Having looked at the background of the Barotseland Agreement and the origin of Zambia as a unitary state in the last article, we will now look at the thorny issue of the boundary of Barotseland and whether there is need for a referendum.
We will also sample some quotations from the man who created the problem before us, Kenneth David Kaunda.
The boundary of Barotseland proper has always been maintained by the Barotse though the boundaries of Barotseland North-Western Rhodesia kept changing through the numerous Orders-In-Council.
The boundary currently under claim is that of Barotseland proper as it was from 1900 to 1947 without taking areas that were regarded as her subject or dependent territories into consideration. (See Th Barotseland Boundary Case of 1903-1906 [Britain Vs Portugal] under the arbitration of Italy here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/The-Barotseland-Boundary-Case.pdf) or on the United Nations website: http://legal.un.org/riaa/cases/vol_XI/59-69.pdf
The eastern boundaries stretch from Itezhi-Tezhi to the confluence of the river Chiababi with the Zambezi (Longitude26 degrees East) (East of Livingstone) and northern boundaries shall stretch from the confluence of Lufupa river with the Kafue river, westward, to the Lungwebungu river (Longitude 22 degrees East) The boundary on the west shall stretch from Lungwebungu river (latitude 13 degrees 28 minutes south) then southward to the Cuando river, down to the confluence of the Cuando with the Luena river extending to the Katima Mulilo rapids, running along the Zambezi, eastward to its confluence with river Chiababi (Longitude 26 degrees east.)
This boundary is roughly the current Western Province but with the entire Kazungula, Livingstone and the Kafue National Park west of the Kafue river falling within Barotseland and small areas of North Western Province bordering the current Western Province.
The boundary between Barotseland and Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe remains the same as it is currently with Zambia.
Before we consider the implications on Southern, North Western and part of Central provinces, we shall first look at the issue of holding a referendum.
Holding a referendum on the lines of the one recently held by Scotland does not apply to Barotseland because there is currently no treaty in force between Barotseland and Zambia as the agreement or treaty was abrogated by Zambia and Barotseland accepted the abrogation on 27th March 2012 at the Barotseland National Council.
A referendum only applies were a treaty is in force like in the case of Scotland or Tanganyika and Zanzibar in the union of Tanzania but one of the parties wants to pull out.
Barotseland does not need a referendum to withdraw from the unitary state of Zambia because it does not exist. Both Zambia and Barotseland have no treaty obligations because of the 1969 abrogation.
Southern, Parts of Central and North Western Provinces
The dependent areas that fell within the control of Barotseland, (Trust and reserve Land) for which Barotseland was being paid by the British for taking care of them, include Southern Province, parts of Central and North western provinces.
These areas fall outside Barotseland proper but have the right to hold a referendum to choose where they want to belong whether to remain with Zambia or pull out.
Barotseland and Zambia should now commence the disengagement process which will see the exchange of defense forces and civil servants willing to relocate.
The sharing of government assets, repaying the &78.5 million pounds that Zambia looted from the Barotseland treasury,(with interest from 1965) loss of revenue from the mines, reparations and other damages will be handled by the International Court of Justice since Zambia has so far refused to cooperate.
But what will happen to those who have intermarried?
Marriage does not affect someone’s citizenship in any way; Zambians who are married to people from Rwanda or Zimbabwe still remain Zambians.
But I have properties in Zambia, what happens?
You can belong to any country without affecting your property. There are so many people with properties in Zambia like the many Chinese nationals in Zambia yet they are not Zambians but continue running businesses.
What about the Nkoyas?
The Zambian government has for a long time been using the divide and rule formula by sponsoring a few Nkoya brothers to create division.
The 1964 treaty however was signed between two countries and not tribes. It was signed between the government of Northern Rhodesia, the government of Barotseland and the British government as witnesses.
Kenneth Kaunda however later dissolved the Barotse government and renamed it as Barotse Royal Establishment and later changed the name of Barotseland through degree at a rally in Matero and named it Western Province and changed what was then called Western Province to Copper belt.
Kenneth Kaunda said the following on 26th August 1969 at Matero in a speech dubbed ‘I wish to inform the nation.’
‘Barotse Province is now to become Western Province. The present Western Province, which bears no relationship to the direction, will become Copper belt Province. Logically, Barotse Province should have been Western Province in view of the geographical location of North Western Province.’
Even before the change of name to Western Province , Kaunda defied his own Attorney General’s legal advice, the most respected legal adviser, Mr James John Skinner who, when delivering a Ministerial statement in Parliament on 18th September 1965,had advised that:
‘The legal name of Barotseland was Barotseland and not Barotse Province.’
Kenneth Kaunda had made the following assurance when he addressed the Litunga and Barotse government at Lealui on 6th August 1964:
‘I am glad that the basis of the agreement is that Barotseland is an integral part of Zambia and I can assure you, Sir Mwanawina and all members of the Barotse Royal Family and of the Barotse government, that government has no wish to interfere with the day to day running of the internal affairs of Barotseland. This is the responsibility of the Barotse government and the intention of the central government will be to give the Barotse government maximum assistance and cooperation.’
In one of Kaunda’s earlier visits to Barotseland to beg the Barotse government to proceed to independence as one with Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) Kaunda knelt down and cried before the Litunga and it was out of this action that the line ‘One land and one nation is our cry’ was picked and crafted in the Zambia national anthem.
Kenneth Kaunda has however elected to remain mute on the problem he created through his love for power
This is a comment on the reported Zambian President’s agreement to “grant referendum” to the people of Barotseland in order to resolve the “thorny Barotseland Agreement issue” and that such a referendum “will be a vote to decide either to secede or remain with other provinces in Zambia” (Zambian Watchdog, January 30, 2015).
I assume that the President was correctly reported, and wish to comment as follows:
1.0 The fact that these reported remarks were made in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, shows that Zambia’s incessant violations of the rights and privileges of the people of Barotseland, as enshrined in the Barotseland Agreement 1964 (BA’64), are now in the international public domain – and the matter can no longer be swept under the Zambian government’s blood-stained rug. I am pleased about this and know that, after being vilified for many years, those of us who have been educating the public about this scandalous injustice will soon be vindicated.
