This question is cardinal as Barotseland's self governing is about to commence. As such the question requires a candid answer in order to remove a lot of unnecessary misgivings by cobwebs in the wider spectrum of society of Zambia including those who peddle lies and hold the worst consideration about Barotseland.
In this exercise, the following details are brought to light as they offer contradictory views by people who lack knowledge of the subject, while others take it as a deliberate move to satisfy their evil egos. Therefore, the information produced in the publication of the weekly Post of 31/12/1992 to 7/01/1993 is good enough and is given as follows:-
Personality (Arthur N. L. Wina , First Minister of Finance in 1964), Utterance,
"Somebody must produce receipts, we must have evidence of money , how it was taken, when it was taken and where it was taken"
Personality (Sikota Wina, first minister of Local government), Utterance,
"what does the ordinary Lozi man stand to gain from the Agreement of £78, 500,000 if it won't used for housing in 1964 but into pockets of just a few people?
“The decision to take over all the treasuries was made by the government collectively and not by a few individuals;
“To say that the Wina brothers did this or that is a lot of rubbish; If the Barotse people were granted what they were asking for, they would practically be a separate state from Zambia; If that is not an independent Republic that is secession that is backbone of a Government and independent Republic in control of its land, treasury, judiciary, forestry, legislature and local Government" end of quote.
According to another publication of the weekly post of 22/01/1993 to 28/01/1993 stated:-
Personality, (Kenneth. D. Kaunda, first president of Zambia and the signatory to the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and the key figure in the abrogation of the Agreement), utterances,
"The government hasn't asked me to state my side of the case, but there should be no need for them to panic. History can be re-written but facts cannot be altered; If our brothers and sisters want the matter to be settled in the courts of law, I will help the government lawyers explain the case as it is I signed the Agreement and is a well known fact;
“There was no way one province could have been treated more special or important than others in the same country; There had been a lot of native treasuries from various provinces which government collectively incorporated and not as Kaunda; The treasuries included those from the mineral rich Copperbelt which, as a result of an agreement between the Lozi Establishment and the British were going to the British South African Company" end of quote.
Nonetheless, since a lot of information is hidden from the public, it is better to explain some salient points to show the ignorance of the concerned people who have made such useless utterances.
According to the publication of the Times of Zambia of 5th November 1965, it was reported that:-
"About £411,000 representing assets and cash of the Barotse Government Treasury are being distributed to the district councils"
According to the publication of the Daily Mail of 17th November 1965, it was reported that:-
"In at least one aspect, the province dubbed the 'Cinderella' during the colonial era is now leading all other provinces in Zambia; Under the 18 months transitional development plan, Barotse province receives £111,450 in grants for capital development works. An additional £42,000 is to be made available from the Rural Councils own resources" end of quote.
The details given above demonstrate that the Barotse Native Government had money that was properly acquired.
It is further demonstrated that the Barotse Native Government had a variety of sources from which it had acquired money through Native tax rebate, Investments and Veterinary. According to a letter reference No. MC/B/LA/FIN/22 dated 15th November 1965 by Mr. M. Sheldrake, who was signing for the provincial local government officer in Mongu, a sum of £14,000 was allocated to each district. Since there were five districts in Barotseland, the amount under this head was £70,000.
It should be emphasized that there were immovable properties owned by the Barotse Native Government which were inherited by the Government of Zambia without arrangements for either compensation or sale and these are under the utility of the Government some of which include:-
1. The structures forming the Barotse National School which was termed Kambule secondary school following the decree by former president Kenneth Kaunda to change the name of the school since "there could not be a state within a state", according to his myopic thinking.
2. The building housing the High Court in Mongu,
3. The building housing the Ministry of Education in Mongu,
4. Liwanika General Hospital,
5. Suu local court building and many more scattered all over Barotseland, etc, etc.
One point worthy noting was that there were investments owned by the Barotse Native Government from which interests were accruing such as the Mulobezi Mills.
It will be interesting to know how the Zambian Government will account for their disposals.
One important question that may be asked is what was used to expropriate those treasuries including "those from the mineral rich Copperbelt" , as was claimed by former president Kenneth Kaunda, since the Local Government Act was meant to cover Barotseland through the establishment of the Barotseland Local Government Fund?
In consequence of the foregoing, the people of Barotseland are entitled to claim for the loss sustained due to the spoliation of their properties in line with the provisions of Article 21 of the African Charter on Human and Political Rights.
