By Mutungulu Wanga, Deputy Chairperson General-Strategy and Diaspora Liaison, BNFA
Reasonable people are not easily moved by happenings around them, taking action only when there is absolute need and not regretting it afterwards. But in society there are other people who are naturally unsure of themselves and these are prone to move with the wind, which ever direction it blows. A clear demonstration is found in harvested grain, such as maize, which is normally mixed with some remnants of off cuts of maize stock leaves or cob covers, otherwise known as biwawayi . When the wind blows the maize grain, on account of its high value, does not move or shake but the biwawayi will always manifest movements, depicting their unstable character.
The recent Barotse Post article by Shuwanga containing rumblings against the Movement for the Restoration of Barotseland (MOREBA) and its alliance partners in the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) calls for comments because it is a follow-up on a number of other postings by him, which have been ignored for their inconsequential content, thereby raising need for the writer to be made aware of his error lest he is carried away with the mistaken belief that his performance is anything to write home about. Meanwhile, it should pointed out, from the outset, that each and every time members of the BNFA have had to debate an issue with anyone on this forum it has been in form of a response to attacks on either the organization in general or specific individual members of the organization. Surprisingly, some contributors to the debate who bemoan the fact that the matters arising from the ensuing exchange constitute washing of dirt linen in public only come up with their wise counsel after those who were on the receiving end of the barrage of attacks have responded, forgetting the much more wise adage that prevention is better than cure. It is with this background that the following comments on Shuwanga's recent effort at painting red the BNFA and, through it, MOREBA, are made:
1. 1. Meaning and Purpose of an Organizational Alliance.
Clearly, Mutompehi Shuwanga has a very misleading understanding of not only the functioning of an alliance of organizations but also that of groupings of individuals. It appears, from the disappointment he displays on seeing MOREBA's characteristics emerging in the BNFA, that his expectations were that the organizations that formed the Alliance would cease to exist and a completely new set up devoid of any semblance of the partners will emerge. This is a very poor interpretation of the word Alliance as a noun, and he would be better advised to pick up the ELD (English learners dictionary) to acquaint himself with the correct meaning of the word so that he performs better next time he grapples with this subject.
The BNFA is an umbrella organ through which the programmes of the member organizations are channeled and coordinated, nothing more and nothing less. While it is expected that the Alliance partners will influence and even modify each others programmes and outlook, the major objective is that of coordinated effort and thus enhanced action on issues and not annihilation of member organizations of the Alliance. This is the basic ingredient of any Alliance or partnership, whether at individual or organizational level, and this extends even to amalgamation of nations into federal or unitary states. The reason the unitary state of Zambia has failed is that the characteristics of Barotseland as a partner have been suppressed by the governing authorities and this is a recipe for breakup of any such partnership. It is assumed herein that Mutompehi Shuwanga is married, and an examination of his family unit will show that the characteristics of both himself and his spouse are not only reflective in his homestead but the offspring of the marriage as well. Anyone who finds fault with such a revelation does not know what they are dealing with.
As for the complaint about MOREBA altering its colours to embrace total independence of Barotseland contrary to its original stance, this is a contradiction of the assertion that the same MOREBA has high jacked the Alliance. The truth is that MOREBA and its Alliance partners as well as those outside the Alliance were participants in the historic Barotse National Council Resolutions of 27 March 2012. The Chairperson of MOREBA was appointed to preside over the Resolutions Committee of the Conference and went on to present the resolutions to the Plenary Session of the Conference for their adoption. How then can MOREBA be expected to work contrary to its own resolutions? The fact is members of MOREBA are good at executing that which they commit themselves to, the only difference being that they do so in a reasoned, well thought out and coordinated manner as opposed to ku tulatula fela wa simbotwe sesi yambilwe ki sului.
1. 2. Report to Kuta on Meeting with President Sata.
Shuwanga alleges that MOREBA high jacked the presentation of the report on the meeting with President Sata. This is twisted story telling. The fact is that at the time of that encounter with State House no established liaison arrangements were made among the organizations that had been invited, and the said organizations were invited in their individual capacities. As a matter of fact the representatives of Linyungandambo and BFM at that meeting did, immediately on their return to Mongu, present a verbal report to the Kuta and this they did without the involvement of MOREBA. The latter, on their part, decided to file in a written report which was copied to President Sata and the Cabinet Ministers who had been part of the State House meeting. When Shuwanga and his friends got sight of the report they were infuriated, not by its contents but the fact that they were not part of it. In their blind fury they forgot that they had already presented their own verbal report to which they did not invite MOREBA and the latter had no issues with this fact. In an attempt to make up for what they considered inadequate performance on their part they set out to produce their own written report, in which they copied everything from the MOREBA report, including commas and full stops. When MOREBA followed up with a visit to the Kuta on its report which had gone in advance, Shuwanga and company also chose to present their own written version at the same time. The Kuta was naturally amused by their action, after listening to the reading of the report and realizing it was a reproduction of the MOREBA paper. The Kuta, in its wisdom, decided that what was to be presented to the Kaongolo ka Nyambe would be the MOREBA report but that all who had presented themselves for the occasion would be allowed in the Kashandi to witness the same. Shuwanga and company readily accepted this decision and this is how they formally adopted the MOREBA report for the said presentation. What is evident in all this is that while Shuwanga and his likes detest the existence of MOREBA they, on many occasions, have had no problems associating themselves with its products. The issue of holding the BNC came up during both the Kuta and Kashandi sessions and all were agreed that the matter was urgent. The liaison meeting which followed was suggested to the rest of the entourage by Mutompehi Mukubesa Ilukena, the representative of Linyungandambo, and Shuwanga was in attendance at the time of the proposal which was made immediately after the Kashandi session. The MOREBA party accepted the suggestion and requested Ilukena and his Mongu based friends to arrange for the venue so that the liaison meeting could be held the following day. As matters turned out it took the initiative of the MOREBA side to secure the venue at Lyambai hotel because those who had proposed for holding of the meeting could not do so. This was the birth of the Liaison Committee for the groups, and MOREBA cannot claim to have initiated it and has never done so.