2.0 It is both disappointing and embarrassing that the Zambian President, as a supposed learned lawyer, does not understand that by terminating the BA’64, by way of the Constitution Amendment Act No 5 of 1969, the status of the Republic of Zambia as a Unitary State was also simultaneously terminated – with the consequent result that, as from the effective date of this amendment, the two constituent parts of the unitary state as consummated in 1964 (i.e. Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia, respectively) legally became free of each other. Zambia’s interpretation that the termination of the BA’64 meant that they could now govern and administer Barotseland, whether she liked it or not, is fallacious and a show of complete disrespect for the people of Barotseland. This is why the people of Barotseland have petitioned the Zambian government to appear before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague to argue their case in holding on to this interpretation and occupying Barotseland militarily and otherwise. We have interpreted the Zambian government’s refusal to appear before the PCA, as an admission of guilt. So, the people of Barotseland do not want to expend further energy and time going on a tangent trying to solve the wrong problem. The correct problems that need urgent attention are contained in the official letter of dispute written to the Zambian government on May 14, 2012 (reproduced below), and not taking us back to 1969 and asking us whether or not Barotseland should “secede or remain with other provinces in Zambia”. This matter was decided unilaterally by the Zambian government through the Constitution Amendment Act No 5 of 1969, as already explained – so, the question of a referendum, today, is totally irrelevant, too-little-too-late, ill-informed and mischievous. We have no interest going back to 1969 to correct the mistake which the Zambian government made, and which has since left us as Zambia’s slaves. We even wonder who requested the President for a referendum on the matter, for him to “grant” it; certainly, that could only have been someone who is equally ignorant about, or is in complete denial of, the current correct status of Barotseland as a free nation which has only been prevented from actualising her self-rule by the unwelcome enslavement and continued military occupation of the territory by Zambia. Could there be a sinister motive for the President’s wishful thinking about a referendum – such as a proclivity (i.e. an appetite) to rigging it? Thank goodness, a referendum is irrelevant in the circumstances!
3.0 Zambia’s brand new President should also be advised to refrain from referring to Barotseland as a Province. Barotseland did not enter into the union with Northern Rhodesia as a Province; she entered into that union as an equal partner to Northern Rhodesia – with a Head of State – the Litunga, whose signature on the BA’64 was equal in weight and essence to that of Mr. Kenneth Kaunda. We challenge the Zambian President to produce documents that show that the people of Barotseland ever agreed to the status of Barotseland being downgraded to that of a Province. Without such evidence, we wish to advise that when the Zambian President travels to Barotseland, as he has promised, he should do so knowing full well that he is going to meet with another Head of State, like himself. One of the reasons why successive Zambian governments have not made progress on the matter of the BA’64 is precisely this. They think that because they unilaterally introduced legislation in their parliament to devalue and diminish the status of the Litunga, as well as name Barotseland a Province, that things actually changed on the ground. On the contrary, all these clandestine machinations meant nothing to the status of the Litunga; neither did they affect the relationship between the Litunga and his people, or our conception of what Barotseland really is. We still revere the Litunga as our Head of State, first and foremost – and we know Barotseland to be a nation state. So, please, don’t travel to Barotseland with the attitude and mentality that you’re simply visiting a province of this imaginary, make-believe unitary state called Zambia (which actually died in 1969). The Litunga is a Head of State – and you ignore this fact at your own peril because if you do not follow the right procedures you may not even see him. The President is further advised to go to Mungu by road so that he can experience first-hand the potholes and craters on the road in that part of the country they love most – i.e. the Nkoya country.
4.0 The newly inaugurated Zambian President also needs to know that Barotseland has never been a unitary state made up of numerous independent tribal entities, as he seems to think from his reference to certain “tribes”, as if they were independent of Barotseland. Barotseland has always been a monolithic nation state, the main characteristic of which is that it is indivisible. So, the President should refrain from introducing tribalism in Barotseland.
5.0 I am also disappointed that the President has chosen to ignore the fact that on May 14, 2012, the Zambian government received an official letter concerning Barotseland’s disengagement from Zambia. (The letter can be found here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/bre_letter_of_dispute_with_zambia.pdf)
Thus, if Zambia’s new President wishes to have the Barotseland issue resolved permanently, he should work with the people of Barotseland (not unilaterally) and set up a “Working Group” to address issues pertaining to Barotseland’s total disengagement from Zambia. This is where the people of Barotseland are with this matter – not at the point of being subjected to a meaningless referendum.
6.0 I trust that these comments and free advice will assist the Zambian President take appropriate actions and undertake meaningful consultations on this matter, going forward. Democracy requires that leaders respect the wishes of the people. The above letter to the Zambian government expresses the wishes of the people of Barotseland. The process that led to the Barotse National Council resolutions referred to in the Ngambela’s letter was more democratic than a referendum. Let us not move in circles, the people have spoken.
Barotseland here we are at it again, the sixth Zambian republican president appearing so innocent soft but cunning, fashioned in strategic hate, wickedness is his desire, nothing hopeful for the children of Barotseland.
So dangerous is his strategy to harm and silence Barotseland forever. Look at the three strategies he plans to employ this time;
1. His hate desire to call for referendum is to apply the same rigging strategies he used to ascend to his throne…. So; rigging strategy….
2. Separate Barotseland on tribal lines by supporting the Nkoya brothers to feel marginalized by the rest and revolt against Barotseland…. So; Nkoya conflict-separation strategy….
3. Creating a wide boarder of Barotseland to mask the opinion of the true Rotse ….. So; wide voter strategy…..
As noted and resounded by most Barotseland intellectuals, we are way beyond referendum and not necessary. The BNC Limulunga declaration should be responded to not fooling us and think we can be excited… NEVER! …..The Rodger Chongwe commission of inquiry to be released, nothing more…. First in first out.
First, Barotseland should move fast and ahead to legally and intelligently seal all the gaps of suspected strategies to weaken the struggle. All I know is that the Litunga has declared his support over this issue through the Kuta. Therefore, THE LITUNGA, KING OF BAROTSELAND, THE BRE AND THE KUTA, BNFA and LINYUNGANDAMBO should be seen to be ONE with one voice and only one spokesperson …. It is war and needs to be managed well… this time around.
