Barotseland’s Freedom Has Finally Arrived – Prof. Sitwala

30 October 2014
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One of the important manifestations of effective and good leadership is consistency of word and action. Assuming that the article which appeared on the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) website was an accurate account of what transpired during the visit to Siikalo Kuta by the Zambian Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Hon. Nkandu Luo, then it means we can now boldly declare that Barotseland’s long-awaited freedom has finally arrived. In the meantime, we just have to work towards our Independence Day.

It was fulfilling and pleasing to note the reported words said to the Minister by Indunas Inete and Mutwaleti, as well as Mr. Go-Brown Kayuwa Kashumba, regarding the point we have now reached on the road towards the realization of Barotseland’s liberation. What the three honourable and distinguished Sons of the Soil said to the Minister brought a tear of hope, happiness, joy, satisfaction and fulfillment to my heart. As I read the article by Muyunda Makala and Mwananyandi Mukunyandela I momentarily became lost for words and, in exasperation, all I could hear my disobedient mouth blurt out were the words: “Barotseland’s freedom has finally arrived.” Going forward, all that Siikalo Kuta needs to do is to religiously reiterate the same position to whoever visits Namuso. Frankly, this was the moment we have all been waiting for; the moment when Namuso echoes and champions the aspirations and wishes of the people of Barotseland.

 

To my mind, this is the first time that I have heard such bold, unequivocal and definitive words come from our Kuta, and by taking the position that it did – and saying the words that the “three wise men from the West” are reported to have said, they have truly earned the right, on behalf of the Siikalo Kuta as a whole, to regard themselves as legitimate representatives of the aspirations and wishes of the people of Barotseland; they have earned the right to regard themselves as truly the parents of all of us; they have liberated us. The only thing left is to stick to this position for no other reason, other than that this is the right thing to do; it is the right thing to do because the Barotse National Council (BNC) has spoken, and the BNC spoke the mind of the people of Barotseland; it is the right thing to do because effective and good leadership requires consistency of word and action; it is the right thing to do because the honour and glory of our motherland depends on it; and it is the right thing to do because the pain, anguish and blood of those who have fallen victim of Zambia’s callous disregard for human rights demand it.

Our struggle was not about the late President Michael Sata (MHSRIP); it was, and still is, about our inalienable right to self-determination. With the changed political circumstances, many Zambian politicians will come to Barotseland to pose as if things have now changed, and that being a Zambian will descend on Barotseland to hoodwink the people to believe that now it will be a good thing for us to rejoin Zambia. The truth and reality is that nothing has changed; our political, economic and social rights and privileges still lie outside the provisions of the Zambian constitution, and the resolutions of the BNC still stand as the official position of the aspirations and wishes of the people of Barotseland – having been democratically and transparently arrived at. There has not been another BNC that has reviewed and annulled the resolutions of March, 2012 – so the struggle continues; the Zambian military hardware, software and warm bodies currently camped all over Barotseland territory must go and leave the people of Barotseland to proceed to freedom and full independence.

Finally, please allow me to plead with fellow Barotse nationals to avoid giving mixed messages to Zambian politicians – whomsoever they may be. Anyone who ends up in the Zambian State House or as a member of the Zambian parliament does so purely for their own personal aggrandizement; for economic reasons and self-actualization. At the level of President anyone ascending to Zambia’s State House, without exception, will fight to keep Barotseland as part of Zambian. So, fellow countrymen/women, for once, let us take the position that people of Barotseland are not for sale, and will not take part in the national elections of another country – however hungry they may be. Until we change the name (and there is a good reason to do so later on) our country is called Barotseland. So, whoever comes to talk to you about votes and elections, ask them if they are talking about elections for Barotseland? When they say, no – send them away. This is the closest we ever got to the realization of our true freedom; let us not spoil this golden opportunity.

The road ahead is for the implementation of the BNC resolutions in their entirety, leading to full independence. Let us all take the cue from the position and words of Indunas Inete and Mutwaleti, as well as those of Mr. Go-Brown Kashumba – the three wise men from the West. No more taking part in meaningless elections which have kept us subservient for half a century. Never again!!

When we finally decide on a day for our Independence, let us avoid October 24 because this date has become cursed by our forefathers and mothers for symbolizing the day we lost our dignity, the day we lost our sovereignty, the day we lost all the respect enjoyed for many centuries by our fore-bearers, the day we lost our honour, the day we lost our national pride and glory, the day we lost political power, the day we lost economic and social capital – the day we lost that has since been nothing but a day of national mourning for the people of Barotseland. Indeed, 1964 was nothing but an annus horribilis

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The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.