THE BAROTSE PARK 1898 - A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BAROTSE PARK
The piece of land historically known as the Barotse Park was designated thus because it was the site on which numerous protocols between King Lewanika and his successors on one part and the agents of British South Africa Company and later the British Crown on the other part were negotiated and sealed. From its inception, the Barotse Park was a soft spot of encounter between the settler communities and the indigenous people of Zambia. The following are some of the important meetings that were held on the site:
1898 THE LAWLEY TREATY
The Company asked its senior representative the Rt. Honourable Captain Arthur Lawley, then resident in Bulawayo (Matebeleland), Southern Rhodesia, to inform Major Robert Coryndon, then resident commissioner in Barotseland-North Western Rhodesia who resided at Kalomo, the then capital of North-Western Rhodesia to officially request the Litunga of Barotseland Lubosi Lewanika to meet at the Victoria Falls. The three party talks were aimed at consolidating territorial jurisdiction and the treaties that Lewanika had earlier agreed with Harry Ware in 1889 and Frank Lochner in 1890, whereas these treaties culminated into THE BAROTSELAND-NORTH WESTERN RHODESIA ORDER-IN-COUNCIL of 1899. The talks were scheduled to take place on 25th June 1898 at Victoria Falls, but the high water level of the Zambezi River affected the preparations of receiving the Litunga as the surroundings of the Old Drift or Sekute's Drift were damp and muddy. The Coryndon Administration, after consultations, decided to change the venue to a higher and dry ground on the Sandbelt. The site that was chosen was where Lubosi Lewanika's Royal Pavilion was constructed. Talks were held between the Litunga and the British Resident Commissioner in Barotseland-North Western Rhodesia on the one part and representatives or agents of John Cecil Rhodes of the British South Africa Company on the other part, agreed to provide a path for the British South Africa Company (BSAC) to proceed to the north bank of the Zambezi river, constructing the railway from Cape to Cairo. It was at this site where the Lawley treaty was concluded.
IN 1900 CONCESSION A AND B
Following the passing of THE BAROTSELAND-NORTH WESTERN RHODESIA ORDER-IN-COUNCIL which was passed in 1899, two concessions were signed at this site. The first one was Concession A which was commonly known as LEWANIKA'S TREATY. The second Concession B was signed in November of the same year. The treaty was for the mining syndicate and for sanctioning the British South Africa Company to generate hydro-electric power from the Zambezi at the Victoria Falls for usage in the mining industry on the Copperbelt. In 1901, the said concessions were ratified.
1901 CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE
The Constitutional Conference was held at this site to ratify the two treaties agreed to in 1900. This lead to the subsequent naming of the Sandbelt on which this site was situated The Constitution Hill. At the same time the site was named the Barotse Centre in honour of King Lubosi Lewanika, his council and the people involved in the advancement of development in the territory of North-Western Rhodesia.
In 1902, the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika was invited to attend the coronation ceremony of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria in England. The Barotse Centre at the heart of the Constitution Hill is where the Litunga bade farewell to his council and the people who wished him a safe journey. It was at this same site where Lewanika assured and impressed the crowd that feared for his safety, by planting his royal walking stick into the ground as a sign that would predict whether his entourage was safe. This historic event was evident enough that the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika's royal wooden walking stick germinated, rooted, branched off and grew into a big tree. Lewanika's way back from England at the end of 1902 in December was welcomed by a great royal traditional guard of honour at the Barotse Centre, which he marked by the unforgettable legacy. The Litunga arrived at his capital Lealui at New Year's first day of 1903 to a thunderous welcome, which was anti-climaxed as the final briefing was about his mother Inonge who had died.
Gradually, more settlers arrived in the Victoria Falls area, the administrators at the Old Drift or Sekute's Drift (which was unhealthy) decided to have a new township planned at the Constitution Hill. By the end of November 1904 the new township was being surveyed and the roads were marked. The township was layed out as a rectangular grid of streets and sanitary lanes forming fifteen blocks in all covering an area of rather less than one square kilometer. The central street main way (now Mosi-O-Tunya road) was to be 43 metres wide. The central block was to be an open park known as THE BAROTSE CENTRE, which still survives. The remaining fourteen blocks comprised two hundred and four stands. Some of these were reserved for the Administration's offices and other residents who were to be forced to abandon their old settlements at the Old Drift. The remaining stands were sold at an auction held on 23rd January 1905.
