Please our Bishop, receive our warm greetings to you and the entire community in Barotseland, and indeed the rest of the country and the world at large.
Today marks a sad day and indeed a day that can be used to reflect on the life of our brother Bishop Paul Duff who passed away in 2011.
Since his coming in the country in 1984 he served the people of Barotseland in many spheres of life that include education, heath, agriculture, peace and unity among others. He was never afraid of saying the truth even if it would not go well with the government of the day. For example, what happened in 2010 when Zambia’s ruling MMD party supporters almost traveled from Lusaka to Mongu to go and do what they termed "sorting him out" for speaking on behalf of his people in the territory. He took time to meet with his people to make sure that he got first hand information from his people.
Bishop Paul Duff encountered many challenges both at a personal level and those that came as a result of his work as the servant of the people that were unique to him and his time, but he faced these challenges squarely, and solutions were found. We also believe that many of challenges he may not have shared them with anyone for various reasons.
We believe you too are not special not to face those challenges unique to your time as well. For example, this region still continues to be recorded as having the highest level of poverty in the Zambia, at least according to the 2010 Central Statistical Offices (CSO) data, and also the 2015 statistics placing the province still having a very high number of people living with HIV/AIDS, with Mongu district alone having more than 10,000 people on ARVs. This number is too high for a district like Mongu. Early marriages, lack of employment, and lack of unity among our various leaders in the territory among others.
We do not to wish to push too much pressure on you Bishop Chinyemba. However, we only wish to appeal to you that-
1. As a Church you engage with other stake holders to find measures of reducing the high levels of HIV/AIDS in Mongu district and the province as a whole.
2. You ensure that the Church continues with its various pastoral works aimed at reducing poverty among the people.
3. That you call a meeting between His Majesty Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II and other various stake holders to iron out the perceived misunderstandings, for unity and peace to continue prevailing among the people in the nation.
We wish you all the best in your work of the Lord.
Your humble brothers and sisters.
FOR BISHOP DUFFY, JUSTICE AND TRUTH WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE, HE FOUGHT FOR THE PEOPLE OF BAROTSELAND.
Oblate Bishop of Mongu Diocese of Zambia Paul Duffy, OMI has been threatened to be beaten up by a section of the ruling party in Zambia, the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD). “The Post” Newspaper an independent tabloid reports in today’s issue of Wednesday September 15, 2010, that, a Mr. Chiko Chibale who is the MMD Copperbelt information secretary, has threatened to beat up Bishop Duffy. He said that he will mobilize the party’s crack squad to travel to Mongu to manhandle Bishop Paul Duffy if he continues to issue derogatory remarks against MMD and the President Rupiah Banda. The threat to manhandle Bishop Duffy comes in the wake of a statement he made that the people of Western Province think it is time for change.
The statement made by Bishop Duffy has unsettled the ruling party which has accused the Bishop of inciting anarchy in the Country. MMD spokesperson, Dora Siliya who is also the minister of education was quick to dismiss Bishop Paul’s assertion. Bishop Duffy defended his statement saying that he based his statement on what he has experienced while interacting with the people at the grassroots. Bishop Duffy also questioned the governments’ motive of borrowing huge sums of money which does not visibly translate to development in the country and in particular the Western Province of Zambia. Bishop Duffy has refused calls to apologize saying that he does not owe anybody an apology over his statement that the people of Western Province want change because what he said is what the people on the ground are saying.
Bishop Duffy has ministered in the Western Province since he came to Zambia in 1984. He is among the first group of Missionary Oblates who pioneered the setting up of the Oblate presence in Zambia. The Missionary Oblates are mostly present in the poorest districts of Western Province, namely, Lukulu, Mongu, Kalabo and recently Shangombo district. Bishop Duffy has spent most of his life as a missionary in Lukulu, Kalabo and Mongu. As a priest he has been in the fore front of advocating for the poor. While serving as priest and Bishop of Mongu Diocese, he facilitated the setting up of Oblate Radio Liseli, Mongu Diocese Development Center, Home Based Care projects which reach out to the people living with HIV/AIDS and numerous other projects. He also administers three Catholic Schools, St. Johns and Holy Cross Secondary Schools in Mongu, and St. Columbus High School in Lukulu district (the only high school in the district), and a Teachers Training College, the only one in the Western Province. The diocese also manages Mangango hospital.
Saturday, 22nd August, 2015
BAROTSELAND POST EDITORIAL: “Hands off Our Litunga!”
The Chinese say, “shame on the thief when he steals from you once, but shame on you if the thief steals from you a second time!”
This cannot be truer than in the case of Barotseland. The people of Barotseland will have only themselves to blame if they once again fall for the schemes of interlopers, who seek only to defraud them of their rights and resources once again!
While the people of Barotseland may be enviably among the meekest of the earth, their naivety and tameness, however, will not be so desirable. And while it may also be true that the meek inherit and posses their land, the gullible and cowardly, on the other hand, often lose theirs. Most Zambians know these concepts very well. It is no wonder many have corrupted a lofty si Bemba idiom “Ifintu ni bwangu”, which in its original context is a direct derivative of the English idiom ‘the early bird catches the worm’. In its current perverted popular application, it speaks of grand corruption that is almost grounding the entire nation of Zambia. Therefore, this means that, while the Barotse slide into docility, the Zambians seek to spring up swiftly and take that which rightfully belongs to the Barotse. Who ever imagined that an entire nation could be stolen while its citizenry watched helplessly? Such was the eternal fate of Barotseland until 27th March 2012 Barotse National Council!
That the Litungaship of Barotseland is today under siege is sadly no longer a secret. This, therefore, serves as clarion call on the Barotse to rise up and demand, in loud voices, “hands off our Litunga!” After all, is the Litungaship not of the people of Barotseland? Only they, the Barotse, ascribe unreserved honor and glory to it! In fact, does the Litunga’s very powers and authority not emanate from the people? Indeed, even the very operations of the Litungaship, are they not inscribed in the very ancient cultural norms and statutes of the Barotse? The Barotse must, therefore, reclaim their Litunga from the encroachment of interloping powers. They must, and as a matter of necessity, demand that the Litunga be left alone to decide to align freely with his people and Kingdom of Barotseland, without undue pressure from aliens.
Remember how nostalgic it felt to the Barotse when Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia once besieged the Litungaship, lowering his loftiness to a mere party card carrying member of UNIP’s governing Central Committee, MCC? Did the Barotse not voice out in demand that their Litunga be let free from such mundane tasks? As a mere card carrying member of the ruling UNIP, His Royal Majesty the Litunga became a mere political cadre, answerable only to a common Politian, Kenneth Kaunda. It also meant that the Litunga was no longer answerable to his people and nation, over which he was duly King and custodian. The Litungaship was indeed besieged! He was often made to trek between Limulunga and Lusaka at the mere call of Kenneth Kaunda. Those were indeed dark days of Kenneth Kaunda’s regime, which ruled under a perpetual state of emergency. However, were the patriotic voices of many Barotse loyalists not stirred to fearlessly demand that the Litunga be released to exist above politics, partisan or otherwise? The Barotse in unison demanded “Hands off our Litunga” until His Majesty Ilute Yeta IV’s MCC appointment was revoked.
