Our grand fathers will have huge jubilation if our Might Freedom comes, while, we will set the future of our children's children straight, than what we have seen in 50 years of slavery under Zambia's rule.
We appreciate donor funded projects underway by the colonial master such as the water transport between Angola and Barotseland. However, let these not be maliciously mistaken or used to divert from the reality of our struggle to bring back our sovereignty.
We believe in “Right is might” while Zambia is chasing the blowing wind in the “Might is Right” view point.
We want our sovereignty to develop our country because we can't rely on a Foreign Government to develop our country, on mare slogans like “one Zambia one Nation.”
Why should some click reduce a territory to a province? Who is selfish here, and what's that behavior?
Surely should we be labeled selfish just because we are claiming what belongs to us after being disrespected, mismanaged, antagonized, arrested, tortured, maimed, killed and name it, for voicing out that something is wrong by not respecting us legally or our inalienable Right???
We should find a better word to describe Zambia's action on Barotseland, as ‘selfish’ isn't enough.
Enough is enough or should we add ‘enougher’ as there isn't such a word!
May Zambia come to the realization that the people of Barotseland want Nothing but INDEPENDENCE as BNC March 26-28, 2012 Resolutions implemented to exercise their Political, Social and Economical Right in accordance with the African Charter on Human and People's Right.
It doesn't make any sense for a step father to tell me to identify myself with him when my father has existed before him.
Barotseland has existed before Zambia therefore her nationals (Barotse) don't need to identify by a mare and Illegal referendum by a step father.
Mwangala, a Barotse National
The high spirited incarcerated Barotseland Administrator General Afumba Mombotwa has praised and sent his love, and that of his co-prisoners of conscience, to the Barotse people for their continued outpouring of love and support.
Speaking exclusively from Zambia’s Mwembeshi state prison where he has been detained since December 5th 2014 on trumped up treason related charges, Hon Mumbotwa sent his heartfelt and warm greetings to His Royal Majesty the Litunga, all the Lord Princes and Princesses in Barotseland, The Barotse Royal Authority (former BRE), The Royal Barotseland government, now in the able leadership of Dr. Matengu Situmbeko in acting capacity, and all the kutas and people’s representatives at every level including all the liberation movements of Barotseland.
He wished all to know that he and all his other co-accused are well, and that he is further encouraged to know that Barotseland and well wishers are constantly praying for them.
He has, however, expressed worry that Zambia seemed determined to keep them in illegal detention for a very long time. He expressed optimism, though, that with the continued support of all the people of Barotseland this nightmare will be over sooner than later, for all Barotseland.
“I wish to further ask the nation of Barotseland, now more than ever before, to unite and reject Zambian occupation of Barotseland once and for all by supporting the efforts of our international team of lawyers as they launch the suit against Zambian at the International court of Justice at The Hague in Netherlands
“Your financial and other contribution so far has enabled them and the Royal Barotseland government to come this far. Therefore, your continued support will see this process to its logical and desired conclusion
“Please, continue to finance this process through your big and small donations to the Barotseland Government Trust Account
“In this regard, therefore, allow me to express my unreserved appreciation and recognition of the sacrifices and enormous contributions of all Malozi so far shown to my team and I in the interim government, and the operations of the Acting Administrator General, the Attorney General of the Kingdom and our team of International Legal experts. Particularly the support from the Lord Princes and Princesses in Barotseland, not forgetting the Royal Authority of Barotseland, and indeed the entire Kingdom of Barotseland.”
Hon. Mombotwa concluded by saying that it is the Barotse solidarity and his dream to see a truly free and liberated Barotseland that has kept him and his team in jail in high spirit.
ROYAL BAROTSELAND GOVERNMENT BANK ACCOUNT HELD IN TRUST IN THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA.
We wish to advise the general public to make deposits using the details given below:
Name of the Account: MADANDUME ATTORNEYS
Name of Bank: FIRST NATIONAL BANK (FNB) OF BOTSWANA,
Swift code: FIRNBWGX
Account Number: 62284744747.
Bank Branch: FRANCISTOWN BOTSWANA
PURPOSE OF THE ACCOUNT
The Royal Barotseland Government has started operating as a well-functioning government that serves and protects the interests of its citizens. This Barotseland Trust Account will actualize this dream, and the account is destined to be the establishment of the Central Bank of Barotseland. So people are encouraged to participate in the deposition into the account, because Barotseland Nation is our nation and so let’s help it grow.
MAKING A DEPOSIT INTO THE TRUST ACCOUNT
For others holding small monies may collect the monies to one person who may then deposit it and email the deposit slip to the above emails.
And those that may wish to donate online can do so by following this link: http://www.barotseland.com/Donation.htm
Rt. Hon. Lubinda Kunangela
National Information & Investment Analyst
Royal Barotseland Government
The new Ambassador of Netherlands to Botswana, H.E. Ms Marisa Gerards says Botswana and her country have similar views with regard to the importance of the role played by the International Criminal Court (ICC). She said this in an interview after presenting credentials to President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama yesterday (photo). “ICC is a very important organisation and many African countries are state party to it,” she said.
Ms Gerards further said Netherlands and Botswana have close cooperation on issues of peace, justice and human rights. She said the two countries share similar views on fighting impunity as a deterrent to justice and have a close cooperation in that field.
The Netherlands Ambassador said she has had “excellent” discussion with President Khama on political and international issues with regard to peace and justice.
