Letter here published for public records only.
3rd February, 2015
Royal Barotseland Kingdom
RE: POSITION STATEMENT
My Lord, we are compelled as a Government of the Royal Barotseland Kingdom to give our position statement, in response to the remarks made by the Zambian President Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu recently in Ethiopia!
However, here is our understanding:
1. In the first place, My Lord, I want to assure you that, Barotseland Kingdom is a sovereign and independent state just like Zambia or any other. To your knowledge, Mr. Afumba and his team (Royal Barotseland Government) were implementing the BNC Resolutions, which affirms that, any relationship between Barotseland and Zambia is now cancelled as of 27th March, 2012, and that any attempts to re-integrate would end up in ultimate failure.
2. The Royal Barotseland Government has engaged the legal services of Madandume Attorneys, Chambers of Dambe and Chadwick Anderson & Partners; the two being Batswana and the other one being a British 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.
3. Our Lawyers had come to visit Barotseland on a familiarization tour on 29th and 30th January 2015, to meet the people as well as the Royal Barotseland Government Officials, and have a look of the physical state of the nation how it was neglected by the successive Zambian Governments.
4. Our lawyers are making significant progress on the case, and we shall not accept any negotiation between Zambia and Barotseland outside the court; if by any chance, that opportunity prevails, then, our lawyers must be present, Britain as a witness must also be there, because Zambians are very cunning and crooked, they only pull in the direction that favors them. They have a record of disrespecting their own laws from their parliament, and now they have gone further to disregard international agreements like the Barotseland Agreement.
5. It must be clear that, President Edgar Lungu of Zambia when coming to Barotseland, we must accord him respect accorded to a visiting head of state, because, the Head of State of Barotseland is His Majesty King Lubosi Imwiko II.
6. The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) as Zambia calls it, is a weak vessel, and in most cases they do not represent well the people of Barotseland, and if it is seen to be in the fore-front misrepresenting them, then it is going to invite trouble to itself; some Induna like Amukuteile (Lubinda Nchindo – Mubeteki kwa Muleneñi wa Mwandi/ other chiefdoms) and others are known to be making money for themselves on this case by betraying others. Hence, BRE cannot be that effective because of that weakness.
7. No one in Barotseland is above the Barotse National Council, and anyone, Movement or BRE which engages in dialogue with Zambia is suffering from a high degree of disrespectfulness on the people of Barotseland, and any conclusion they may reach is not valid and not binding upon Barotseland.
8. The Barotseland Agreement 1964 is now a dead issue, having been cancelled by both parties formally, and hence we do not encourage any reference to it in any negotiations; we have heard that some quarters in Zambia are referring to the same BA 1964 saying that “it did not provide for separation” then if so neither did it provide for termination by one party. Under the Zambian law, it is a seditious document which can get you a treason charge. You cannot terminate a contract, and at the same time continue enjoying the privileges and rights contained in a contract that you terminated.
9. Those arrested on charges related to the Barotseland Agreement 1964 must firstly be released unconditionally, because they make an integral part of the negotiating team if the opportunity of dialoguing comes up in the auspices of the international community.
10. All negotiations related to Barotseland must be held within Barotseland or outside and not in Zambia.
11. If one says that, Barotseland should be subjected for a referendum, then that person is insulting the people of Barotseland and is intending to undermine the sovereignty of Barotseland; the Roger Chongwe Commission of Inquiry of 2011 and the Barotse National Council of 2012 are samples of the same referendum; we do not claim people, but we claim the territory. Those who do not want to be in Barotseland must shift to the nation where they feel appreciated and comfortable.
12. It is too late for us to hold a referendum today, when we have already declared our territory independent from Zambia; all Zambia must do is to respond to all the letters wrote to them which they did not respond to, including the declaration of dispute which was sent to them just after the BNC 2012.
13. The territorial integrity of Barotseland must be respected especially by Zambia as a signatory to some of the UN conventions.
14. Zambia has a pile of violations committed against the people of Barotseland, and hence, any Movement, Political Party or Organization in Barotseland which intends to help Zambia commit more violations or celebrates the statement by President Lungu, then those people, manifests their dis-respectfulness on the process already committed to, and they do not represent the people of Barotseland; they do that for their selfish interests and love of money coupled with lack of understanding.