Second, THE GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBIA SHOULD UNCONDITIONALLY RELEASE ALL THOSE ARRESTED OVER THE BAROTSELAND FREEDOM.
Third, the people of Barotseland should all understand that the declaration for our independence was done and the Zambian Government decided not to respond to it.
Fourth, all the Barotseland activists and Barotseland people should guard themselves against saleouts and those who want to pretend to be on our side yet not. The call for separation of north western, southern provinces together with Barotseland should not blind our mission already attained.
Finally, this is just the same devil putting on a different small jacket. It’s time to pray.
BULOZI KI NAHA SHANGWE!!!!
The recent suggestion, by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to hold a referendum over the Barotseland issue is not only laughable but also embarrassing to every Zambian who loves his country and knows its fifty years history. Such a move will not only be unrealistic in Barotseland’s case but also unjustifiable due to several undeniable factors which can only be ignored by someone out rightly ignorant about the relevance of a referendum, let alone its meaning. As such, we reject the idea with due respect while understanding the mentality of those outside Barotseland who may be in its favour.
Seemingly, the Honourable President may not be aware that a referendum over the same issue actually took place in 1969. Below are some of the reasons why such an exercise may even be termed a plot from the very pit of hell. Before going any further, it is worthwhile to point out that it is an accepted view that, from the very beginning, the Zambian government never committed itself to honor the Barotseland Agreement 1964. This is proved by the deliberate enactment, from 1965 leading to 1969, of several legislations which were in direct breach of the BA ’64.
The 1969 Referendum
In 1969, after having deliberately destroyed the Barotse Native Government in its bid to completely absorb the Barotse nation, the Zambian government of the day decided to organize a national referendum from which it hoped to legalize its illegal complete takeover of Barotseland. That referendum (commonly called, “lifu la ndambo” in Lozi – directly translated as the death of a neighbour ) was subjected to the entire Zambian populace of the time. Majority of people in Barotseland had voted against joining Zambia while basically all non Barotse voted otherwise. The outcome was obvious; and based on that, the Zambian government decided to unilaterally terminate the BA’64 and renamed what they were already maliciously referring to as “Barotse Province”, “Western Province”. The original Western Province was subsequently renamed “Copper Belt Province”.
Any sensible person would have known that this was not only unjust but also day light robbery. There was no way that the population of Barotseland would have been anywhere near the population of the rest of Zambia in number. It was going to be understood to some extent had the referendum been conducted only in Barotseland as was the case in Quebec, Scotland and Cataluña in Spain. Besides that, a referendum on Barotseland was still wrong in that Barotseland only got associated with Zambia via an international treaty which the latter decided to unilaterally terminate.
Following the resounding “No” vote in Barotseland in the 1969 referendum, the Zambian government realized that its trick had been unmasked as some Barotse kept on calling for the honouring of the Agreement despite the referendum’s outcome. The Kaunda regime then hatched another diabolical plan of populating Barotseland with non Barotse under the guise of one Zambia one nation. Some indigenous Barotse, particularly the skilled and learned ones, where transferred to the eastern region while Barotseland was flooded with dull non Barotse; so dull that they could not even learn Lozi. On the contrary, the Barotse who went elsewhere were forced to learn local languages since the tribes they found could, for obvious reasons, hardly understand English.
The other purpose for this exercise was to create a division among Barotse nation consisting of Nkoyas, Mbundas, Luvales, Luyanas, etc. It was also in order to cause insubordination to the Litunga and senior chiefs like Senior Chief Ilukena in Mankoya or Luena. The very name change of Mankoya to Kaoma was in line with this brain wash.
Furthermore, all refugees from Angola and the Great Lakes area who refused to be relocated back to their native countries were naturalized as Zambians and resettled in Barotse territory. This was done to even those refugees who had been previously kept in places like Luapula. The idea was to corrupt our culture and customs since these resettled refugees felt indebted to the Zambians and would only want to communicate in languages foreign to Barotseland. The Radio Liseli non Lozi songs and programs issue is only another example. A financial support scheme was set up under the same guise of resettlement in order to economically empower naturalized refugees at the expense of the locals. This deliberate tempering with our demographics was done with a future localized referendum in mind when the majority will look negatively at anything to do with the Barotse nation outside Zambia.
The legality of Zambia’s Claim on Barotseland
Barotseland was never originally an integral part of Northern Rhodesia but only became associated with Zambia based on a legal document called the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. When this international treaty was breached by the Zambians, Barotseland was legally free to go it alone. However, our people wanted to do so in a peaceful manner, yet while nursing the possibility of reversing the unilateral abrogation. Barotseland finally accepted the termination on 27th March 2012. However, our previous calls for the restoration of a treaty that never saw the light of day was read as weakness on our part. The Zambians mistook our diplomacy as acknowledgement of our helpless “unity” with them.
One may understand calls for a referendum in a situation where the Agreement was being honored and where some people felt that such a legal co-existence alone was no longer enough. Ours is a situation where one party deliberately decided to get out of the Agreement. Surely the party that is left does not need a referendum to determine whether it is still part of the separated part or not. Zambia left us alone and we must fend for ourselves. This is exactly what the March 2012 Barotse National Council decided to address. There cannot be a Parallel Tabulated Votes (PTV) on that.
We are glad that finally President Lungu has understood the seriousness of the Barotseland issue and our determination to stand on the BNC Resolutions. It is also gratifying to learn that the honourable Zambian President, like his predecessor, also acknowledges the position Barotse activists hold on this matter. We, therefore, take this opportunity to remind His Excellency that whatever talks he hopes to hold with us will not be fruitful while the key players in the matter are still in Zambian prisons. We call upon him to unconditionally release Hon Afumba Mombotwa and the rest Barotse activists in the interest of peace. Their continued incarceration does not help anyone and as such, only makes the bad situation the Zambian Government is in worse. We already passed the time for a referendum in 1969. Now is a time for peaceful disengagement or else the Zambian Government must file its opposition to our independence claim at the International Court of Justice. Mr. Lungu has only a year to act wisely on this issue. As a lawyer himself, he surely cannot handle our justified claim unwisely.