In 1904, when the railway line from Bulawayo reached the Zambezi River at the Victoria Falls, the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika came to the Victoria Falls for the official opening ceremony of the bridge conducted on 12th September 1905 by Professor George Darwin, President of the British Association. The first regatta which featured the Barotse royal badges of Mwandi Palace under Litia Yeta, son of Lewanika in Sesheke and Lealui the capital of Barotseland raced and Mwandi won.
It was at this very important event that the first curio shop was put up by Lewanika in the new town at the Barotse Centre. King Lewanika further declared the centre should be held unto perpetuity as a soft spot for all Africans who had less access to the new settlement, to utilize it as trading area for their crafts and as a green market. The official ceremony was the first of its kind. There were crafts and a lot of artwork from Barotseland, vegetables and fruits from surrounding areas of the Victoria Falls displayed for sale. As years passed activities among the White settlers and Africans at the new town increased. The main meeting place remained the Barotse Centre. Here the White settlers could buy crafts, artwork, vegetables and fruits from Africans.
The Barotse Centre further served as a recruitment point for native labour and as a venue for activities which involved the BAROTSE NATIVE POLICE and the BAROTSE NATIVE POLICE BAND, where Africans were actively involved.
The end remark by the parties involved during the official opening of the Victoria Falls bridge was to consider naming the Constitution Hill and areas surrounding the Victoria Falls as Doctor David Livingstone in honour of the great explorer who put the falls, the mighty Zambezi river, south and central Africa, including the people who were party to his expedition on the world map.
Two years after the official opening of the bridge in 1907, a decision was made by the White Administration of North-Western Rhodesia headed by Sir, Robert Codrington, in consultations with the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika of Barotseland, to shift the capital from Kalomo to Livingstone. The Barotse Centre was the venue for the celebrations that marked the importance and growth of the town. The town by then had two hotels, a restaurant, two mineral water factories, at least eight clothing and general stores, two butcheries, four building contractors, a chemist and a barber. Also Standard Bank of South Africa and the first North-Western hotel were opened at the capital.
In 1909 King Lewanika travelled to Livingstone to welcome the new Administrator Mr. Wallace, who replaced Robert Codrington who died. He was accorded a reception by the White Administration and Africans at the Barotse Centre especially the two pioneer Lithuanian business brothers, Harry and Elie Susman, who had been cattle traders in Barotseland, who took over the pioneer butchery, Mopane Clarke's store and a bar. The two brothers paid great tribute to the Litunga.
A major event in the early history of Livingstone town was the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught in 1910. They came to South Africa to open the first session of the Union Parliament and then proceeded on a tour to southern and northern Rhodesia. The Litunga Lubosi Lewanika and other Barotse royalty came to Livingstone for the occasion and were accommodated in town. Lewanika arranged an exhibition and demonstration of traditional Lozi crafts in the Barotse Centre, of which he took the visitors on a conducted tour. As usual, Lewanika made an excellent impression on both the visitors and settlers.
In 1911, the British South Africa Company with the approval of the British Government passed an ORDER-IN-COUNCIL to facilitate the amalgamation of the two territories of North-Western and North-Eastern Rhodesia into one but for Barotseland of the Litunga, which was reserved as a state within a state. Livingstone became the capital of Northern Rhodesia. The Barotse Centre was where the celebrations took place involving the peoples of the said territories backed by the two bands of the Barotse Native Police and the North-Eastern Rhodesia Constabulary which also amalgamated to one Northern Rhodesia Police.
Three years after the amalgamation in 1914 world war one broke out. Attention in all the British colonial territories, Northern Rhodesia included, turned to war activities at the expense of development especially in Barotseland. The events of this war bothered Lewanika (who wanted to develop his nation) so much that he did not live any longer and died in 1916.
