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)