Similarly today, we are told in loud and clear tones that some ‘three evil men,’ interlopers from the east have invaded Barotseland in the cover of the night and are purported to have penetrated as far as the innermost dwellings of our Ngocana, King. We are further told that they went as far as His Majesty’s Kashandi to allegedly strike some dirty deals aimed at once again besieging the Litungaship of Barotseland. Their singular wish, we are also told, is to reduce the eminent Litungaship of Barotseland to a mundane monthly financial subsistence allowance equal to that of a vice president back in their impoverished and crumbling state. This they wish to offer in exchange for Barotseland’s rich natural resource deposits. Now, will the Barotse allow the same interlopers to put their Litunga under siege once again? They did it once before. Shame on them! Should they do it again, shame on the Barotse!
As Ngocana, the Litunga of Barotseland is likened to a ‘sacred calf’, while as Kaongolo ka Nyambe, he is as a ‘tiny insect of God’, both symbolisms indicating how vulnerable Litungaship is without the protection of his people, the Barotse. It was precisely why the Barotse stood in defense of their Litunga when FTJ Chiluba, as president of the same ‘eastern’ regime in 1996, commanded his forces to arrest His Majesty, Litunga Ilute Yeta IV. Did we not see then how many Barotse travelled from far and wide to Lealui mundi wa alume, that great village of real men, to offer themselves as human shields, just to protect their beloved Litunga? Did we not hear how the ancient Barotse war drums were unequivocally sounded in declaration of war? Was it not what made Chiluba retract his dangerous orders?
The Litungaship is an endearing institution of Barotseland. Who occupies it is not as much an issue as the sacredness of that throne. The issue at hand is that the Litungaship is currently under the siege of interlopers from the far alienated east, and urgently needs the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the rest of Bulozi nation to redeem it.
Will the Barotse, therefore, rise and demand in unison, “Hands off our Litunga” so that he can attend fully to the biding of his people, for to them alone is he answerable. He exists to perform the wishes and the will of his people alone. Never does he act in his own accord. We wish to say to Zambia, let him go to serve his people’s bidding. He already knows what his people decided on 27th March 2012. The people want total independence, and no amount of intimidation and threats on the Litunga will change the people of Barotseland’s resolve.
Tukongete! Litunga Ni Lyetu!
BY: AUSTIN MOONGA MBOZI
TO: The UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon on his visit to Zambia.
Re: Zambian Peace; Assisting the Zambian government to honour the 1964, BA for the protection of territorial minority rights.
Your Excellence, I thank you for taking time to visit Zambia. Although I am a University Lecturer and have used the University’s address, I am writing this letter not on behalf of the University or expressing University position, but in my own capacity as a Zambian citizen. Ethnically, I neither belong to the affected Barotse ethnic grouping nor am I writing as their “Official spokesman”. I am writing as an individual concerned with issues of international justice, fairness and protection of minority rights. I thought this is the best opportunity to present this problem to you because the Barotse minority activists claim to have sent several petitions to the UN and got no intervention from your predecessors.
THE SPECIFIC REQUESTS TO YOU.
I write to you to take time to:
(a) Put pressure, or assist in mediation or funding if it cooperates, the Zambian Government to honour the 1964 Barotseland Agreement. This is an international Agreement which was signed by three Nations; Northern Rhodesia, Barotseland and Britain. The Agreement United Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia which were both British Protectorates to form Zambia. The Agreement gave semi-autonomous self-governing rights to Barotseland but the Zambian Government has violated the agreement, causing a series of ethnically-related violent acts.
During the colonial era, the two territories of Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland were separate protectorates under the British Imperial Government. During the struggle for independence, the two territories decided to proceed to independence as one Unitary state to be called Zambia. Thus on 24th May, 1964, the two territories signed the Barotseland Agreement which United them together with provisions that the Barotseland province which has about 9% of Zambia’s population, would enjoy some autonomous self-governing rights. The Agreement was signed by Kenneth David Kaunda- the Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia, King Mwanawina-the King of Barotseland and Duncan Sundays –the minister of state for colonies. On 24th October 1964, Zambia got its independence from Britain. But ever since, the Zambian Government violated all the provisions of the Agreement and this has been a source of territorial grievance ever since.
THE KENNETH KAUNDA UNIP PARTY REGIME- 1964-1991.
This regime signed but soon violated the agreement and repressed all freedom of expression and arrested advocates of the Agreement.
THE FREDRERICK CHILUBA MMD PARTY REGIME (1991-2001).
This regime appointed a commission of inquiry over demands for the fulfillment of the Agreement which had increased at the time, but after that this government made no further progress until it left office.
THE PATRICK MWANAWASA MMD PARTY REGIME (2001-2008)
For some reason, agitations for the restoration of the agreement were not very strong during this period.
THE RUPIAH BANDA MMD PARTY REGIME (2008-2011).
The people were killed by the police after the advocates of the agreement resorted to declaring independence after the government failed to honor the agreement. More than Thirty (30) suspected activists were detained and a few more died after their release. During this period, the current ruling Patriotic front president Michael Sata at the time in opposition, promised to honor the Barotseland agreement within Ninety (90) days of assuming office.
THE MICHAEL SATA PF PARTY REGIME (2011 TO DATE)
The current president Michael Sata immediately released all the activists detained by the previous regime. But tensions are growing again because they are now declaring a self-governing territory and appointed a Prime- Minister because they feel cheated by the current president because the 90 day fulfillment promise he made during campaigns has passed and no tangible progress is being made.
THEIR GRIEVANCES ARE;
A) Refusal to compensate Barotse victims: The current president has refused to compensate those detained by the previous regime whom he has released on grounds that they had no case to answer.
B) Inappropriate inquiry: The current President appointed a commission to inquire why the previous regime shot at them instead of how to proceed in fulfilling the agreement. Many Barotse submitted for the fulfillment of the agreement, but up to now the commission report is not made public.
C) Recognition of the Nkoya ethnic minority: The current president is telling them that he would listen to the ‘Nkoya grievances’. But the mainstream Barotse are against this. The ‘Nkoya’ are a minority within Barotseland who would be part of Zambia and not Barotseland in an event that the Barotseland agreement is fulfilled. This problem is likely to be a problem within a problem, while my view is that listening to ‘Nkoya’ concerns is vital (via an only -Nkoya referendum). The mainstream Barotse feel the president’s current position will delay or hold the implementation of the agreement because he did not promise anything about Nkoya rights during his 90 day promise campaigns.
D) Lack of a written road map/ implementation plan: While the president is assuring that the ‘doors are open for dialogue’, he has not put up any proposals or road map for the Barotse activists to consider. They feel cheated because dialogue means that once they show the Barotseland agreement to him as the document they want fulfilled, he must give a written alternative, so that they bargain and reach some agreement.
E) Threats of police brutality: The president is threatening them with police brutality. When the Barotse activists appointed by the Prime- Minister, the President publicly called their Prime; Minister ‘fake’ and publicly rebuked the Zambia police chief, Dr. Martin Malama to ‘stop smiling’ while an ‘illegal’ government is being formed. Dr. Malama has since been dismissed.
