“The sovereignty of Barotseland is not a matter of illusion or favor but of law as such the fight for independence is a noble and honorary thing that is backed by legal documents.”
It is now time for the people of Barotseland to get united and fight for the total independence of their God given territory and serve the territory from being annexed by Zambia, otherwise posterity will judge us harshly. The docile attitude will not serve the desired goal of having independent Barotseland unless we become focused or no one will ever take us seriously. I doubt if it is the desire of the Malozi to continue to be exploited and trampled upon by small men with small brains!
My fellow compatriots, we shall never rest until we reclaim what is rightfully ours for our children and our children's children. We will not be shaken or intimidated by the on-going arrests of Barotseland transition government leaders by Zambia, for executing the mandate and the will of people.
The history of Barotseland has always been shrouded in secrecy by the rogue state of Zambia so as to deceive successive generations, however, we should note that the following treaties, recognize Barotseland as a separate territory and not as a province of Zambia that should remain enslaved and subjected to untold misery by denying the Lozi nationals their inalienable right to self-determination:-
1. The Lochner Concession of June 1890
2. The Lawley Concession(A) of June 1898
3. The Barotseland - NorthWestern Rhodesia Order- in - Council of 1899
4. Concession B of 1900
5. Concession Agreement of August 11,1909
6. The Northern Rhodesia Order- in- Council of 1911, which amalgamated North Eastern Rhodesia and Barotseland North-Western Rhodesia into Northern Rhodesia.
7. The Northern Rhodesia Oder-in-council of 1924(British Govt Rule take over from B.S.A.C)
8. The Barotse Fund ordinance Act of 1925 , in terms of which a special Fund was established to finance the running of Barotseland Government
9. The Barotse Native Authority Ordinance and Barotse Native Courts Ordinance, both of 1936
10. Special Order-in-council of 1953
11. Sections 57 and 80 of the Northern Rhodesia Order-in-council of 1962, and sections 59 and 112 of the Self -Governing Constitution of 1963, which both affirms and recognizes Barotseland as a separate state within Northern Rhodesia; and
12. The Zambia Independent Act and the Zambia independent Order of 1964 which gave recognition to the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
Why is Zambia so adamant that even the existence of historical and legal facts at her disposal cannot change her policy towards Barotseland? The sovereignty of Barotseland is not a matter of illusion or favor but of law as such the fight for independence is a noble and honorary thing that is backed by legal documents. Therefore the present generation should actualize the desired independence of Barotseland, otherwise we are doomed as a nation and the next generation will never forgive us.
An appeal to all Lozi nationals home and abroad is to identify yourselves with your genesis and turn out in good numbers to give solidarity and patriotism to the noblemen of Barotseland transitional government held by Zambia on trumpet up charges of treason felony, on 6th January, 2015 at Mumbwa magistrate court where they will appear for mention pending instructions from Zambia's DPP for committal to the High court.
We acknowledge that independence is not given on a silver plate by the oppressor but demanded by the oppressed even in face of the barrel of a gun.
Tukongote, kopano ki mata.
By Saleya Kwalombota
Reading Hon. Shuwanga s piece of writing should make all those who truly love Barotseland to raise their heads to review the post BNC 2012 resolution events – the way forward, the killings, the factions and the arrests. BNC 2012 blessed by the King of Barotseland surely gave confidence to all of us Rotse people.
“Mr. Sata who made the March 2012 Barotse National Council Conference possible. He had promised to accept any outcome. An irreversible decision to be independent of Zambia was unanimously arrived at.” Hon Shuwanga
Barotseland activities are all based on the belief of BNC 2012 resolutions. Putting Zambia aside, Barotseland should sought issues out.
I have the following questions;
1. Are we as Barotseland understanding and respecting the BNC 2012 resolution?
2. Does Zambia understand it either?
3. Is the BNC 2012 resolution binding on both Zambia and Barotseland?
4. Why is the King and the Kuta quiet over the current arrest of Hon. Afumba and others?
5. Why is BNFA, if truly an umbrella of all groupings also quiet?
6. The Zambian Government now does not even allow any one going near the court just to listen or support our own blood. Will this continue and people watch dance and vote for them?
7. BNC 2012 resolution was the strength of all Barotseland, BUT, count how many people have lost their lives over this issue? Some are still dying today from suspected poisoning. Is this going to continue?
8. People are dying, arrested, families displaced, children and women are suffering, people live in fear. How do the leaders of BNFA, LINYUNGANDAMBO, THE KUTA (BRE) AND THE KING feel?
9. Will Barotseland be a place without human rights?
10. “The late president had clearly articulated his willingness to allow Barotseland go free of Zambia if only our elders supported such a conclusion”. Is any elder in support?