Thereafter, it was not until 1921, when the Litunga Litia Yeta III CBE who succeeded his father Lewanika, who while on his way to Cape Town via Livingstone where he was invited to meet the Prince of Connaught, met with his people in the area and the Governor General.
Another exciting event at the Barotse Centre was in 1924 when Litia Yeta III CBE travelled to Livingstone for the great celebrations that marked the handover power from the British South Africa Company to Great Britain under the rule of King George V. The Litunga was to meet the first Governor Sir Herbert Stanley.
A spectacular visit by King George VI in 1947 who was to meet his friend the Litunga Imasiku Mwanan'ono Imwiko I put the Barotse Centre on the world map because of the modern print and electronic media that covered the Royal counterpart's shake hands, bolstering links between England and Barotseland. An occasion comprised of impressive activities such as the flotilla canoes that accompanied the regatta involving the Litunga's Royal badges at the boat club, a guard of honour on the Northern Rhodesia regiment and a Royal Walk (Kutamboka) where the two Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth participated.
Sir Mwanawina III KBE, too had extensively utilized the Barotse Centre as a venue for important activities on his many visits especially when he went to Salisbury in southern Rhodesia to sign for Barotseland as a state within states in an order of the federation that was evoked in 1953.
More importantly was when the Litunga Sir Mwanawina III KBE, the Ngambela Imenda Sibandi and some high ranking Indunas flew from Livingstone to England to sign the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. The Barotse Centre has been so significant to most Litungas (even at the time of Godwin Mbikusita Lewanika II) that whenever any of them visited Livingstone they passed by to see the centre.
This site therefore where these legal documents which described Zambia as a state and nation were signed and ratified is an important historical site which should be preserved without any uderlterations.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION AND REFERENCE
1. London; Colonial Office; (Commonwealth Library)-Public Record Office; (Affairs North of the Zambezi); News from Barotseland, Une Collection Comple'te, 4 Volumes 1897-1932
2. PEMS; (Paris Evangelical Mission Society) Headquarters, 102 Boulevard Arago; Francois Coillard, Personal Papers, Letters and Journals 1880-1904 (Zambezi Files; 1885-1904), Administration Britannique, Kalomo-Mongu, 1908-1933, Sefula Mission Station.
3. National Archives, Southern Rhodesia Salisbury (Harare Zimbabwe). Administrator's Files-A15/1-15 Miscellaneous, 1889-1899. A 3/18/5 Lewanika 1896-1903. A 11/2/12/5-6 Lewanika 1901-1903 A11/2/14/1-23 North-Western Rhodesia,1902-1909
4. British South Africa Company Files, Cape Town (C.T.1/4/1-7 Barotseland, 1890-1895; C.T.1/11/1 Concessions, Barotse, 1890-1895; C.T.1/15/1 Matters relating to Native Affairs 1892, Barotseland. London Office [L.O.5/2/1-58; L.O.5/3/1-4; L.O.5/7/1-6)
5. National Archives, Northern Rhodesia Lusaka (Zambia) A Series: Papers of the Administrator, North-Western Rhodesia, (NW/A) NW/A1/1/1-13, In letters 1902-1911, High Commissioner for South Africa; A1/2/1-17 In letters 1902-1911, London Office; A2/1/1-5 Out letters 1908-1911, High Commissioner; A2/2/1-6 Out letters 1901-1911, London Office; A2/3/1 Barotse Boundary Commission (January 1904); A3/25 Barotse Native Police, Lealui 1905-1906. Reports by Harding and Gibbisons.
6. Papers of the Northern Rhodesia Secretariat (NR/B) B Series: NR/B1/1; B1/1 (A353D) Concessions-Litia Yeta III CBE Correspondence with the Secretary of State, 1922-1924; B1/1 (A281A) Boundaries, District Barotseland 1912-1925.