F) Kenneth Kaunda/ President Sata’s contradictory historical positions on minority rights: Former president Kaunda has of late been delegated as President Sata’s special envoy to international missions (Angola, China, Gabon). This has brought mistrust. Firstly, Dr. Kaunda is the one who violated the agreement. It is not clear how the current president would favour the agreement violated by his own now special envoy. Secondly, if indeed Dr. Kaunda is a special envoy it is curious why the president should ask him to settle foreign diplomatic matters and not delegate him to solve the Barotseland agreement which he abrogated. Thirdly, during his reign, Dr. Kaunda just after violating the local Barotseland agreement, went on to recognize the BIAFRA Republic which had declared independence from Nigeria on 30th May 1967 in the name of protecting 130 minority rights (against the O.A.U position). Fourthly, Dr. Kaunda, when campaigning for a return to power in 1996, promised to fulfill the same Barotseland agreement which he had violated. Fifth, President Sata in the 1990s as a minister under the MMD had vehemently opposed the implementation of Barotseland agreement. This is not the kind of history that assured a negotiating process based on principle and trust.
G) Accusations of nepotism: The current president has been accused of practicing unprecedented nepotism and tribalism by virtually all opposition parties, the Catholic church etc by appointing a disappropriate number of persons to government positions from his region, creating a new province in his home region to increase funding there while in other regions he is demarcating them and attacking them under the rule of the regions dominated by his party and recently transferring a minister Miles Sampa, to the province which is protesting that he insulted their ethnic grouping. Ethnic grievances are the most difficult issues for the U.N.
INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS ON MINORITY RIGHTS.
I draw your Excellency’s attention to the following international instruments, which you may invariably, in part or in full, draw your mandate to pressurize Zambia to honor the Barotseland agreement.
a; U.N declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples (1960).
b; U.N international covenant on civil and the peoples’ right (ICCPR, 1966).
c; The right to self- determination, implementation of the U.N resolution (1980).
d; African Charter of Human rights and peoples’ rights (ACHPR, 1982).
e; ILO convention concerning indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries (1989).
f; U.N declaration on the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities (1992).
g; U.N draft declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples (1993).
h; Council of European framework convention for the protection of national minorities (1994).
NEED FOR U.N POLICY CLARIFICATION TOWARDS MINORITY RIGHTS.
Above all, the U.N is called upon to reexamine and redesign its approach to minority rights demands. As the situation stands, the U.N to have no clear criterion which it uses to guarantee self- governing rights to some groups and deny the same rights others. As a result, the U.N tends to wait until a group’s activism threatens world or regional peace before intervening. Two (2) categories of groups are listed below;
Category 1. Countries allowed Seceding by U.N.
In 1947 Pakistan seceded from India. In 1974, Bangladesh Seceded from Pakistan. In 1989 Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania seceded from the Soviet Union. In 1992 Azabajan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Tajikistan also seceded from the Soviet Union. Later, Slovenia and the Czech republic seceded from Czechoslovakia. In 1992, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia. In 1993, East Timor seceded from Indonesia while Eritrea also seceded from from Ethiopia. In 2011, South Sudan seceded from Sudan yet this is against the background that your grand predecessor as U.N Secretary General that had warned that the U.N does not condone secession! When addressing a press conference in Accra, Ghana in the 70s he said: As the question of secession of a particular section of a state is concerned, the United Nations’ attitude is unequivocal. As an international organization, the U.N has never accepted and does not accept the principle and do not believe it will ever accept the principles of secession of a part of its member states. So what is the position regarding Barotseland secessionist faction?
Category 2. Countries refused secession or not given clear position by U.N.
When it declared independence on 11th July 1960, Katanga was refused secession from Congo by the U.N. while the Biafra Republic was denied secession from Nigeria in 1967. In 1967 the Comorian Island was denied secession from the Comoro Arch Pelago. As at now, Chechnya is denied secession from the Russian federation, Abkhazia from Georgia, Kurdistan from Iraq and Turkey, Cuebec from Canada AND Gibraltar from UK and Spain (which are quarrelling over the territory). The Aokland Islands are not aided by the U.N in the bid to secede from Finland to join the Swedish kingdom, etc.
With these cases and arguments in mind, one may see the task of the U.N to assist the Zambian government to implement the Barotseland agreement is easier now since they are not pressing for secession. Should the UN wait, it may find that the Barotse out of frustration, begin to demand for the right to secede, which will be a more complicated task. I hope the UN shall live by the mandate of its origins, right from the League of Nations to the UN formation, to prevent international conflict in a bid to guarantee world peace. The term “prevent” is emphasized here because the UN, as seen in ethnically war-torn countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi or Congo, it has tended to try to ‘resolve’ already existing wars, rather than preventing them from occurring. We pray that your office should assist Zambia to resolve this conflict since the country is at the brink of ethnically-based violence. Attached are;
a.) Copy of the Barotseland agreement
b.) Copy of one of my published works on world’s ethnic grievances.
University of Zambia.
Cc. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Cc. The Zambian Media
Cc. Southern Africa Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes. (SACCORD).
(Letter reproduced for public records only. Emphasis added)
Barotse Royal Establishment
Mr. Fredrick T. J. Chiluba
President of the Republic of Zambia,
Dear Mr. President
CHIEFS: MUTONDO AND KAHARE - KAOMA.
I refer to your letter dated 20th September, 1993. I regret the delay in responding but this was due to customary and traditional need for me to consult the Kuta and, indeed the Barotse Royal establishment as a whole before a reply is made.
It is unfortunate that the letter under reference, with the threats it contains, should have come from the head of state because it was the first time in the history of this country that the Litunga has been subjected to threats, particularly so in a matter that relates to his own tradition and culture. The only time when the Litunga and his people were subjected to such threats and actually conquered, though temporarily, was in 1845 when the Makololo invaded and occupied this part of Zambia for a period of nineteen (19) years after which the people re-organized themselves and regained sovereignty. The Barotse Royal Establishment and I have had a good working relationship with and have also enjoyed the respect of the central government. This has been the case even during the period of the abrogation of the Barotseland agreement 1964 by the former president of Zambia. The approach of the Barotse people to such situations has always been one of dialogue rather than one of confrontation .This will help to explain to you why the former president offered to amicably resolve the issue of the Barotseland agreement 1964 in March 1991, long after the agreement has been breached by successive act of parliament. The communication and engagement in a dialogue with the former president and now with you should not, any way be construed as cowardice on the part of the Barotse people. The Barotse have, and will always have great respect for authority but are not afraid of the authority. LET NO ONE FROM ANY QUARTER WHATSOEVER TAKE THE BAROTSE FOR GRANTED. THEY ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER DETERMINED PEOPLE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHO WOULD NEVER COMPROMISE THEIR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS. As a matter of fact, even their history which is the subject to the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and the struggle for the independence of Zambia in which their children played a leading role will reveal to you that THEY ARE NOT COWARDS. Notwithstanding their principles, however, they are nevertheless prepared TO RAISE THEIR HEADS ABOVE WATER if only to make their point known and to listen to other people’s points of view even if they may not like what they say.