1. 3. BNFA as an Exclusive and Elitist Body.
As a background, it must be established that MOREBA was born out of efforts by organizations that existed prior to its formation, to create a joint front for securing Barotseland emancipation. Shuwanga is very much aware of those efforts as he was personally involved in recruiting would be member organizations and individuals. However, it turned out that some of the targeted groups and individuals chose to shun the meeting that was held at Mongu's Mumwa Crafts Center to launch the new organization and its objectives, but Shuwanga was in attendance and ended up as a member of the Steering Committee of what emerged as the Movement for the Restoration of the Barotseland Agreement, abbreviated as MOREBA. He was to pull out shortly thereafter. Nonetheless, the organization persisted in its endevours, through the petitioning of the National Constitutional Conference, the Roger Chongwe Commission whose recommendations tied up with the MOREBA presentation but was spurned by President Sata, right up to the holding of the BNC. It must be emphasized, for the sake of clarity, that it was Sata's u-turn on his promises with regard to Barotseland and, most importantly, his refusal to accede to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry which he voluntarily appointed, that precipitated MOREBA's review of its strategy on Barotseland and the fate of the organization in this respect was sealed at the BNC of 27 March 2012 .
The Groups Liaison Committee (GLC) which led to the formation of the BNFA was chaired by Mutompehi Mukubesa Ilukena of Linyungandambo. MOREBA missed most of its meetings, attending only two out of six and those missed include the last meeting which resolved to form the BNFA . The targeted member organizations were called upon to nominate five members each to form the Executive Committee of the Alliance which, by decision of the Groups Liaison Committee, was to invite Mutompehi Wainyaye Sinyinda to head it as Chairman-General. MOREBA, alive to the factors that had ensued at its own formation, where those who had initially been in the forefront withdrew at the last minute, took its time in formally joining the Alliance. Linyungandambo members, led by its Secretary General, Samuel Kalimukwa and Mukubesa Ilukena having been the Linyungandambo representative on the GLC, which he had also chaired, as well as the BFM members were the first to enter the Alliance Executive Committee. However, the inaugural meeting was delayed by MOREBA's late entry but this eventually took place. Nonetheless, it is a notorious fact the Afumba Mombotwa led Linyungandambo turned their back on the BNFA the moment it was formed, despite having held the position of Chairperson of the GLC whose activities caused the birth of the Alliance. To this end, their Secretary General, who had occupied the same position in the Alliance, attended only the inaugural meeting and was to disappear immediately thereafter, amidst statements of condemnation of the new Alliance by his Linyungandambo leadership. Those who had accompanied him in the Alliance were also eventually forced out by their leadership.
The foregoing is a presentation of the attitudes of some of our compatriots to the idea of unified front over Barotseland. Their idea is that an alliance should be based on their partners discarding of their principles in favour of theirs or, indeed, they and only they should lead. When they do not get these conditions they cannot accept the alliance, even if they are the ones who initiated it in the first place. As for MOREBA, they will invite it along but the moment it makes its entrance they will be so petrified that they will immediately shoot up niku lusikisa lubilo kuli mane abayo yema ki kwa buse bwa Windhoek. Now Shuwanga is yet again inviting the BNFA , in which MOREBA is comprised, to join the so called Transitional Government. Does he want to start another long run to Windhoek? It is nonsensical to invite partnership from someone whose ideals and work methods you do not agree with. Indeed, it is a reflection of low level thinking to insist on such deals when they cannot work. Meanwhile, the idea that Barotseland independence can only be achieved when all political organizations merge is utopian. A look around SADC, Africa and the world proves that the general rule is that of multiplicity of liberation movements in countries which attained independence from oppressors, whether foreign or local. Mergers may have their advantages but they cannot be forced and, in this respect, it is important to recognize the inevitability of diversity and learn how to manage it.
1. 4. The Transitional Government.
This illusive government of Barotseland has changed nomenclature each time its existence is questioned. It started as the government- in-waiting but when we questioned if it was to wait forever it quickly changed to government-in-place . We then questioned how a government in place can tolerate the arrests and trial of its people and leaders by foreign forces within the territory in which it is in place. This question arose in our response to unfair attacks over the proposal for the establishment of the Barotseland Transitional Authority (BTA) submitted to the Kuta. We note that following that question and the issue of BTA the government-in-place became the Transitional government of Barotseland. This tells a lot about knowledge of what constitutes a government by the people concerned, the bottom line being that it is nothing but very big mandwani . Of late we have heard that this government had approached the BRE to give it a letter authorizing it to fund raise among the people of Barotseland in aid of legal fees for Botswana and South African Lawyers who should take the issue of Barotseland independence to the International Court of Justice. It boggles ones mind to hear of a government of a territory seeking someone else's authority to raise funds from its own citizens. The BRE, of course, did not take the issue seriously. Meanwhile, elements of this same government had poured scorn on the initiative by the BNFA to engage the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and The Hague based International Court of Arbitration, and their reasoning is that Barotseland is already independent and does not need court processes to get what it already has. This is infantile delinquency at its very best.