11. Is it possible that the Barotse leadership can issue a statement and its respected by Zambia?
12. Is every one claiming to be in struggle really in it?
13. Will Barotseland happily participate in the Zambian presidential elections in the light of BNC 2012 resolution?
14. Are we one, two or three?
15. Is the BNC 2012 resolution closer to be reversed?
16. What sin have Barotseland committed which cannot be forgiven?
Reports that Patriotic Front President, Mr. Edgar Lungu, had sent security personnel to Mwembeshi maximum prison to kidnap unjustly arrested Linyungandambo leaders are not only of grave concern to the people of Barotseland but also provide an informed idea of the man who may become the next president of Zambia. What has so far been reported about Mr. Lungu since the passing of President Michael Sata only suggest that Zambia may be led by a man who could be equated to the Idi Aminis and Sani Abachas of the gone-by days. It is apparent that Honourable Afumba and the comrades he was arrested with are not safe at all.
Perhaps to emphasize this feeling is a report on Zambian Watch Dog that alleges Mr. Lungu’s knowledge of the cold blooded murder of Zambia Air Force Deputy Commander, General Muliokela Muliokela, a Lozi, and Colonel Mwene by ZAF Commander Erick Chimene and former Director Intelligence Xavier Chungu. More worrying still is the fact that the acting Zambian President, Mr Guy Scott, has clearly stated that the Barotse quartet committed no crime and yet he, as the head of government, has not used his authority to have them released. As if to confirm our concerns, Mr. Masiye Musialeti and others who attended the court hearings in Mumbwa were suddenly arrested. This is nothing else but deliberate provocation. These grim concerns may explain why the Barotse leaders were taken to Lusaka, far away from their relatives and comrades. Acts like these can only be associated with tyrants who have no slightest respect for human rights and cannot be acceptable in this age; worse still in a society that claims to be Christian and one of the beacons of democracy in Africa. The Bible teaches that God will judge all unrighteousness regardless of whether one believes or not. It does not change what the Creator Has ordained in eternity (Hebrews 9:27).
History has always proved harsh to all so called leaders who transgress other people’s rights. We have not forgotten those who murdered our people in cold blood in 2011. Kabayo Kabayo and the bodies of other Barotse activists who died in Zambian prisons or after their release from jail will be exhumed and be subjected to forensic post mortem to determine the actual cause of their death. We have not forgotten the missing five and we shall leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of what became of them. Culprits will eventually be taken to the International Criminal Court. Mr. Lungu and any other power hungry Zambian leaders who may want to go and join Pierre Bemba and the rest at The Hague are at liberty to do so. No one will ever get away with crimes committed against our people.
The late Mr. Sata was sensible enough to understand the gravity of the Barotseland impasse. He had clearly stated to us on 28th December 2011 that he never wished to be taken to The Hague at any time, hence his unconditional release of all Barotse activist and the setting up of a commission of inquiry. Any aspiring Zambian president who would want to violate Lozi people’s rights must not be encouraged by the Uhuru Kenyatta case in that the Kenyan and Barotseland positions cannot be similar in any way. Indicted Zambians will have no one to bribe or intimidate on the Barotseland case.
It was Mr. Sata who had advised us to meet our elders in order to map out the way forward on Barotseland. The late president had clearly articulated his willingness to allow Barotseland go free of Zambia if only our elders supported such a conclusion. Although his promises turned out to be like the ones Pharaoh had earlier made to Moses, it was essentially Mr. Sata who made the March 2012 Barotse National Council Conference possible. He had promised to accept any outcome. An irreversible decision to be independent of Zambia was unanimously arrived at. It is, therefore, short sightedness and irresponsible for any Zambian authorities to victimize our peace loving people in this manner. Detaining Hon. Mombotwa is not in the interest of peace loving Zambians either. Whoever authorized the arrest did so for his own selfish and diabolical ends. Being elections time, one cannot avoid believing that the arrests were all made for political mileage sake. That will not work.
It is, furthermore, a paradox of some sort for the acting president to announce that Hon. Mombotwa and company had committed no crimes and yet perpetuating their detention. Such actions only expose the incompetence of post Michael Sata Patriotic Front and its incapability to progressively rule Zambia.
Hon. Afumba Mombotwa must be released forthwith for the sake of peace and progressive disengagement with Zambia. Barotseland is a free nation. Zambian presence in Barotseland is only an occupation against our will. Mr. Scott, who is actually a Lozi by birth since he was born in Livingstone, must exercise his prerogative and free Hon. Mombotwa and company before power hungry wolves bent on anarchy add more calamities to the Zambian presidency. Barotseland will not reverse the March 2012 BNC resolution.
The concern about Barotseland's security should now take center stage because Barotseland has the right legal framework to do so, therefore, it's right time now for Barotseland to constitute a national Defense Force to defend the territory from external threats. This time around Zambia will be held responsible should this issue spill into armed conflict, if Zambia persist to control Barotseland territory contrary to the dictates of public international law.