As copied directly from the Zambian Watchdog.
The history on how Zambia was created has remained hidden from the average Zambian through deliberate omission from the school syllabus.
Today even schooled Zambians do not understand why Zambia is called a unitary state or worse still what a unitary state is.
A unitary state is a country that is formed by more than one segment through an agreement or treaty and one common feature of such states is that they can break if the conditions agreed are not observed.
The other formation is a federal state which has similar features and conditions as unitary states. Examples include the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to which Zambia, (Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland) where part. The Federation broke up because it only benefited the settler interests in Southern Rhodesia.
The third one is a monolithic state formed out of a single entity and some examples are Zimbabwe and Angola, these states are indivisible.
Zambia is or was called a unitary state because it was created out of two separate countries namely the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia and the British protectorate of Barotseland.
Barotseland became a British protectorate in 1890 and the assurance was conveyed through Lord Knutsford in 1891.
Several assurances were made by the British among them one that read as follows; ‘The Barotse have been assured, repeatedly, that Barotseland is a Protectorate of the Crown, (and) that this status is preserved under the successive Orders-In Council and that they are only part of Northern Rhodesia as an administrative arrangement with safeguards under the Governor representing the Crown.’
A total of 27 assurances were issued by the British Crown among them 1911 Order-In-Council, the 1924 Order-In-Council, and the 1925 Barotse Fund Ordinance under which a special fund was established to fund the running of the Barotseland Government.
The 1953 Special Order- In-Council assured Barotseland Protectorate status within Northern Rhodesia before it could join the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Orders-In-Council are what culminated in the 1964 Barotseland Agreement because the two countries should have attained independence separately but entered a treaty to form a unitary state which Zambia did not want to respect and abrogated it in 1969 technically abolishing the unitary state of Zambia
What was agreed in this agreement?
Just like single people cannot sign an agreement to divorce yet not married, the Barotseland Agreement was not about Barotseland breaking away from Zambia but was about the two countries co-existing as one under a unitary arrangement with the motto of One Zambia One nation extracted from the Agreement which read;
‘And where as it is the wish of the government of Northern Rhodesia and the Litunga of Barotseland, his Council and the Chiefs and people of Barotseland that Northern Rhodesia should proceed to independence as one country and that all its peoples should be one nation.’
(One Zambia one nation)
Just as a marriage certificate has no clause for divorce yet there are grounds for divorce if the marriage is not respected, you will not find a clause for secession in the agreement yet there are grounds for breaking or reverting to the previous status if conditions are violated, in this case its Article 70 of the Vienna convention on the law of international treaties which applies.
There is no longer one Zambia one nation without Barotseland because Zambia divorced Barotseland through abrogation of the unity treaty but has held on to Barotseland by force having repeatedly refused to restore the agreement so that the two remain in a unitary arrangement.
The government is aware of the facts and consequences but has kept the Zambian people in the dark. It is for this reason that the Zambian government is scared of having the matter arbitrated by an international body because they know their fate.
Unfortunately for Zambia the matter is now before international bodies and will soon have to explain the truth to Zambians.
The next article will look at the extent of the boundary of Barotseland and whether there is need for a referendum to leave the failed unitary state of Zambia and the position of Southern, North Western and parts of Central Provinces.
Editor's Note: A copy of The Barotseland Agreement 1964 can be found here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/The-Barotseland-Agreement-1964.pdf
The recent unfolding event where Barotseland provisional government leaders have been committed to Kabwe high court is hard to bear. These are ex-diplomats of another country and it is interesting to note how the accused will be tried in the High court of Zambia without violating the principle of justice. The people of Barotseland and world over should stand to condemn this nonsense. The way the whole issue is handled is like the master- servant relationship and as if Barotseland is a Zambian conquered territory. We don't remember when Barotseland was at war and conquered by Zambia to be under hostage where our people are tossed left and right at Zambian government's discretion. The wonders will never end in this circus of Barotseland autonomy struggle. Zambia on the other hand behaves as if it is innocent in this issue when it is the major culprit, it arrests, detains and drags our people before her courts without condemnation from her citizenry or international community. Where is justice, when the power that may be arrests and subjugate the people of Barotseland and at the same time is the complainant and prosecutor?
One may be confronted with a question of where the once brave and fearless men of Barotseland have gone. The docility being exhibited among elite Lozis is worrying, for how long should we stand and watch our Leaders being bundled up like wastage assets for disposal? The KUTA must also add its voice to push for the agenda that will bring the end to human rights violation. It is immoral for any well meaning Mulozi to ignore any longer the sufferings our activists endure in the hands of Zambian authority. All genuine Activist groups should put off their pride and lay out a genuine plan for Barotseland government take off, while the legal pursuit to overseer disengagement is in process.
Academic freedom fight will take us centuries to actualize our resolve if we ignore effective ways such as protests, rallies and wide spread patriotism. These are no way classified violence activities because our issue is of political nature that requires act of presenting something to sight. The people involved are defenseless and subdued by the armed power that does not recognize what we might consider peaceful approach, by way of engaging international courts.
I would like to borrow the words of former dictator, the president of Zambia Dr. Kenneth Kaunda that when demanding independence from an African power, "use a Gun", but from a White power, use "the Brain". The approach taken so far of using brain is recommendable but does not work well because the power that besieged our territory is African hence the need for game changeover consideration now.
We are dealing with the government that made a position in regard to Barotseland Agreement 1964 as been stale under the late president Chiluba, still the same government under the late president Sata that rubbished the Dr. Chongwe commission of inquiry of 2011 Mungu saga that recommended the restoration of BA64, still the same government that refused to assert signature to have the issue settled at international court, it is the same government that militarized our territory in readiness to hit back at any possible uprising, the list goes on and on. In this regard, it leaves us to conclude that Zambia is not standing for peaceful settlement of Barotseland case.
It is important to note that freedom from decolonization is achieved with the atonement of blood of freedom fighters and freedom is not given on a silver plate but should be demanded by the whole being of human life.