My reason thereof, I wish to advice you, Mr. President that THREATS AND CONFRONTATIONAL STANCE ARE ALIEN TO OUR CULTURE. Therefore, we do not wish to CONDUCT OUR AFFAIR EITHER WITH YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE IN A MANNER FOREIGN TO OUR WAY OF LIFE we believe we are a PEACEFUL AND REASONABLE HUMAN BEINGS, WHO WOULD NOT FAIL TO SIT DOWN WITH SOMEONE TO RESOLVE ANYTHING AFFECTING OUR COUNTRY, and our people re-acted to the press reports, the press failed to give us adequate coverage. You, yourself, Mr. President, did not approach us either directly or through other government channels to verify the reports of secession. We instructed our lawyer to write you to deny the allegation made against us but we are advised by the lawyer that he received no reply from you.
Firstly, the problem in Kaoma took root after the MMD government took the reins of power particularly after Mr. Leonard Subulwa was appointed deputy minister of our province. The case in point is your recognition of Edward Mbombola Moyo as Chief Mutondo of Kaoma. Mr. Moyo was recognized by you, Mr. President, as Chief Mutondo before we installed him as chief under our customary law and he would have been installed in February 1993 but Moyo refused to return to Lealui to complete the traditional rites which were begun in October, 1992 when he was presented to the Kuta. While at state house on 23rd march 1993, your minister without Portfolio Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda wanted to know from the Ngambela and his delegation when Mwene Mutondo would be installed and the Minister was advised that until Moyo returned to Lealui to complete the ceremony, the question of his installation and recognition would not arise.
We were, however, surprised to note that on the 2nd April, 1993, you disregarded our tradition and custom and recognized Moyo as chief Mutondo of Kaoma. MR. PRESIDENT, THE GOVERNMENT DECISION TO RECOGNIZE MOYO WAS AN OUTRIGHT INTERFERENCE IN OUR TRADITION AND CUSTOM and we reserve our right to seek redress in the court of law if the situation is not reversed soon.
Secondly, the two Kaoma chiefs, namely Mutondo and late Kahare, had set themselves on a course to undermine the authority of senior chief Litia of kaoma and our authority as well apparently with the blessing of the government. The said chiefs called for the removal of senior Chief Litia from Kaoma and their calls were made publicly and carried by the government media.
On learning about their calls the Ngambela invited the chiefs to Lealui to discuss the matter with the Kuta and the council of all other chiefs, indunas and princes, but, they both refused to come. Not only did the duo refuse to come here in Lealui to discuss the matter but they also threatened to remove senior chief Litia by force, threatened violence on all Lozi people in Kaoma and threatened to cause bloodshed throughout Kaoma if Litia was not removed and notwithstanding the knowledge of these threats, your government, Mr. President, failed to arrest the agitators even to investigate the threats after complaints had been made to the police by our people. I enclose here with press cuttings from the Zambia Daily Mail and the Sunday Mail of the 15th, 21st, March and 5th April, 1993 in which allegations of bloodshed in Kaoma were made.
We did not react to the threats of violence and bloodshed until 17th July, 1993. Now may I ask you, Mr. President who was heightening "ethnic tension" in Kaoma between those who were calling for our blood and us, the threatened victims of bloodshed?
What makes the government believe that Chiefs Mutondo and Kahare were more chiefs than Senior Chief Litia? Are we to abandon our culture and tradition? Are we to reasonably assume that the government stand - by while the authority of lawfully constituted senior chief Litia was being undermined?
Thirdly, not only did Chiefs Mutondo and Kahare and their subjects call for the removal of senior Chief Litia but they also called for the removal of Kaoma district from Barotseland to create a tenth (10th) province called Kafue comprising of Kaoma district itself, Lukulu, Mumbwa, Itezhitezhi and Kalomo.
I enclose here with cutting from the Sunday Mail of the 4th April and 20th June, 1993 in respect of the said demands. The demands by the said chiefs were clearly a secession of Kaoma district from our customary law. We have not heard any action taken against the agitators by the government and we have been left wondering whether the government was up to something to destroy our culture by using the two Kaoma chiefs as fronts.
How could we be blamed, accused and threatened by the government for lightening the tension in Kaoma for merely acting in our self defense to attacks by Kahare and Mwene Mutondo. Mr. President you will excuse me for being so frank and honest with you but this has been forced on us by your government.
Having said all that I had to say for a moment I request you to consider the following:
 Firstly, to urgently address the question of the restoration of the Barotseland agreement 1964 because it is the root cause of all this difference between you and ourselves.
We were disappointed by the outcome of the last meeting at state house on the 17th August, 1993 when your government refused to discuss the subject but only agreed to discuss such subjects like “land issues, grants and welfare of chiefs” politically.
MR. PRESIDENT, HOW COULD THE GOVERNMENT DIVORCE LAND FROM THE BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964 AND DEAL WITH THE LAND AS A SEPARATE ISSUE WHEN THE AGREEMENT ITSELF WAS ABOUT LAND?
THE BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964 WILL NOT DISAPPEAR BY MERELY IGNORING IT. The subject needs urgent attention now and to ignore the subject is like ignoring medical treatment when it ought to be taken in the early stages of the illness. The Barotseland agreement 1964 issue must be resolved by the present government as to do otherwise would be to SOW THE SEEDS OF DISASTER FOR THE FUTURE AND YOUR OWN GRAND CHILDREN WILL SOON HAVE NO KIND WORDS TO YOU FOR FAILING TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM WHEN TIME WAS STILL THERE.
Secondly the government should avoid getting involved in our traditional matters and in this respect I request the government to reverse whatever has been done in respect of the new chief Kahare until all the installation rites have been completed. THE CHIEFS ACT DOES NOT EMPOWER YOU MR. PRESIDENT TO IMPOSE CHIEFS ON US EVEN WHEN SUCH CHIEFS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO BE CHIEFS UNDER OUR CUSTOM OR CONTINUE IN OFFICE EVEN IF THEY HAVE CEASED TO BE CHIEFS UNDER OUR CUSTOMARY LAW.
By reason of the matters mentioned above, therefore, we respectfully wish to advice you Mr. president that WE THE BAROTSE PEOPLE, ARE A PEOPLE WITH AN IDENTITY IN THIS COUNTRY, RECOGNIZABLE BY LAW SO THAT ANY LAW ABIDING CITIZENS SHOULD NOT FAIL TO TAKE COGNIZANCE OF OUR LEGAL EXISTENCE EVEN IF THAT PERSON MAY NOT PERSONALLY LIKE OUR FACES AND CULTURE.
As regards the status of the so called Kaoma chiefs and their relationship to us the important thing to note is that BAROTSELAND IS A KINGDOM EVEN AS OF NOW and that should explain to you the CHIEFS ACT CAP 479 OF THE LAW OF ZAMBIA RECOGNIZED THE CUSTOMARY LAW JURISDICTION OF THE LITUNGA THOROUGH OUT BAROTSELAND NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT BAROTSELAND WHICH IS NOT STRICTLY LOZI.
IN A KINGDOM ONE CANNOT FIND A CHIEF WHO WAS INDEPENDENT AND SEPARATE FROM THE KING BECAUSE SUCH A SITUATION WAS UNTENABLE. The chiefs in Barotseland unlike elsewhere in Zambia are INSTALLED BY US AND THEY HOLD OFFICE BY STRICTLY FOLLOWING OUR TRADITION AND CUSTOM and then any given chief who ceases to respect our custom and tradition then such chief ceases to hold office under our customary law.