My Lord, the Afumba led Government has the expertise to bring glory to Barotseland and turn around the events and situation for the betterment of Barotseland which we all crave for, and we would like to assure you that, we are very committed to do so.
Yours in National Service!
Rt. Hon. Matengu Situmbeko
Acting Administrator General
Royal Barotseland Government
This is a comment on the reported Zambian President’s agreement to “grant referendum” to the people of Barotseland in order to resolve the “thorny Barotseland Agreement issue” and that such a referendum “will be a vote to decide either to secede or remain with other provinces in Zambia” (Zambian Watchdog, January 30, 2015).
I assume that the President was correctly reported, and wish to comment as follows:
1.0 The fact that these reported remarks were made in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, shows that Zambia’s incessant violations of the rights and privileges of the people of Barotseland, as enshrined in the Barotseland Agreement 1964 (BA’64), are now in the international public domain – and the matter can no longer be swept under the Zambian government’s blood-stained rug. I am pleased about this and know that, after being vilified for many years, those of us who have been educating the public about this scandalous injustice will soon be vindicated.
2.0 It is both disappointing and embarrassing that the Zambian President, as a supposed learned lawyer, does not understand that by terminating the BA’64, by way of the Constitution Amendment Act No 5 of 1969, the status of the Republic of Zambia as a Unitary State was also simultaneously terminated – with the consequent result that, as from the effective date of this amendment, the two constituent parts of the unitary state as consummated in 1964 (i.e. Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia, respectively) legally became free of each other. Zambia’s interpretation that the termination of the BA’64 meant that they could now govern and administer Barotseland, whether she liked it or not, is fallacious and a show of complete disrespect for the people of Barotseland. This is why the people of Barotseland have petitioned the Zambian government to appear before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague to argue their case in holding on to this interpretation and occupying Barotseland militarily and otherwise. We have interpreted the Zambian government’s refusal to appear before the PCA, as an admission of guilt. So, the people of Barotseland do not want to expend further energy and time going on a tangent trying to solve the wrong problem. The correct problems that need urgent attention are contained in the official letter of dispute written to the Zambian government on May 14, 2012 (reproduced below), and not taking us back to 1969 and asking us whether or not Barotseland should “secede or remain with other provinces in Zambia”. This matter was decided unilaterally by the Zambian government through the Constitution Amendment Act No 5 of 1969, as already explained – so, the question of a referendum, today, is totally irrelevant, too-little-too-late, ill-informed and mischievous. We have no interest going back to 1969 to correct the mistake which the Zambian government made, and which has since left us as Zambia’s slaves. We even wonder who requested the President for a referendum on the matter, for him to “grant” it; certainly, that could only have been someone who is equally ignorant about, or is in complete denial of, the current correct status of Barotseland as a free nation which has only been prevented from actualising her self-rule by the unwelcome enslavement and continued military occupation of the territory by Zambia. Could there be a sinister motive for the President’s wishful thinking about a referendum – such as a proclivity (i.e. an appetite) to rigging it? Thank goodness, a referendum is irrelevant in the circumstances!
3.0 Zambia’s brand new President should also be advised to refrain from referring to Barotseland as a Province. Barotseland did not enter into the union with Northern Rhodesia as a Province; she entered into that union as an equal partner to Northern Rhodesia – with a Head of State – the Litunga, whose signature on the BA’64 was equal in weight and essence to that of Mr. Kenneth Kaunda. We challenge the Zambian President to produce documents that show that the people of Barotseland ever agreed to the status of Barotseland being downgraded to that of a Province. Without such evidence, we wish to advise that when the Zambian President travels to Barotseland, as he has promised, he should do so knowing full well that he is going to meet with another Head of State, like himself. One of the reasons why successive Zambian governments have not made progress on the matter of the BA’64 is precisely this. They think that because they unilaterally introduced legislation in their parliament to devalue and diminish the status of the Litunga, as well as name Barotseland a Province, that things actually changed on the ground. On the contrary, all these clandestine machinations meant nothing to the status of the Litunga; neither did they affect the relationship between the Litunga and his people, or our conception of what Barotseland really is. We still revere the Litunga as our Head of State, first and foremost – and we know Barotseland to be a nation state. So, please, don’t travel to Barotseland with the attitude and mentality that you’re simply visiting a province of this imaginary, make-believe unitary state called Zambia (which actually died in 1969). The Litunga is a Head of State – and you ignore this fact at your own peril because if you do not follow the right procedures you may not even see him. The President is further advised to go to Mungu by road so that he can experience first-hand the potholes and craters on the road in that part of the country they love most – i.e. the Nkoya country.