The independence decision was arrived at by the people at the BNC meeting in 2012; the resolutions are biding and the basis for our independence patriots’ power to organize and to legislate in our territory.
What more than this are we still waiting for? Power is synonymous with governance and given to leadership by people, the will of the people is paramount where power is concerned.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
The much anticipated date and event of presidential by-election is past and indelibly inscribed as one of the pages of the annuls of Zambian history. The day has come and gone, leaving among us souls that are either happy with the outcome, dismayed or indifferent to all the euphoria of the presidential by-election. The big question is what next? Of course, to the Zambian political community all minds now focus on the forthcoming general elections of 2016 when the losers hope to do better while winning PF wishes to maintain power in government, using the same election wiles or other means. On the other hand the Zambian electorate looks forward to the blissful days of enjoying the government service deliverables as manifestoed prior to election.
However, it is not in the best interest of this article for me to articulate on the implications of all this on the indigenous Zambian environment and will therefore do well to rest all discourses on the subject matter with the competent Zambian native analysts. My concern is sharing my views with my dear brothers and sister of Barotseland nativity.
We have said it over and over again in this forum that “resistance to change is a fact of human nature.”
Most of our events are characterized by this phenomenon. Our own change agenda is no exception. Without necessarily disparaging our voting rights a number of us voted hopefully to usher UPND into office “for a better united Zambia” as it were.
Unfortunately all hopes and dreams were shuttered when the final result indicated otherwise-that perhaps in God’s time it is not time for HH to take the reins of power in Zambian politics and government. What I also believe in strongly is the notion that God’s time is the best always; in God’s time and plan over the current status quo between Zambia and Barotseland, HH would be the wrong president over wrong people, unless his roots are also from Northern Rhodesia. But as far as I can reminisce history tells me that Namwala, his home area, is part of Barotseland territorial claim. This observation makes it very serious such that other than seeing the election result a failure for UPND and the sympathizers rather it should be reckoned a blessing in disguise and victory for motherland Barotseland.
In other words, the apparent loss perspective implies that there is truth that most of us are still failing to assimilate into our lifestyle. The lesson however, is, unless we seriously come to terms with our present truth and embrace our dear change accordingly we will keep electioneering in Zambia in search for answers which God has long provisioned back home in Barotseland, in our quest for freedom of independence, original statehood and nationhood, as opposed to our former 50 years of freedom of dependence on Zambia. Our neighbor Zambia knows this very well and hence the frantic efforts not allow that folly to transpire. The other lesson from the election result is that there is no more room for Barotzish in Zambian politics because of what we stand for- clearly we were regarded as foreigners who could not be trusted with instruments of power, even when we were fulltime and co-partners in the birthing of Zambia. Even though we still had the residues of the BA ’64 in the Unitary Republic in later years, history is full of evidence to that effect. Otherwise, why all the fear that “neither Lozi nor Tonga will ever rule Zambia”? This is one reason I have gleaned from some international Zambia friends.
I find it quite perturbing that outsiders know the truth about our Change agenda and yet Barotse citizens still ignore or flirt away their true identity, in the name of love, peace and unity the very virtues that Zambia is abusing for self-aggrandizement. I hope we will take this hard lesson seriously and rise up to the occasion and take up the challenge in waiting for us ahead, as a new nation. We need to assert our true identity wherever we are; in whatever we are and exude the pride and confidence embodied in our reclaimed citizenship and statehood.
While some are not yet complying, it is worth taking advantage of this platform to acknowledge the many that are conforming in many ways to our very dear cause of total independence from Zambia. WE NEED TO BE PROUDLY BAROTSELAND CITIZENS AS NOBODY ELSE CAN DO IT FOR US. ARE YOU? FOR ME TO LIVE, IT IS BECAUSE I AM A LOZI AND TO DIE IT IS BECAUSE OF WHO I AM, THAT ‘S MY MOTTO, UNTIL I SEE THE FULFILLMENT OF ROMANS 17:26
“And hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation...!”
My country and I do not exist coincidentally, but God determined beforehand. This is what roots the certainty of our change agenda. In God’s timetable our day of freedom and independence is certain and coming, to dwell in the bounds of our habitation from ‘Nyambe mushemi wa luna, mufi wa naha yaluna, musilelezi wa bana bahae’ .A –M –E –N!!!!
As I pull myself together to start punching the key board for this write - up, polling stations across Zambia , including Barotseland by default , are busy counting the ballot papers. This means the dice has been cast and the decision has been made in as far as who takes over the mantle of leadership and the instruments of power in Zambia after the demise of one, Michael Chilufya Sata, MHSRIEP. Mr. Sata became famous for his campaign promise to do ‘ everything ’ in ninety (90) days when he becomes president , the ninety days prior to his replacement on the Zambian ‘throne’ have been characterized by mayhem and frenzy and a s well as so much paradox and inconsistencies as to boggle the mind. No wonder someone ended up wishing to go to the moon until the dust in ‘Zed’ settles down.