"The delay should not in any way be viewed as a point of failure but as a sign of law abiding nation that has taken the diplomatic process to resolve the standoff issues with Zambia."
The political dimension in Barotseland nation is characterized by misinformation and lack of proper communication link from the top leadership of various liberation groups to the grassroots. The political independence liberation of Barotseland territory is proving to be slowed as the Zambian government continues to hold grip by manipulating the minds of the poverty stricken majority, such as enticing them with job positions. This is the saddening side of poverty because it erodes the moral fiber and diminishes the organic social growth and clumsy liberty struggle.
Some have commented that pointing to the Zambian presidential bye election campaigns sweeping successfully across the 2012 declared independent territory as a sign of weak bilateral relationship between the BRE and Activists groups. However, as much as I respect other people's opinions, it is better to understand that the declaration of independence is usually followed by another process known as disengagement, the latter not being a day's event but it takes time to come to the agreement terms of international acts and orders. The delay should not in any way be viewed as a point of failure but as a sign of law abiding nation that has taken the diplomatic process to resolve the standoff issues with Zambia.
The implications of the illegal occupation of a territory are well challenged in a diplomatic way, that is, to engage international community through international courts and continental bodies. We must remember that the Barotseland Agreement 1964 was an international treaty that was concluded peacefully, in like manner, the acceptance of its abrogation, was done peacefully by Barotseland, as the other party and in a lawful process through the Barotse National Council in 2012, after having had exhausted all the channels. To this effect, the people of Royal Barotseland should be encouraged to reject political statements and maneuvers from our soon to be neighbor, Zambia, if not in conformity with the 2012 BNC resolutions, for immediate disengagement.
The most far provoking issue is the destroying of government structures in 1975 by the Zambian government which move was not well accepted by the Lozis as it was the genesis of the loss of sovereignty of our God given territory to a fellow sister African country. What were called customary law, customary land-rights, customary political structure and so on were all invented by Zambia codification by passing laws aimed at fixing Barotseland people. This and other maneuvers against sovereignty of Barotseland, have caused great loss of economic opportunities varying for five decades , leading to the impoverishment of a once rich and self sustaining territory.
Zambian politicians that are campaigning in Barotseland should avoid provoking further the already volatile situation by commenting on the Barotseland status quo as the BNC 2012 independence resolutions have solved it all. The 2012 BNC resolutions still stand and must be the only one to be referred to for implementation other than the non applicable process of referendum in Barotseland impasse.
What applies now is article 70 of the Vienna Convention on the law of international treaties which Zambia’s Attorney General is aware of, hence their reluctance and refusal to appear before international bodies to resolve the matter and commence the disengagement process.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
Another Zambian politician in the name of Nevers Mumba of the MMD has made empty promises to the people of Barotseland during his illegal campaign in Mungu, Barotseland.
Mumba’s MMD is the party that presided over the killing of the people of Barotseland in 2011for demanding for self determination following Zambia’s repeated refusal to reinstall the 1964 Barotseland Agreement that could have allowed Barotseland to remain part of Zambia.
Mumba told a rally in Mungu that if elected president of Zambia he would allow Barotseland to hold a referendum to choose to remain in Zambia or break away.
He said the people of Barotseland should be respected and deserve no lies because the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 was a legally binding agreement.
Mumba however got it wrong when he said the agreement was signed between the Barotse Royal Establishment, Kenneth Kaunda and the British government.
The correct position is that the agreement was signed by the Litunga in his capacity as head of State of Barotseland while the Prime Minister of Barotseland also signed as a witness. Kenneth Kaunda did not sign in his individual capacity but did so on behalf of Northern Rhodesia; in short the agreement was not between individuals but between two separate countries that were both ruled by the British.
Mumbas’ promise to allow a referendum to resolve the Barotseland issue is not genuine because in his examples of Scotland in the UK and Quebec in Canada it is clear that he already has a preferred outcome of such an exercise were it to be held.
Mumba said the governments of the UK and Canada courageously allowed Scotland and Quebec to hold referendums and the people voted no and his thinking is that Barotse people would also vote to remain in Zambia given a chance.
Mumba should be reminded or educated that the issue of Barotseland is different from Scotland and Quebec because in the case of Barotseland and Zambia a treaty that sort to unite the two different countries was abrogated by Zambia and a referendum can never be held in this case.