4.0 The newly inaugurated Zambian President also needs to know that Barotseland has never been a unitary state made up of numerous independent tribal entities, as he seems to think from his reference to certain “tribes”, as if they were independent of Barotseland. Barotseland has always been a monolithic nation state, the main characteristic of which is that it is indivisible. So, the President should refrain from introducing tribalism in Barotseland.
5.0 I am also disappointed that the President has chosen to ignore the fact that on May 14, 2012, the Zambian government received an official letter concerning Barotseland’s disengagement from Zambia. (The letter can be found here: http://barotsepost.com/images/important_barotse_documents/bre_letter_of_dispute_with_zambia.pdf)
Thus, if Zambia’s new President wishes to have the Barotseland issue resolved permanently, he should work with the people of Barotseland (not unilaterally) and set up a “Working Group” to address issues pertaining to Barotseland’s total disengagement from Zambia. This is where the people of Barotseland are with this matter – not at the point of being subjected to a meaningless referendum.
6.0 I trust that these comments and free advice will assist the Zambian President take appropriate actions and undertake meaningful consultations on this matter, going forward. Democracy requires that leaders respect the wishes of the people. The above letter to the Zambian government expresses the wishes of the people of Barotseland. The process that led to the Barotse National Council resolutions referred to in the Ngambela’s letter was more democratic than a referendum. Let us not move in circles, the people have spoken.
Incarcerated Barotseland Administrator General, Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and other three co-accused members of the Barotseland provisional government have indicated their position regarding government of Zambia's committal of their trumped up case to Kabwe high court. In a letter addressed to Zambia’s commissioner of prisons, the four Barotseland officials have categorically stated that they will not appear before any Zambian court pending advise from Barotseland international lawyers. They have also argued that they are political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.The letter was written and delivered to the prison authority, and also copied to The Litunga King of Barotseland as well as the entire nation of Barotseland.
They are charged on the account that on unknown date but between March 1, 2012 and August 20, 2013 while in Sioma district the four, Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Hon. Kalima Inambao, Hon. Pelekelo Kalima and Hon. Paul Masiye jointly acting together with unknown people conspired to secede "Western Province" (Barotseland) from the rest of Zambia. On 26th January 2015, the Mwembeshi magistrate court ruled that their case be committed to Kabwe High court for commencement of trial, having been in maximum incarceration since the 5th of December 2014.
Here below is a copy reproduced for public records only.
27th January 2015
The Commissioner of Prisons
Zambia Prison Service
Mr. Percy Chato
Mwembeshi Maximum Security Prison.
REF: OUR POSITION
As political prisoners and prisoners of conscience we have taken a stand not to appear before any Zambian court but rather remain in Mwembeshi Maximum Prison, at the pleasure of the police until our international lawyers on the issue between Barotseland and Zambia advise.
The reason being that the Barotzish and Zambian police operate on two different concepts which are far apart.
The Barotzish operate on the principle of law and justice while the Zambian police and Zambians operate on the principle of coercion and forced assimilation.
Justice does not allow Zambia to determine her own course, to be precise;
1. Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) signed a treaty with Barotseland
2. Zambia terminated the Agreement (treaty)
3. Zambia enacted draconian laws with intent to deprive us our rights.
The current state of affairs is that:
Zambia is the complainant and the aggrieved.
Zambia is the one arresting, killing, persecuting and adjudicating over her misdeeds.