Watching from the terraces as Mwana’Mulozi , one can only conclude that indeed , ‘A revolution is not a tea party or an invitation to dinner , it is a violent overthrow of one class by another,’ said Chairman Mao Tse Tung of China . The manner in which presidential candidates traversed the land in search of votes, made it seem like a matter of life and death , no wonder we have seen unprecedented levels of violence prior to the actual voting day. This was due to the heat of the intellectual and moral combat spilling over into physical confrontation and violence in the negative sense. If the Zambia presidential candidates can engage each other so fiercely for an opportunity to go to plot one, let no Mwana ’ Mulozi think we can achieve Barotseland statehood by sitting idle, being armchair critics of those in the forefront and only participating by asking the famous question; “Luzamaela kai?” (How far are we?). There is no way we can move to our desired destination while sited in our ‘ Lazy - man’s rocking chair ’ , ever in motion but going nowhere. Actualizing Barotseland statehood is a serious revolution! It cannot be overemphasized that: ‘A revolution is not a tea party or an invitation to dinner; it is a violent overthrow of one class by another ’. I should not be misunderstood to advocate for violence in the negative sense. There is such a thing as being combative intellectually, morally, legally and using many other non - violent ‘violent ’ means to achieve a desired goal. They called it non - violent civil disobedience in the civil rights movement of America and the velvet revolution in the Arab Spring of most recent years
The ‘Zambian game of thrones’ means almost nothing to Barotseland because it is about another country. It is very unfortunate that it ha s actually extended to Barotseland , which has already decided to separate from the rest of Zambia. The auxiliary value of the current presidential elections to Barotseland is to produce the next occupant of the Zambia state house who has to be engaged on the actualization of Barotseland statehood as soon as he or she is sown in to office . In fact , I do not envy Zambia ’ s sixth president at all because we do not intend to give him or her the luxury of a honey - moon even for a week after the swearing in ceremony . As advocates for the statehood of Barotseland and activists for Barotseland ’ s Right to self - determination, we are in a hurry to actualize the aspiration of the people of Barotseland who strongly BELIEVE in their RIGHT to SELF - DETERMINATION and SELF - RULE
Barotseland issue, which has haunted Zambian politicians of all ages whether they admit it or not. The exchange of opinion and ideas on the Barotseland issue clearly demonstrate that it is a crucial issue that cannot be taken lightly by any sane person that aspires to occupy Zambia ’ s highest office. Sometimes people think that the Barotseland issue in Zambia is a none - issue once they enter in to state house . However, it has been a key election issue especially since the dawn of democracy in a multiparty environment in 1991. It can actually be said that some politicians as crafty and subtle as snakes have used the issue to gain entrance into state house. Let no one be deceived that the Barotseland issue is a none - issue in as far as Zambia is concern ed for it is the foundation of Zambia as a jurisdiction. This time round , it is even more crucial in the wake of the March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) resolutions , which have rendered Zambia a failed unitary state when the people of Barotseland finally opted out since she cannot continue to be part o f a union that ha s been trivialized , violated and unilaterally abrogated with scornful impunity by the other party .
Among the current crop of men and one woman running for the office of president for the failed unitary state of Zambia, the one that spoke with so much clarity over the Barotseland issue is Dr Ludwig Sondashi, a constitutional lawyer and native of Kaonde land in what is today called the North - western province of Zambia. I must confess , it felt so relieving and indeed refreshing to hear someone speak with so much clarity about Barotseland’s right to self - determination and self - rule . The learned Sondashi clearly stated among other things that:
1. Barotseland is not a province of Zambia and , therefore , not like any province of Zambia. It was (until 27th March 2012) in fact a state within a state just like it was a protectorate within a protectorate from 1911 to 1964.
2. Zambia cannot be Zambia as we know it without Barotseland and the Barotseland Agreement 1964 on one side and Barotseland cannot be part of Zambia without the Barotseland Agreement 1964 on the other side .
3. The decision as to whether Barotseland should be part of Zambia (upon the restoration of the BA ’ 64 of course) or pursue its own independent statehood (as per the March 2012 BNC Resolutions) is a preserve of the people of Barotseland alone without the interference of the rest of Zambia
The position of Dr. Sondashi is not an afterthought but clearly spelt out in the Forum for Development Alternatives manifesto . What is interesting is that the learned Kaonde man has not been cited for treason or treason felony by the powers that be . Neither has his party been outlawed for being divisive nor his manifesto classified as being seditious material
Another candidate who made his position clear on Barotseland was Dr Nevers S. Mumba , of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy who , among other things said that he will immediately embark on preparations for a Barotseland exclusive referendum to determine the course to be taken by Barotseland and its people, if elected to be the sixth president of the failed unitary state of Zambia . While other people and activists saw no need for a referendum when the people of Barotseland have already decide to separate from the rest of Zambia through the BNC resolutions, I am glad that the man of God w as conscious enough to at least know that t he Barotse reserve the right to determine their future. After all I BELIEVE the Barotse people are so fade up of the Zambian fallacy that no matter how many times you ask them in whatever form — BNC, referendum or otherwise — their answer is the same — self - determination and self - rule — just as they resolved in the March 2012 BNC resolutions. The other Candidates were mute about the issue except, Eric Chanda, leader for the Fourth Revolution who opened his mouth only to expose his total ignorance about the whole issue.
A number of things come to the fore in my min d at least, as a result of the electioneering debate , among which are :
1. No Mwana ’ Mulozi from whatever walk of life should ever shy away from speaking freely about Barotseland ’ s Right to self - determination and self - rule or indeed participating in any way possible, from now henceforth because “ IT IS NOT TREASON TO SEEK FREEDOM! ” Dr. Ludwig Sondashi our traditional cousin ’ s example is there for all to see .
2. Let it be known that it does not matter who wins the race to plot one. The people s of Barotseland are determined to actualize Barotseland statehood.
3. There shall be no honeymoon or relaxing after the electioneering marathon. Zambia ’ s sixth president must touch the ground running over the issue of Barotseland.
4. The Barotse people should be prepared to declare to the world at any time and in any w ay, that they BELIEVE IN BAROTSELAND’s RIGHT to SELF - DETERMINATION and SELF - RULE, nothing will change that. No matter how many times they are asked and w h at ever method is used. T he people of Barotseland should demonstrate that they have declared as per the March 2012 resolutions .
The people of Barotseland can hardly wait for the declaration of the sixth president of the failed unitary state of Zambia so as to prepare to lock horns with him or her on the transitional arrangements towards the Barotseland statehood . This is an issue that the past five presidents have not dared to do . By handling this issue he or she will stand up head and shoulder above his or her predecessors - BNFA.INFO
Zambia's sixth president Edgar Lungu must touch the ground running over the issue of Barotseland, there is no honeymoon on this issue. Our 2012 BNC resolutions are clear and empathetic. Barotseland's right to self rule cannot be denied to her by any one as it hinges on public international law. We believe in the right to self determination and nothing can change our resolve even in the face of death.
During the run up to Zambia's sixth presidential election, Ludwig Sondashi and Nevers Mumba freely discussed this issue and none was arrested and charged with treason. Why should it only become treason when discussed by Lozi nationals? This exposes Zambia's double standards and it should be a wakeup call to all the people of Barotseland that Zambia holds worst consideration for Barotseland. The utterances of Dr. Ludwig Sondashi are worthy reading knowing that they come from a Zambian constitutional lawyer:-
- "Barotseland is not a province of Zambia and, therefore, not like any province of Zambia. It was (until 27th March 2012) in fact a state within a state just like it was a protectorate within a protectorate from 1911 to 1964.