Even before recognition Barotseland state has the right to defend its integrity and independence. For any country to effectively and authoritatively command control of her territory, it should have established defense force. According to Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States Signed at Montevideo, 26 December 1933 and Entered into Force, 26 December 1934 article 3 starts that ,
"The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states. Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts."
Therefore, there is nothing wrong for Barotseland to exercise her right under the Rights and Duties of States by establishing national defense force to stand against external threats especially from Zambia the occupying force in Barotseland territory.
Legal interpretations and knowledge are at our disposal, to enable us to stand against Zambia's uncalled violation of Barotseland's right to self-rule. States signatory to the Geneva Conventions undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the Conventions in all circumstances.
The Barotseland transitional government through the Acting Administrator General is expected to take appropriate action to take Zambia to the international Court of Justice if Zambia thinks they can use domestic Zambian jungle laws to hold the people of Barotseland captive. The question at hand now is how far the Barotseland government is prepared to stop this extra territorial operations by Zambia? We understand the defense force requires good funding to procure necessary military hardware and to sustain personnel through salaries and training.
Of course with the efforts put so far these are non challenges for Barotseland as a state to constitute a defense force.
The people, who are the citizens of Royal Barotseland, have already spoken and opted for independence through the BNC of 29th March 2012 , whose resolutions insisted on an urgent government formation and peaceful independence struggle to prevail even if it faces stiff opposition from the occupying force.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 15 (2)) stipulates
“No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his Nationality nor denied the Right to change his Nationality.”
Indeed we are Barotzhish, and as nationals of Barotseland, we are ready to defend our country if pushed too far.
Zambia's persistent and violation of various international conventions on the rights of people to self-determination is regrettable, and it will cost Zambia in compensation to pay Barotseland for the lost economic opportunities for five decades.
The recent arrest of the Administrator General Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and two transitional government officials may best be seen as the arrest of an ex‐diplomats of a foreign State, and is viewed as hostile acts on the part of Zambia against unarmed people of Barotseland.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.
I would like to shed light on the genesis of the Nkoya tribal group of Barotseland, in order to disprove the innuendo being peddled that certain tribal extractions are under subjugation of other tribal groupings in Barotseland. This incorrect assumption is being engineered by political stewards who are our brothers and sisters from the group that professes to be of the "Nkoya" extraction which claims not to belong to Lozi nationality. They have argued that Nkoyas are not part of the Barotse-speaking people. According to a Nkoya traditionalist, Robert Litungu.
It is better to explain this issue because the matter is being exaggerated and fuelled by forces outside Barotseland who are Zambian politicians aiming at bringing division among the diversified ethnic groupings of Royal Barotseland Kingdom. It is therefore, proper to discuss this matter honestly in order to remove the unnecessary innuendoes on this argument. To start with, let us examine who the "Nkoya" people are?
It is stated that the "Nkoya" people are descendants of Sioka Nalinanga and that this argument is not carried forward beyond this level.
The fact is that the name "Nkoya" was adulterated from the name Ñoya who was a sister to Mwambwa and both of them being daughters of Noshaa.
On the occasion of the death of their mother while residing along the "Loi" River in the present day Congo DR, the first dispersal took place which saw the moving away of notables like Inyunyi, Mbukushu, Yutoya, Ngambwa, Imanga, Kayawe, Nyimbwamoyo, Mbakala and many, many more. The dispersal was ignited by the desire to change leadership from women to men and that there were problems of disposal of the chattels of the departed leader (their mother Noshaa). Notables, among others, like Isimwaa had resisted the idea to replace the leadership from women to men. Following this episode, the first group went away leaving others including Mwambwa and Ñoya with their children.
After sometime, the group decided to take a similar movement which brought them to the present settlement of "Ului" which was derived from the name "Loi" River in present day Congo DR.
While on the trek, incidentally, they found or stumbled on Yutoya while others had gone in different directions, which were later located. During this time, Mwambwa was the leader who was supported by Ñoya and the other people. Ñoya had daughters by the names of Nalinanga and Nolea who latter had sons by the name of Sioka and Imatakwana who later became famous and got known as Mange.
Sioka, being a nobleman, was given responsibility to look after the royal regalia during the reign of Mwambwa. In the meantime, Ñoya had moved to settle in a land which became known as Ñoya which is sandwiched between Mwito under Induna (chief) Mayankwa in Lukulu district, Luambuwa under Induna (chief) Kabilamwandi in Kaoma district while the other side is in the area of Sikusi under Induna ( chief) Iloke and Luena / Sitoya under Induna (chief) Sibetta in Mungu district respectively.
The land of Ñoya is eulogized by people who truly confess to be members of the Ñoya stock. As to the position of Sioka, true members of the Ñoya stock, will say:-
" Ami Kankoya ka Shihoka Nalinanga, bantu ba tula mikabo baka kulya nshima kuanga. Ba Mununga, ba nungile mpanda mwilu", meaning, “I am a Nkoya of the line of Sioka Nalinanga, one who eats nshima having climbed a tree".