The current chief Mutondo and the late chief Kahare of Kaoma refused to adhere to the customary norms and practices as chiefs under our customary law.
Since the two chiefs waited to excise the Nkoya jurisdiction in a Barotse customary law jurisdiction under the Litunga of Barotseland then we decided to withdraw our customary law from them so that they may go elsewhere away from Barotseland where they would exercise their new found jurisdiction. WE CANNOT FORCE THE MWEENE MUTONDO AND MWEENE KAHARE TO BE CHIEFS UNDER OUR JURISDICTION then there is no way they could continue to claim chieftainship which they are disowned.
Mr. President this matter is simple and straight forward. It is like your own child refusing to use your surname. EQUALLY, IN OUR CULTURE ONE HAS NO RIGHT TO BENEFIT FROM THE CULTURE WHICH THEY HAVE REJECTED.
As regards the ethnic tension in Kaoma, I regret to advice you that we have no hand in what is happening there. In fact the problem as we see it from our point of view is being fueled by the MMD government and some local politicians, who have something to gain from the current tension and our belief is based on the followings facts;
Under these circumstances we have been left wondering what it is that the Barotse Royal Establishment has done to you which you do not wish to settle with them by discussing. MR. PRESIDENT, WE ARE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO WHAT APPEARS TO US AS YOUR ‘NEW CULTURE’ OF DOING THINGS and we would respectfully request you to respect our culture as well because we too are a people with a long history and culture of our own which we shall not abandon merely because some people in your government may not like us.
AS YOU ARE AWARE, THE BAROTSE PEOPLE HAVE NEVER BEEN RULED BY OTHER PEOPLE AND FOR SEVERAL CENTURIES WE HAVE BEEN MANAGING OUR OWN AFFAIRS WITHOUT INTERFERENCE FROM ANYONE EXCEPT FOR A BRIEF PERIOD UNDER THE MAKALOLO.
The periods from 1900 to 1964 was the time we ruled ourselves with assistance of her Majesty’s government whom we called the “Babusisi” meaning THOSE HELPING US TO RULE OURSELVES.
The activities of her Majesty’s government in our country were regulated by agreements with us and the most notable of these agreement were those of 1900 and 1954 which as you are aware featured prominently in the subsequent orders in council and remained in force until the independence of Zambia in 1964 when the Barotseland agreement 1964 was to have taken effect.
I enclose here with a copy of CIRCULAR NO. 82 OF 1944 FROM SECRETARY TO CABINET DATED THE 18TH JULY 1964 TO ALL PERMANENT SECRETARIES WHICH SHOULD EXPLAIN TO YOU THE NATURE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOVERNMENT IN LUSAKA (see paragraph 4 of the circular).
The objectives and effect of the Barotseland agreement 1964 WAS NOT THAT WE WERE SURRENDERING OUR SOVEREIGNTY TO THE NEW STATE on the contrary, our understanding of the agreement was that it was MERELY AN AGREEMENT TO TRANSFER THE OBLIGATIONS WHICH HITHERTO WERE OBLIGATIONS OF HER MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT OF NORTHERN RHODESIA TO THE STATE OF ZAMBIA AND THESE OBLIGATIONS RELATED TO AREA OF DEVELOPMENT, FINANCE AND THE EXTERNAL RELATIONS, OTHERWISE WE WERE WITHIN BAROTSELAND TO REMAIN FREE TO CONDUCT OUR OWN AFFAIRS AS WE DEEMED FIT.
I refer you to clause 4 and 5 of the Barotseland agreement 1964 and the Zambia independence order 1964, were repealed by section 3 of the President orders section 20 of the Zambia independence order of 1964 were preserved by sections 11  and 12 of the constitution of Zambia 1973 and these rights and obligation were further confirmed by section 11  and 12 of the constitution of Zambia act no. 1 of 1991 therefore of no effect because the CONSTITUTION STILL CONTINUED TO CONFIRM THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE PRESIDENT TO BAROTSELAND.
Even the abrogating acts were to be construed as amending that Zambia independence order 1964, it is our considered view that SUCH AMENDMENTS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST US IN A RELATION TO OTHER PEOPLE to whom the president had similar obligations arising from section 20 legislate against one’s own contractual obligations because that, in itself, is merely THE BREACH OF THE AGREEMENT WHICH DOES BRING THE AGREEMENT TO AN END.
Thirdly, the government should seriously consider all the best possible means of re-establishing the broken lines of communication between you and the Barotse Royal Establishment. Some of the MMD and government officials in the province only fuel and heighten tension not only in Kaoma district but other districts as well. The consequently broken lines of communication cannot be re-established with such people in the office.
The government needs our co-operation, as traditional leaders are close to the people, to effectively carry out development in Barotseland.
We were there before the advent of Europeans, UNIP and certainly before you took office and we shall continue to be more open even after your term of office has come to an end. Accordingly, you need our co-operation and we equally need your help as government to develop this part of the country.
Fourthly, THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD RECOGNIZE US AS EQUAL PARTNERS OF THE UNITARY NATURE OF OUR COUNTRY AND IN THIS RESPECT WE EXPECT THE GOVERNMENT TO END THIS APPARENT HOSTILITY AGAINST US ARISING FROM THE ANXIETY AND NEEDLESS FEAR OF SECESSION.
We are not seceding and we shall not secede from Zambia. HOWEVER, WE FEEL THAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD RESPECT AND HONOR THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS IN THE BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964.
Fifthly, the government SHOULD AVOID THE PRACTICE OF ENCOURAGING PEOPLE IN THE PROVINCE TO BREAK UP INTO EVEN MORE ETHIC GROUPS. The twenty four tribes that occur in Barotseland is a number large enough. The unfortunate sermon about equality can have adverse effect if not put in proper perspective.
Sixthly, THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE AWARE OF OUR INTERPRETATION OF THE RIGHT TO SECEDE.
(The Barotse) RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REVERT TO THEIR ORIGINAL STATUS IF THE AGREEMENT UNDER WHICH THEY INTENDED TO ACHIEVE UNITY CAN NO LONGER WORK. THE REST OF ZAMBIA CANNOT HOLD US IN PERPETUAL ENSLAVEMENT ON ACCOUNT OF AN AGREEMENT WHICH WE ENTERED INTO VOLUNTARILY.
In other words, we cannot be EXPECTED TO ADHERE TO THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT WHICH THE OTHER PARTY TO THE AGREEMENT DOES NOT RECOGNIZE. THERE IS NO TREASON. Mr. President, anyone wishing to exercise his right over anything belonging to him, particularly so in a situation where another party to the contract is no longer prepared to respect that contract should have a right to decide.
If there is anything stated in this letter which need explanation Saa-Sikalo Kuta and our lawyer will only be too pleased to furnish you with more information.
As you will be aware, the chiefs, the kuta, Silalo indunas, village headmen and all the people are anxiously waiting to hear from you.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Although no proof is available, and given the nature of his strained relationship with Lusaka, it is not uncommon for some Barotse to blame Litunga Ilute Yeta IV’s mysterious death on Chiluba’s regime. What is true, however, is that in 1996 FTJ Chiluba’s government plan to have Ilute Yeta IV arrested and cited for treason was only aborted by the sounding of the Barotse War drums in Limulunga Royal vilage which symbolized a declaration of war by Barotse loyalists as they were willing to protect their beloved Litunga to the death!