1. 5. Rumour Mongering and the Specter of Educated Illiterates:
There is a very bad element of easily being carried away by rumours, mostly generated by those who wish Barotseland ill. This unfortunate situation thrives on failure to counter check information and swallowing anything that paints the opponent black. Most unfortunately, even those better placed in terms of exposure and formal education fail to use their acquired attributes because they are too lazy to interrogate information being fed to them, to the total detriment of society. The specter of educated illiterates manifests itself in people who are gifted with the ability to read and interpret information being drawn into conclusions from loose and idle talk and even acting on it without taking the trouble to examine the relevant documents for guidance. This is what happened with the AGAPE Associates letter which was projected by rumour mongers as a letter from GRZ inviting the BRE and the BNFA to discussions on the issue of Barotseland. A lot of opponents of the BNFA went into a battle cry calling for the blood of Hon Sinyinda and his lieutenants, without seeking to read the letter first. This was an act of illiteracy on the part of these people, notwithstanding whether or not they are literate whenever they decide to be. When you are educated but fail to read literature to help society you are as good as the one who can't read, and if you fail to correctly interpret information because you are too lazy to read a document critically then you are semi-illiterate, notwithstanding the fact that you have ability to understand the written word if you really cared to do so, by reading instead of just glancing at the document. It is noted that Shuwanga has persistently brought up the phrases of semi- illiterates and picking wrong end of stick that were used in the article defending the BNFA against unfounded attacks on alleged invitation to a meeting by government on account of the AGAPE letter, which allegation continues to this day under a different form with different accused persons. But allegations are just that, ie, allegations. Nonetheless, Shuwanga's obsession in this respect arises from the fact that he is one of those who had swallowed the bait and sees the semi-illiterate phrase as having been aimed at him. As has been said by the wise, the guilty are always afraid, meaning that mu ipilaezi kiyena sifosi.
The Barotseland struggle is a long and tedious undertaking, requiring the contribution of all who care. However, as we rise from time to time to put in whatever we can, we should at all times strive kuli lube limbonyi, lusike lwaba siwawayi.
The time for the annual Kuomboka ceremony has come again after last years’ ceremony was cancelled as Barotseland was mourning the queen who died weeks before the ceremony was scheduled to be held.
The ceremony has always been graced by a guest of honour from the Zambian government mostly the President or Vice President.
This trend should however not be a routine as Barotseland declared independence from Zambia and is at liberty to invite a guest of honour from within Barotseland or any friendly country.
Since Zambians have refused to peacefully vacate Barotseland and have maintained their presence by force, they should not be invited to grace our ceremony because this will be tantamount to shooting ourselves in the foot.
The Zambian government has so far refused to listen to the people of Barotseland and has continued to arrest and terrorise our leaders and people but want to officiate at our ceremony to mislead their people and the international community that all was well between Zambia and Barotseland.
It is however time for the people of Barotseland through the Barotseland Royal Authority (BRA) to send a clear message to Zambia that we are no longer interested in their make believe (Mandwani) games by not inviting them to officiate at the ceremony.
If the Zambian government is interested in attending the ceremony, either through President Lungu or Vice President Inonge Wina, then they should attend just as tourists.
We are determined to restore our country's self determination, even though faced with resistance, but the process of overcoming resistance is the beginning of freedom. We will forever shame our oppressors (Zambia) as we courageously contribute to Barotseland’s independence struggle, and make strides to statehood recognition among the international community. Just like climbing a high mountain, those who are committed to justice don't expect to get to the top in one climb. They recognize the need to establish a base camp and then a series of more advanced camps before the final push. If Barotseland lacked the fabric of justice, it would have been at war with Zambia by now because our oppressors walk not in the interest of peace and justice but of deception and treachery.
Barotseland independence campaign will not be silenced by oppressive measures taken by our enemy by prolonged detention of Barotseland's Administrator General and three members of his cabinet. We draw our motivation logically from moral principles that govern our conscience and actions. The sad part is that the Zambian authorities together with their Zambian civil societies think that the occupation of Barotseland is "irreversible". That word - "irreversible" - is not in the vocabulary of Barotseland people because people are well enlightened on the issue.
Yet - thanks to the important work of citizens journalism and members of freedom movements through our platforms like Barotsepost, Linyungandambo secretariat, Barotseland broadcast network, Barotse voice, Barotseland free state and mutomo for their informative articles - the "irreversible" will soon be reversed.
Despite being faced with extraordinary challenges, including resource constraints to expand our communication platforms and paying for our own programs, isolation from media coverage (especially Zambian controlled media houses) and 'overwhelming odds'. The people of Barotseland have remained resolute and continued to campaign for independence focused on internationally agreed principles, eschewed ideology and non violent methodology. It will be a good gesture for every Mulozi to contribute to the struggle at all levels to maximize use of the international systems, media and civil society networks.
It is of importance too, in our independence demand to draw attention for justice. The Barotseland independence struggle should be embraced by all people who precisely believe in justice and rule of law. Unity is the foundation of achievement, in like manner; it is difficult in the absence of unity to attain our desired independence. We are dealing with a rogue state that does not respect the sanctity of human rights and preservation of public international law. I am of the view that it is important to call things by their correct names. It's not wrong to call "Zambia a rogue state and the genesis of Zambia is founded on lies". We must call an end to the ongoing illegal occupation of Barotseland by Zambia with affirmative "NO" demand. Barotseland must be free.
It seems Zambia has failed to adhere to our demand to release all our people detained on Barotseland related matters and have the impasse settled before the impartial court i.e international court of Justice. Nevertheless, we are thankful to our international lawyers’ standing- in for the Barotseland provisional government on behalf of the people of Barotseland to take Zambia to the international court of Justice despite Zambia's unwillingness to corporate.
