Here below is the continuation of the BTG media response to a wide range of queries.
QUESTION: Some people have urged that Barotse people must simply advocate and push for equitable development rather than pushing for independence. What would you say are the benefits of Barotseland independence compared to continued existence in Zambia?
BTG: Many thousands of instant Barotse jobs will be the first benefit of Barotseland independence!
Barotseland must build not only a civil and public service but also security and defense forces which will require policemen and women, marines, army personnel, airmen and women almost immediately.
Additionally, Barotseland will require personnel such as teachers, nurses and doctors to take care of our education and health sectors. Public and private works in construction, agriculture, mining, transport, energy, financial and other sectors of the economy will also need workers as we begin to rebuild our roads, communication and other public infrastructure.
Therefore, many private and public sector Barotse jobs, too many to itemize, will almost immediately be created, but what we must emphasize is that under the so-called restoration which some hirelings are still bent on, these jobs will never be created because, in reality, no progressive changes will be implemented in Barotseland except minor political arrangements which will see the Ngambela take the ceremonial position of a provincial minister, while the Litunga, King of Barotseland will be the ceremonial head of the region.
The Litunga might have some cosmetic powers over the region, but in reality, Lusaka will still be in charge of all employment processes in the public sector, and all public financing will still come from Lusaka.
However, as an independent country, Barotseland will even have a foreign and diplomatic service, and in all these sectors and many others, Barotseland will rely on its citizens for a workforce. Some may repatriate from Zambia and abroad, but for most of the human resources, Barotseland will have to engage many of its currently unemployed men and women.
It is no longer a secret that in the currently on-going purging of Barotse people groups from Zambia’s civil service and security wings, many suitably qualified Barotse people have been left unemployed or have been retired in Zambia’s so-called national interest.
Barotseland independence brings many other benefits, which we must highlight in future articles, such as the development of our own unique governance and political system to replace the Zambian systems which are now marred with rampant corruption, tribalism, political and electoral violence among many other vices synonymous with maladministration.
We will also see enhanced cultural cohesion and the greater development of many of our dying cultures. Zambia has in the past used our cultural and ethnical diversity in Barotseland to try to divide and conquer our great Kingdom, when in fact, Barotseland has been a kingdom united in diversity since Lewanika took over as King in the 19th Century.
Foreign direct investment, multilateral and bilateral development cooperation with other economies of the world will be another immediate benefit of Barotseland’s independence. Such development cooperation will benefit Barotseland directly without having to pass through Lusaka where the corrupt regime keeps the greater part of it before it could even reach Barotseland to benefit our people.
However, all these and many other benefits are only possible if Barotseland will stay focused on its independence agenda. Barotse people must support and promote the successful setting up of the Barotseland government and not be confused by a few elements who do not want to see beyond their own personal benefit.
Therefore, while Independence will benefit every citizen in Barotseland, restoration or continued Zambian colonization will only benefit the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) with a few other elites who have been promised monthly salaries from Lusaka in order to keep Barotseland enslaved to Zambia.
Soon, we will also discuss the economic viability of Barotseland, and where Barotseland will get its financial resources to fund its national budget?
QUESTION: So, when will Barotseland really be free from Zambia?
BTG: The answer to this question is entirely up to the people of Barotseland! In fact, we have heard this question asked over and over! The answer, however, remains the same!
Independence or freedom is nearly never given voluntarily by the oppressor but must almost always be demanded by the oppressed!
Apart from Singapore which was expelled out of its federation with Malaysia leading up to its independence in 1965, most other sovereign states of the world have had to fight for their independence one way or another, and by any means necessary!
So, the short answer to this question is that total independence is really up to the people of Barotseland. It is not even up to Zambia!
The worrying trend, however, is that the minority few who are still dependent on the Zambian system for livelihood and those who still wield some sort of influence on the current system, tend to use their privileged status to perpetuate Barotseland’s subjugation because this colonization benefits them personally!
Another problem is that the majority of the people who want Barotseland independence tend to think that this independence will be attained without placing any demand. Some still entertain fear and hopelessness due to many years of brainwashing by Zambia's lopsided education which has made Barotseland independence appear impossible!
Many still think that aspiring for independence is a crime! The truth, however, is that if seeking independence is a crime, then Zambia also committed the same crime in 1964!
Therefore, either independence is a crime, which every sovereign state has had to commit in order to be free, or it is not a crime at all!
The people of Barotseland must, however, continually assert themselves and know that the greatest step was already achieved in 2012 when, at the Barotse National Council (BNC), they decided to formally accept Zambia’s abrogation of the defunct 1964 agreement, and decided that Barotseland would immediately seek to determine its own political, cultural and economic future through independence !
What remains now is for the people of Barotseland to actualize their declared independence by supporting and promoting the on-going mobilization efforts for self-government in Barotseland. Only self-government will evict the foreign government out of Barotseland!
The Zambian constitution will only be invalidated by the Barotseland constitution!
They should firmly resist any attempts to take the nation back into further subjugation! Let Barotse people stick with the independence agenda and reject any restoration maneuvers, then full independence will and must certainly be achieved, one way or another and by any means necessary!