Ms Gerards said she would further explore other areas of cooperation on economic field as well as tri-lateral cooperation between Netherlands, Botswana and other countries in the African region - Source, Botswana Government
MR. EDGAR C. LUNGU
PRESIDENT OF ZAMBIA
Re: DIALOGUE OVER BA’64 A MOCKERY AND NOT WELCOME
Reference is here made to the statement captioned above that indeed if you want to continue mocking people (Zambians), by promising or giving them false hope that there can be a form of dialogue over the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964, we, the Barotseland National Youth League (BNYL), as an organization representing the voices and views of the youth all over Barotseland and also those in the Diaspora, and the people of Barotseland, do wish to caution you that you are not welcome in Royal Barotseland with such a mission and several reasons can be attributed to our stance.
1. Royal Barotseland Kingdom signed this agreement and went into partnership with Northern Rhodesia in good faith but your side had evil intentions of reaping us of our resources. But before the signing took place, The Barotseland National Council was called upon to decide whether to go ahead into this partnership or not. And the people voted to join into a unitary state of Zambia not as a province but as a state. This means Zambia was made by and out of two states namely Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia
2. The BA’64 is no longer a document of any form of interest, neither is it a document that exists in our language as Barotzish. This document was not observed by you Zambians or should we refer to you as Northern Rhodesia. A few months after the agreement was signed, your part embarked on a series of activities that the beginning of breaches, repudiation and finally the abrogation in 1969.
3. This agreement was abrogated by one part without consulting the other parties which took part in the signing of this agreement or treaty. This means that, one felt uncomfortable to continue being in this agreement and ultimately, they wanted out. Your government in the Kaunda regime decided to opt out by breaking the law of contracts and also the international law, out of which your constitution is born.
4. In international law, there is an act which is referred to as the Vienna Convention of 1969, article 27 which talks about how internal laws must not interfere or infringe on the international treaties. It states, “that a party may not invoke the provision of the internal law to justify its failure to perform a treaty.” Therefore, Zambia did just exactly what this principle is against few months after signing it. This is evident enough of how Zambia totally disregard principles of law
5. In all fairness and also by the Law of contracts, if one part breaches the contract, agreement or treaty, then both parties will revert to their original status. In this case, Barotseland made several attempts to try and resolve this issue but Zambia chose to either arrest, intimidate and kill who ever came forward. We wish, therefore, to tell you that finally, Barotseland has taken the right path of law, to accept the abrogation of the agreement. This is evident in the Barotseland National Council of 26 – 27 March, 2012. Just like we alluded to earlier on that it was by BNC that we accepted to sign the agreement, so it has happened that by the same BNC, we have accepted the abrogation of the agreement by your side, and reverted back to our original status. Each one for himself and God for us all.
6. It does not make sense for anyone to talk about the defunct BA’64 now instead of talking about the peaceful disengagement. In your own words, when you were in Ethiopia, made mention that you will give the people of Barotseland a referendum. But, sir, who told you that we need a referendum to actualize our independence? We never went into Zambia by a referendum and will certainly come out of it without one.
7. We are made to believe that you being a lawyer by profession, you do understand that it is not the oppressor who imposes a referendum but the oppressed, if they so chose to.
8. Fortunately, we don’t claim tribes but we claim a territory; in this case, as you sited the Nkoyas or should we rightly say 'some' Nkoyas, or indeed anyone else, who feel they can’t stay in Barotseland are at liberty to pack up and go to a country of their own choice. Barotseland will still remain Barotseland. Barotseland has existed ever since the 1300s with diverse ethnic groupings which lived in harmony under the governance of the Monarch, and she shall continue to do so with or without those few opposed to her independence.
9. The resolutions of popular 2012 BNC did give overall authority and powers to the Government of Barotseland to actualize the peaceful disengagement with Zambia, not BRE or some few individuals. But the will of the people is for the Transitional government to take up the mantle and deliver on their aspirations. Therefore, be advised and warned at the same time that there is no any other institution, organisation or individual who can speak on behalf of the people of Barotseland except those in the Barotseland government.
10. We are very much well informed that you made a call to one Clement W. Sinyinda for him to come over to Lusaka and a few others so that you can chart a way forward. Not just that but you also invited two Indunas to come to state house for the same cause and these Indunas are:
- Kufuna Siisi – Induna Kalonga and Acting Ngambela
- Lubasi Nalishua – Induna Katema
11. Even though their trip was done discretely, everything was brought to our attention. We wish to tell you that, you are just wasting your time, energy and national resources because none of these you invited can change the resolution made by the supreme law making organ of our land. If Zambians were accountable enough, they will question over their resources.
12. We wish to also advise you to release all the people arrested over this issue. These are His Excellence Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Administrator General of the Royal Barotseland Government and the other four members of His cabinet namely; Likando Pelekelo, Silvester Kalima, Mubita Waluka and Masiye Masiyaleti. The Executive members of BNYL namely; Muziba Borris, Nayoto Mwenda and Sikwibele Wasilota. These gallant men have committed no crime at all but you have kept mute from your inauguration to date. We hope you are not going to follow what your predecessor did because you are a Lawyer by profession, and we expect you to respect the rule of law in totality.
13. Finally be aware that if there is anything you want to do with regard to Barotseland, remember to go through our lawyers. We are aware that you have received a letter from them, which is a notice of intent to sue, and that the case is being taken to the ICJ for further seeking of natural justice. We expect you to follow, as they advised you to, on any matters pertaining to Barotseland.