By Saleya Kwalombota
The information of Litunga Lubosi Imwiko's dealings, if not refuted by the BRE through the office of Ngambela, will be disappointing. However, it is too late, lest the Litunga risks sending the monarch into oblivion. Let God open the current Litunga's eyes and see beyond today's enticement and should not use his position to impoverish his people. How can a person entrusted with the honour of Litungaship betray the people who put him on the throne? People are already hurt with the BRE's behavior and such action is likely to ignite revolution and that may be the end of monarch in Barotseland. Who knows, that could be one of the tactics Zambia’s president Lungu was advised by his Ugandan counterpart to wipe out the monarch authority in Barotseland? No one is bigger than the wishes of the people or bigger than Barotseland.
Furthermore, if what is reaching us is true that Zambian government have decided to restore the defunct BA64 after being advised of the consequences that Zambia would face, should independence of Barotseland succeed, then we must totally reject their latest move as gesture of snare. This has seen high profile Zambian government delegation frequenting the Litunga's palace with the latest being that of the first lady and her entourage.
In other development, the current head of SADC has advised president Lungu of Zambia to cautiously handle the Barotseland issue tactfully, least Zambia's territorial integrity will be questionable.
It is not a secret that Britain recognizes the Kingship of Litunga and monarch of Barotseland. It is worth noting how Britain that connived with the first Zambian president dance to Barotseland tune of self determination. Both Zambia and Britain are very much alive to the sufferings and impoverishment Barotseland has been subjected to! How great Barotseland Kingdom and how great and mighty to be so feared to day after it has tabled it's case at continental and international bodies? The Litunga has become dizzy with flattering presents from the occupying force enticing him into the renegotiation of the new Barotseland Agreement terms to be fully implemented. Britain and Zambia know the potential of Barotseland both economically and humanitarian. God knows that Barotseland shall be free soon and become the oasis of peace in the world. God's timing is the best no matter the twists!
Finally, our immediate action should be to make an urgent appointment with the incoming SADC chair, Gen. Ian Khama. He may properly understand what led his father to make Botswana a republic. We have suffered a lot and we can no longer be held at ransom. Let us please act in that practical direction. Let us forget about Lubosi's alleged personal deals and move forward.
Barotseland's independence is imminent!
WHERE DOES ZAMBIA DRAW MANDATE TO PROSECUTE BAROTSELAND LEADERS FROM?
Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and his three co-accused, currently incarcerated at Zambia’s Mukobeko state prison for the condemned, cannot be tried in Zambian courts unless there is express agreement between the country of his nationality (Barotseland) and Zambia, that empowers the latter to undertake such a trial, over some issue not criminal in country of origin Barotseland. Therefore, for Zambia to have set a trial date for the people of another nation is criminal, and against international laws and norms.
There are laws that govern international extraditions, in addition to having procedural requirements. There is no way the nation of Barotseland could stoop so low as to extradite their own nationals for an act of instituting a civil government as per 2012 March Barotse National Council, BNC, independence resolutions; which action is not even a political crime, and does not conflict with international law.
The Extradition requires that a person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, be delivered up to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
First, the state which claims jurisdiction over the underlying crime makes a request for the alleged extradition and issues a warrant for the arrest of the person. Though international law trumps that states may have their own laws affecting extradition, as long as those laws do not conflict with international law.
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as;
"...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]."
In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aiding or involved by such an endeavor.
In the case of Barotseland transitional leaders, however, Zambia has to establish:-
I. First, nationality of the accused and jurisdiction of trial of people of different nationality.
II. The territory where the offense was committed and which government they conspired to overthrow.
III. Zambia has to establish her legal authority over the people of Barotseland.
A person is not guilty of treason in exercising his inalienable right to self determination in the territory declared independent by her citizen.
It is my view, therefore, that if this trial goes ahead; Zambia will have been allowed to rape the law of Nations and universal human rights which are God given. Zambia is taking hold of her privilege against the wishes of the people of Barotseland. It is wicked; a wicked government of the day and the people that prey on the defenseless persons with no crime committed.
I, therefore, can have no sympathy for the Zambian government, whatsoever, should the international community act by imposing economic sanctions against Zambia.
In conclusion, by proceeding with the High Court trial over Barotseland transitional government leaders on charges of treason felony, it means Zambia is confirming to the international community its annexation of Barotseland territory.
This is a clear violation of international law because annexation is illegal and cannot be condoned.
Should Zambia proceed, we will have the right to act by any means, because the action will be a demonstration that Zambia is not in any way going to respect legal settlement of the Barotseland impasse.
This treason trial, should it proceed, will just be a deliberately calculated move to strike terror into hesitant minds; and impress upon the entire nation of Barotseland the determination of the governing occupying force of Zambia to stifle the right to self determination of the people of Barotseland, facing one of the most serious charges in any legal system.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
By Saleya Kwalombota
From the facts on the ground, many of us are aware of the importance of the 27th March of 2012. There is no way we could miss how important the date is to us the citizens of the great territory of Barotseland. But while they are some still in the valley of indecision and don’t fully grasp the concept of Independence declaration. We have to understand the importance of the Declaration of Independence Barotseland issued in 2012 and the important role each and everyone has to play for the patriotism of our country. In simplicity , it is to understand the Declaration of Independence and what it actually stand for in our lifetime, for our children and children's children. It is important to understand the significance of the Act of Declaration of Independence in the political sense in order to value the sacrifice of Men and women who took that serious decision in 2012 at Barotseland National Congress.
One thing that many people don’t realize is that the Declaration of Independence is important in the Barotseland situation just like it was to the United States. Our founding father Liwanika preserved the territory for the future generations, it's time appointed for our generation to bravery implement the resolutions and save ourselves from the York of Zambian slavery, similar to what the America suffered from with England and King George III. In fact shortly after America gained her independence France revolted against King Louis XVI to gain their independence in a sense too. Why I dwell much on American Independence Declaration is because America was the first to bring such ideology.
INTERPRETATION OF AMERICA'S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
The Declaration of Independence has great significance because it is what led to America's independence from King George III. The Declaration of Independence justified America right to revolt against a government that no longer guaranteed her people their natural rights. And it also helped America to get increased foreign assistance from France in her fight to become free from King George III of England. The Declaration of Independence stated certain ideals that the colonists believed were important for man to have, such as liberty and equality.
SIGNIFICANCE TO AMERICANS
Not only did the Declaration of Independence give America the right to go to war against England to obtain her freedom, but the Declaration of Independence also listed what the colonists thought was wrong of England to do. It gave a voice to their list of grievances. Prior to the American Revolution, England had passed a series of Acts known in history as the Intolerable Acts. These acts were in part a major cause of the American Revolution because they were written and passed to give England complete control over the thirteen colonies. Some of the acts that were passed included the Tea Tax, the Stamp Act, the Quartering Act, as well as many others. England even required that revenue be returned to England that was made in the colonies, thus trying to prevent the colonies from being self-sufficient. Because England was trying to control everything, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, the Sons of Liberty, and a few others tried to convince the colonists that
England was being a tyrant and the colonists did not have to put up with it.
