President Lungu, Litunga deadlocked over Barotseland as the King threatens to support Separatist!

18 November 2018
Author 
FILE: Edgar Lungu and Lubosi Imwiko II in better times passed

 

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.

Among the matters that have frustrated the King of Barotseland, sources have said, is the Zambian government’s apparent continued support of some dethroned Chiefs, such as Josiah Nyumbu Mubukwanu who the Litunga fired as Mweene Cheengele for gross indiscipline and land mismanagement who President Lungu has kept on government payroll.

It is claimed that Josiah Nyumbu is now using this government funding to mount a sustained rebellion against the Litunga and the Royal Establishment!

The other contention is ‘the issue of late Mweene Kahale’ who was denied burial in Kaoma due to Zambian government interference, who, for some unexplained reasons, decided not to accord him a burial befitting his chiefly status in spite of the late chief having been duly recognized by the Litunga as Mweene Kahale!

Still in Kaoma, the Zambian government has decided to recognise Webster Mulubisha as Mweene Mutondo, without him going through the cultural succession procedure undertaken by the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the King of Barotseland as the Principal governing authority in Western Province of Zambia!

“The visit of not only the Vice President but also the Presdent of Zambia to unrecognized Mweene Mutondo is unfortunately a clear sign of strained relationship between Lusaka and Limulunga” lamented a source, revealing further that Lubosi Imwiko II has finally opted to stand with his subjects to totally separate from Zambia because the government in Lusaka is now undermining his kingly authority.

Reportedly, Zambia’s Vice President, Mrs Inonge Mutukwa Wina, a member of the Barotse Royal Family herself, was assigned ahead of the President’s visit to try and calm the King down but allegedly failed, according to some other sources quoted by the Zambian Watchdog.

Accordingly, President Lungu’s two visits on Saturday, did not yield much either!

“Lungu was here in the morning for two hours but failed (to persuade the King). This evening, between 17:20hrs to 20hrs, another meeting was on but yielded nothing’, said the source claiming further that Lubosi Imwiko II was receiving some international pressure over the Barotseland impasse.

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