The Barotse always felt they had a special relationship with the British Empire, one that granted them the power to run their own affairs. And when Zambia won its independence in 1964 they sought to maintain that autonomy, but the likes of Kenneth Kaunda and Fredrick Chiluba weren’t interested. Nor was Rupiah Banda. His security forces suppressed separatist rallies. Nayoto Lyamba was among those detained during those days. “We were taken to Lusaka and were detained in Lusaka Central police, eeh, Central prison. The detention was very bad. Seriously bad. So prison condition is always bad” lamented Nayoto Lyamba.
A new generation of Barotse is now taking up the fight and they insist the president’s threats will not deter them. “We have been appealing to the Zambian government since 1964, since 1969 that we should come on the round table and discuss this issue but they have been making a lot of excuses” revealed a Barotseland National Youth League activist.
But there is more at stake here than new laws and a new flag. Zambia’s integrity is also in question.See embedded video below:
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