The differences between the Nkoya people and the rest of Barotse tribes does not arise and is a non issue which should not be politicized. The insinuation of this matter is too dangerous to Barotseland and Zambia as a whole. The BRE is more democratic than the Zambian government. The Zambian government is democratic in theory, but for the past 50 years has marginalized and abused power. Kenneth Kaunda Zambia's first president was a semi-dictator under one party participatory democracy, whatever that means?
Before Zambia’s independence in 1964, the people in Barotseland were voting their Legislative council in power, representing their constituencies. The Litunga does not rule by decree or creed. There is no force.
Also note that the Litunga does not speak. This is how decisions are made and not by the Litunga.
There are three chambers in the Kuta, Bana Ba Malena, Commoners and the Indunas. This is how Barotse Royal Establishment is composed of. Also it is good to note that all tribes in Barotseland are in the governance systems of Barotse Royal Authority (BRA) or Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) according to Zambian imposition.
The BRA is not intending to go back to the days of slavery and enslave Nkoyas.
As a matter of fact, Litunga was the first African leader to end slavery. The name Litunga ‘Mulambwa’ signifies people should stop slavery but buy and sell dogs instead. This was way back in 1830. Lewanika upheld anti- slavery tendencies.
To add a bit on the relationship between the Luyis’ and the Nkoyas’, Mankoya/Kaoma had also been invaded and subjected to Makololo rule and was only reclaimed by the Luyi impis who wiped out the Makololos.
Makololos are the ones who imposed Lozi language across Barotseland and Mankoya had equally been headed by the Makololo, just like all other ethnic groupings of Barotseland.
This, therefore, should surely explain the connection between Mankoya and the rest of the people of Barotseland. As explained from the historical narration, the Nkoya people are from the root of Ñoya who was a blood sister to Mwambwa, therefore, the children of them are relatives of the same stock.
Finally, the Nkoya people should not violate historical and ethical codes of professional decency, thereby, being untrue to the History of their genesis in Barotseland by allowing themselves to be used by politicians with historical theory mixed with errors and polluted with political propaganda.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.
By Saleya Kwalombota
IN WHAT CONTEXT IS BAROTSELAND A STATE?
I would like to clarify the innuendo being peddled by enemies of Barotseland with intent to corrupt the less enlightened citizens in regard to the Act of INDEPENDENCE DECLARATION, the method Barotseland followed. In the first place the route of independence declaration is legal and the independence claim born out of it is legitimate. Barotseland is not the only country to have taken such a route but countries like USA, Kosovo, etc did the same.
According to the Montevideo Convention on Statehood of 1933 sets out several requirements for Statehood. The Convention, and prevailing law at the time, viewed States as a kind of sui generis legal entity operating and existing under its own authority and power.
Article 3 provides, the political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states. Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts.
Barotseland has done exactly the same , after the historic and famous 2012 BNC unilateral Declaration of independence, Barotseland did not go to sleep but organized herself by putting up government structures and formulating of Acts which were destroyed by Zambian regime of Kaunda in 1965.
The Montevideo Convention article 6 then goes on to state,
"The recognition of a state merely signifies that the state which recognizes it accepts the personality of the other with all the rights and duties determined by international law. Recognition is unconditional and irrevocable."
From stand point of international law Barotseland is a State and I know for most of Zambians it is news. I sympathize with them because Kaunda managed to brain wash them in his school of jungle thoughts still believed by elite Zambians.
Appeal to all Lozis , don't fail to assert to the repossession of your rightful property or ownership. Understand that by the act of declaration you have become a state and have right to legislate in your declared independent territory. Remember, it’s not Zambia to give Barotseland sovereignty but sovereignty is with the people of Barotseland and this is what the international law stipulates. What is remaining is to accomplish the recognition of an entity as a State in the international community to be able to function within the bigger family, that makes it so. One simple reason for this might be that States serve a regulatory function in the world. Their function is to administer a portion of the planet where people live.
The process of disengagement is another area that requires the input of international community, for implementation and supervision of the process. This is the task our transitional government is working on day and night to win diplomatic recognition of which I believe is not far from now. The recognition will mean that Barotseland will be able get support both military and economic while develop her own strength to resist international threat.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
If the report as given by Watchdog Zambia on who actual initiated the arrest of the three honorable freedom fighters and the role played by the two named sons of Barotseland is true, then it is regrettable and not to be left hanging before the dual plunges Barotseland in more bigger trouble.
From the information reaching us it is believed that the two have been best friends and attracted a lot of trust and sympathy from Chief Inyambo yet he did not know the type of the young men he was dealing with. The act is barbaric and anti-barotseland. We condemn them to the fullest and request all those who love Barotseland to do so and isolate the duo.
