Editor General, Barotseland Post
Zambia’s propensity to shed innocent Barotse blood is so sickening that our blood is still boiling, tempers infuriated by the dumbfounding and mind-numbing gruesome videos and pictures that came out of Zambia’s Sesheke by-election political campaigns, especially as recorded on Friday the 8th, the day that Republican president, Edgar Lungu was in the area to drum up support for his ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party candidate in the election that was slated for Tuesday, 12th February 2019.
From the carnage, one would think the state agents needed a ritualistic sacrifice to feed the presidency’s diabolic appetite for Barotse blood! It makes us wonder what it is with Lozi blood that makes Zambian state agents and politicians crave it so much that they appear more easily ready to not only brandish their loaded guns but also discharge them at unarmed innocent children, young and old men and women!
The Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, has recently made some encouraging pronouncements that have cheered many in the Barotse fraternity. However, keen observers are still sceptical, and rightly so, because the BRE still seem to be out of tune with the current aspirations of the people, especially if Induna Ingangwana’s speech during the installation of the new Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, is anything to go by. Clearly, they don’t seem to know what the people of Barotseland want today.
The people themselves also seem to be confused about self-determination! Certainly, many do not understand that there are two kinds of self-determination which Barotseland must choose from; internal self-determination or external self-determination, and this BRE talk about ‘engaging’ the Zambian government for an equitable share of development does not really go well with the majority people of Barotseland who expect the BRE to be talking more of ‘disengaging’ or expelling the Lusaka government from Barotseland!
Clearly, the BRE are today trying to mend their apparently broken relationship with the people of Barotseland who they had watched being brutalized by the oppressive Zambian regime without doing anything to stop the brutality because they were all the while wining and dining with the oppressor. As such, the BRE was widely seen as collaborating with the Oppressor State and naturally became enemies of their own people!
For their efforts in repairing the broken relationship with the people, the BRE must largely be praised, commended and supported so that it will become easier for the Barotse nation to forge a united front in their pursuit for Barotseland self-determination.
Barotse people at home and abroad have united to launch a ‘Tweet for Freedom’ campaign initiative aimed at rallying all their supporters to utilize the social media giant Twitter, on a specific date to be announced, to highlight the anguish of the Barotse people regarding the long-standing and unresolved pre-independence Barotseland Agreement 1964, demanding that it be resolved now!
The campaign has so far solicited and united the support and endorsement of all the major Barotse communities and Barotse social media groups and networks home and abroad!
The ‘Tweet for Freedom’ campaign initiative is simply aimed at bringing to the attention of those who occupy positions of influence issues that the larger Baroste society holds dear but have been neglected by Zambian government policy makers because they are supposedly not of national importance or priority!
Most specifically, in this regard, is the all important matter of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which some Zambians not directly affected by it believe is no longer an issue! One Zambian High Commissioner even called it a non-issue on an international television platform recently!
Commemorating the end of World War I without a special mention of the contribution of King Lewanika I and his son, Sir Mwanawina III (KBE) King of Barotseland, is one of the most hypocritical stunts the Zambian state has pulled thus far.
In their centenary celebrations, slated for the northern Zambian town of Mbala where the last war shots were allegedly fired, government officials keep talking of how Zambia contributed 2000 plus soldiers to the war but conspicuously neglect to mention that, in fact, the 2000 of the about 2300 soldiers were actually from Barotseland, and were contributed to the war by King Lewanika I under the command of his own son, then Sergeant Mwanawina.
King Lewanika did not only send the 2000 men from Barotseland but he also reportedly contributed £1400 towards the war which later Germany, through their territories of Germany East and South West Africa, Tanzania and Namibia, intensified in Africa.
“For I know your manifold transgressions And your mighty sins: Afflicting the just and taking bribes; Diverting the poor from justice at the gate” Amos 5: 12 (NKJV) in the holy writ is a great indictment on Zambia, which by all indication, is a diabolical, thieving, corrupt and suppressive state! Zambia has failed to hold a national dialogue for over a year now to reconcile its citizenry over contentious national issues, and has for over five decades failed to reconcile with the Barotse people over the contentious pre-independence Barotseland Agreement 1964 for which the state is clearly culpable! Unfortunately, the Zambian State prefers arresting and killing the Barotse people whenever they raise the issues outstanding from the defunct pre-independence Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
The egoistic, outraged and simple-minded often fail to learn from the mistakes of the past! A case in point is the upholding of Afumba Mombotwa and two other Barotseland independence leaders’ subordinate court conviction by Zambia’s Supreme Court. And yet, to draw valuable lessons, the Zambian state would not have needed to look any further than the 1963-1964 Rivonia trial at which the iconic global champion in the struggle against white domination of the majority black South Africans, Nelson Mandela and seven of his comrades were condemned to life imprisonment with hard labour on charges of conspiracy, sabotage and treason, for simply advocating the freedom and equality of their people!