Indigenous languages matter for development, peacebuilding and reconciliation. So is Barotseland’s siLozi, which we must continue to promote not only as a unifying commonality but also a tool of development for the entire nation of Barotseland!
Languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool of communication, education, social integration and development, but also as a repository for each person’s unique identity, cultural history, traditions and memory. But despite their immense value, languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate as they get ‘swallowed’ by dominant or “metropolitan” ones that receive an unfair promotion at the expense of these indigenous languages.
With this in mind, the United Nations declared 2019 The International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) in order to raise awareness of them, not only to benefit the people who speak these languages but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to our world’s rich cultural diversity.
Additionally, the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages was so declared in defence of those fighting for their identity!
Indigenous languages are an invaluable heritage that must be protected alongside the rights of native peoples.
A language can become “extinct” just like animal and plants species. This occurs when the last person who can speak it dies.
The people of Barotseland must unite in their call for total independence as only through a unity of purpose would the nation actualize the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) Barotseland independence declaration!
Thus far, the Zambian government has managed to slow Barotseland’s quest for self-determination by mounting a calculated divisive strategy that has seen Barotseland divided, mainly through the spread of rumours and fake intelligence reports that independence activists plan to abolish the monarchy soon after they achieve total independence!
It was, in fact, these false rumours that tended to make the King and the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, reluctant to join Barotse nationals pushing for Barotseland independence, having been deceived by the Zambian government that independence would spell the end of the monarchy!
However, to put it on record one more time, there is no single individual or organization in Barotseland who is advocating the abolishment of the monarchy or plotting to usurp the authority of the Litunga, King of Barotseland because the nation and the Litunga are forever one.
In fact, the very term ‘Litunga’ means ‘land’ or ‘nation’ in Barotseland.
Wishing you peace, joy, and all the best this wonderful holiday has to offer, and may this incredible time of giving and spending time with family bring you the joy that lasts throughout the coming year.
May each day of the New Year bring you pleasant surprises like the curled petals of a flower that spread sweet fragrance slowly as it unfolds layer by layer.
No Year can be a bed of roses. But we wish you the courage and confidence to turn each obstacle into opportunity during the coming New Year.
Genuine success comes only to those who are prepared for it!
Therefore, never step back and always have the courage to accept new challenges in this coming year.
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.
Barotse people at home and abroad have united to launch a ‘Tweet for Freedom’ campaign initiative aimed at rallying all their supporters to utilize the social media giant Twitter, on a specific date to be announced, to highlight the anguish of the Barotse people regarding the long-standing and unresolved pre-independence Barotseland Agreement 1964, demanding that it be resolved now!
The campaign has so far solicited and united the support and endorsement of all the major Barotse communities and Barotse social media groups and networks home and abroad!
The ‘Tweet for Freedom’ campaign initiative is simply aimed at bringing to the attention of those who occupy positions of influence issues that the larger Baroste society holds dear but have been neglected by Zambian government policy makers because they are supposedly not of national importance or priority!
Most specifically, in this regard, is the all important matter of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which some Zambians not directly affected by it believe is no longer an issue! One Zambian High Commissioner even called it a non-issue on an international television platform recently!
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.
It may surprise many to learn that the world renowned media such as the Associated Press, Reuters and The New York Times, among others, have been covering Barotseland news for over a hundred years!
YES! Starting from as far back as 1899, the big world media has covered Barotseland stories such as the trips the King of Barotseland, Lewanika I, undertook to Europe in 1902, King Lewanika’s greatness and close friendship with King Edward VII, and later King George of the British Empire as well as his death in 1916.
The new York Times have continued their coverage of Barotseland as they have also covered recent events involving Afumba Mombotwa and the Linyungandambo, including the March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) Barotseland Independence declarations!
A mild Spoiler warning for those who have not yet watched episode 6 of the highly rated and world-renowned crime investigative police drama, NCIS, Season 16 which has featured BAROTSELAND several times, as a destination in Africa where some of the ‘unresolved’ murders they are investigating were allegedly committed by some hitman named Anderson Kohl.
Kohl, who had various fake passports, had a list of names of unsolved murders from all over the world with victims in Guam, Tokyo, London and Barotseland among several other world locations.
As Agent Torres lists the locations; Zurich, Tokyo, Guam, Barotseland, another is heard asking, “Who goes to Guam and Where is Barotseland?” to which Agent Gibbs responds, “Africa!”
The Focus on Barotseland continues again as Agent Gibbs with yet another NCIS Agent discover that Kohl had not only traveled to Barotseland, Africa, and all those other places, but also that each murder date coincides with the dates Kohl had traveled to those cities and locations, making them conclude that Kohl may have been the Hitman behind all those unsolved murders as can be seen in this excerpt from the script:
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.
The Zambian Supreme Court sitting in Ndola has upheld the conviction of Afumba Mombotwa (60), Pelekelo Likando (64) and Sylvester Inambao Kalima (57) while adding five more years to their sentences for the crime of treason-felony.
In a ruling read by Justice J Chinyama, sitting alone this afternoon, the Supreme Court charged that the State had proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Afumba Mombotwa and others had prepared or endeavoured to carry out by unlawful means an enterprise which usurps the executive powers of the state in any matter of both a public and a general nature.
This Supreme Court verdict, therefore, upholds the conviction, while adding five more years to the initial ten years imprisonment with hard labour slapped on the appellants by the High Court Judge Dominic Yeta Sichinga, SC, on the 9th of March, 2016 because the court has noted that the appellants were unrepentant and self-righteous!