BAROTSELAND NATIONAL YOUTH LEAGUE EXECUTIVE
Cc: His Majesty King Lubosi Imwiko II
Cc: Office of the Administrator General
Cc: United Nations
Cc: Common Wealth
Cc: African Union
Cc: All Embassies Accredited to Zambia
POSITION STATEMENT OF LINYUNGANDAMBO REGARDING THE STATEMENT MADE BY THE ZAMBIAN PRESIDENT MR EDGAR LUNGU
It has been reported on both ZNBC and social media (Zambian Watchdog) that the President of Zambia will be visiting BAROTSELAND (Not Western Province), to chart the way forward on the proposed Secession of Barotseland from Zambia. He hopes to solve it once and for all. He further indicated that he will consider a referendum to see if all tribes in the whole territorial boundary of Barotseland agree to the proposed secession. As Linyungandambo, we would like to give our response as follows:
The Republic of Zambia was formed by an agreement between two states – Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia. The formation of Zambia was not intended to cause the extinction of Barotseland. The president of Zambia was supposed to exercise his powers on Barotseland based on an agreement between the two former states. In the absence of this agreement, the president of the Republic of Zambia as well as Zambia itself ceases to be or to exercise any powers or authority in Barotseland.
This agreement was unilaterally abrogated by the President of Zambia in 1969. This means that Barotseland ceased being part of Zambia on the same date; the President of Zambia’s jurisdiction over Barotseland was terminated on the same date. In fact, in the absence of this agreement, Zambia and its President are exercising powers in Barotseland illegally. So to claim to have authority over Barotseland is claiming that the agreement is still in force. Therefore, Barotseland then still enjoys her autonomy and needs to be compensated with all her resources.
To say that Zambia and her president have authority over Barotseland and yet Barotseland’s autonomy was nullified in the abrogated agreement means that we will only honor the agreements long as it favors us. But, as far as it pertains to Barotseland, it is nullified. This behavior of Zambia shows a contract made in bad faith.
ENFORCING THE EXPIRED CONTRACT
- The Barotseland agreement of 1964 is the one that gives you any authority in Barotseland. Saying that you will constitute a referendum it shows that
- You are still exercising power from the Agreement which you unilaterally abrogated.
- How then could the BA 1964 be applicable only when you want authority over Barotseland, but when it is time for Barotseland to have its share i.e. being a state or a Zambian protectorate, BA 1964 is not a valid document?
- Your bias in the application of the BA 1964 implies you got into an agreement in bad faith. Such a contract is null and void.
- It shall be an ultra-vias action (acting beyond your limits) for you to tell us of a referendum as you are not one of our citizens, but just a President of a neighboring country.
- For your own information, Barotseland already conducted a referendum in the form of BNC of March 2012 and the resolution has not been reversed.
- You should also remember that your predecessor Michael Chilufya Sata conducted another one in the form of the Rodger Chongwe commission of enquiry. It was clear even then that we have accepted the position taken by Zambia to reject us. Since 1969 we have forced ourselves on Zambia which never wanted us. Now that we accepted the position taken by Zambia, you want to negotiate. Such negotiations are done in bad faith.
- Claiming that you don't know the position of the Barotzish on this matter is denying facts which are in your hands. If you cannot tell the truth in this matter, how could we even trust what you are trying to do now?
- We would advise you not to waste your country's resources on inquiring whether some of the Barotzish would like to be in their mother land; refer to the Barotseland Emancipation Order Act of 2012, Article 1.2; or not because,
(1) International law provides for minority rights. If any will feel they don’t want to remain part of Barotseland, they can still exercise their self determination
(2)They should peruse it themselves and not you Sir to start asking who want and who does not, want to be a Barotzish.
Further still we know our boundary. It is not for you to teach us or inquire of it for us. We will let all our neighbors, including you, of our intention to conduct a boundary check. At the moment we need the nation and then the boundaries later.
- For you to go round in Barotseland and destabilize its citizens will be considered sabotage.
- We do not need you to consider any territorial boundaries except for that which pertains to your nation.
- As for the issue of secession or not, it must be argued in the international court of justice and so, you can only talk to our lawyers already known to you.
- Your state of panic to talk about this issue manifests your usual notion of avoiding the court, already coming under way. Sorry, if you had listened to us, the court case would not be there. But the more we tried to reason with you, the more you killed, wounded, imprisoned and, closed the history of some of us. How then can we trust you now?
- Your government has arrested a number of people in connection with the Barotseland issue. This means that you need to release them with immediate effect before you arrive in Barotseland because:
1. When they were arrested you claimed they were the Barotseland activists. So for you to come here living them behind will mean that you charged them wrongly for they are not the activists but, someone else here in Barotseland whom you would like to talk to. Therefore, release them and arrest that one, or
2. They are the activists and therefore, you need to release them before you come here so they can prepare for your visit as you come to chart the way forward.
- You cannot chart the way forward with us when you have condemned some of us and held them in your custody.
- This means that such an act is intended to compromise our response to you. This entails you are again taking another negotiation in bad faith. Why would you keep doing this? Or
- You want to infringe on our freedom of expression or intimidate us by keeping them in prison
- The issue you are coming for is political in nature and, so you need the political part of Barotseland and not to trouble His Majesty King Lubosi Imwiko II and his Privy Council.
- By the way, why is it that when Sata, Sondashi, and Nevers Mumba speak in favor of Barotseland, they are not arrested?
- But when a Barotzish talks about it, they are arrested and sometimes even reach the extent of being killed.
- 50 years is a long time to learn and know the character of all Zambians. You are the same, and you thrive in persecuting others.