What applies now is article 70 of the Vienna Convention on the law of international treaties which Zambia’s Attorney General is aware of hence their reluctance and refusal to appear before international bodies to resolve the matter and commence the disengagement process.
Mumba should also be reminded that while he was away serving his country Zambia as ambassador in Canada, or was he already recalled by then? Barotseland took a courageous and bold move by resolving to revert to her pre-1964 status of being a separate state from Zambia.
Instead of promising a referendum, Mumba should say the BNC resolutions are legally binding and if elected he would commence the disengagement process and payment of reparations due to Barotseland from the 50 years failed ‘marriage.’
My Fellow Compatriots,
The independence struggle for Barotseland has delayed to this far due to certain elements amongst the leadership of activists portraying to be saviors for the people while harboring selfish motives to use the issue for personal monetary gains. This and other selfish vices have characterized the Barotseland independence struggle so far and it leaves much to be accepted as it raises many questions than answers of what type of leaders Barotseland will have in charge of people's affairs! We have witnessed the docile and apathy syndrome amongst Barotse citizenry due to the unpredictable manners being exhibited by the senior citizens brought about by the BRE which in this regard has not being inspirational.
A miscalculated independence calculus can be attributed to a number of mushroomed self proclaimed liberation groups which is a cause of disunity witnessed so far in our struggle, instead of talking with one voice, we end up talking in disjointed knots. This calls for serious consideration of hosting a reconciliation meeting to bring our scattered leaders to one amour of united force. The question is who should be the right persons to host the reconciliation meeting, and how much in terms of cost is needed to have a successful hosting of such meeting?, etc, etc. Avoiding this issue of reconciliation, I can assure you that the year 2015 will end up in limbo, without achieving our desired independence. It is better for BNC to have not declared independence in 2012 than betraying the conscience of the people who are convinced with the legality of the independence call!
If this trend of cowardice, unresolved, unfocused and non patriotic behavior continues, it risks igniting a revolution, as people might think that the BRE are in fact not working for the good and wishes of the people. We will not allow any maneuvers to wash away the efforts and aspirations of our people of Barotseland who have so far experienced loss of their beloved ones due to long detentions in Zambian filthy prisons, maiming and bullet gun shots because of Barotseland's century independence struggle.
May God bless all the people of Barotseland, a happy and prosperous 2015 as we review our failures and successes of 2014 in regard to implementation of Barotseland's independence resolutions of 2012, which declaration was born out of legality.
The Barotseland Freedom Movement (BFM) Office for International Relations demands the immediate release of Barotseland Administrator General, Hon, Afumba Mombotwa and his comrades from Zambian detention. Their arrest and continued incarceration are not only a violation against human rights but a scorn on international law and civility. We believe that the four broke no Zambian or international law just as the acting Zambian President had himself conceded to this fact. Therefore, their detention may only be viewed as barbaric and an insult to Zambia’s claimed democratic values.
The Zambian Government has nothing to worry about the Barotseland issue since it is the one, through its late president, Michael Sata, that had acknowledged the legality of the terminated Barotseland Agreement 1964, and had, in January 2012, gone as far as publishing the same Agreement in Zambian print media to prove its point. It was the same Government that had blessed our first commemoration of the Barotseland shootings in the same year and had further sent its representatives to the now historic March 2012 Barotse National Council Conference at which Barotseland formally and finally accepted Zambia’s 1969 unilateral termination of the same Agreement. Based on that acceptance, the people of Barotseland unanimously declared Barotseland independent of Zambia. Formal communication which included proposed disengagement guidelines regarding this inevitable stand was sent to the same Zambian Government from which there has been no formal response to date; either in opposition or otherwise. The decision that Barotseland arrived at was necessitated by decades of Zambia’s hostility to our calls to honour the Agreement as had been promised before and soon after it was signed by our king, the British and Zambia’s founding father. It is this unwillingness to find a lasting solution to the Barotseland impasse and other poignant factors that led to our decision to revert to our original position and not secede from Zambia as it has been wrongly held by those who have deliberately chosen to remain permanently ignorant of the issue. As a result of this denial, our people have been repeatedly subjected to untold human rights abuses which include killings by successive Zambian governments.