It is important to note that the America's Declaration of independence also included the following quote “WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.”?
So the Declaration of Independence was a way of telling the colonists that they were entitled to certain things and that the actions England was taking was proof enough that England did not believe everybody was created equal or that they have the right to be happy.
It is worthy to note of the words in the American declaration of independence document framed that women today are treated the same as men and that all races are treated equally. Without the words of the America's Declaration of independence, some of the civil rights that have been passed might never have come to light.
America was not free from Britain immediately after issued and signed the Declaration, not until it was involved in a long and bloody war that lasted another 7 years. Freedom does not come on a silver plate, our people of Barotseland should be prepared for any eventualities, it is not an easy walk to freedom. There were many times that America came close to losing but persevered Fighting up to 1781 when fighting ended, leading to international recognition that was independent country after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783. What Barotseland needs is to face reality of freedom and with courage implement, and do away with Zambian laws and pass her own laws. A constitution conceal another constitution, similarly, a law conceal another law, furthermore, a government conceal another government. Barotseland should put a government in place; Barotseland should be ready to defend the declaration by any method the occupying force may think to use.
Finally, Barotseland must with authority emancipating from the right of her SelfDetermination declare the end to Zambia's legislation in the territory.
Barotseland freedom is coming!
By Saleya Kwalombota
1. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776.
The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia on July 1, 1776 and voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. After a two to three days length of debating and revising the language of a statement drafted by Thomas Jefferson. On July 4, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and as a result the date is celebrated as Independence Day.
2. After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the “Committee of Five" was charged with overseeing the reproduction of the approved text.
3. When news of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City, it started a riot.
George Washington, commander of the Continental forces in New York, read the document aloud in front of City Hall. A raucous crowd cheered the inspiring words, and later that day tore down a nearby statue of George III. The statue was subsequently melted down and shaped into more than 42,000 musket balls for the fledgling American army.
4. Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain and opted to stand with their people .
5. One signer later recanted.
Richard Stockton, a lawyer from Princeton, New Jersey, became the only signer of the Declaration of Independence to recant his support of the revolution. On November 30, 1776, the hapless delegate was captured by the British and thrown in jail. After months of harsh treatment and meager rations, Stockton repudiated his signature on the Declaration of Independence and swore his allegiance to King George III.
6. There was a 44-year age difference between the youngest and oldest signers.
The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin, 70 years old and the youngest was Edward Rutledge, a lawyer from South Carolina who was only 26 at the time.
The aforementioned is an eye opener and great source of inspiration. It is interesting to note that the independence declaration was a motion moved by one man (Mr.Richard Henry Lee) who had drafted the language to suit it's tone. The draft was debated by the delegates for two to three days before the voted in fervor of the declaration. When the news reached New York, the news brought the spirit of revolution. People rioted and pulled down the statue of King of Britain as a sign of civil disobedience to the occupying power. It is noted that out of the signatories, one of them backed out to work with the occupying power against the wishes of his people. This should remind us that what ever is happening in Barotseland also happened somewhere else. Some of the signatories were arrested but America maintained her independence declaration and in the end archived her independence.
In conclusion, to maintain independence declaration means implementation of what had been agreed and continue working towards the objective of self legislation governing to weaken the administration of the occupying power. People of Barotseland should understand that the declaration of independence brings revolution and shift in royalty to discontinue collaborating with the occupying power. It is ideology that is upside exhibited in our struggle that has given room to Zambia's ruthless behavior in this issue, for how long should we continue preaching peace to someone who finds no dignity in it? Zambia will continue doing what it best known for such as arrests detentions, maiming, terrorizing, and shredding off the letters of communique.
Barotseland freedom is coming!
When dawn's come
And Barotseland is born
Born from the blood of those who paid the ultimate price
Our freedom shall be priceless
Born from the never-healing scars of torture
Our freedom shall be total
Born from the pain of amputated limbs
Our freedom shall be limitless
Born from the sound of breaking bone
Our freedom shall be beautiful
Born from the betrayal of broken promises
Our freedom shall be prosperous
Born from decades of neglect
Our freedom shall be magnanimous
Born from total economic misery
Our freedom shall be sweet
Born from the ashes of the Barotseland Agreement 1964
Our freedom shall be fortified
Born from state betrayal
Our freedom shall be truly democratic
The traitors shamed
When dawn's come
And Barotseland's born again
A country we shall truly call our own
Our own country
To which all shall belong
Short and tall
Fat and all
Man and woman
Young and old
Baby and child
When dawn's come
And the people of Barotseland are free
Free from bondage
Bondage of slavery
Bondage of oppression
Bondage of repression
Bondage of servitude
Bondage of captivity
No burden is heavier to bear
No burden is heavier to bear
No burden is heavier to bear
No burden is heavier to bear
No burden is heavier to bear
Time to remove the bandages
Scars we bear
Scars we proudly wear
As badges of valour
Testimony of the brutality we had to bear
The brutality we had to endure
Treated like animals ever
While the world watched
And turned a blind eye
When dawn's come
And Barotseland is born
Our ancestors finally smiling
In their graves
After turning, and turning and turning
Edgily, restlessly and anxiously
For decades on end
Their spirits failing to find eternal peace
Their pride and glory finally restored
Our children smiling
Old men dancing
Old women ululating
Finally coming out of hiding
Freedom, freedom, freedom at last
When dawn's come
And Barotseland is born
Mbengenge shall deliver us to freedom
Tears of joy flowing freely
Finding their way down the cheeks Of an old man
Barotseland is free
A fulfilment of a dream
Gallant men and women sacrificed
Their pride and honour
To deliver us from
We've secured Bulozi
Free at last.
By Saleya Kwalombota
The right to self-determination has a wide scope. In a cultural sense it covers the right to speak one’s language, to profess one’s religion, to celebrate one’s culture. The right to self-determination also has a political aspect, where a people or nation may have the right to have its own political parties, and have a form of political autonomy. The most known form of self-determination and the most far reaching is the right to secede from a state in order to form own state. This right is only limited by the principle of territorial integrity, which implies that external borders of a state are not to be changed without the consent of the state. This does not impair Barotseland's independence resolve since Barotseland boundary preceded the "unitary" formation of Zambia, neither is it seceding but reverting to it's original status.
The formal Barotseland declaration of independence of 27th March 2012 would have not been done had Zambia being willing to reach the peaceful settlement of Barotseland impasse. For Barotseland the most important issue is the recognition of her statehood, since she holds the right of being a separate state derived from being a British protectorate before the birth of Zambia.
International community should follow the rationale of Western European states in the case of Kosovo to recognize Barotseland. Recognition in Kosovo case was granted notwithstanding Serbia’s claim to territorial integrity. Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council remained valid, respecting Serbia’s territorial integrity. This means that Kosovo was recognized while at the same time there was a legally binding document in force demanding (implicitly) not to recognize. The territorial integrity of Zambia falls off in Barotseland issue as Zambia is made up of two former British protectorate nations of which Barotseland is part of, not Zambia.