Therefore, due to all these reasons listed above, we strengthen our resolution for self-determination unless the court will rule otherwise.
God Bless His Majesty King Lubosi Imwiko II and his Privy Council, God Bless His Excellence Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and his Government, God Bless our lawyers and
God Bless Linyungandambo and all the people of the Royal Barotseland Kingdom.
Tukongote wa mwana nongolo, litunga ni lyetu!
Mr. Sikopo Mataa
United States of America (USA)
The Royal Barotseland Government has engaged the legal services of Three international firms; Madandume Attorneys, Chambers of Dambe and Chadwick Anderson & Partners; the two being Batswana and the other one being a British firm respectively. These legal experts are skilled in Constitutional law, Commercial law and Criminal law respectively; these lawyers have been engaged with the purpose of providing legal representation in the case between Barotseland Kingdom Vs. Zambia and are a source of advice on any matter regarding the case and dialogue with Zambia if any.
These lawyers shall provide legal services to the Royal Barotseland Government, the Monarchy (BRE) and the people of Barotseland Kingdom as a whole.
As such, such the lawyers have officialy written and delivered the letter of intent to sue Zambia, dated 29th January 2015. The letter is here below published for public records only:
Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu
President of the Republic of Zambia
Delivered through the High Commission of the Republic of Zambia in Gaborone, Botswana
Cc The Attorney General of the Republic of Zambia – by courier
The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs, Government of the United Kingdom – Delivered through British High Commission, Gaborone, Botswana
The Secretary General, United Nations Organisation, New York, USA
The Secretary General, African Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Secretary General, Commonwealth of Nations, London, England
The Secretary General, Southern African Development Coordination Conference, Gaborone, Botswana
To His Majesty King Lubosi Imwiko II, the Head of State of Royal Barotseland Kingdom and his Privy Council.
The Administrator General and His Royal Barotseland Government.
The General Secretary of the (UNPO) Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.
Botswana, 29th January 2015
RE: REFERENCE OF THE SITUATION OF THE KINGDOM AND PEOPLE OF BAROTSELAND TO THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
1. We are writing this letter on behalf of the Royal Barotseland Government, which has instructed our firm to represent it in all aspects of the current situation of the Kingdom and people of Barotseland following on from the abrogation and ultimate express and complete repudiation by the Zambian Government of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, to which agreement we shall shortly return. The Government in turn acts on appointment of the Barotseland National Council 2012 which, in consultation with the King, is the supreme source of authority in Barotseland.
2. In essence the historical situation is that the Barotse people had occupied an area including that which is now being administered as the western part of Zambia, under the unwanted and disputed title of Western Province, since the 13th century. The history from that early period is unwritten but suffice it to say that it is certain that by the 17th century the Kingdom of Barotseland was firmly established as an independent and unitary kingdom under the governance of a King (“Litunga”) and his Privy Council, whose membership linked downward, through the subsidiary regional and district chieftancies, to the village headman and each individual member of his community. It is this supreme council, whose decisions are binding upon all in Barotseland including the Litunga himself, which is today known - in English – as the Barotseland National Council.
3. It is appropriate to mention that during its centuries of existence the Barotse kingdom boundaries varied and extended well beyond what is at present known as the Western Province. At its height the territory of the Litunga extended to some 370 000 square kilometres. For the avoidance of doubt therefore we record that, for all present purposes at least, the Royal Barotseland Government is content to confine its entitlements and intentions within the boundaries of 1900 to 1947 as indicated in the Barotseland Emancipation Order Act of 2012 Article 1.2.
4. From the 17th century until 1964, which brought the Barotseland Agreement, Barotseland retained its own indepent and self-governing existence under its Litunga and his Privy Council, and was never subject to any other country, power or people. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the British South Africa Company obtained concessions from the Litunga to operate within the territory and in 1898, pursuant to an earlier application of the Litunga, Barotseland became a British Protectorate. Thus it remained until 1964.
5. Northern Rhodesia was a much more recent concept – a creation basically of the BSAC in the late nineteenth century. It too became a British Protectorate until 1964 when, after signing the Barotseland Agreement, it attained its independence from the United Kingdom as the Republic of Zambia, of which, subject to the Agreement, Barotseland now formed a part.
6. It is our client’s position that the undisputed legal basis for the creation of modern Zambia, formed by Barotseland and the rest of Northern Rhodesia, was this same Barotseland Agreement of 18th May, 1964, which was signed by Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, the Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia, on behalf of the Government of Northern Rhodesia, by Sir Mwanawina Lewanika III, the Litunga of Barotseland, on behalf of himself, his Council and the Chiefs and People of Barotseland, and by the Rt. Hon. Duncan Sandys, the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and for the Colonies, on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom, expressly signifying the approval of the last mentioned Government.
THE BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964
7. The Barotseland Agreement consists of just 5 pages, including an Annex, and for convenience we attach a copy. The Initial Recitals, all commencing with the standard word “Whereas”, set the tone and intention of the Agreement, viz.
(i) Northern Rhodesia shall become an independent sovereign Republic, the Republic of Zambia;
(ii) it is the wish of Northern Rhodesia and of Barotseland that Northern Rhodesia shall proceed to independence as one country and all its peoples shall be one nation;
(iii) as there are a number of treaties and other agreements between the United Kingdom and the Litunga of Barotseland which will terminate on independence and any responsibility of the United Kingdom for the government of Northern Rhodesia including Barotseland, shall thereupon cease, Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland wish to enter into arrangements concerning the position of Barotseland as part of the Republic of Zambia to take the place of those treaties and other agreements.