Barotseland must be free. Tukongote wa Mwana Nongolo.
Our grand fathers will have huge jubilation if our Might Freedom comes, while, we will set the future of our children's children straight, than what we have seen in 50 years of slavery under Zambia's rule.
We appreciate donor funded projects underway by the colonial master such as the water transport between Angola and Barotseland. However, let these not be maliciously mistaken or used to divert from the reality of our struggle to bring back our sovereignty.
We believe in “Right is might” while Zambia is chasing the blowing wind in the “Might is Right” view point.
We want our sovereignty to develop our country because we can't rely on a Foreign Government to develop our country, on mare slogans like “one Zambia one Nation.”
Why should some click reduce a territory to a province? Who is selfish here, and what's that behavior?
Surely should we be labeled selfish just because we are claiming what belongs to us after being disrespected, mismanaged, antagonized, arrested, tortured, maimed, killed and name it, for voicing out that something is wrong by not respecting us legally or our inalienable Right???
We should find a better word to describe Zambia's action on Barotseland, as ‘selfish’ isn't enough.
Enough is enough or should we add ‘enougher’ as there isn't such a word!
May Zambia come to the realization that the people of Barotseland want Nothing but INDEPENDENCE as BNC March 26-28, 2012 Resolutions implemented to exercise their Political, Social and Economical Right in accordance with the African Charter on Human and People's Right.
It doesn't make any sense for a step father to tell me to identify myself with him when my father has existed before him.
Barotseland has existed before Zambia therefore her nationals (Barotse) don't need to identify by a mare and Illegal referendum by a step father.
Mwangala, a Barotse National
The entire history of the freedom movements is replete with the saga of bravery, sacrifice and political sagacity of great men and women from all walks of life. Their stature often gives us an erroneous impression that it is only a man's movement. But it is not so. Many prominent women in some parts of the world played a leading role in the freedom movements. In Barotseland, the first name that comes to mind is that of the famous Grace Muyangana (M.H.S.R.I.P). She led her campaign for Barotseland liberation against the Zambian brutal government that landed her in Zambian prison. Even her enemies (Zambia) admired her courage and daring. She fought valiantly even after her release, she refused to surrender but chose to fall as a warrior should, fighting the enemy to the last. Her remarkable courage inspired many men and women in Barotseland.
As such, I wish to recommend strongly to the freedom movements to review the contents and spirit of the 2012 BNC resolutions, with a view to accurately and objectively reflect the sacrifices and contributions of all who have lost their life opportunities due to maiming and arrests by Zambian security.
We should take cognizance of the 2012 independence declaration as our compass and navigate within the right attitudes and longitudes of the resolutions, bearing in mind that BNC is the highest policy making body in our motherland.
Seriously, this calls for genuine participation as patriotic advocates for our country’s freedom. Women no exception! Women stand up and be counted. Join the ranks of our young men who contributed immensely to the extent of losing their lives and some even incapacitated due to bullet woods and torture.
Women should brace for bravely participation at various resistance movements levels in the rural or urban Barotseland, illiterate or literate it doesn't matter. All can play a passive or active contribution as comrades of their men folk.
Everyone and anyone has the right to play a role based on his or her values and the passion he or she has for Barotseland.
Tukongote litunga ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
Media, especially the Print Media, has all along been the backbone of all mass movements or popular upsurge in other countries as a vehicle to total liberation and Barotseland independence struggle is no exception. Right from the time of BPF of Mutangelwa in the 1990s. In fact, many of the leaders of the Freedom movement themselves turned into journalists too, and used the press to propagate their ideas to the masses.
The value of the media in the development of nation-state campaign is prominent in nationalism against subjugation and colonialism. As such, as the struggle intensifies, we should inaugurate a process of tactical dissemination of information to reach the rural populace through any form of communication for proper awareness. However, I am of the view that;
1. During our Independence struggle, the media and newspapers should not be established as profit-making business ventures but should be seen as rendering national and public service to the people.
2. The media Impact should not be limited to towns; but aim to reach remote villages from North to south and from East to west of Barotseland territory.
3. The media should serve the purpose of not only political education but also of political participation where every Mulozi should be free to express his or her political views.
4. Government act and policies should be put to public awareness through the established media platforms.
5. In a scenario where most people are illiterates, even the press can hope to achieve only partial success; hence, theatrical drama could be of useful alternative.
Since media is synonymous with dissemination of information, the Acting Administrator General should look at the following raised concerns by our people at the grassroots for possible consideration;
a) Establish information center at Regional / constituency levels
b) cabinet to be pro-active - each government minister must function.
c) There must be harmony between the Royal Barotseland Government and the Barotse Royal Authority in order to foster liaison committee to be set (established).
d) Strong, patriotic, courageous and down -to-earth youth wing.
e) International relations and media liaison committee to be set (established).
f) Seriously engage the BRE to change the name to Barotseland Royal Authority (BRA), to remove an ethical divider of Zambian creation -BRE.
g) Consider putting the Radio on free to air satellite dish to improve our reach to a wider audience and cover news in all districts of Barotseland.
h) Launch the football league even at amateur level.
i) Organize peaceful demonstrations against Zambia at the UN HQ, Zambia embassies in UK USA and Botswana for international media attention of our issue (and SADC HQ).
Finally, the overwhelming critical features of the press in its relationship to the information dissemination can no longer be ignored at this crucial time when we are faced with fake propaganda from the Zambian side that is trying to project to be in good relationship with Barotseland to the international community when in fact it is the other way. The misinformation and half truths have characterized our independence struggle within and outside our territory due to lack of platforms where we can debate, discuss and layout our achievements towards Barotseland emancipation. The rational interest is however, to unfold the proper character at the point at which the media is acknowledged as a social force and tool in the promotion of political agenda, especially where peaceful approach is concerned.
