The Royal Barotseland Government, also known as the Barotseland Transitional Government (BTG), has appealed for calm and focus in the wake of the 'conviction' and sentencing of Barotseland Administrator General Afumba Mombotwa and two other members of the transitional government.
Responding to a press query, Acting Administrator General, Dr. Situmbeko Matengu, has appealed that, although extremely provoked, the Barotse must maintain ‘calm and focus’ because the Zambian colonial administration will not always have their way in Barotseland.
“We understand that it may be hard for many of our people to appreciate that there are serious government diplomatic processes and negations going on right now, and we know that even the latest provocation ('conviction' and sentencing of Afumba Mombotwa and others) is a desperate act, reminiscent of a colonial government losing its grip, aimed at inciting the Barotse to lose their calm so that they can justify their reluctance in honoring the commitments recently given to the international community for a peaceful Barotseland settlement.
“Mr. Lungu (Zambian President) recently made promises and commitments to a peaceful settlement, and we hope he is not trying to find reason for reneging from honoring his promises.
“That we are not loud about certain ongoing processes is evidence of our great desire to have these processes succeed without frustrating or embarrassing those that have committed to stand by us in this process and the colonial administration know that they risk being isolated economically and diplomatically.
“Therefore, to justify their reluctance in honoring some promises made, they are now seeking ways to provoke riots or make the Barotse react in ways that will warrant their (Zambia's) military and police reprisals, with mass arrests, and thereby interrupting the process of Barotseland diplomatic recognition.
“However, our assurance to the Barotse nation is that we are very much on track, and must give diplomatic processes a chance to run their full course.
“Reacting angrily to Zambia’s provocation will be falling directly into their trap,” cautioned Dr. Matengu.
Here below is the full written BTG press statement:
PRESS STATEMENT BY DR. SITUMBEKO MATENGU
10th March, 2016
Fellow countrymen and women,
Today is a sad day indeed in the freedom struggle for our beloved Barotseland; our gallant and noble men are jailed by a court system that has no authority over them, even though we did not expect anything good out of this court, because it is entirely controlled by the enemy.
Courts are by nature a creation of the constitution; therefore, if the Zambian colonial constitution does not recognize the rights of the Barotse, no favorable outcome could be expected from their courts.
Our leaders, who have just been handed a 10 year jail term each, need every Mulozi’s support and solidarity, and we must strongly condemn the act done by President Lungu and his minions to send our innocent leaders into jail. Our leaders did not advocate for replacing the Zambian administration, but they were purely advocating for the restoration of sovereignty of the Barotseland Kingdom. Barotseland is not a part of Zambia, either legally or by imagination.
However, we request the people of Barotseland to be calm as the Barotseland Transitional Government is doing everything possible to end this problem amicably, and as peacefully as possible.
We value the life of every individual Mulozi, and we should at this moment, draw guidance from our Christian principles; not by cowardice but by inner higher strength. We know where we wish to go, and we must move on. The ultimate solution is to get our sovereignty recognized by the international and global community, beginning with those that are closest to us in the region.
The words spoken by Moses in Exodus 14:13-14 must be of valued application to us.
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, standstill, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you today: for the (Zambians) whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
The act done by Zambia to our leaders and the people of Barotseland shall never be forgotten. It shall remain in our hearts and minds forever more, and should not be moved; in fact it must strengthen us.
This latest provocation must compel us to double our efforts in finalizing diplomatic relations with other countries which are already and assuredly beginning to bear progressive fruit. Therefore, we shall not relent in our efforts until we have attained our full independence as soon as possible.
We are also making significant progress regarding the case at the International Court of Justice, and we have faith in the whole process.
Very soon, Zambia will be sidelined economically, socially and politically, if they do not change their approach to addressing the Barotseland question.
In the same breath, we expect the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and all Malozi to strongly condemn the Zambian Government for the act done by Mr. Lungu and his Government.
We strongly continue to demand the unconditional release of Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Rt. Hon. Sylvester Kalima, Rt. Hon. Likando Pelekelo and Nyambe Songiso (recently arrested), without any further delay.
TUKONGOTE WA MWANA NONGOLO!