7. NR/B1/2/1927 Series. NR/B1/2/177-9 Barotse Concessions 1901-1911; Lewanika: 1901 Amendments: 1905 and 1906; Lewanika; 1909: Lewanika to T.B. Davvies; Barotseland boundaries 1899 March to September 1925; B1/2/291 Control of Barotseland by the Imperial Government, 1921-1922; B1/2/302-3 Barotse Government: Land cases and outline of political system 1921
8. B1/3/1928 File Series: B1/3/677 The Litunga Litia Yeta III CBE's visit to Livingstone 1928. B1/3/688 Native Affairs, Barotseland 1928.
9. B1/7/1929 Series Lewanika Concessions, 1900-1912; Reconsideration of Concessions, 1927-1931
10. KDE Series Papers of Resident Magistrate, Barotseland: KDE 2/43/1-5 Anthropological, Historical, Slavery, Language, Customs; KDE 2/44/1-21 History of Barotseland, Notes and Documents.
11. OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS British Government Agreement between Great Britain and Portugal Relative to Spheres of Influence North of the Zambezi. Cmnd 7032 (London, 1893) Award of His Majesty the King of Italy respecting the western boundary of the Barotse Kingdom Cmnd 2584 (London 1905). Barotseland Agreement 1964, Cmnd 2366
12. ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT (Northern Rhodesia) Barotse Native Authority, Constitution Committee Report, Rawlings 1957. British South Africa Company, Report by the Ministry of Finance, Lusaka, on the Company's claims to Mineral Royalties in Northern Rhodesia, Government Printers, Lusaka 1964.
1. Bertrand Alfred-The Kingdom of Barotsi, upper Zambezi, London 1899
2. Col. Colin Harding-In Remotest Barotseland, Hurst and Blackett London 1905
3. Coillard Francois-On the Threshold of Central Africa, Hodder and Stoughton, London 1897
4. Stirke D W Barotseland; Eight Years among the Barotse, London 1922
5. Jalla Adolphe- Lewanika, Roi des Ba-Rotsi, Geneva 1902 Litaba za Sicaba sa Malozi; Oxford University Press, Cape town 1921, revised; London 1959
6. Baxter T. W; The Barose Concessions' Part 1, Northern Rhodesia journal, June 1951, no. 3, pp. 39-49. Part 2 Northern Rhodesia journal, December 1951, no. 4, pp. 38-45.
7. Bradley Kenneth; "Statesmen" Coryndon and Lewanika in North-Western Rhodesia; 'African Observer, Sep. 1936, volume V, no. 5
8. Caplan Gerald Lewis; A Political History of Barotseland, 1879-1965, thesis for Ph.D, London University 1968, published as The Elites of Barotseland, 1878-1969, C.Hurst and Co. London 1970.
9. Clay G C R; Your Friend, Lewanika, Litunga of Barotseland, 1842-1916 Robin's Series no. 7, Chatto and Windus London 1968.
10. Gluckman Max; Economy of the Central Barotse Plain, Roads-Livingstone Institute Paper no. 7 1941. Administrative Organization of the Barotse Native Authorities, with a plan for reforming them. Roads-Livingstone Institute Commn. no. 1, 1943.
11. Mutumba Mainga; Ph,D. Bulozi Under The Luyana Kings, (Political Evolution and State Formation) in Pre-colonial Zambia, 1973.
12. Brian M Fagan, M.A, Ph,D. The Victoria Falls, the Batoka Gorge and Part of the Zambesi River
(CNN) The Palestinian Authority officially became the 123rd member of the International Criminal Court on Wednesday, a step that gives the court jurisdiction over alleged crimes in Palestinian territories.
The formal accession was marked with a ceremony at The Hague, in the Netherlands, where the court is based.
The Palestinians signed the ICC's founding Rome Statute in January, when they also accepted its jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed "in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014."
Later that month, the ICC opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestinian territories, paving the way for possible war crimes investigations against Israelis. As members of the court, Palestinians may be subject to counter-charges as well.
The war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza last summer left more than 2,000 people dead, the vast majority of them Palestinians.
Israel, which is not an ICC member, has opposed the Palestinians' efforts to join the body.