Self determination is no respecter of persons. It leaves no stone unturned. Royal or commoner, it comes with a challenge, and this is the challenge that the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and all of us are meeting face to face today. By the way, whose face is it putting on?
Therefore, BRE has no option other than making itself relevant to this unstoppable process of self determination. Doing otherwise will mean BRE will join other royal foundations who never liberated their territories. This happened when the African freedom fighters realized early that their kings / chiefs were turned into colonialist agents, and so they opted to move on to independence without them. Thus today there are very few countries headed by kings or queens, instead the commoners rule these states, and kings/chiefs are now monumental citizens needing governments to recognize and gazette them.
Similarly, Barotseland's self determination is not wholly dependent on BRE, but rather we the people. However, this process can be accelerated exponentially with the full participation of the BRE and the Litungaship. BUT it will not stop (without them.) It may just be delayed by key stake holders. Otherwise the process thus far is impressive. The mood in the people of Barotseland is a key indicator that we are going home.
It may not be today or tomorrow but believe me, we as a people, even in our commonness, will get there.
This period, therefore, gives an opportunity for BRE to provide their age old leadership and launch another constitutional monarchy in Africa like Lesotho. I have no doubt in my mind that BRE is definitely in touch with the realities on the ground and are definitely doing the best for Barotseland. They may not beat their own drums of praise but suffice to say that this activism we are enjoying today is evidence of their able patriotic leadership.
Long Live HRM Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II, Long Live Royal Establishment, Long Live Royal Barotseland Government. Long Live all Activist movements, Long Live you and me, Barotseland nationals.
Please publish this on our popular front, the Barotseland Post.
As usual I periodically take time to remind each one of us most importantly we the youths. We need to take part in making sure we are not enslaved by Zambia. We need new tactics, new ideas and new thinking! This can only be done by us, Fresh thinkers.
I read in the media that President Lungu wants to engage BRE to chat Barotseland Agreement,
This is wrong and unacceptable. BRE should redeem itself by engaging the Barotse populace, I am reminding you that Zambia do have a standing Army aimed at annihilation; this Army is stationed in the entire Barotseland with many in our Nations' Capital, Mongu. They want to wipe us out should we voice out, again you have a chance and you want to waste it! We must tell President Lungu that everyone wants out!
To the youths of Barotseland, secession is our hope. Some Zambians say we can't secede, Isn't that like telling your wife she can't divorce you? We are not equal partners. Our neighbors have an agenda of perpetual enslaving us. 'We are equal before the Creator and it’s so insulting to be downtrodden by fellow individuals.' Arise Barotse! Barotseland is our Land and we know, no other, lets brave on. Aluta!
To the BRE, Its common knowledge around Barotseland that everyone wants to leave this treacherous union. Since 1969 we have cried foul to have the BA 64 recognized. My plea is be true to yourselves and to your children, we together with you the BRE have been going down this road for far too long; we are grown ups and you the BRE can no longer fix this, your people (including Nkoyas and Mbundas) want to leave this treacherous union no one wants to stay with Zambia. Of course I know some would want to cash in on us but please, look at the bigger picture.
My advice is to include all the activist organizations: Moreba, the Linyungandambo - Government In-Waiting, Mr. Sinyinda and his BNFA, The Barotse Patriotic Front under Mr. Mutangelwa, and other senior Citizens. I myself support the numerous organizations because I fear that because of the love of money, a few will compromise our resolve of leaving Zambia for a few pieces of silver. I know some people are getting wealthy by falsely representing us and getting resources from the colonizer! This is shameful. We do not want to be in misery at your expense. Itaba maswabisa kuli munge kapene nikusinya taba nikulibala bana bamba bao batamilwe ni bao seba pumuzi kataba ye!!!
To the Zambian Government, I am ashamed that you forcibly want us to stay when you are the same people through your Nyasa brother, Mr. Kaunda that abrogated our Union Treaty. You say the treaty doesn't provide for secession. Does it provide for abrogation you? We are not claiming any land outside our borders; we are claiming our land not claiming peoples. If there are people who are dissatisfied then better they move to those areas considered friendly because as far as me and others are concerned Barotseland is a Lozi Nation to which all these peoples fall and are equally LOZIs as long as they are within the borders of Barotseland.
To President Lungu, kindly release all our Political detainees, call back your standing army currently in Barotseland and then sit at the table, and chat the way forward. Barotseland shall be free.
The author is an Agriculture Consultant in Huambo, Angola. Holds a Bsc in Agriculture from the Wageningen University, The Royal Netherlands.
I would like to dwell on Kaunda's speech of 26th August 1969 to the nation dubbed "I WISH TO INFORM THE NATION", where his unquenchable desire to "fix" the people of Barotseland was manifested two years after the independence. It is disheartening to note the level of visible hatred the Kaunda regime made against the people of Barotseland as a whole. The incidences of hatred are traced way back before independence of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) in 1964 and continued to date.
IN REFERENCE TO 1969 BAROTSELAND REFERENDUM
The people of Barotseland had utterly rejected the maneuvers under the referendum as indicated below but Kaunda's deceptive manners could not honor the true figures but instead opted to manipulation of the outcome
"All these reforms which have had been announced affecting the political, economic and social fields are possible now, thanks to the referendum, thanks to the support which the people in this nation gave me, the party and government." END OF QUOTE.