8. The scene having thus been set, the Agreement in its body goes on to make various specific provisions for Barotseland as part of the Republic of Zambia. The most important of these are:
a) The Litunga is recognised as the principal local authority for .the government and administration of Barotseland;
b) The Litunga is empowered to make laws in respect of a wide range of issues including matters relating to the local government, land, fishing, local taxation and matters relating thereto, control of hunting, game preservation and the Treasury, which was then called the Barotse Native Treasury;
c) The Litunga and his Council shall continue to have the powers previously enjoyed by them in respect of land matters under customary law and practice. The then called Barotse Native Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in respect of land matters in Barotseland to the extent that they are covered by Barotse customary law and no appeal shall lie to the High Court of Zambia from any decision on such a matter except with the consent of the court then known as Saa-Siikalo Kuta;
d) The Government of Zambia is entrusted with the obligation to provide financial support for the administration and economic development of Barotseland and ensure that Barotseland is treated fairly and equitably in relation to the rest of Zambia.
e) The Government of Zambia is placed under obligation to take the necessary steps to ensure that the laws of Zambia are consistent with the Agreement;
f) It is also worthy of note that clause 2 of the Agreement provides that the Constitution of Zambia shall include the provisions agreed upon at the recent Constitutional Conference in relation to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the individual, the judiciary and the public service and those provisions (emphasis supplied) shall have full force and effect in Barotseland, clearly suggesting that other such provisions may not have such force and effect. However, nothing in this letter actually turns directly on this conclusion;
g) Finally in the Annex to the Agreement there is provision for the marrying of the customary powers and jurisdiction in land matters of the Litunga and his establishment with the adminitrative and documentary procedures of the Zambia public service.
9. The Barotseland Agreement was presented by the Rt. Hon. Secretary of State, Sandys, to the United Kingdom Parliament within a day or two of its signature and was approved by both Houses. The presentation noted an undertaking by the Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia that the Agreement would be reaffirmed by the Government of Northern Rhodesia at Independence.
10. Looking at the Barotseland Agreement as a whole it is clear that it brings into effect an arrangement whereby two entities which had not previously had a great deal in common with one another apart from mere propinquity were required, and indeed, seemingly at least from the conduct of all three sides at the time, were willing to come together and co-exist. The basis for this co-existence was the terms of the Agreement itself. The duties of protector previously falling on the United Kingdom under the Protectorate were essentially assumed by the Government of Zambia.
BREACHES, ABROGATION AND REPUDIATION OF THE AGREEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBIA
11. Reading the Barotseland Agreement within its appropriate historical context, one gets the impression that it was concluded in the best of spirits and with the intention of a harmonious and and mutually beneficial coexistence. If it was carried forward with that particular spirit the present situation would almost certainly not exist. However it quickly became clear that the Government of Zambia had no intention of honouring its promises to the Barotse or the British.
12. Regrettably, from the very outset, the Government of Zambia embarked on a systematic path to defeat the agreement and to render it not even worth the paper it was written on.
13. First of all, the Agreement was never ratified by the Government of Zambia, whether at Independence as intended or at all, as Dr Kaunda had promised the other parties in London it would be. Then, in 1965, by the Local Government Act and in obvious defiance of the express terms of the Agreement the Kaunda regime purported to repeal the Barotse Native Authority Ordinance and indeed to abolish the National Council in all but a ceremonial role. Had this ruse had legal effect it would have divested the Litunga of Barotseland of the power he had as the local authority for the government and administration of Barotseland and left him and his Royal Establishment as ceremonial figures to the people of Barotseland.
14. In 1969 through Constitution (Amendment) No.5 the Kaunda Government enacted that “The Barotseland Agreement 1964 shall cease to have effect and all rights (whether vested or otherwise) and liabilities thereunder shall lapse”. Although the provision was, upon analysis and for reasons which will shortly appear, devoid of any legal effect, its enactment was obviously a deliberate and calculated move in that it indicated a death blow to the Agreement from the side of the Government of Zambia just five years after it was executed. One can only conclude that even at the time the Government of Zambia entered into the agreement they had no intention to honour it and signed it probably only to appease the British Government, and, of course, to get their hands on Barotseland and its approximately 3 ½ million people.
16. In 1969 also, the Government passed the Mines and Minerals Act which purported to divest the Litunga of the Mineral Rights previously reserved to him and his people. The Barotseland Agreement had been silent on the subject of mines and minerals. However, the Litunga’s rights in this regard were the subject of the original agreements with the British South Africa Company of the 1880s and 1890s. From the BSAC the entitlement to mining and minerals, which at all times were held at the will of the Litunga, passed to the United Kingdom as the protecting power. From there there was no legitimate way that these mining and mineral rights could have found their way into the pockets of the Government of Zambia, but that for the present at least is what has in fact happened. The purported removal of these rights was a further instance of the Kaunda administration’s determination to undermine the separate existence and self-governance of Barotseland.
17. A year later in 1970, the Government passed the Constitutional (Amendment) Act which empowered the President to compulsorily acquire property for the purposes of his Administration. In the exercise of these new purported – insofar as they related to Barotseland – powers, the President of the Republic of Zambia compulsorily and shamelessly pirated assets from Barotseland including the entire contents of Seventy Eight Million Five Hundred Thousands Sterling Pounds (£78,500,000.00) in the Barotse Native Treasury, plundered by the Kaunda Administration whilst the powers that were intended to be, within Barotseland, could only stand haplessly by. It hardly needs to be added that the Barotseland Agreement had expressly reserved control and administration of the Barotse Native Treasury to the Litunga of Barotseland and his establishment.