Our understanding is that ‘a state that entered into a treaty cannot invoke her internal laws as justification for violating the treaty viz laws of treaties.
We believe there is no law that we transgress by remaining in jail until we have recourse to a neutral international court on the issue of Barotseland.
Prisoners of conscience.
CC. His Majesty the Litunga of Barotseland
Acting Barotseland Administrator General, Dr. Matengu Situmbeko has sternly warned newly elected president of Zambia, Mr. Edgar C Lungu, to fulfill the promise he verbalized in the presence of His Royal Majesty, The Litunga King of Barotseland Lubosi Imwiko II, concerning the arrest of Barotseland Administrator General, Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and other Barotseland government officials, who are currently in various Zambian prisons over trumped up charges of treason and other sedition related charges. While visiting the Limulunga Royal Palace at the height of Zambian electioneering late last year, Edgar Lungu is reported to have promised His Majesty the Litunga of Barotseland and His Privy council that Hon. Afumba and his other co-accused would be released from jail unconditionally within few days of his visit.
In an emotional letter copied delivered to the UN, UNPO, SADC and other international organizations, Dr. Situmbeko further warned that Mr. Lungu would be personally held responsible should any of the leaders die as a result of their illegal incarceration.
Here below is a reproduced copy of the letter in its entirety.
27th January, 2015
Mr. Edgar Lungu,
Republic of Zambia.
We have learnt of the diabolic and evil intentions you possess on our leaders currently detained and in your custody for no apparent reason.
Your victory in the recently held Zambian presidential by-elections avails to you serious economic challenges and political upheavals which you must deal with. You must be ready for that, and depending on how you deal with every situation you may end up in ICC.
You had promised to release the detained in the presence of and before His Majesty, King Lubosi Imwiko II and his Privy Council, assuring them that you would release them in a matter of days from the day of discussion, but now it has taken over a month.
We are learning that you are just like your predecessors who were good at making promises they never fulfilled. Now that you are in the lime light and seen to be fighting Malozi, we shall face you.
Our Barotseland Intelligence Agency has credible information that you are planning to have Rt. Hon. Afumba and his team killed through poisoning; this, we are told, could not be done in Mwembeshi Maximum Prison, so now you plan to take them to the prison that you feel you can easily administer the poison either in blankets or in the food they eat.
I wish to advise you like a friend that, you are playing with fire, and that you will never walk away free from the mess you have caused. If you feel that you are clever, at the end you will be expected to defend your sins in the International Criminal Court in The Hague as an individual.
Be reminded that every meeting you chair to plan against Barotseland, we are always represented, and on every two that gather to plan against Barotseland, one of them will tell us the details in full. We know the people who are commissioned to poison our leaders, and what poison it is and options for administration. Incase by any chance they manage, we shall carry out a postmortem with international experts to determine the cause of their deaths, then drag you to court where you will be crucified for your sins, and we shall fish you out wherever you may intend to hide.
Be reminded that this case is known to the international community and any death of one of the four will be counted on your head, and your citizens and you will never have peace in your nation; take this as a warning! If you love peace and value life like we do, and if really you are a Christian Nation, then reason like one.
Barotseland Kingdom is a nation independent from Zambia, and if you feel that Barotseland is part of Zambia, then produce documentary evidence that suggests so in the International Court of Justice; your grace period to leave our territory is expiring, then we shall force you out.
At this time, we shall not allow any investment from Zambia especially in the areas such as mining, oil and gas extraction and exploration; we may just allow you to build the King Lubosi Lewanika University and the Mongu Stadium which you promised, and we agree to receive them as a donation from a neighboring state.
I still remind you as a friend to release the people you have illegally detained in your custody in the names of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Administrator General, Rt. Hon. Likando Pelekelo, Secretary of State for Agriculture, Rt. Hon. Sylvester Kalima, Deputy Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rt. Hon. Masiye Masiyaleti, Deputy Secretary of Defense, including the four BNYL officials unjustly serving jail sentences, without any conditions and delay; these people are not Zambians like you think, but they are citizens of an independent state of Barotseland, which is headed by His Majesty King Lubosi Imwiko II as its Head of State.