It was an aberration in the act of referendum for Kaunda to have cheated that the people of Barotseland had voted in favor of government reforms to have control over Barotseland natural resources and possessions, when in fact the results indicated that they had given an unequivocal NO vote representing 62.08 percent against a paltry YES vote representing 37.92 percent.
UNDER CUSTOM AND WILDLIFE
"Hitherto, under custom, wildlife and indeed fish, in certain areas have belonged to individuals, Indunas and other traditional leaders." END OF QUOTE.
It must be emphasized that these insinuations were directed at the leadership and the people of Barotseland because this is the only area where people own natural resources such as "Masa" (Weirs), "Mishitu" (thickness of forests), "Likuma" (thickness of papyrus), "Masimu" (gardens) etc, etc. This position was acknowledged by Professor Max Gluckman (commonly known as Makapweka) who had stated that the Lozis are the only people, in the world, who own and know the extent of their land without the aid of beacons.
IN REFERENCE TO BAROTSE NATIONAL SCHOOL
In his, insatiable, appetite to destroy the property of the people of Barotseland by removing all the known vestiges and in reference to the Barotse National School this is what he said;
“The Barotse National School is to assume another name, for we cannot have a nation within a nation.” END OF QUOTE.
Let it be explained that this school (now known as Kambule secondary school) was built from the money arising out of 10 percent of the collections which was committed to the development of education in Barotseland at the signing of treaties in the 1880s.
IN REFERENCE TO BAROTSELAND NAME
In his misguided outbursts and in reference to Barotseland he had this to say;
"Barotse province is now to become Western province. The present western province, which bears no relationship to the direction, will become copperbelt province." END OF QUOTE.
Let it be explained that the purpose of renaming Barotseland and changing her status was intended to down grade her to levels of other provinces in order to justify the denial of her proper share of entitlement which was accruable as a result of being a "territory" like her equal partner, the “territory" of Northern Rhodesia.
In his endeavors to disturb the affairs of Barotseland, had this to say with respect to “chiefs",
“I know, for example, that certain chiefs in the Western province have been performing the functions of chiefs without Government recognition. I wish to announce that I am making investigations ..." END OF QUOTE.
It is surprising that former dictator president Kenneth Kaunda could infer that there were only six chiefs in Barotseland when they are more than 100 silalo indunas or "chiefs" as they are referred to within Zambian terminology. These are responsible for certification of documents for the purpose of obtaining national registration cards. Personalities such as the Litunga, royal highnesses the Litunga la- mboela, Mboanjikana, Prince Inyambo, prince Anananga, Amukena and Lukama are not chiefs in Barotseland context but are sitting princes and princesses while His Royal Majesty, the Litunga is King heading the kingdom. This is why you will never see the aforementioned reflected on the national registration cards as required under the Zambian National Registration Act because they are princes and princesses under the Kingdom and territory of Barotseland, and not chiefs in Zambia. So, while you may find a Zambian national registration card (NRC) holder with chief Mpezeni, chief Mwatakazembe or Chief Chitimukulu, for example, you will never find any Zambian NRC holder with Chief Inyambo, Amukena, Anangana, Lukama (let alone 'Chief' Litunga).
The Barotseland equivalent to the Zambian chiefs are the Silalo Indunas, who equally perform the functions which other "chiefs" do in parts of Zambia, although, unfortunately, they are not catered for in terms of benefits such as enumerations, houses (palaces), motor vehicles etc, like the chiefs in other provinces of Zambia.
In conclusion, the people of Barotseland should come to the realization that this discriminatory tendency of the Zambian government against Barotse nation was the backbone of Kenneth Kaunda's (Zambia's first president) treacherous acts that led to the abrogation of BA64 (an honorary and binding treaty), and his atrocities, arrests and detentions of over 200 Barotzish that were to follow from 1969 to this day!
This, therefore, calls for serious consideration to redeem ourselves from these conditions of slavery, servitude and bondage that we find ourselves in today. The people of Barotseland should accept the reality that the Zambian government hold the worst consideration of Barotseland as a country and worse still, considers the Lozi nationals as subservient citizens of Zambia.
The struggle to liberate Barotseland is the only valuable spirit that encompasses all, therefore, a journey started is a journey completed, Barotseland must be free.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR LEGALLY ACQUIRED WIFE, HUSBAND, CHILDREN or FAMILY, whether they be Zambian, Barotzish or any other nationality
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR LEGALLY ACQUIRED PROPERTY in Zambia, Barotseland or anywhere else in the world
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR LEGALLY ACQUIRED JOB in Zambia, Barotseland or anywhere else in the world
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean YOU WILL BE CHASED from Zambia, Barotseland or any other country of the world
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF YOUR TRIBE or ETHNICITY whether that tribe is Zambian or Barotzish and regardless of where you chose to live
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean YOU WILL BE FORCED TO CHOOSE to be Zambian or Barotzish. CITIZENSHIP will be by choice and in accordance with prevailing Citizenship Laws. A Lozi can choose to be or remain Zambian and a Zambian can choose to apply for Barotseland citizenship and be a LOZI or BAROTZISH. In case of DUAL NATIONALITY, one will be able to choose to be a citizen of both Barotseland and Zambia
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean WAR and BLOODSHED between Zambia and Barotseland
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS OF FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT between Barotseland and Zambia
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean LOSS of TRADE and COMMERCE between Barotseland and Zambia
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean No more MUNGU or NAKONDE rice
- Barotseland Independence Does not mean...Please, add to this list all your fears?
There are LAWS that govern and will continue to govern Barotseland just like there are LAWS that govern Zambia. THIS CHANGE WILL BE GRADUAL rather than INSTANTANEOUS. Time will be given for everyone to make decisions about what to do with their life, families, businesses and property.
