Barotseland National Youth League (BNYL) outline their own reasons for rejecting President Lungu’s Barotseland referendum talk

09 February 2015
Author 

05/02/2015

MR. EDGAR C. LUNGU
PRESIDENT OF ZAMBIA
STATE HOUSE
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA

Sir,

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.

Sincerely yours,

Signed:

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: SADC
Cc: UNPO
Cc: All Embassies Accredited to Zambia
Cc: FFSA
Cc: UNFS

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