18. In its continued efforts apparently to obliterate the very existence of Barotseland, in 1970 the Government of Zambia unilaterally and unlawfully changed the name of “Barotseland” to Western Province. This was quite literally done through a speech of Dr Kaunda, as President, in a speech titled “I wish to Inform the Nation”. It is indeed a final indication of the unfeeling contempt with which that the Kaunda Government treated the Barotseland Agreement and indeed Barotseland and its people.
19. Prior to the Barotseland Agreement and its aftermath, the people of Barotseland had, as a matter of fact, never been colonised. Through the acts by the Government of Zambia described above. The Lozi people find themselves as pariahs on their own land, no investment, no support, no hope. This is a grave injustice perpetuated by the very Government from whom they expected, and indeed had been assured of, brotherhood and peaceful co-existence. It amounts to neo-colonialism, in Africa, from black on to black.
LEGAL POSITION OF BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT IN THE LIGHT OF BREACHES, ABROGATION AND REPUDIATION THEREOF
In International Law
20. There is one matter of absolute legal clarity about the Barotseland Agreement. Every facet of it - the parties, the subject matter, the circumstances in which it was made, the intention, and the detailed content - cry out that its designation in law is that of an International Treaty. No other view is remotely tenable.
21. As a treaty, it was required by the dictates of international comity and custom and of international law that the parties duly perform their duties under it. They could not just, as the Zambian Government purported to do, act as if the Agreement simply did not exist. The international element and requirements take it beyond the scope of purely domestic or municipal law.
22. We have seen it suggested, in the only efforts there have been to state a Zambian response to the position set out in this letter, that because all the breaches of the Agreement were being made by statutes promulgated under the legal requirements for such in Zambia. However, that argument founders completely on the fundamental principle of International Law that a party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law to justify its failure to perform a treaty. Obviously international comity and custom and thus international law would be in danger of failing altogether if a state was allowed to enter into a treaty with another state or states requiring it to act in a particular manner and then defeat that treaty by passing a domestic law purporting to forbid it so to act, or, as was the Kaunda administration’s ruse in the present case, purporting to declare that the treaty “shall cease to have effect”. International comity and custom realised this profound truth at the early stages and thus the principle became a fundamental one of international law. It may well be – we do not know, so we can neither admit nor deny – that all the offending enactments in themselves complied with the internal laws of Zambia. However, since we are dealing with an international treaty, and a particularly shameless way of attempting unilaterally to render it nugatory, any such compliance constitutes domestic law of Zambia and is completely immaterial.
23. We have without difficulty been able to identify the legal flaws in the Government of Zambia’s behaviour as set out above. However since Kaunda was “calling all the shots” with regard to the situation in Zambia in those days, these considerations did not count. The Barotse could not argue. They just had to endure their lot as best they could. And their country lay fallow – achingly beautiful - but criminally neglected. That is what one sees visiting Barotseland today.
24. The principle that a party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law to justify its failure to perform a treaty has been given Conventional force in Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. This Convention was enacted on 23rd May 1969 and signed on behalf of Zambia by one Lishomwa Muukwa the same day.
25. Probably the most crucially decisive and offensive of all the purported Zambian legislative provisions in this case, namely that the Barotselan Agreement shall cease to have effect – Constitution Amendment No. 5, 1969 – was purportedly enacted in October 1969, that is to say 5 months after Zambia had signed the International Convention expressly forbidding such enactments.
Under the Law of Contract
26. Having dealt with the Barotseland Agreement in terms of International Law, we may now view it as a simple contract between its three parties. However, you cannot terminate the contract agreement and at the same time continue to enjoy the privilleges and rights contained in a contract agreement you terminated.
27. The Agreement having been reached the failure to ratify it constituted a material breach of it by the Government of Zambia, so did the purported enactment of the Local Government Act, 1965, so did the Mines and Mineral Act 1969, so did the taking of the contents of the Barotse Treasury, so did the failure to provide financial support and to ensure that the laws of Zambia were not inconsistent with the Agreement. The list can go on. Above all, of course, the Constitution (Amendment) No. 5 Act of 1969 constituted an express and outright unlawful repudiation of the Agreement by the Government of Zambia.
28. Now where there is a material breach or unlawful repudiation of an agreement the guilty party cannot rely upon or force his breach to terminate the agreement. Rather the situation is that the innocent party, faced with the material breach or repudiation, may either decide to accept the breach or repudiation as an abrogation of the agreement having the effect of terminating it and rely on his legal remedies arising from the fact, or he may not accept but still recover the loss he suffered in consequence of the other party’s breach. If the abrogation is accepted by the innocent party then, of course, the agreement ceases, the other party is also released from any obligations under it and the status quo ante prevails, subject to the wronged party’s entitlement to recover his losses as damages. If however the innocent party does not elect to treat the material breach or repudiation as terminating the contract then it and its obligations continue to govern the parties’ relationship.
29. In the present case we know that the Barotse Government only accepted the Government of Zambia’s abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement in March 2012. Prior to that the Agreement continued in force and the Government of Zambia continued to clock up breaches of it.
30. Finally in March 2012 the Barotseland National Council elected to accept the abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement. The Agreement thereupon ceased to have any effect in law. Above all therefore, Zambia lost all right to exercise any authority in Barotseland and Zambia’s actual occupation of Barotseland became unlawful.