The Zambian Government has further refused to cooperate by, at least, responsibly responding to even the indictment from the African Union Humans and Peoples’ Rights Commission. This and several acts bordering on persecution, intimidation and manipulation only leave us with a belief that the Zambians may be lacking the capacity to legally engage the issue with respect to its exegesis. Malicious arrest of our leaders, as in the Hon Mombotwa and all previous related cases, only prove this point. The Zambian government has miserably failed to even hold any sensible trial based on the claimed accusations. The truth is that such accusations are impossible to prosecute as they do not violate any Zambian law. Instead, it is our people’s rights that are continuously violated, and so, in an outright provocative manner.
Indeed the Zambians have no legal argument against Barotseland’s independence. Their behavior only consolidates our stand and further builds up a much more serious case against them. Not even the regional Southern Africa Development Community would find any reason to support the Zambian argument. Based on these and other facts, we call for the unconditional and immediate release of our leaders because they are being accused for what was publicly decided upon by Barotseland’s highest policy making body, the BNC. The Zambian Government was represented by its most senior officials at that conference. Hon Mombotwa is only acting in obedience to dictates of the BNC Resolution. His arrest and incarceration does not even serve the interests of any sound minded, let alone peace loving, Zambians. As the Zambian Government did in publishing the BA’64, it must now stand up to the challenge of our declared independence in a civilized and not outdated medieval manner of threats and intimidation. The Barotseland issue is an ideal that cannot be put to rest by arrests or killings. Let Hon. Mombotwa and his comrades be released in the name of the Lord. We are for peace and not war. We joined Zambia peacefully and we have left Zambia in the like manner. If the Zambian Government argues to the contrary, let us then have a date in court over this issue and not on drummed up charges of a treason that was actually committed against us. Hon. Mombotwa and company are vulnerable individuals only acting on the BNC’s mandate. Barotseland is our country. We call upon Dr Guy Scott to release our leaders.
The four Barotseland government leaders detained by Zambia, Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa -Administrator General for Royal Barotseland Kingdom, Hon. Likando Pelekelo - secretary of state for Agriculture, Hon. Sylvester Kalima Inambo - secretary of state for Legal Affairs and Hon. Paul Masiyaleti Masiye - Deputy secretary of state for Defence today appeared for mention at Mumbwa magistrate court before Magistrate Matipa at 12hrs.
Magistrate Matipa, who did not say much, immediately adjourned the case to 26th January, 2015, much to the displeasure of a fully parked court of Barotzish and sympathizers.
The detainees were equally displeased with this turn of events, prompting Hon. Afumba to seek permission to speak. In his brief court address he warned that he could not condone such unruly and criminal behavior of illegal prosecution as it amounted to violation of his fundamental human rights upheld internationally.
Meanwhile, Hon. Masiye has claimed that the Zambian government arrested him at the last court hearing because he refused to be a state witness against the other three leaders. Hon. Masiye further explained that the Zambian state police forced him to either be a state witness against the trio or face arrest, but he simply told them that the Barotseland issue is a matter of fact which could not be exchanged for silver . He has since condemned the failure by the DDP to give instructions on the way forward with this case. As such, he has since vowed to go on immediate hunger strike.
Some people talked to also expressed disappointment at Zambia's mistreatment of Barotse leaders and activists who merely exercise the will of the people of Barotseland over this issue, accusing the Zambian government of being aware of its abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement 1964, the only document that could give Zambia the control over Barotseland.
The court adjourned at 12:30 with the accused remaining in custody at Mwembeshi state prison.
The presidential candidate for the Patriotic Front (PF) in Zambia’s January 20 presidential by-election Edgar Lungu has allegedly ‘auctioned’ Barotseland’s oil and gas potential reserves to Nigerian businessmen in exchange for campaign funds.
The Zambian Watchdog reports that the deal was reached at on Saturday in Nigeria and Lungu’s camp is reported to have promised the Nigerian Muslim financiers concessions in mineral rights, oil and gas explorations in North Western, ‘Western’(Barotseland) and Copperbelt regions once he is given power if he wins elections in January.
The deal also gives the Nigerians preferential treatment in hunting concessions in Zambia’s national parks over the short period of five years subject to renewal.
The group ‘supporting’ Lungu is in the Delta region where many violent insurgent groups are funded by the local businessmen.
Lungu’s campaign is reported to have since been boosted by US$2 million dollars from the Nigerians and part of it was used to hire two helicopters and one plane for his campaign movements.