So RELAX as we look forward to a HEALTHY and HARMONIOUS bilateral relationship between Barotseland and Zambia. After all Barotseland and Zambia will be neighbors forever, hopefully.
Having looked at the background of the Barotseland Agreement and the origin of Zambia as a unitary state in the last article, we will now look at the thorny issue of the boundary of Barotseland and whether there is need for a referendum.
We will also sample some quotations from the man who created the problem before us, Kenneth David Kaunda.
The boundary of Barotseland proper has always been maintained by the Barotse though the boundaries of Barotseland North-Western Rhodesia kept changing through the numerous Orders-In-Council.
The boundary currently under claim is that of Barotseland proper as it was from 1900 to 1947 without taking areas that were regarded as her subject or dependent territories into consideration. (See Th Barotseland Boundary Case of 1903-1906 [Britain Vs Portugal] under the arbitration of Italy here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/The-Barotseland-Boundary-Case.pdf) or on the United Nations website: http://legal.un.org/riaa/cases/vol_XI/59-69.pdf
The eastern boundaries stretch from Itezhi-Tezhi to the confluence of the river Chiababi with the Zambezi (Longitude26 degrees East) (East of Livingstone) and northern boundaries shall stretch from the confluence of Lufupa river with the Kafue river, westward, to the Lungwebungu river (Longitude 22 degrees East) The boundary on the west shall stretch from Lungwebungu river (latitude 13 degrees 28 minutes south) then southward to the Cuando river, down to the confluence of the Cuando with the Luena river extending to the Katima Mulilo rapids, running along the Zambezi, eastward to its confluence with river Chiababi (Longitude 26 degrees east.)
This boundary is roughly the current Western Province but with the entire Kazungula, Livingstone and the Kafue National Park west of the Kafue river falling within Barotseland and small areas of North Western Province bordering the current Western Province.
The boundary between Barotseland and Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe remains the same as it is currently with Zambia.
Before we consider the implications on Southern, North Western and part of Central provinces, we shall first look at the issue of holding a referendum.
Holding a referendum on the lines of the one recently held by Scotland does not apply to Barotseland because there is currently no treaty in force between Barotseland and Zambia as the agreement or treaty was abrogated by Zambia and Barotseland accepted the abrogation on 27th March 2012 at the Barotseland National Council.
A referendum only applies were a treaty is in force like in the case of Scotland or Tanganyika and Zanzibar in the union of Tanzania but one of the parties wants to pull out.
Barotseland does not need a referendum to withdraw from the unitary state of Zambia because it does not exist. Both Zambia and Barotseland have no treaty obligations because of the 1969 abrogation.
Southern, Parts of Central and North Western Provinces
The dependent areas that fell within the control of Barotseland, (Trust and reserve Land) for which Barotseland was being paid by the British for taking care of them, include Southern Province, parts of Central and North western provinces.
These areas fall outside Barotseland proper but have the right to hold a referendum to choose where they want to belong whether to remain with Zambia or pull out.
Barotseland and Zambia should now commence the disengagement process which will see the exchange of defense forces and civil servants willing to relocate.
The sharing of government assets, repaying the &78.5 million pounds that Zambia looted from the Barotseland treasury,(with interest from 1965) loss of revenue from the mines, reparations and other damages will be handled by the International Court of Justice since Zambia has so far refused to cooperate.
But what will happen to those who have intermarried?
Marriage does not affect someone’s citizenship in any way; Zambians who are married to people from Rwanda or Zimbabwe still remain Zambians.
But I have properties in Zambia, what happens?
You can belong to any country without affecting your property. There are so many people with properties in Zambia like the many Chinese nationals in Zambia yet they are not Zambians but continue running businesses.
What about the Nkoyas?
The Zambian government has for a long time been using the divide and rule formula by sponsoring a few Nkoya brothers to create division.
The 1964 treaty however was signed between two countries and not tribes. It was signed between the government of Northern Rhodesia, the government of Barotseland and the British government as witnesses.
Kenneth Kaunda however later dissolved the Barotse government and renamed it as Barotse Royal Establishment and later changed the name of Barotseland through degree at a rally in Matero and named it Western Province and changed what was then called Western Province to Copper belt.
Kenneth Kaunda said the following on 26th August 1969 at Matero in a speech dubbed ‘I wish to inform the nation.’
‘Barotse Province is now to become Western Province. The present Western Province, which bears no relationship to the direction, will become Copper belt Province. Logically, Barotse Province should have been Western Province in view of the geographical location of North Western Province.’
Even before the change of name to Western Province , Kaunda defied his own Attorney General’s legal advice, the most respected legal adviser, Mr James John Skinner who, when delivering a Ministerial statement in Parliament on 18th September 1965,had advised that:
‘The legal name of Barotseland was Barotseland and not Barotse Province.’
Kenneth Kaunda had made the following assurance when he addressed the Litunga and Barotse government at Lealui on 6th August 1964:
‘I am glad that the basis of the agreement is that Barotseland is an integral part of Zambia and I can assure you, Sir Mwanawina and all members of the Barotse Royal Family and of the Barotse government, that government has no wish to interfere with the day to day running of the internal affairs of Barotseland. This is the responsibility of the Barotse government and the intention of the central government will be to give the Barotse government maximum assistance and cooperation.’
In one of Kaunda’s earlier visits to Barotseland to beg the Barotse government to proceed to independence as one with Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) Kaunda knelt down and cried before the Litunga and it was out of this action that the line ‘One land and one nation is our cry’ was picked and crafted in the Zambia national anthem.