31. International Law in fact follows the law of Contract closely in the above. Article 60 (3) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, it is provided, restating a long-standing binding principle of International Law, that a material breach or a violation by a party of a provision essential to the object or purpose of the treaty is a repudiation of the treaty, which entitles the other party or parties to invoke the breach as a ground for terminating it.
HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION LEADING UP TO BAROTSELAND NATIONAL COUNCIL OF MARCH 26TH – 27TH 2012
33. Despite the eventual departure from power of Doctor Kaunda and the advent of other regimes since 1991, there has been no significant change in the situation of Barotseland or its people. On the contrary, the Government of Zambia has resorted to regrettable tactics of arresting and brutally harassing the people of Barotseland who seek to advocate for self determination.
34. On January 14, 2011 in Mongu, 19 people died, two of them from injuries inflicted during police torture in prison, and 5 are missing believed dead, while 15 suffered non-fatal gunshot wounds, after the Zambia Police set on the people in a peaceful gathering in support of self determination for Barotseland. Of this outrage the Zambia Government report was that there were only two fatalities.
35. There have been well over 100 arrests of supporters of Barotse separation in recent years who were then charged with treason. These charges are left to lie for some time during which the individuals are kept in prison and liable to ill treatment or even torture and then withdrawn on nolle prosequi issued by the Attorney General. No such case can ever be allowed by the Attorney General actually to come to trial, because, apart from the absence of legitimate authority in Zambia over Barotseland as explored in this letter, it is clear from the Constitution of Zambia that Barotse people do not come within the definition of “citizen” as therein contained. So the treason charges are not genuine but just an excuse to lock up Lozi separatists for a few months with the purpose of intimidating them. Embarrassingly, even schoolchildren have also fallen victims to these charges of treason.
36. In August, 2013 no less than 84 people were charged with treason in this same way. They included a former Ngambela (usually translated as “Prime Minister” but more like a Lord Chancellor in the modern Royal Barotseland Kingdom). Also amongst them were a number of leading members of the hierarchy of Barotse separatism (freedom seekers). In Court the “accused” challenged the State to prove they were “Zambians”. No such effort was made and the nolle prosequi were duly issued for all 84 after they had been held in custody for three months and two weeks.
37. Even as we write the Administrator General of our clients, Mr Afumba Mombotwa, Mr Likando Pelekelo, Sylvestor Nambao Kalima and Paul Masiye Masiyaleti, are still being held in prison under another of these charges of treason. Others also in Zambian jailes are Mr. Mubita Waluka, Mr Boris Muziba, Mr Nayoto Mwenda and Mr Sikwibele Wasilota on frivolus charges related to Barotseland with the purpose to punish innocent people.
38. All of the above is a clear manifestation of a tendency in the Government of Zambia to suppress the attempts to assert self determination by the people of Barotseland.
39. Of course the human rights abuses committed by the Zambian Government and its representatives have been the subject of a Petition to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the processing of which is already quite well advanced. No doubt that esteemed body would in the circumstances be the appropriate one to proceed to the substantive conclusions in relation to that aspect of our client’s complaints.
40. Unfortunately, the Zambia Government has not, to the best of our knowledge, put in an answer yet before the Commission to the evidential submission entered on behalf of Barotseland, somewhat in accordance with the Government of Zambia’s usual habit of procrastination and non-commitment whenever the Barotseland question comes up in circumstances where it cannot simply be put down
BAROTSELAND NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING OF MARCH 26TH – 27TH 2012
41. The supreme source of authority in Barotseland since time immemorial, the Barotse National Council, met on 26th and 27th March 2012 at Limulunga expressly to consider the situation and future of Barotseland having regard to the abrogation by Zambia of the Barotseland Agreement.
42. The meeting was summoned and regularly held in strict accordance with custom. It was preceded by similar meetings at village, district and regional level to discuss the same questions and appoint delegates to accompany the village headmen, district and regional chiefs to the national meeting. When the National Council met there were in excess of 80, 000 delegates present and every member of the population had had his or her opportunity to express their views.
43. Chief amongst the Resolutions passed were the following:-
a) We now inform Zambia and the international community that we finally accept the unilateral nullification and the abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 by the Zambian government, which action has freed Barotseland from being part of Zambia.
b) In line with the post liminium doctrine we can no longer be obliged to honour an International Agreement that the other party has nullified and abrogated, which has reverted us to our original status.
c) We the people of Barotseland declare that Barotseland is now free, to pursue its own self-determination and destiny.
d) We are committed to a peaceful disengagement with the Zambian government in the same manner that we attempted integration as a state within Zambia.
e) The Zambian government to immediately refrain from committing actions of violence and intimidation against the people of Barotseland.
f) The Barotse Government should immediately formalise the DECLARATION OF DISPUTE with the Zambian Government on the basis that the Zambian Government has violated and unilaterally abrogated the Unity Treaty whose purpose was to bind the two territories of Barotseland and the rest of Zambia, and also notify the SADC, AU, Commonwealth and United Nations of that fact.
g) The people of Barotseland shall exercise their right to revert Barotseland to its original status as a sovereign nation, so that the people of Barotseland shall determine their political, cultural, social and economic development”.