"The Israeli position -- like the position of the U.S., Canada and others -- is that the Palestinians are not eligible to join the ICC and the court does not have jurisdiction in this instance, first and foremost, because there is no Palestinian State in international law," Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
"The decision of the Palestinians to join the ICC as an attempt to move 'processes' against Israel is political, cynical and hypocritical."
The Palestinian Authority, which is allied to the "murderous" militant group Hamas, "is the last one that can threaten to present a case to the ICC in the Hague," the ministry added, saying that the Palestinians' membership violated the founding principles of the ICC and risked politicizing the body.
But Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki, speaking at Wednesday's ceremony, said joining the ICC was a move toward greater justice.
"As Palestine formally becomes a State Party to the Rome Statute today, the world is also a step closer to ending a long era of impunity and injustice," he said, according to an ICC news release. "Indeed, today brings us closer to our shared goals of justice and peace."
Rights group welcomes Palestinian decision
Judge Kuniko Ozaki, a vice president of the ICC, said acceding to the treaty was just the first step for the Palestinians.
"As the Rome Statute today enters into force for the State of Palestine, Palestine acquires all the rights as well as responsibilities that come with being a State Party to the Statute. These are substantive commitments, which cannot be taken lightly," she said.
Rights group Human Rights Watch welcomed the development.
"Governments seeking to penalize Palestine for joining the ICC should immediately end their pressure, and countries that support universal acceptance of the court's treaty should speak out to welcome its membership," said Balkees Jarrah, international justice counsel for the group.
"What's objectionable is the attempts to undermine international justice, not Palestine's decision to join a treaty to which over 100 countries around the world are members."
U.S.: We will oppose actions against Israel at the ICC
In January, when the preliminary ICC examination was opened, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as an outrage, saying the court was overstepping its boundaries.
The United States also said it "strongly" disagreed with the court's decision.
"As we have said repeatedly, we do not believe that Palestine is a state and therefore we do not believe that it is eligible to join the ICC," the State Department said in a statement.
It urged the warring sides to resolve their differences through direct negotiations. "We will continue to oppose actions against Israel at the ICC as counterproductive to the cause of peace," it said.
But the ICC begs to differ with the definition of a state for its purposes and refers to the territories as "Palestine."
While a preliminary examination is not a formal investigation, it allows the court to review evidence and determine whether to investigate suspects on both sides. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office would "conduct its analysis in full independence and impartiality."
The inquiry will include alleged war crimes committed since June.
The International Criminal Court was set up in 2002 to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
THE AFRICAN UNION, IS IT COMPETENT IN CONFLICT RESOLUTIONS ON THE CONTINENT, BAROTSELAND QUESTION IN PARTICULAR?
The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights’ 56th Ordinary Session is bound to take place from 21st April – 7th May 2015. The commission will, among other things, look at issues that affect and conflicts peoples' human rights. In view of the commission's role as a commission within the African union, AU, I am compelled to express my opinion of what is expected of the commission, having in mind the serious human rights violations reportedly perpetuated by AU member countries with impunity. I am not going to dwell on the objectives or roles of the African Union where the commission attributes its mandate, but on the legal rights of Barotseland, as in person under international public law. Is the African Union a serious platform to handle political conflicts, which are on the increase, across the continent or is it just a platform for sharing tips on how to rig elections in order to cling to power for the longest period by various African leaders?
It would be naive to believe that the African union is not able to solve conflicts happening in most parts of the African continent, as long as the administration of the African union is seemingly shifting in attitude towards the human rights abuses reports before her committed by member countries against the minorities calling for political freedom to self-determination. In short, if AU upholds the human rights as enshrined in UN charter, it will not fail in its duties of maintaining peace in the continent which needs urgent attention. The African Union, I believe does not oppose the right to self-determination of peoples, like in the case of Barotseland. The AU should come open to the idea and demand for an independent Barotseland, as evidenced by the legal and historical facts that Barotseland was never traded to a new country of Zambia by the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
There have been, however, some indications that the African union may not be decidedly more biased in favor of new independent territories in the continent than they are to territorial integrity. Undoubtedly, by referring to international legality, the case of Barotseland is among a few considered African prospective states as born out of legality, and requires the justice of law to bring it to conclusion not the barrel of a Gun. Unfortunately, most of armed conflicts in Africa resulted due to inefficiency by the African union to handle disputes that boarder on sovereignty integrity in good faith including the option of independence.