What they have done is worse than what Judas Iscariot did. The blood of those who died in this struggle for the freedom of Barotseland and indeed the suffering of Barotseland rests on their heads. We have nothing to forgive about the dual especially that they are truly sons of Barotseland. I cannot imagine our own brothers selling out Barotseland in this manner.
It is my plea to request Chief Inyambo not to allow this sell-out to continue as an induna as this will amount to sabotage of the peace of Barotseland. He is not a leader but a fortune seeker and all the problems faced by our chief now and before, are because of him.
Barotseland should wake up and put this to order. Give the two gentlemen their right treatment before they do more harm to the people of Barotseland.
Bana ba malozi sure…sure… niheiba uka fapana ni wa henu ka mukwa ufi kamba ufi, haukoni kueza sitoyo sesi cwana se. Ki bumai ni maswabisa amatuna. Nduna yo ni mupokola yo ba bulaile bulozi kaufela…
Ni hakuli cwalo ki hande kutiya, swala tebe ,lilumo ni mukwale ku lwanela bulozi ni ku toola batu ba mufuta sina ba.
Barotseland ki naha!
Let it be known that Barotseland is the World and Africa’s Newest State as such Barotseland has a right to legislate and take control of her own affairs. The Barbaric behavior exhibited by Zambia recently by arresting people of Barotseland government is condemned in the strongest terms and we will go any far to stop this nonsense.
The people of Barotseland will no longer be incarcerated, we say no to the scourge of slavery, servitude and poundage through the language Zambia understands as reflected in the press release of the acting Administrator General Dr. M.Situmbeko. As citizens of Barotseland we have made commitment to defend the territory from extra territorial operation by Zambia, trusting that we have followed the requirements of public international law to the latter. We call upon all Indunas, Headmen, and Lozis who are in political authority home and abroad to observe the demand on the final approach to total independence by defeating Zambia our enemy number one. Especially, as we are ready to put an end to Barotseland impasse because there is nothing sweeter than self-determination and freedom which is a God given gift.
Appreciating the foregoing , it would be the worst act of treachery and betrayal against the tenets of Barotse National Council for the people of Barotseland to fail to secure the territory from invaders (Zambia) as per 2012 BNC resolutions which expressed urgency for total independence and by the act of declaration, Zambia has no general power to pass legislation taking effect outside their own territory. Accordingly, as the people of Barotseland we are entitled to secure self-determination and freedom by any action that will compel Zambia out of Barotseland state without any further delay. Barotseland is African 's newest state and has insignia of state apparatus such as flag, national anthem, emblem , transitional government, cabinet and the Church (Church of Barotseland). Moreover, Zambia has no jurisdiction over an independent state of Barotseland. Therefore, let all those arrested over Barotseland released without any further delay.
I will end up in ALuyana eulogy:- "Mufa na saye ni muteebe, ta liokwe ni mufa na mbuyuyu mu kanwa", meaning, “Blessed is that who is prepared to die for his possession like a Goose is ready to die with a grain in its gully or arroyo".
Kozo, Litunga Ni lyetu.
By Saleya Kwalombota
I heard a voice say this to me, “can you ask among the learned lawyers of this country why the three youths (Mr. Boris Muziba, Mr. Nayoto Mwenda, and Mr. Sikwibele Wasilota) are serving a three years jail sentence when the High Court has ruled that it is not an offence to publish false news in a democratic dispensation in Zambia.” I looked around to see who was speaking to me, then I realised it was the voice of the conscience, that inner “policeman” who always urges us to do what is right and avoid what is wrong. Whenever there is no justice in the society, the people suffer, especially the poor. The Social teaching of the Catholic Church is clear on this, We need to show Solidarity, because we are our "brothers' and sisters' keepers", wherever they live. We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. Learning to practice the virtue of solidarity means learning that "loving our neighbour." Those three youths who were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to three years imprisonment should now be released with compensation. Among our learned men and women in law I beg you in the name of God to use the law you have learnt to secure the freedom of those youths. A friend of mine a lawyer said this to me,
“The law is clear on the freedom of the press in Zambia. All of us including u and I are free to inform and publicise any form of news. We can report on the happenings in the country. Further, we have the freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution [Article 20 (1)]. Given the facts you have given, I wonder why the youths are locked up. That is a clear violation of human rights and an arbitrary use of powers. Given the law I have alluded to, the youths are at liberty to report on anything. However, if what they report on is malicious and turns out to be untrue then they will be liable for defamation. Defamation Father is not a criminal offence, it is a civil offence whose penalty if found liable are damages to be paid to the injured party. The only criminal offence related to Defamation is the defamation of the President.”