The argument that Barotseland case has no precedence could be likened to that of Kosovo which was a special case too. It was argued in Kosovo case by UN envoy that independence was the only option to realize a politically stable and economically viable state and additional argument for independence was that the uncertainty about the future of Kosovo threatened democratic development and ethnic reconciliation. The Kosovo issue was not a precedent, but a case on its own. The recognition of statehood by the international community of any country is unilateral act and are no rules in international law which state how many states have to recognize. Furthermore, there are no rules in international law on how big a state should be, how many inhabitants it should have or whether it is economically viable. Therefore, international community should act in good faith and recognize Barotseland's statehood before Zambia commits more atrocities against unarmed people of Barotseland.
By Saleya Kwalombota
The very heart of the human condition and the survival of any people depend on having a righteous VISION. This article will act as a dialectic framework for interrogating political and public vision of governance system that is generated from the VISION of constitutional Government in a Monarch Nation State. However, not in any way invalidating opinions by some people who have argued that the current BRE structure is sufficient to constitute a transitional government.
The unwritten laws of Barotseland speak of peace, order and good governance, but these things do not constitute vision. They are protocols of DO, DON'T and PROCEDURAL. A vision requires an understanding and acceptance of the proper steps necessary to actually bring about PEACE, ORDER and GOOD governance. It’s how we reconstitute our governance structures to get at constitutional government from here, which matters. There should be no resistance to change and there should be political will to reconstitute our "traditional" forms of political representation and governance practices, to maintain control of our own affairs, and to have government that will be accountable to the people. The government where ministries and government departments will be audited and make the report public. Today if someone raises a question against the usage of funds the BRE collects from the Barotseland properties doted across the territory, such a person may be echoed with a sharp reaction and considered having committed unforgivable crime against the monarchical authority. It is not even easy to make an appointment for a meeting with the Litunga; one has to go through KUTA procedures that at the end become a source of bribery and corruption. Unfortunately, with this type of system, the King is kept out of touch with his people who are in much need of his wisdom and guidance to sensitive issues of his territory. This is not what the people of Barotseland want to be subjected to, but rather, where the tenets of democracy will be the overriding factor.
Democracy does not mean elections with ballots; it means the voice of the people in the selection of their leaders and in the decision-making of governments. The first task in advocating for a constitutional monarch government must be to develop and advance that meaningful vision. But having vision is not enough – the people must also be free to implement their vision. Hence, the delay in institution the civil government to tackle the economy and political affairs of the Barotseland Royal State is of people's greatest concern. The heartbeat of constitutional monarch is to bring the people to a sense of belonging and participation which is integral to the tenets of democracy within a constitutional monarch. What the people need is a governance paradigm that can provide government space for statutory institutionalization of traditional and customary authority without overruling the principle of democracy.
The monarchical authority in a constitutional system the world over does not take a leading role in governance but act as the custodian of the civil government. The people themselves must be able to translate their vision into policy proposals, organizations, and political movements without bringing the authority of the monarch into contempt. The constitutional monarch makes it possible for citizenry's directly involvement in the determination of their self-governance. As long as the nation's first governance is dominated by laws and policies of a by-gone era of the monarchical bureaucracy, it will be difficult to see how meaningful governance practices and culturally appropriate institutions can be appreciated.
The challenge that Barotseland is facing, is the recognition of a system that will be better in governance system in conformity with today's politics other than the current bureaucracy setup where Indunas are only chosen and appointed by the Litunga at his discretion without subjecting them to public elections. People need a governance system that will transform the Act of governance into an agency for positive change, otherwise, to continue the status quo, simply means that the people will continue to have less involvement in issues, as the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) bureaucracy will be supreme in matters of governance of both royals and commoners. A key aspect of Barotseland struggle for self-determination is the fundamental right to determine both the process of leadership selection and the basis upon which these leaders derive and exercise their authority. Failing to change the heavily bureaucratic system is to chose to continue with the by-gone era of the system.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
The position of the boundaries of Barotseland is described by the publication of the document entitled International Boundary Study no. 123 of 3rd July 1973 by the Geographer, Directory for Functional research, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State, the United States of America as published in the provisions of Bureau of the Budget Circular No. A-16 which states as,
"THE TERRITORY OF THE BAROTSE KINGDOM WAS DEFINED AS THAT OVER WHICH THE KING OF BAROTSE WAS PARAMOUNT RULER ON 11th JUNE 1891".
It may be argued by some people that the boundary of Barotseland is at the Zambian railway line stretch. This would be a grave error, to say the least. However, the people of Barotseland know the exact extent of their boundary as it is documented, and are not egoistic to lay claim to lands not belonging to them or that was handed over to the British Crown.
Such people are advised that, going by the arrangement to hand over land through the arrangement of the "transferred land" by the way of statement of Claim (A) given by Mr. Harry Johnson, the Consul General or High Commissioner who was responsible for the British Central African Protectorate (BCAP), Barotseland cannot claim land that was handed over.
It is essential to explain the boundary of Barotseland as was decided on 11th June, 1891 which is found in the activities that took place on that date briefly as follows:-
"Treaty between Her Britannic Majesty and His Majesty the King of Portugal their respecting Spheres of influence in Africa, Lisbon, June 11, June, 1891. Ibid, Vol. 3, pp. 1016- 26 as seen from Great Britain Treaty series, Portugal No. 1, (1891) Cmd 6375.”
This arrangement was done without the knowledge of His Majesty King Lewanika who had taken extreme exception about the intentions of the Portuguese to emasculate his land as seen from his letter addressed to Her Britannic Queen Victoria and High Commissioner Robinson on 23rd October 1896 when he stated that:-
"I would be very glad if the British Government separates me from the Portuguese because if the latter come into my land, they will steal it. I do not wish my country to be divided into two parts between Portugal and German; it must be in one part under England. The Government must carry me as a woman carries a Child upon her back..."
It must be explained that these activities had taken place when the issues of the borders of Barotseland had become topical. This argument had led to the appointment of an arbitrator to facilitate the determination of the issue in 1903.
King of Italy Victor Oscar Emanuel III was appointed to arbitrate to determine the right boundary. In the process, he took a reconciliatory position of a common mathematical equation by adding what the Portuguese and the British had claimed and divided the same by 2 in order to arrive at the 22 degrees of the Greenwich.
The issue of Barotseland boundary, even at this time will not create problems because there is an international principle which states that:-
"Nemo dat quod non habet" meaning "No one can give away that which does not belong to him"
In this regard those who demarcated the territory of Barotseland after 1964 by the regime of Kaunda will have to give account for their misdeeds.
The boundary between Barotseland and Angola and Barotseland and Zimbabwe can be determined by perusal of the International Boundary Study No. 120 of 24th March 1972 and No. 30 of 2nd March 1964 respectively.
In conclusion, it should be stated that the boundary of any African country that achieves independence must state the extent of its boundaries which must be supported by documentary proof, according to the summit of the Heads of States and Government of OAU no. AHG/16/1 of 15th July 1964.
It is, therefore, important to bring to the people’s attention that the Barotseland boundary will be determined properly on the basis of what is provided under the International law to which all States are accountable.
Barotseland has never been independent because the British transferred the obligations with regard to the protectorate arrangement to the Zambian government. Therefore, as Barotseland attains Statehood, the issue of the proper boundaries will be determined at the appropriate time.
Bulozi fasi la bondata Luna
By Saleya Kwalombota