What is certain is that the African union leaders and members, just as countries in the world, are torn between continuing to support a traditional ally and setting a new course that would contradict the interests of that ally. Now, that the African union has a new chairman, president Robert Mugabe known as a critic of Britain's occupation of huge land in Zimbabwe , should work in supporting the efforts of the United Nations peace process that seeks for peaceful resolution to disputes that exist within member countries. It will be another assault on fundamental principles of international law if bipartisan stance takes center stage by the African union in handling the Barotseland question in favor of Zambia's abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, and human rights abuses against unarmed people of Barotseland. Should such step be taken by the AU it will go on record as having endorsed Zambia's illegal annexation of Barotseland and human rights abuses including the right to self determination which is an unalienable Right.
In the meantime, the violations of human rights in occupied Barotseland have in fact amplified despite their denunciations by respectable human rights organizations, such as the USA 2013 reports on human rights violations in Zambia or Human Rights Watch. The Barotseland Activists are subjected to inhuman treatment such as illegal arrests, long detentions, suppressed freedom of expression and freedom of association, deaths with some killed buried secretly, etc. In 2011, about 19 Barotse people who were among those that wanted to discuss the abrogated BA’64 were shot dead by the Zambian police or simply went missing to date.
In 2013, about 150 Barotse people were arrested by simply celebrating at the news that the Barotseland government is put in place, a case which was discontinued by Zambia after six months of detention without trial. The case of the Barotseland Youth Activists is also another example, who wrote a letter in 2014 of protests against Zambian's government sponsoring division amongst liberation leaders by luring some to disrespect others, led to the arrest of three youth leaders Muziba, Nayoto and Sikwibele who were later sentenced and are currently serving a three year imprisonment with hard labor.
Furthermore, the Barotseland self-determination quest is not bound to be solved by holding a referendum. The people of Barotseland have already objected to the idea of referendum in spite of calls by some Zambian political opposition parties and some civil rights societies to subject the issue to a referendum. The rejection is out of the fact that nothing gives Zambia the right to offer referendum to Barotseland, as in the absence of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, the two territories of Barotseland and Zambia are not bound to each other, and it is utter ambiguity and assault to the Law of treaties.
Even though the issue very rarely makes the headlines, the Barotseland conflict has a significant impact on the development of SADC region. Indeed, the lack of regional integration is a serious consequence: economic exchange between southern member states will lead to economic hardship of the region.
I, therefore, expect the African Union to handle the Barotseland impasse with seriousness it deserves as it borders on the very principle of international law, than military capabilities.
Barotseland must be let free.
Litunga Ni lyetu.
Zambia's PF government vice-president Inonge Wina is expected to travel to Barotseland to meet the Litunga and his indunas, the Zambia Watchdog reveals.
Mrs Wina’s main mission is to plead and if pleading fails to bribe the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) to allow her or her president Edgar Lungu to officiate at this year’s Kuomboka Ceremony.
With Barotse Freedom fighters detained in Mumbwa and other jails, there are indicators that the people of Barotseland do not wish to have officials from Lusaka to president over the only event that brings joy to the Kingdom.
Last year, the Kuomboka ceremony could not be held due (official reason given) to the death of the Litunga (King)’s wife Queen Moyo Imwambo. But the real reason was that the local people refused to have late president Michael Sata lead the ceremony.
Mrs Wina will also meet local people in her first visit from the time she was appointed vice president. Wina had expected joy and excitement from the people of Barotseland on her appointment but instead the people could not care less. The ululations and praises for her being first woman vice-president in a poverty stricken country came from others parts of the country not Barotseland who saw her appointment as personal achievement.
The PF will thus pay people to line up the streets of Mongu to welcome Mrs Wina and give the impression that the whole Barotseland is happy - ZambianWatchdog.com
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
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.