Dr. Matengu Situmbeko
Acting Administrator General
Royal Barotseland Government
cc. United Nations
cc. European Union
cc. SADC Secretariat
cc. African Union
cc. All Embassies in Zambia
cc. Commonwealth Secretariat
cc. His Majesty King Lubosi Imwiko II
cc. Namuso Kuta
cc. Zambian Director of Intelligence Mr. Mwanalemba
The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) has written to President Edgar Lungu demanding the start of the process to separate Barotseland from Northern Rhodesia.
The letter of demand was delivered at State House today, Monday. The letter signed by BNFA chairperson Clement Sinyinda says the people of Barotseland are only interested in self-determination as a separate country.
A copy of the letter obtained by the Zambian watchdog is here reproduced: http://barotsepost.com/administrator/images/bnfa_letter_to_edgar_lungu2015.pdf
The case involving Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and three other officials of Barotseland provisional government has been transferred to Kabwe High Court for possible Commencement of Trial on some yet to be determined date.
This transpired when the quartet appeared before Mumbwa magistrate Court today 26th January 2015, facing charges of Sedition and treason felony.
They are charged on the account that on unknown date but between March 1, 2012 and August 20, 2013 while in Sioma district the four , Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Hon. Kalima Inambao, Hon. Pelekelo Kalima and Hon. Paul Masiye jointly acting together with unknown people conspired to secede "Western Province" (Barotseland) from the rest of Zambia.
The four were detained at Mwembeshi prison and are now expected to be transferred to Kabwe.
Afumba was a member of the committee which presented resolutions at the Barotseland National Council (BNC) held on 26th and 27th March 2012 at Limulunga in Mongu, which declared independence of Barotseland from Zambia.
The resolutions were assented to by the Litunga as per policy of the Barotseland National Council, the highest policy making body in Barotseland.
The Zambian government was represented at the 2012 BNC by the Provincial Minister, Provincial PS, Western Province Police Commissioner Siandenge and the Western Provincial Army Headquarters Commander while several diplomats accredited to Zambia from USA, UK, France, German, Netherlands, Botswana and Lesotho also attended.
The BNC resolved to revert Barotseland to her previous status as a separate country from Zambia after the Zambian government refused to restore the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, a treaty which joined the former British protectorates of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia to form Zambia.
Consequently, on 14th August 2013, Afumba took oath of office as head of the provisional government to over see the transitional period of Zambia's disengagement from Barotseland and restoration of institutions of governance, as Administrator General, before popular elections could be organized and held to elect a civil prime minister.
Barotseland authorities have since submitted the matter before the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights, an organ of the African Union based in Banjul, Gambia where the matter is being considered but Zambia failed to submit counter evidence despite being given three months to counter the 258 page evidence that Barotseland submitted.
Zambia has also refused to sign the Permanent Court of Arbitration Submission Agreement to settle the matter amicably before the Permanent Court of Arbitration based at The Hague.
Another team of international Lawyers are in the process of handing documents for signing to the Zambian President Edgar Lungu for the matter to be settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
The team was in Zambia to submit documents to the President two weeks ago but had to wait for the new President to be elected.
Today’s Court Session
Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters stood up and left the court room in frustration, went outside to sing Barotseland songs of solidarity, as the magistrate announced the committal of the case to Kabwe High court. The court, which was fully parked with the supporters and sympathizers of the Barotse activists, seemed to have been besieged.
The actual date of beginning of trial at the Kabwe High court, in Kabwe Zambia, is not yet known.
This latest action taken by the Patriotic Front government under new President Edgar Lungu has not been received well by most Lozis who expressed fear and safety of their detained leaders. This means that the accused are now most likely going to be transferred to Kabwe central Zambia, far from their families, while they remain in detention awaiting start of trial. There has been fears raised of food poisoning or some other type of poisoning or harm planned to be tactfully applied to the detained Barotseland leaders as a way of eliminating them for good.
Treason felony attracts a death penalty upon conviction under Zambian laws, and this will be the first ever trial of persons accused of treason over Barotseland’s statehood, as others were merely detained without trial in the past.