Kenneth Kaunda has however elected to remain mute on the problem he created through his love for power
This is a comment on the reported Zambian President’s agreement to “grant referendum” to the people of Barotseland in order to resolve the “thorny Barotseland Agreement issue” and that such a referendum “will be a vote to decide either to secede or remain with other provinces in Zambia” (Zambian Watchdog, January 30, 2015).
I assume that the President was correctly reported, and wish to comment as follows:
1.0 The fact that these reported remarks were made in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, shows that Zambia’s incessant violations of the rights and privileges of the people of Barotseland, as enshrined in the Barotseland Agreement 1964 (BA’64), are now in the international public domain – and the matter can no longer be swept under the Zambian government’s blood-stained rug. I am pleased about this and know that, after being vilified for many years, those of us who have been educating the public about this scandalous injustice will soon be vindicated.
2.0 It is both disappointing and embarrassing that the Zambian President, as a supposed learned lawyer, does not understand that by terminating the BA’64, by way of the Constitution Amendment Act No 5 of 1969, the status of the Republic of Zambia as a Unitary State was also simultaneously terminated – with the consequent result that, as from the effective date of this amendment, the two constituent parts of the unitary state as consummated in 1964 (i.e. Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia, respectively) legally became free of each other. Zambia’s interpretation that the termination of the BA’64 meant that they could now govern and administer Barotseland, whether she liked it or not, is fallacious and a show of complete disrespect for the people of Barotseland. This is why the people of Barotseland have petitioned the Zambian government to appear before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague to argue their case in holding on to this interpretation and occupying Barotseland militarily and otherwise. We have interpreted the Zambian government’s refusal to appear before the PCA, as an admission of guilt. So, the people of Barotseland do not want to expend further energy and time going on a tangent trying to solve the wrong problem. The correct problems that need urgent attention are contained in the official letter of dispute written to the Zambian government on May 14, 2012 (reproduced below), and not taking us back to 1969 and asking us whether or not Barotseland should “secede or remain with other provinces in Zambia”. This matter was decided unilaterally by the Zambian government through the Constitution Amendment Act No 5 of 1969, as already explained – so, the question of a referendum, today, is totally irrelevant, too-little-too-late, ill-informed and mischievous. We have no interest going back to 1969 to correct the mistake which the Zambian government made, and which has since left us as Zambia’s slaves. We even wonder who requested the President for a referendum on the matter, for him to “grant” it; certainly, that could only have been someone who is equally ignorant about, or is in complete denial of, the current correct status of Barotseland as a free nation which has only been prevented from actualising her self-rule by the unwelcome enslavement and continued military occupation of the territory by Zambia. Could there be a sinister motive for the President’s wishful thinking about a referendum – such as a proclivity (i.e. an appetite) to rigging it? Thank goodness, a referendum is irrelevant in the circumstances!
3.0 Zambia’s brand new President should also be advised to refrain from referring to Barotseland as a Province. Barotseland did not enter into the union with Northern Rhodesia as a Province; she entered into that union as an equal partner to Northern Rhodesia – with a Head of State – the Litunga, whose signature on the BA’64 was equal in weight and essence to that of Mr. Kenneth Kaunda. We challenge the Zambian President to produce documents that show that the people of Barotseland ever agreed to the status of Barotseland being downgraded to that of a Province. Without such evidence, we wish to advise that when the Zambian President travels to Barotseland, as he has promised, he should do so knowing full well that he is going to meet with another Head of State, like himself. One of the reasons why successive Zambian governments have not made progress on the matter of the BA’64 is precisely this. They think that because they unilaterally introduced legislation in their parliament to devalue and diminish the status of the Litunga, as well as name Barotseland a Province, that things actually changed on the ground. On the contrary, all these clandestine machinations meant nothing to the status of the Litunga; neither did they affect the relationship between the Litunga and his people, or our conception of what Barotseland really is. We still revere the Litunga as our Head of State, first and foremost – and we know Barotseland to be a nation state. So, please, don’t travel to Barotseland with the attitude and mentality that you’re simply visiting a province of this imaginary, make-believe unitary state called Zambia (which actually died in 1969). The Litunga is a Head of State – and you ignore this fact at your own peril because if you do not follow the right procedures you may not even see him. The President is further advised to go to Mungu by road so that he can experience first-hand the potholes and craters on the road in that part of the country they love most – i.e. the Nkoya country.
4.0 The newly inaugurated Zambian President also needs to know that Barotseland has never been a unitary state made up of numerous independent tribal entities, as he seems to think from his reference to certain “tribes”, as if they were independent of Barotseland. Barotseland has always been a monolithic nation state, the main characteristic of which is that it is indivisible. So, the President should refrain from introducing tribalism in Barotseland.
5.0 I am also disappointed that the President has chosen to ignore the fact that on May 14, 2012, the Zambian government received an official letter concerning Barotseland’s disengagement from Zambia. (The letter can be found here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/bre_letter_of_dispute_with_zambia.pdf)
Thus, if Zambia’s new President wishes to have the Barotseland issue resolved permanently, he should work with the people of Barotseland (not unilaterally) and set up a “Working Group” to address issues pertaining to Barotseland’s total disengagement from Zambia. This is where the people of Barotseland are with this matter – not at the point of being subjected to a meaningless referendum.
6.0 I trust that these comments and free advice will assist the Zambian President take appropriate actions and undertake meaningful consultations on this matter, going forward. Democracy requires that leaders respect the wishes of the people. The above letter to the Zambian government expresses the wishes of the people of Barotseland. The process that led to the Barotse National Council resolutions referred to in the Ngambela’s letter was more democratic than a referendum. Let us not move in circles, the people have spoken.