stressed at this particular point that these areas are not necessarily part of Barotseland but were transferred to the Barotse King’s rule for convenience ( in the same manner the territories of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia were administered under one Governor), in return for specific remuneration.
This ‘transferred area’ and Barotseland make up the territory which was called BAROTSELAND - NORTH WESTERN RHODESIA.
I hope this explains why the boundary of Barotseland under claim does not include Lusaka, Copperbelt and areas east of Kafue National Park and remove innuendoes of boundary orchestrated by enemies of Barotseland.
On the request of King Lewanika, the Company stationed a Resident Representative at Lealui. However, due to hostile conditions of mosquitoes and other water borne ailments, this representative asked to be shifted to higher ground.
Thereupon, he was shifted to Kalomo which became the British administrative center for Barotseland - North Western Rhodesia.
The recently sworn in but disputed Zambian president, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has once again put himself up for public scrutiny by declaring that his government will soon start the process of discussing the defunct 1964 Barotseland Agreement.
According to the 19:00 hrs Monday prime time news monitored from Zambia’s national and government broadcaster, ZNBC, Mr. Lungu made the remarks about the dead Barotseland agreement in New York while entertaining scores of Zambians based in the US.
Mr. Lungu is in New York for the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
This is not the first time he has personally made similar pronouncements over the matter at the sidelines of a major international forum, with the last such pronouncements having been made in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last year at the sidelines of the African Union (AU) summit meetings early in his presidency.
IS IT TOO LITTLE TOO LATE?
In the run up to Zambia’s disputed 11th August presidential and general elections, Mr. Lungu, with his counterpart, Lubosi Imwiko II of Barotseland, set up a committee of mostly ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party sympathizers and compromised elements from Barotseland who he met at State House in Lusaka to purportedly prepare for the process of negotiations stage managed from State House. This move was widely seen to be an attempt to merely woo Barotse voters who responded by rejecting Mr. Lungu’s electioneering maneuvers. The entire region instead voted for Mr. Lungu’s main presidential challenger Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) in seeming protest to his failure to fulfill earlier public pronouncements made on the matter.
DOES LUNGU MEAN WELL FOR BAROTSELAND?
ABSOLUTELY NOT as far as the majority Barotse are concerned, and the argument is that if Mr. Lungu’s plans towards Barotseland were well-intentioned, he would not be arresting those Barotse who supposedly want the same good intentions for Barotseland. He was indeed going to collaborate with them and listen to them through open and honest dialogue rather than curtailing all dialogue initiated by the major stakeholders, the people, in preference to a selected clique of the ruling elite. Mr. Lungu and his government have instead continued to arrest and imprison all the Barotse that peacefully wish to resolve the 1964 Barotseland agreement conclusively. Therefore, simple logic and common sense proves that his wishes for Barotseland are not the same as the wishes of those he is arresting. It is clearly why he is using everything and everyone he can afford to buy with money to confuse, if not stop the vision for a self-determined Barotseland.
WHAT DO THE BAROTSE PEOPLE WANT?
The Zambian government now want to impose a dead ‘Treaty’ on the people of Barotseland that has long been rejected firstly by Zambia in 1969, and then by Barotseland in 2012, only because international pressure has lately been mounting on Lungu and his Zambian government to peacefully let the Barotse exercise their right of self-determination outside Zambia, after it failed to inure under the abrogated 1964 Barotseland Agreement.
Mr. Lungu’s present efforts have deliberately sidelined and excluded all major stakeholders in Barotseland and senior citizens who have been pursuing the Barotseland case. Some of those notably sidelined are leaders of the independence movement Linyungandambo; Afumba Mombotwa and a couple of his Barotseland transitional government members, who are still serving lengthy prison sentences at Mwembeshi Prison over the same matter that Lungu now wants to discuss with the select ruling party cadres masquerading as Barotseland representatives. Others conspicuously left out of Mr. Lungu’s proposed Barotseland discussion committee are the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) headed by former Ngambela Clement W Sinyinda.
However, and according to Mr. Lungu, the process will not be allowed to degenerate into ‘anarchy’ – whatever that means.
IS BAROTSELAND’S CONTINUED ZAMBIAN DOMINATION AN OPTION?
To the people of Barotseland, no solution deviating from the 27th March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) which called for the restoration of Barotseland sovereignty will be acceptable as BNC decisions are considered sacred and must be obeyed by all, including the Litunga of Barotseland. The BNC is the supreme and highest policy making body under Barotse governance, and in 2012, the council voted to accept Zambia’s termination of the 1964 treaty which attempted to unite the two British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland to form the unitary state of Zambia. All the major stakeholders in Barotseland are resolute in standing by the unanimous decisions of the 2012 BNC which is also the most representative organ in Barotse governance and represents the consensus of the Barotse nation in the same way a referendum would.
The 2012 decision set Barotseland on an unstoppable trajectory for independence, and some reports indicate that it has started receiving documented bilateral and diplomatic recognition. Therefore, the Zambian government will do well to be cautioned against imposing a ‘solution’ that will not be acceptable to the people of Barotseland, who are already pursuing national and international processes for the peaceful disengagement from Zambia guaranteed under various international laws and politics.