- The decision as to whether Barotseland should be part of Zambia (upon the restoration of the BA’64 of course) or pursue its own independent statehood (as per the March 2012 BNC Resolutions) is a preserve of the people of Barotseland alone without the interference of the rest of Zambia"
One is confronted with a question, though, why the Zambian government did not arrest and charge Dr. Sondashi of treason felony? Neither has his party been outlawed for being 'divisive' nor his manifesto classified as being 'seditious' material, as many other Zambians commented on this issue but were left Scot free without arrest. This accords a rare window into the thinking and rationale of the Zambian government's views on the Barotseland issue. Therefore, Lozis from all walks of life should now be speaking freely about Barotseland's Right to self-determination and self-rule or indeed participating in any way possible because IT IS NOT TREASON TO SEEK FREEDOM.
We expect the Barotseland patriot for independence and the BRE to engage the new Zambian president Edgar Lungu to immediately start the negotiations of disengagement as tricksters will never be tolerated. Remember that this is the man who exhibits worst considerations of Barotseland and never said anything about it during his presidential message campaigns. We expect tougher time ahead with this man from the way he handled it when he was a minister of Home affairs and Defense; he militarized our territory, arrested our activists and detained them for months without trial, even now the Administrator General of Barotseland provisional government and others are still incarceration at Mwembeshi state prison. The people of Barotseland will not take it kindly with Zambia should the issue of Barotseland not be given serious considerations it deserves and the Lukewarm altitude of the BRE will not be accommodated.
By Saleya Kwalombota
I do not delight in talking of the recent Zambian presidential by-election results for the reason that Zambia as a unitary state no longer exists. However, it is worthy analyzing the outcome of the presidential results. It is worthy of note that the outcome of Zambia's presidential by-election has exposed that Zambia is indeed a divided country, contrary to the one 'Zambia one nation' slogan misinterpreted to be the uniting of 73 Zambian ethnic tribes. However, this result has not come as a surprise to most, because since Independence, Zambia has never had a president from the region that was once under Barotseland North western Rhodesia, unless anointed by a Bemba clique within the ruling party e.g the late Levy Mwanawasa. The vote has clearly being divided along the lines of the old boundaries of Barotseland North Western Rhodesia on one side and the North Eastern Rhodesia on the other, with the latter voting predominantly for the wining candidate, Edgar Lungu, in the 20th January 2015. This in itself is not the worrying issue, but what is very worrying is the backlash being received by the tribes hailing from the other side who opted to vote for the losing candidate, Hakainde Hichilema, who are now being called all sorts of unprintable words and names for not having voted for their winning candidate!
For the past 50 years, Zambia has been running a scheme to oppress and hurt Lozi nationals and ethnic tribes of North western Rhodesia. Talking to any Lozi hailing from Barotseland from all the walks of life, except those whose stomachs are fed by the PF oppressive regime, they will confess that they are genuinely hurt. The hatred for the Lozi nationals and tribes of former North western Rhodesia is rife in every sphere of life in Zambia and now it has even turned into a terminally illness without cure, hence the justifiable call of the Patriots for Barotseland independence. Lozis are not seeking attention, but respect of their inalienable right of self determination. Zambia is a Christian nation and as Christians believe, in particular, that without shedding of Jesus's blood, there could be no salvation. The blood of Jesus Christ still speaks even today. In the same vein the Barotseland activist’s blood that was shed in 2011 is speaking up to now until the reason it was shed for is accomplished, there is no turning back.
It should not be forgotten that the ‘One Zambia and One Nation’ slogan was corrupted by the Kaunda regime, contrary to a social unifying slogan as many people perceive it today, but an anthropological and sociological scheme formulated to devalue the status of the Lozis in Zambia and its results can be seen on the faces of many Lozis in Barotseland. Unfortunately, despite their education, intelligence and being predisposed to leadership, many elite Lozis of profound standing bought into the slogan for the sake of their stomachs, selfishness and greediness which has led Barotseland to its present day enslavement. It is not a hidden fact that most of the prominent Lozis that became Dr. Kaunda’s close associates became Lozi sell-outs. Even today, they will never stand for the noble cause of freeing Barotseland from the yokes of discrimination, poverty, illiteracy and disease which came as a result of bonding Barotseland to thieves. And today the hatred for the Lozis and North western Rhodesian tribes is no longer a secret, but it has been professionalized.
In Zambia today, it is neither a crime nor a sin for most of the private radio and television stations located in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, which are licensed to broadcast in English as the official language but instead, have resorted to using only two native languages, that is, Bemba and Nyanja. Even the national’s Public Broadcaster ZNBC, despite English being the official language, their DJs and TV presenters have also resorted to only using two native languages in addition to English to the displeasure of well meaning Zambians.
If the time for the Lozi people has come for them to restore their territory, why should a person who does not hail from Barotseland stop them in the first place? Zambia has no powers, whatsoever, to continue enslaving the Lozi nationals. The people are tired of discrimination, segregation, poverty, arrests and subjugation.
By Saleya Kwalombota
This question is cardinal as Barotseland's self governing is about to commence. As such the question requires a candid answer in order to remove a lot of unnecessary misgivings by cobwebs in the wider spectrum of society of Zambia including those who peddle lies and hold the worst consideration about Barotseland.
In this exercise, the following details are brought to light as they offer contradictory views by people who lack knowledge of the subject, while others take it as a deliberate move to satisfy their evil egos. Therefore, the information produced in the publication of the weekly Post of 31/12/1992 to 7/01/1993 is good enough and is given as follows:-
Personality (Arthur N. L. Wina , First Minister of Finance in 1964), Utterance,
"Somebody must produce receipts, we must have evidence of money , how it was taken, when it was taken and where it was taken"
Personality (Sikota Wina, first minister of Local government), Utterance,
"what does the ordinary Lozi man stand to gain from the Agreement of £78, 500,000 if it won't used for housing in 1964 but into pockets of just a few people?