My position is that the youths should be released immediately. The Catholic Church teaches that “that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met.” If they reported on an issue in a malicious way, let he who is injured move to the Mongu High Court. What the authorities are committing is an abrogation of rights. Let someone stand up for what is right, especially for our youths! Why are our brothers still in prison? Where is Justice? Where is the integrity in this incarceration? What are they still doing in prison in the clear land mark light of the judgment of the High Court? The three Nayoto Mwenda, 32, Boris Muziba, 36 and Sikwibele Wasilota, 33 were charged and convicted with the offence of publication of false news with intent to alarm and cause fear or to disturb public peace contrary to Section 67 (1) Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia. Why are the human rights groups quiet? Is this not what God condemns in Holy Book of Amos 2:7 “The trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.” In another text, God says to Amos to tell the authorities, “you who turn Justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground.” He further boldly told them, “you oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of Justice in the courts” Amos 5:2. Someone may say, ‘priest what is your interest in all this?’ This is our divine calling, to be prophets to the nations, to stand for justice, it is the reason we are ordained. One such example is of St. Eugene de Mazenod, a French priest and founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate whose congregation believe in the charism of “preaching the Gospel to the poor”....to seek out in a special way “in the lives of the most abandoned in their many faces and voices, and struggle with these...to safeguard human dignity and respond to the calls of Justice and integrity....”
By Rev. Fr. Chanakila Muyunda,
Santa Croce University, Rome, Italy
As a concerned citizen and servant of God I call upon the Zambian Government through the acting President Dr. Guy Scott to immediately release Mr. Afumba Mombotwa, Mr. Likando Pelekelo, Mr. Kalima, Mr. Boris Muziba, Mr. Nayoto Mwenda, and Mr. Sikwebele Wasilota.
Remember and Do not forget the advise that the Catholic Bishops did give to the nation clearly, they had advised that the “unrest in the western province was caused by a perception that the province is marginalized in matters of development,” this am convinced of having lived there for 35yrs. The Catholic Bishops went further to state that the people of Barotseland were questioning how Zambia was being governed socio-economically and politically.
The issues of Barotseland can only be solved through honesty dialogue between the parties concerned as recommended by the National Convention on the drafting of the New Constitution and also in the pastoral letter of 2012 and solidarity statement of ZEC in February 2011. To solve the issue of Barotseland Agreement, the government must quickly remember the advise they were given by the Church and put it into practice. The Church had advised the government to do five things, namely:
1). Release the Rodger Chongwe Commission Report,
2). Work out an amicable solution towards a clearly spelt out strategy of addressing the issue once and for all,
3). That the parties involved (The Government, The people of Western province, The Barotse Royal Establishment, and the organised activist group) must embrace the spirit of dialogue by coming together to find a lasting solution,
4). Other Stake holders should be involved in this process,
5). Stake holders to demonstrate their commitment to peace by refraining from violence, intimidation, or use of force as a means of achieving their objectives.
I strongly believe that arresting and imprisoning people on this issue creates an infinite cycle of hatred, violence, desire for revenge, and apathy towards the development of the people. The arrests just hardens hearts and makes all stake holders to harden their positions. At the end of it all, there is no winner as correctly stated by the Church. Enough blood has been spelt already on this issue, and memories of it feel the people of God with tears, no one single group wants this cycle to continue and we need our leadership to step up and provide a lasting solution.
Zambia is not the only Nation in the World where such calls of “Self Determination” are heard. We have an example of Quebec in Canada, Scotland in United Kingdom, and Catalan in Spain, etc. We can learn with great humility from these Nations. Despite the fact that they have the best military hardware, the best air force, the best well trained special forces, and the best well trained and equipped police force, they have not used force to suppress the calls, that’s what true leadership is! True leadership entails courage to enter into fruitful dialogue whatever issue arises.
At the heart of it all, we should all know that we are brothers and sisters. We need to love each other because we are one people created in the image of God. Let Love lead! Let us exercise good judgement. Let us behave in a responsible way so that each of us can effectively contribute positively to this process. What we all want is development and peace. We all have to ask ourselves the question: What can I do to bring about peace, healing, reconciliation, and respect of the rights of others? Dr. Guy Scott can initiate this process which will be completed by whoever wins the presidential elections. I wish this could be done before Christmas Day.
I invite my fellow Christians to pray with me for our leaders.
I submit herein my own views regarding this very dear subject that has overwhelmed our motherland since March 2012. In particular, the recent and current developments in and around Barotseland cannot be sidestepped without comment.
First and foremost I wish to reiterate that our change agenda which culminated into the 2012 BNC resolution is final and certain indeed. However, we still keep hearing and seeing dissident behaviour from those among us and purportedly with us, in our struggle for total Barotse Independence Agenda. With the upcoming presidential by-elections in Zambia it will not be surprising to see more of our people aligning themselves especially with the party that evidently is promising to take away the majority vote and form the next Zambian government, following the demise of the late president there. What is more heartbreaking is the fact that it is mostly the seasoned politicians at home choosing to play the role of Judas Iscariot. To me this means that all Barotse youth should own the total independence agenda seriously without depending much on the elderly some of whom are seeking milk and honey in the Zambian political arena.