REFERENCE TO THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
43. The real substantive concerns of our client are therefore as follows:
a) that the Barotseland Agreement has been terminated in law and is no longer of any effect;
b) that in the absence of the Barotseland Agreement the Government of Zambia has no legal basis for its continued occupation of Barotseland;
c) that that occupation is accordingly illegal and must cease forthwith;
d) that Barotseland is accordingly at liberty to revert to its former status as an independent and self-governing nation state;
e) that the declaration of dispute with Zambia referred to under clause 42 (f) as well as the notification of the bodies mandated thereunder proceed forthwith;
f) that the Zambian Government refrain from harrassment, violence or discrimination against Barotse people.
44. As already indicated, there has been a Petition presented to the African Commission in connection with the human rights violations reflected under 43 (f) above and we and our clients are entirely content to await the evaluation of that Commission on the substantive merits of the allegations of human rights violations thereby referred.
45. However the Commission does not have the powers to make interrim orders to restrain abuse which the International Court of Justice has and such restraining relief as a matter of urgency would be an inevitable part of the proceedings we are instructed to lodge on our client’s behalf with the ICJ, without otherwise interfering with the deliberations of the Commission.
46. For the remaining concerns referred to above and also for the huge claims for reparations to which the Kingdom of Barotseland is undoubtedly entitled to against Zambia we have advised our client that the ICJ is the appropriate tribunal in which to commence proceedings to address and redress all of the above. The suggestion in the Resolutions of the National Council that the process could be affected under just the auspices of the United Nations was, with respect, unduly optimistic. Very few decisions can safely be made without the binding authority of a court of law to make findings of fact and orders – in either case interim or final - in support or furtherance thereof.
RELIEF TO BE SOUGHT FROM THE INTERNATIONAL COURT
47. The detailed relief to be sought from the ICJ is something which can only be finalised at the conclusion of the preparation of the detailed submissions to the ICJ. This preparation is now the natural next step for ourselves, being the legal team of the Royal Barotseland Government.
48. Nonetheless it is fair and reasonable that we summarise for your information the classes and nature of relief that we will be seeking from the Court.
49. The relief will be in four categories, namely Declaratory, Consequential, Financial and Interrim or urgent relief, as follows:
a) Declaratory relief.
The Court will be asked to declare:
(i) that the only basis for Barotseland becoming part of Zambia was the Barotseland Agreement of 1964;
(ii) that that Agreement has ceased to have effect, having been abrogated by the Government of Zambia which abrogation has been accepted by the Barotseland National Council;
(iii) that the situation has reverted to that which applied immediately before the Agreement was signed and Barotseland is a free and self-governing nation state entitled to run its own affairs according to the will of its people and institutions;
(iv) that any continued governance, exercise of authority or occupation of Barotseland or any part thereof by Zambia is unlawful and must cease.
b) Consequential relief
The Court will be asked to give directions for the assumption of responsibility for and control of Barotseland, its territory and institutions by the Barotseland Government and the Barotseland National Council and the withdrawal of the Government of Zambia therefrom and for a peaceful and efficient hand-over between the two.
c) Financial relief
Zambia shall be Ordered to make financial reparations to Barotseland:
(i) for the unlawful taking of the contents of its Treasury by repaying the sum at which the said Treasury stood at the time of its siezure plus interest thereon at the bank borrowing rate as fixed from time to time by the Bank of England for sterling from the date of siezure to the date of payment;
(ii) for the loss of mine and mineral revenue consequent upon the unlawful siezure of the same in an amount to be calculated and fixed;
(iii) for the loss due to the failure of the Zambian Government to provide financial support to Barotseland or to treat it fairly and equitably as against the remaining parts of Zambia in an amount to be calculated and fixed;
(iv) for the violation of the human rights of citizens of Barotseland in an amount to be calculated and fixed.
d) Interim Relief on Application
This relief which would be made on urgent Application, either before or after the substantive case is commenced depending on necessity would be to prevent Zambia from discriminating against or acting to the detriment of any persons whether inside or outside Barotseland for espousing or promoting the cause of Barotseland in any manner, provided that the means used were peaceful. It would also be designed to secure safe and secure passage to the Barotseland legal team to travel to, within and from Barotseland and Zambia for the purposes of preparation and conduct of the case.
POSITION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
50. As the United Kingdom was a signatory to the original Agreement and indeed was almost certainly the instigator of it, this letter is copied to Her Majesty’s Government. It will be necessary that the country be joined as a party to the ICJ proceedings. However, no substantive relief is being sought in respect of the United Kingdom.
51. Your Excellency, you have very recently been elected to your High and Honourable office and are hardly to be blamed, we are sure, for the Barotseland question and its pressing nature today. Fate and timing have it that as the new President of Zambia it falls to you to receive this letter.
52. The purpose of the letter is firstly to do your Excellency and by copy your Attorney General the courtesy of informing you of the intended proceedings and secondly to declare the dispute and notify the institutions mentioned in
53. It may be that the tenor of the Resolutions passed by the BNC in 2012 and the strength of feeling from the Barotseland side leave little scope for negotiation in the circumstances, but we are proceeding to prepare the submissions to the ICJ which process must take some little time. Whilst it is ongoing of course our ears and eyes are always open to anything that may be forthcoming from the Zambian side.
54. We also have to mention the sad fact that during the times of your more distant predecessors all – 100 % - of the lawyers who have espoused this case have died in not altogether convincing circumstances. They, with deference to their memory, were all in Zambia. It is thus that our clients have felt obliged to come beyond the borders for representation. We the new Royal Barotseland Government legal team are all either Batswana or British. We respect our client’s case. We would like to be able to move freely in Barotseland and Zambia to conduct it.
55. Finally, we assure your Excellency of our due respect for you and for your high office.
Legal Advisor/ Royal Barotseland Government