News Editor, Barotseland Post
His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland, Lubosi Imwiko II, was yesterday reluctant to accept his usual Zambian security escort in preference to his own Royal Security guards, the Barotse Imilema, as he retreated to his winter palace of Lealui, a move that has further excited the Barotse community that perhaps the Litunga now wishes to exercise his own authority without interference from the Zambian state.
And addressing scores of Kapulanga Market traders who wanted to take a glance at His Majesty, acting Ngambela, Mowa Zambwe, told the traders that the Litunga was retreating to Lealui temporarily on a mission to sort out some issues affecting the people of Barotseland. "Your King will be in Lealui for a few days and once he is done with his mission, he will return to Limulunga," Ngambela Zambwe said.
Sikongo Constituency Member of Parliament Mundia Ndalamei has observed that the amended Zambian constitution has brought confusion in Barotseland as it undermines the Litunga and contradicts the House of Chiefs guidelines on recognition of Chiefs in Barotseland.
And Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Wednesday afternoon attempted to stop parliamentarians from Western Province from mentioning the name ‘Barotseland.’
Contributing to debate on estimates of expenditure for 2019 under the Office of the President (Western Province) Mr Ndalamei explained that for one to be a chief in Barotseland such a one must be recognised by the Litunga of Barotseland adding that Barotseland was a Kingdom and not a chiefdom.
He pointed out that currently there is tension in the region owing to article 165 of the Amended constitution of Zambia which refers to recognition of chiefs.
Tempers flared up at the Limulunga Kuta this afternoon when the much anticipated Press Briefing called upon by the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) fell short of the people’s expectations!
Late on Tuesday evening, word went round the royal capital and social media that the BRE would be addressing the press at the Limulunga Kuta on Wednesday morning concerning the recent events that saw the BRE accuse the Zambian government of undermining the authority of the Litunga, King of Barotseland by recognizing chiefs seen by many to have rebelled against the monarch.
Well, whereas many nationals and activists expected this to be the day when the BRE would tell the Lusaka government that ‘enough was enough’ they were very shocked to hear the BRE deliver a very soft worded demand, merely asking the government to prove that it was in fact not behind the recent spate of rebellion spearheaded by some people masquerading as chiefs in the region!
A source close to the recently enthroned Mwene Chengele has called for the immediate securing of the Mwene after what they suspect is an attempt to harm him by those opposed to his enthronement! Kashengula Nyumbu was recently enthroned as Mwene Chengele of Nañoko area by the Litunga of Barotseland to replace the dethroned Josiah Nyumbu!
And the Mwene Chengele’s confidants have reported that some unknown people suspected to be those opposed to his enthronement have been seen driving around his Mushuwa palace located along the road going to Makapaela, back and forth, probably with the view to attack him!
Although he was enthroned by the Litunga on 7th April 2018, Kashengula Nyumbu is still waiting for the government of Zambia to gazette him as the new Mwene Chengele to take over from the dethroned Josiah Nyumbu who has refused to relinquish the title.
Zambia’s President, Edgar Lungu, held a couple of meetings in Limulunga yesterday with Lubosi Imwiko II, the King of Barotseland but failed to agree, prompting the president to request that he meets the King again today, Sunday afternoon, before heading back to Lusaka after a hectic campaign trail in Mangango constituency where a parliamentary by election is scheduled to take place in a couple of days.
On his arrival in the contested region and at the Mongu airstrip before heading to the Limulunga Royal Palace yesterday, President Lungu publicly stated that he does not want to be the president in whose tenure the country broke into segments, declaring further that the ‘Western Province’ would forever be a part of Zambia, a statement he directly aimed at the separatists.
And informed sources say the Litunga, King of Barotseland, feels that the Zambian government is undermining his authority over his Kingdom and that he is now threatening to support separatists in their push for Barotseland independence from the unitary state of Zambia.
This is the latest development in the long standing matter surrounding the defunct pre-independence Barotseland Agreement of 1964, in which the Litunga, Lubosi Imwiko II, is viewed by many as the main stumbling block to the self determination of Barotseland.
But now the Litunga is reportedly unhappy with Lungu and his Patriotic Front (PF) led Zambian government because despite betraying his own people to align himself with the PF government, the government is now undermining him.
Afumba Mombotwa, the sworn Administrator General of Barotseland and his two colleagues currently serving 15 years jail sentences each with hard labour imposed on them by the Zambian state for a political crime of treason felony over Barotseland independence related matters, have now been transferred to Zambia’s Mukobeko Maximum Prison where they are expected to serve the rest of their jail sentences.
And the Barotseland National Youth League (BNYL) says it is not moved or shaken by the conviction and sentencing of their leaders but will continue to push for Barotseland self-determination until self-government was a reality in the contested territory.