To our leaders, I would like you to take comfort and wisdom in a quote from one scholar on management Tetenbaum (1998) who asserts that “ to be a successful manager in the 21st century……calls for a new mental model of manager, one suited to the world of chaos” (p 31). He further adds that if the manager fails in this regard they will “find themselves leading their organisations into oblivion” (Tetenbaum, 1998:31). The 21st century is well known as a chaos century in the school of management because chaos seems to be its most dominant characteristic norm.
Much has been said before in preceding articles, on the subject of Barotse change; as to why resistance to change by both individuals and organisations. I even shared with readers some of the strategies useful in overcoming resistance to change at the discretion of our leaders as follows:
- Education and communication programmes. We appreciate greatly what our media houses are doing to this effect, under the daunting circumstances they are operating in. With funds availed by all well-wishers and progressive people more will be done for the same cause.
- Participation. It is the duty of all of us to participate in whatever way possible; networking with our neighbours, praying for leadership and Barotse and other methods, including donating time, intellect, money or any other resource of worth. This is the best way I believe for one to show patriotism and not when the independence project is already delivered or realised
- Facilitation and support; for instance our interim government needs this from us all. Our own adage states that “munwana ulimunw’i a ukoni ku tuba nda” . The equivalent English idiom says “two heads are better than one”. That is why TUKONGOTE WA MWANAA NONGOLO and KOPANO KI MAATA, all familiar maxims.
- Negotiation; with whoever matters or stands in our way to ultimate freedom of independence. The Barotse Government is busy at it realizing that it is an important ingredient to our total package of securing what is ours – Barotse nation.
- Manipulation; where need be to actualize our goal. Actually, without really connoting any negativity, manipulation here looks at the strategic planning which is crucial to all of us not just to our leaders.
- Coercion; sometimes this is necessary like the Lord God dealt with lot and his family from Sodom. Some of our people need to be rescued the Lot’s way from the stupor of their utter shock and disbelief of the Barotse nation status quo, or even deculturation process we went through during the 50 years period of slavery in Zambia. Otherwise, these are the same people who will blame it on the leadership someday for not providing the needed leadership.
Otherwise, so far so good as our leadership continues to show commitment and skill in employing these strategies to make the new nation of Barotse a learning environment. However, there is always room for improvement as mortals and I think we need to intensify our effort in these areas now more than has been the case so far, as need may be.
JUST HOW CAN WE CREATE THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN BAROTSELAND?
Let me take a bit of your time, dear reader, to expatiate on the subject of Barotse Change and Learning Environment. Among other responsibilities our leaders have is to ensure the transformation of Barotseland into a LEARNING ORGANIZATION which provides for risk taking, exploration and toleration of failure. In other words, we all know that as Barotse nation we are divided into three categories in as far as this change agenda is concerned. These categories include the risk averse, risk taking and the risk neutral. The risk averse includes all those individual Barotzish wishing to identify themselves with Zambians for various economic, social reasons and political gains while shunning the duty call at home kwa Bulozi. The risk neutral are the indifferent and diffident citizens who do not have a decided stand but are ready to flow with the majority. Last but not the least are the risk takers in the likes of all our brave and resilient leaders in their varied types (From mwa lapa to Namuso and Interim Barotse Government).
Creating a learning organization out of Barotseland may be defined as the groups and teams of Barotzish working together to collectively, while accepting each other’s uniqueness, to enhance our capacities to create results that we truly care about-an independent Barotse nation. To achieve this synergy of a learning organization we need a continuous capacity to adapt and change. This means, among others, our ability to adapt and change to advice and render our strategy and change management work for us within our time bounds.
In conclusion let me assert that a leader in Barotseland can build and manage a learning organization through implementing five main activities namely:
1. Systematic problem solving; using the principles of total quality management. Even in our poor and disadvantaged state we can keep dreaming about quality in all we do, if we cannot achieve it now. This may not make much sense now but with time it will be quite mandatory that we talk quality, as we begin to run our affairs as a nation. If at all we will mind about quality services and/or products in independent Barotseland then the blue print must be framed now and be entrenched in the various policy documents being drafted. This requires adopting scientific methods for solving problems and not relying on guess work. This further entails the utilization of statistical tools and Barotse data, and not assumptions to guide our decision making. For example, we should know by now roughly how many Barotzis are at home, those estranged in Zambia and in the diaspora, including all the other demographic data to inform our planning.