“The decision to take over all the treasuries was made by the government collectively and not by a few individuals;
“To say that the Wina brothers did this or that is a lot of rubbish; If the Barotse people were granted what they were asking for, they would practically be a separate state from Zambia; If that is not an independent Republic that is secession that is backbone of a Government and independent Republic in control of its land, treasury, judiciary, forestry, legislature and local Government" end of quote.
According to another publication of the weekly post of 22/01/1993 to 28/01/1993 stated:-
Personality, (Kenneth. D. Kaunda, first president of Zambia and the signatory to the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and the key figure in the abrogation of the Agreement), utterances,
"The government hasn't asked me to state my side of the case, but there should be no need for them to panic. History can be re-written but facts cannot be altered; If our brothers and sisters want the matter to be settled in the courts of law, I will help the government lawyers explain the case as it is I signed the Agreement and is a well known fact;
“There was no way one province could have been treated more special or important than others in the same country; There had been a lot of native treasuries from various provinces which government collectively incorporated and not as Kaunda; The treasuries included those from the mineral rich Copperbelt which, as a result of an agreement between the Lozi Establishment and the British were going to the British South African Company" end of quote.
Nonetheless, since a lot of information is hidden from the public, it is better to explain some salient points to show the ignorance of the concerned people who have made such useless utterances.
According to the publication of the Times of Zambia of 5th November 1965, it was reported that:-
"About £411,000 representing assets and cash of the Barotse Government Treasury are being distributed to the district councils"
According to the publication of the Daily Mail of 17th November 1965, it was reported that:-
"In at least one aspect, the province dubbed the 'Cinderella' during the colonial era is now leading all other provinces in Zambia; Under the 18 months transitional development plan, Barotse province receives £111,450 in grants for capital development works. An additional £42,000 is to be made available from the Rural Councils own resources" end of quote.
The details given above demonstrate that the Barotse Native Government had money that was properly acquired.
It is further demonstrated that the Barotse Native Government had a variety of sources from which it had acquired money through Native tax rebate, Investments and Veterinary. According to a letter reference No. MC/B/LA/FIN/22 dated 15th November 1965 by Mr. M. Sheldrake, who was signing for the provincial local government officer in Mongu, a sum of £14,000 was allocated to each district. Since there were five districts in Barotseland, the amount under this head was £70,000.
It should be emphasized that there were immovable properties owned by the Barotse Native Government which were inherited by the Government of Zambia without arrangements for either compensation or sale and these are under the utility of the Government some of which include:-
1. The structures forming the Barotse National School which was termed Kambule secondary school following the decree by former president Kenneth Kaunda to change the name of the school since "there could not be a state within a state", according to his myopic thinking.
2. The building housing the High Court in Mongu,
3. The building housing the Ministry of Education in Mongu,
4. Liwanika General Hospital,
5. Suu local court building and many more scattered all over Barotseland, etc, etc.
One point worthy noting was that there were investments owned by the Barotse Native Government from which interests were accruing such as the Mulobezi Mills.
It will be interesting to know how the Zambian Government will account for their disposals.
One important question that may be asked is what was used to expropriate those treasuries including "those from the mineral rich Copperbelt" , as was claimed by former president Kenneth Kaunda, since the Local Government Act was meant to cover Barotseland through the establishment of the Barotseland Local Government Fund?
In consequence of the foregoing, the people of Barotseland are entitled to claim for the loss sustained due to the spoliation of their properties in line with the provisions of Article 21 of the African Charter on Human and Political Rights.
"The delay should not in any way be viewed as a point of failure but as a sign of law abiding nation that has taken the diplomatic process to resolve the standoff issues with Zambia."
The political dimension in Barotseland nation is characterized by misinformation and lack of proper communication link from the top leadership of various liberation groups to the grassroots. The political independence liberation of Barotseland territory is proving to be slowed as the Zambian government continues to hold grip by manipulating the minds of the poverty stricken majority, such as enticing them with job positions. This is the saddening side of poverty because it erodes the moral fiber and diminishes the organic social growth and clumsy liberty struggle.
Some have commented that pointing to the Zambian presidential bye election campaigns sweeping successfully across the 2012 declared independent territory as a sign of weak bilateral relationship between the BRE and Activists groups. However, as much as I respect other people's opinions, it is better to understand that the declaration of independence is usually followed by another process known as disengagement, the latter not being a day's event but it takes time to come to the agreement terms of international acts and orders. The delay should not in any way be viewed as a point of failure but as a sign of law abiding nation that has taken the diplomatic process to resolve the standoff issues with Zambia.
The implications of the illegal occupation of a territory are well challenged in a diplomatic way, that is, to engage international community through international courts and continental bodies. We must remember that the Barotseland Agreement 1964 was an international treaty that was concluded peacefully, in like manner, the acceptance of its abrogation, was done peacefully by Barotseland, as the other party and in a lawful process through the Barotse National Council in 2012, after having had exhausted all the channels. To this effect, the people of Royal Barotseland should be encouraged to reject political statements and maneuvers from our soon to be neighbor, Zambia, if not in conformity with the 2012 BNC resolutions, for immediate disengagement.
The most far provoking issue is the destroying of government structures in 1975 by the Zambian government which move was not well accepted by the Lozis as it was the genesis of the loss of sovereignty of our God given territory to a fellow sister African country. What were called customary law, customary land-rights, customary political structure and so on were all invented by Zambia codification by passing laws aimed at fixing Barotseland people. This and other maneuvers against sovereignty of Barotseland, have caused great loss of economic opportunities varying for five decades , leading to the impoverishment of a once rich and self sustaining territory.
Zambian politicians that are campaigning in Barotseland should avoid provoking further the already volatile situation by commenting on the Barotseland status quo as the BNC 2012 independence resolutions have solved it all. The 2012 BNC resolutions still stand and must be the only one to be referred to for implementation other than the non applicable process of referendum in Barotseland impasse.
What applies now is article 70 of the Vienna Convention on the law of international treaties which Zambia’s Attorney General is aware of, hence their reluctance and refusal to appear before international bodies to resolve the matter and commence the disengagement process.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu