Editor General, Barotseland Post
The much anticipated date and event of presidential by-election is past and indelibly inscribed as one of the pages of the annuls of Zambian history. The day has come and gone, leaving among us souls that are either happy with the outcome, dismayed or indifferent to all the euphoria of the presidential by-election. The big question is what next? Of course, to the Zambian political community all minds now focus on the forthcoming general elections of 2016 when the losers hope to do better while winning PF wishes to maintain power in government, using the same election wiles or other means. On the other hand the Zambian electorate looks forward to the blissful days of enjoying the government service deliverables as manifestoed prior to election.
However, it is not in the best interest of this article for me to articulate on the implications of all this on the indigenous Zambian environment and will therefore do well to rest all discourses on the subject matter with the competent Zambian native analysts. My concern is sharing my views with my dear brothers and sister of Barotseland nativity.
We have said it over and over again in this forum that “resistance to change is a fact of human nature.”
Most of our events are characterized by this phenomenon. Our own change agenda is no exception. Without necessarily disparaging our voting rights a number of us voted hopefully to usher UPND into office “for a better united Zambia” as it were.
Unfortunately all hopes and dreams were shuttered when the final result indicated otherwise-that perhaps in God’s time it is not time for HH to take the reins of power in Zambian politics and government. What I also believe in strongly is the notion that God’s time is the best always; in God’s time and plan over the current status quo between Zambia and Barotseland, HH would be the wrong president over wrong people, unless his roots are also from Northern Rhodesia. But as far as I can reminisce history tells me that Namwala, his home area, is part of Barotseland territorial claim. This observation makes it very serious such that other than seeing the election result a failure for UPND and the sympathizers rather it should be reckoned a blessing in disguise and victory for motherland Barotseland.
In other words, the apparent loss perspective implies that there is truth that most of us are still failing to assimilate into our lifestyle. The lesson however, is, unless we seriously come to terms with our present truth and embrace our dear change accordingly we will keep electioneering in Zambia in search for answers which God has long provisioned back home in Barotseland, in our quest for freedom of independence, original statehood and nationhood, as opposed to our former 50 years of freedom of dependence on Zambia. Our neighbor Zambia knows this very well and hence the frantic efforts not allow that folly to transpire. The other lesson from the election result is that there is no more room for Barotzish in Zambian politics because of what we stand for- clearly we were regarded as foreigners who could not be trusted with instruments of power, even when we were fulltime and co-partners in the birthing of Zambia. Even though we still had the residues of the BA ’64 in the Unitary Republic in later years, history is full of evidence to that effect. Otherwise, why all the fear that “neither Lozi nor Tonga will ever rule Zambia”? This is one reason I have gleaned from some international Zambia friends.
I find it quite perturbing that outsiders know the truth about our Change agenda and yet Barotse citizens still ignore or flirt away their true identity, in the name of love, peace and unity the very virtues that Zambia is abusing for self-aggrandizement. I hope we will take this hard lesson seriously and rise up to the occasion and take up the challenge in waiting for us ahead, as a new nation. We need to assert our true identity wherever we are; in whatever we are and exude the pride and confidence embodied in our reclaimed citizenship and statehood.
While some are not yet complying, it is worth taking advantage of this platform to acknowledge the many that are conforming in many ways to our very dear cause of total independence from Zambia. WE NEED TO BE PROUDLY BAROTSELAND CITIZENS AS NOBODY ELSE CAN DO IT FOR US. ARE YOU? FOR ME TO LIVE, IT IS BECAUSE I AM A LOZI AND TO DIE IT IS BECAUSE OF WHO I AM, THAT ‘S MY MOTTO, UNTIL I SEE THE FULFILLMENT OF ROMANS 17:26
“And hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation...!”
My country and I do not exist coincidentally, but God determined beforehand. This is what roots the certainty of our change agenda. In God’s timetable our day of freedom and independence is certain and coming, to dwell in the bounds of our habitation from ‘Nyambe mushemi wa luna, mufi wa naha yaluna, musilelezi wa bana bahae’ .A –M –E –N!!!!
The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) has written to President Edgar Lungu demanding the start of the process to separate Barotseland from Northern Rhodesia.
The letter of demand was delivered at State House today, Monday. The letter signed by BNFA chairperson Clement Sinyinda says the people of Barotseland are only interested in self-determination as a separate country.
A copy of the letter obtained by the Zambian watchdog is here reproduced: http://barotsepost.com/administrator/images/bnfa_letter_to_edgar_lungu2015.pdf
As I pull myself together to start punching the key board for this write - up, polling stations across Zambia , including Barotseland by default , are busy counting the ballot papers. This means the dice has been cast and the decision has been made in as far as who takes over the mantle of leadership and the instruments of power in Zambia after the demise of one, Michael Chilufya Sata, MHSRIEP. Mr. Sata became famous for his campaign promise to do ‘ everything ’ in ninety (90) days when he becomes president , the ninety days prior to his replacement on the Zambian ‘throne’ have been characterized by mayhem and frenzy and a s well as so much paradox and inconsistencies as to boggle the mind. No wonder someone ended up wishing to go to the moon until the dust in ‘Zed’ settles down.
Watching from the terraces as Mwana’Mulozi , one can only conclude that indeed , ‘A revolution is not a tea party or an invitation to dinner , it is a violent overthrow of one class by another,’ said Chairman Mao Tse Tung of China . The manner in which presidential candidates traversed the land in search of votes, made it seem like a matter of life and death , no wonder we have seen unprecedented levels of violence prior to the actual voting day. This was due to the heat of the intellectual and moral combat spilling over into physical confrontation and violence in the negative sense. If the Zambia presidential candidates can engage each other so fiercely for an opportunity to go to plot one, let no Mwana ’ Mulozi think we can achieve Barotseland statehood by sitting idle, being armchair critics of those in the forefront and only participating by asking the famous question; “Luzamaela kai?” (How far are we?). There is no way we can move to our desired destination while sited in our ‘ Lazy - man’s rocking chair ’ , ever in motion but going nowhere. Actualizing Barotseland statehood is a serious revolution! It cannot be overemphasized that: ‘A revolution is not a tea party or an invitation to dinner; it is a violent overthrow of one class by another ’. I should not be misunderstood to advocate for violence in the negative sense. There is such a thing as being combative intellectually, morally, legally and using many other non - violent ‘violent ’ means to achieve a desired goal. They called it non - violent civil disobedience in the civil rights movement of America and the velvet revolution in the Arab Spring of most recent years
The ‘Zambian game of thrones’ means almost nothing to Barotseland because it is about another country. It is very unfortunate that it ha s actually extended to Barotseland , which has already decided to separate from the rest of Zambia. The auxiliary value of the current presidential elections to Barotseland is to produce the next occupant of the Zambia state house who has to be engaged on the actualization of Barotseland statehood as soon as he or she is sown in to office . In fact , I do not envy Zambia ’ s sixth president at all because we do not intend to give him or her the luxury of a honey - moon even for a week after the swearing in ceremony . As advocates for the statehood of Barotseland and activists for Barotseland ’ s Right to self - determination, we are in a hurry to actualize the aspiration of the people of Barotseland who strongly BELIEVE in their RIGHT to SELF - DETERMINATION and SELF - RULE
Barotseland issue, which has haunted Zambian politicians of all ages whether they admit it or not. The exchange of opinion and ideas on the Barotseland issue clearly demonstrate that it is a crucial issue that cannot be taken lightly by any sane person that aspires to occupy Zambia ’ s highest office. Sometimes people think that the Barotseland issue in Zambia is a none - issue once they enter in to state house . However, it has been a key election issue especially since the dawn of democracy in a multiparty environment in 1991. It can actually be said that some politicians as crafty and subtle as snakes have used the issue to gain entrance into state house. Let no one be deceived that the Barotseland issue is a none - issue in as far as Zambia is concern ed for it is the foundation of Zambia as a jurisdiction. This time round , it is even more crucial in the wake of the March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) resolutions , which have rendered Zambia a failed unitary state when the people of Barotseland finally opted out since she cannot continue to be part o f a union that ha s been trivialized , violated and unilaterally abrogated with scornful impunity by the other party .
Among the current crop of men and one woman running for the office of president for the failed unitary state of Zambia, the one that spoke with so much clarity over the Barotseland issue is Dr Ludwig Sondashi, a constitutional lawyer and native of Kaonde land in what is today called the North - western province of Zambia. I must confess , it felt so relieving and indeed refreshing to hear someone speak with so much clarity about Barotseland’s right to self - determination and self - rule . The learned Sondashi clearly stated among other things that:
- Barotseland is not a province of Zambia and , therefore , not like any province of Zambia. It was (until 27th March 2012) in fact a state within a state just like it was a protectorate within a protectorate from 1911 to 1964.
- Zambia cannot be Zambia as we know it without Barotseland and the Barotseland Agreement 1964 on one side and Barotseland cannot be part of Zambia without the Barotseland Agreement 1964 on the other side .
- The decision as to whether Barotseland should be part of Zambia (upon the restoration of the BA ’ 64 of course) or pursue its own independent statehood (as per the March 2012 BNC Resolutions) is a preserve of the people of Barotseland alone without the interference of the rest of Zambia
The position of Dr. Sondashi is not an afterthought but clearly spelt out in the Forum for Development Alternatives manifesto . What is interesting is that the learned Kaonde man has not been cited for treason or treason felony by the powers that be . Neither has his party been outlawed for being divisive nor his manifesto classified as being seditious material
Another candidate who made his position clear on Barotseland was Dr Nevers S. Mumba , of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy who , among other things said that he will immediately embark on preparations for a Barotseland exclusive referendum to determine the course to be taken by Barotseland and its people, if elected to be the sixth president of the failed unitary state of Zambia . While other people and activists saw no need for a referendum when the people of Barotseland have already decide to separate from the rest of Zambia through the BNC resolutions, I am glad that the man of God w as conscious enough to at least know that t he Barotse reserve the right to determine their future. After all I BELIEVE the Barotse people are so fade up of the Zambian fallacy that no matter how many times you ask them in whatever form — BNC, referendum or otherwise — their answer is the same — self - determination and self - rule — just as they resolved in the March 2012 BNC resolutions. The other Candidates were mute about the issue except, Eric Chanda, leader for the Fourth Revolution who opened his mouth only to expose his total ignorance about the whole issue.
A number of things come to the fore in my min d at least, as a result of the electioneering debate , among which are :
- No Mwana ’ Mulozi from whatever walk of life should ever shy away from speaking freely about Barotseland ’ s Right to self - determination and self - rule or indeed participating in any way possible, from now henceforth because “ IT IS NOT TREASON TO SEEK FREEDOM! ” Dr. Ludwig Sondashi our traditional cousin ’ s example is there for all to see .
- Let it be known that it does not matter who wins the race to plot one. The people s of Barotseland are determined to actualize Barotseland statehood.
- There shall be no honeymoon or relaxing after the electioneering marathon. Zambia ’ s sixth president must touch the ground running over the issue of Barotseland.
- The Barotse people should be prepared to declare to the world at any time and in any w ay, that they BELIEVE IN BAROTSELAND’s RIGHT to SELF - DETERMINATION and SELF - RULE, nothing will change that. No matter how many times they are asked and w h at ever method is used. T he people of Barotseland should demonstrate that they have declared as per the March 2012 resolutions .
The people of Barotseland can hardly wait for the declaration of the sixth president of the failed unitary state of Zambia so as to prepare to lock horns with him or her on the transitional arrangements towards the Barotseland statehood . This is an issue that the past five presidents have not dared to do . By handling this issue he or she will stand up head and shoulder above his or her predecessors - BNFA.INFO
The case involving Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and three other officials of Barotseland provisional government has been transferred to Kabwe High Court for possible Commencement of Trial on some yet to be determined date.
This transpired when the quartet appeared before Mumbwa magistrate Court today 26th January 2015, facing charges of Sedition and treason felony.
They are charged on the account that on unknown date but between March 1, 2012 and August 20, 2013 while in Sioma district the four , Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Hon. Kalima Inambao, Hon. Pelekelo Kalima and Hon. Paul Masiye jointly acting together with unknown people conspired to secede "Western Province" (Barotseland) from the rest of Zambia.
The four were detained at Mwembeshi prison and are now expected to be transferred to Kabwe.
Afumba was a member of the committee which presented resolutions at the Barotseland National Council (BNC) held on 26th and 27th March 2012 at Limulunga in Mongu, which declared independence of Barotseland from Zambia.
The resolutions were assented to by the Litunga as per policy of the Barotseland National Council, the highest policy making body in Barotseland.
The Zambian government was represented at the 2012 BNC by the Provincial Minister, Provincial PS, Western Province Police Commissioner Siandenge and the Western Provincial Army Headquarters Commander while several diplomats accredited to Zambia from USA, UK, France, German, Netherlands, Botswana and Lesotho also attended.
The BNC resolved to revert Barotseland to her previous status as a separate country from Zambia after the Zambian government refused to restore the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, a treaty which joined the former British protectorates of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia to form Zambia.
Consequently, on 14th August 2013, Afumba took oath of office as head of the provisional government to over see the transitional period of Zambia's disengagement from Barotseland and restoration of institutions of governance, as Administrator General, before popular elections could be organized and held to elect a civil prime minister.
Barotseland authorities have since submitted the matter before the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights, an organ of the African Union based in Banjul, Gambia where the matter is being considered but Zambia failed to submit counter evidence despite being given three months to counter the 258 page evidence that Barotseland submitted.
Zambia has also refused to sign the Permanent Court of Arbitration Submission Agreement to settle the matter amicably before the Permanent Court of Arbitration based at The Hague.
Another team of international Lawyers are in the process of handing documents for signing to the Zambian President Edgar Lungu for the matter to be settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
The team was in Zambia to submit documents to the President two weeks ago but had to wait for the new President to be elected.
Today’s Court Session
Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters stood up and left the court room in frustration, went outside to sing Barotseland songs of solidarity, as the magistrate announced the committal of the case to Kabwe High court. The court, which was fully parked with the supporters and sympathizers of the Barotse activists, seemed to have been besieged.
The actual date of beginning of trial at the Kabwe High court, in Kabwe Zambia, is not yet known.
This latest action taken by the Patriotic Front government under new President Edgar Lungu has not been received well by most Lozis who expressed fear and safety of their detained leaders. This means that the accused are now most likely going to be transferred to Kabwe central Zambia, far from their families, while they remain in detention awaiting start of trial. There has been fears raised of food poisoning or some other type of poisoning or harm planned to be tactfully applied to the detained Barotseland leaders as a way of eliminating them for good.
Treason felony attracts a death penalty upon conviction under Zambian laws, and this will be the first ever trial of persons accused of treason over Barotseland’s statehood, as others were merely detained without trial in the past.
Zambia's sixth president Edgar Lungu must touch the ground running over the issue of Barotseland, there is no honeymoon on this issue. Our 2012 BNC resolutions are clear and empathetic. Barotseland's right to self rule cannot be denied to her by any one as it hinges on public international law. We believe in the right to self determination and nothing can change our resolve even in the face of death.
During the run up to Zambia's sixth presidential election, Ludwig Sondashi and Nevers Mumba freely discussed this issue and none was arrested and charged with treason. Why should it only become treason when discussed by Lozi nationals? This exposes Zambia's double standards and it should be a wakeup call to all the people of Barotseland that Zambia holds worst consideration for Barotseland. The utterances of Dr. Ludwig Sondashi are worthy reading knowing that they come from a Zambian constitutional lawyer:-
- "Barotseland is not a province of Zambia and, therefore, not like any province of Zambia. It was (until 27th March 2012) in fact a state within a state just like it was a protectorate within a protectorate from 1911 to 1964.
- The decision as to whether Barotseland should be part of Zambia (upon the restoration of the BA’64 of course) or pursue its own independent statehood (as per the March 2012 BNC Resolutions) is a preserve of the people of Barotseland alone without the interference of the rest of Zambia"
One is confronted with a question, though, why the Zambian government did not arrest and charge Dr. Sondashi of treason felony? Neither has his party been outlawed for being 'divisive' nor his manifesto classified as being 'seditious' material, as many other Zambians commented on this issue but were left Scot free without arrest. This accords a rare window into the thinking and rationale of the Zambian government's views on the Barotseland issue. Therefore, Lozis from all walks of life should now be speaking freely about Barotseland's Right to self-determination and self-rule or indeed participating in any way possible because IT IS NOT TREASON TO SEEK FREEDOM.
We expect the Barotseland patriot for independence and the BRE to engage the new Zambian president Edgar Lungu to immediately start the negotiations of disengagement as tricksters will never be tolerated. Remember that this is the man who exhibits worst considerations of Barotseland and never said anything about it during his presidential message campaigns. We expect tougher time ahead with this man from the way he handled it when he was a minister of Home affairs and Defense; he militarized our territory, arrested our activists and detained them for months without trial, even now the Administrator General of Barotseland provisional government and others are still incarceration at Mwembeshi state prison. The people of Barotseland will not take it kindly with Zambia should the issue of Barotseland not be given serious considerations it deserves and the Lukewarm altitude of the BRE will not be accommodated.
By Saleya Kwalombota
I do not delight in talking of the recent Zambian presidential by-election results for the reason that Zambia as a unitary state no longer exists. However, it is worthy analyzing the outcome of the presidential results. It is worthy of note that the outcome of Zambia's presidential by-election has exposed that Zambia is indeed a divided country, contrary to the one 'Zambia one nation' slogan misinterpreted to be the uniting of 73 Zambian ethnic tribes. However, this result has not come as a surprise to most, because since Independence, Zambia has never had a president from the region that was once under Barotseland North western Rhodesia, unless anointed by a Bemba clique within the ruling party e.g the late Levy Mwanawasa. The vote has clearly being divided along the lines of the old boundaries of Barotseland North Western Rhodesia on one side and the North Eastern Rhodesia on the other, with the latter voting predominantly for the wining candidate, Edgar Lungu, in the 20th January 2015. This in itself is not the worrying issue, but what is very worrying is the backlash being received by the tribes hailing from the other side who opted to vote for the losing candidate, Hakainde Hichilema, who are now being called all sorts of unprintable words and names for not having voted for their winning candidate!
For the past 50 years, Zambia has been running a scheme to oppress and hurt Lozi nationals and ethnic tribes of North western Rhodesia. Talking to any Lozi hailing from Barotseland from all the walks of life, except those whose stomachs are fed by the PF oppressive regime, they will confess that they are genuinely hurt. The hatred for the Lozi nationals and tribes of former North western Rhodesia is rife in every sphere of life in Zambia and now it has even turned into a terminally illness without cure, hence the justifiable call of the Patriots for Barotseland independence. Lozis are not seeking attention, but respect of their inalienable right of self determination. Zambia is a Christian nation and as Christians believe, in particular, that without shedding of Jesus's blood, there could be no salvation. The blood of Jesus Christ still speaks even today. In the same vein the Barotseland activist’s blood that was shed in 2011 is speaking up to now until the reason it was shed for is accomplished, there is no turning back.
It should not be forgotten that the ‘One Zambia and One Nation’ slogan was corrupted by the Kaunda regime, contrary to a social unifying slogan as many people perceive it today, but an anthropological and sociological scheme formulated to devalue the status of the Lozis in Zambia and its results can be seen on the faces of many Lozis in Barotseland. Unfortunately, despite their education, intelligence and being predisposed to leadership, many elite Lozis of profound standing bought into the slogan for the sake of their stomachs, selfishness and greediness which has led Barotseland to its present day enslavement. It is not a hidden fact that most of the prominent Lozis that became Dr. Kaunda’s close associates became Lozi sell-outs. Even today, they will never stand for the noble cause of freeing Barotseland from the yokes of discrimination, poverty, illiteracy and disease which came as a result of bonding Barotseland to thieves. And today the hatred for the Lozis and North western Rhodesian tribes is no longer a secret, but it has been professionalized.
In Zambia today, it is neither a crime nor a sin for most of the private radio and television stations located in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, which are licensed to broadcast in English as the official language but instead, have resorted to using only two native languages, that is, Bemba and Nyanja. Even the national’s Public Broadcaster ZNBC, despite English being the official language, their DJs and TV presenters have also resorted to only using two native languages in addition to English to the displeasure of well meaning Zambians.
If the time for the Lozi people has come for them to restore their territory, why should a person who does not hail from Barotseland stop them in the first place? Zambia has no powers, whatsoever, to continue enslaving the Lozi nationals. The people are tired of discrimination, segregation, poverty, arrests and subjugation.
By Saleya Kwalombota