2. Experimentation; referring to the systematic searching for and testing of new knowledge in managing our change agenda. In the world we live in today knowledge economy is a booming and vital discipline among many that we know. This may require that our leaders work closely with experts or knowledge workers to redeem and harness back home the brain drain that Barotseland has suffered for many years. In effect problem solving can be encouraged through the ongoing programmes which provide for incremental gains in knowledge and demonstration projects which involve holistic, Barotsewide changes, introduced at village level and escalated upwards aimed at developing new national capabilities. It is not right to assume that all citizens know fully what is happening on the ground especially given the levels of intimidation prevalent from/by the Zambian occupying forces.
3. Learning from past experiences; involves the Barotse Team Organisation reviewing our past failures and successes, so far, from the signing of BA ’64 to many other actions inclusive of our being duped by PF in 2011. What message do we get from our failures and successes? This information must clearly be availed to all citizens. I categorically appreciate what has been done so far to this very end as concerns our historic 50 years of servitude to Zambia-much information has been dag up to inform our change momentum. Notwithstanding, it is quite painful as Barotse youth to see our elders still yoking themselves with the Zambian Parties for the ‘ politics of the stomach’ as it were, at the expense their role and function in the great web of Barotse citizenship. With our past experience so far I would not hasten to say that actually this is the time and opportunity to affirm our stance to the whole world by totally boycotting the Zambian presidential by-election on our soil! Maybe foreigners can be allowed with permission from powers that be in our land, and ECZ educated on this matter. The mere fact that Zambia has littered our country with military hardware, software and persware is good motive for this action. Not forgetting the incarceration of our BNYL leaders and now Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, the Administrator General of the Barotseland (head of the interim government) and others in prisons for being ‘lindwalume za mwa hae’ and champions of our real and genuine cause. The chapters of history repeating itself are closed and open are the pages bearing the lesson from the history.
4. Learning from others; both within Barotseland and from outside. We applaud the work done so far by our leaders in consulting with others all over; no man is an island.
5. Transferring knowledge; where knowledge is spread throughout the nation in an efficient and quick manner. Mechanisms to achieve this spread of knowledge include visual, audio and oral reports, village visits, tours and so on whichever is possible. This means that we need to see more utilization of channels of communication followed by measuring learning through follow- ups like the use of questionnaires, interviews and surveys just to ascertain that our communication with the grassroots and others is not one way.
The whole idea is to put everybody on board to ensure that we speak the same language and walking the same walk of our liberation struggle. However, it must be noted that LEARNING IS PERMANENT CHANGE IN BEHAVIOUR; our thoughts, actions and words must all be consistent with our resolve of self-determination. With us the youth this is possible to achieve if our leaders teach and direct us accordingly. With the old however, some may still be suffering from the syndrome of OLD HABITS DIE HARD. This is why some of the sporadic cases of dissidence and defections of some of our elders to rally with Zambian leaders.
Historically, we cannot dispute the Claim of Barotseland to self-determination.
It will be interesting to watch how Barotseland independence struggle come to conclusion as all efforts to redress the peaceful disengagement with Zambia, as good neighbors, have proved to be futile and now further evokes sentiments of treasonable charges, of which to me sounds irresponsible on the side of Zambia. How can abrogator blame the victim? This is an act of rebellion against public international law of which gave birth to most of modern countries exist to day.
For the past 49 years, Zambia refused to dialogue with Barotseland within the realm and sphere of her own law. It will even be more difficult for Zambia to accept to solve Barotseland impasse at international court of Justice, going by Zambia's disrespectful of Human rights, without external pressure. It is in the records at Permanent Court of Arbitration that the Zambian government , under the late Michael Chilufya Sata, refused in May 2014, to have the Barotseland issue settled through the arbitration process. This is the principle Zambia stands on, and whoever becomes the president upholds the same principle. However, legal dimension in Barotseland independence struggle is expedient as it is the peaceful approach favored by international community and a right weapon to deal with rogue state like Zambia. The government of Zambia defaulted the BA64 and expect Barotseland to remain mute and be part of Zambia as subservient citizens! How can Zambia be trusted , when has failed to obey the law on treaties by unilateral abrogating the BA64 with impunity?
There are some of the questions the legal forum in a sitting court may ask, not limited to the objector subject only, a Lawyer who is well versed in constitutional law is likely to ask other questions that will challenge the Zambian state machinery for unconstitutional omissions and commissions of Public International law regarding Treaties and Agreements, as they relate to the 1969 Vienna convention on the law of Treaties.
People of Barotseland are law abiding , peace loving and determined to achieve their political liberty without bloodshed and none violence method. Don’t we have enough to die from, that we should think so low as to wage war and die from the barrel of a gun, instead of natural death? Let all peace loving communities around the world come to the aide of Barotseland as the call was made through the BNC 2012 resolutions for peaceful disengagement. This government of Zambia can no longer be trusted in this regard.
In God we trust that soon Barotseland shall be liberated. God bless you all, in Zambia and Barotseland.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.
By Saleya Kwalombota