Once again it is common knowledge that life itself is a change. Change is a virtue of life itself such that to deny this fact is actually to deny oneself the quantity and quality of life. We see , for example , that without this change there would be no birthday celebrations; as people grow, without change a spinster would not become a wife nor a bachelor a husband, without change a husband would not become a father or grandfather and a wife a mother nor a grandmother. Without change a child would not become a pupil, student and finally a graduate and worker enjoying promotions all the way. One needs to note that even the funerals we do not desire unfortunately are equally a celebration of change that must happen in this life to everyone, sooner or later. Every moment of our life is characterized by change; from sunrise to sunset and vice versa. To a greater extent this makes life very bearable and enjoyable because this change makes life more rhythmic and meaningful while taking away the monotony that would follow without change.
It is that time of the year, now festive season, when the whole world gets blazing with the gala mood of Christmas and New Year. For Barotseland, however, it is time to preach the change and celebrate it.We salute the role our change agents are playing, even amid the incarcerations of our political heroes behind the prison bars on grounds of our dear change agenda. WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT THIS IS JUST A PASSING PHASE IN OUR CORE BUSINESS FOR BAROTSELAND. BAROTSE INDEPENDENCE IS OUR COLLECTIVE BUSINESS FOR ALL OF US AND NOT JUST A FEW; LET OUR ENEMY KNOW THIS. Some of you are in the prayer band, in response to the global call that was made through the Barotse Post. Thank you so much for your intercessory prayers! The arrested political prisoners will walk the streets of Barotseland again and this time more valiantly than before!
”Brethren continue using your knees; even so this festive season until peace and complete independence prevails in our land so that our people can join the rest of the world who enjoy statehood and nationhood."
Pray also for the safety our brethren in prison from the planned poisoning. It is worth noting that the collective and individual experiences so far encountered are just transient birth pangs or preliminary joys and miniatures of the ultimate celebration that awaits us when our country Bulozi becomes socially and politically independent, besides the legal independence we are already embracing. “Litunga ni lyetu!” It is the surmountable social and political barriers that we still need to resolve to finally get there. YES indeed, soon and very soon our day is coming.
“Malozi, ko baya ko bakuwa, shangwe” remember that it is also that time of the year when amid all this celebration everybody takes stock of the activities done; failures and successes, to position oneself strategically for the ensuing year successfully. It does not matter who you are, individual persons and organizations all get involved in this good exercise in one way or another. You and Team Barotse are no exception. Allow me to ask you these introspective questions regarding this outgoing year 2014: What have been your successes? What have been your failures? What is your way forward to address both the successes and failures encountered? Remember if God still gives you life you have an opportunity and second chance in 2015 to do better than you have done in 2014. Whether it is at home, church, school, work or in community we are all members of the human web and have each one a niche to fulfill – we are not here by accident. As the year 2014 rolled down or up; for the ageing or youth respectively, mistakes were committed and successes scored. It is time to ponder, amend and resolve accordingly.
Allow me to conclude my screed by sharing with you the expert reflections from the world of academia regarding our change.
Cook, C. W. and Hunsaker, P. L. (2001) in their book entitled MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR submit two types of change namely Planned Change and Unplanned Change. The latter is normally referred to as Chaos Theory typical of the 21stcentury, the days of our lives. On the other hand, planned change like the Barotse Change Agenda refers to transformation activities which are planned, intentional and goal oriented. This is the kind of change I wish to submit to you for your 2015 Resolutions. In your life changes of 2015, whether it is a birthday, marriage, graduation, baptism, et cetra, let it be characterized by planning and goal orientation and not chaos.
One of the most popular models of planned change has three stages namely Unfreezing, Movement and Refreezing.
Stage 1: Unfreezing
This is the first stage which focuses on creating the motivation to change and minimize resistance in self or others to change. It takes into account the entire social, biological, psychological, physiological, economic, political and other factors and identifies them as motives to the change initiative. This is unfreezing and is necessary for the whole change process to occur. Like melting water in which heat provides the energy and impetus to unfreezing, the desire and need for change also gives us the energy and force to achieve the change.We have come a long way off from where we started to be belligerent now. Unfreezing ourselves, in January, as the year 2015 unfolds before us will better place each one of us in the face of change celebrations of the ensuing year.
Stage 2: Movement
This stage involves a transitional stage where people or someone let go of their ‘old’ work and take on ‘new work ‘. People, groups and teams are changed, and so is task, structures and technology. This means that in order for anyone to achieve the desired change there must be concerted effort within and without to move. How surprising that some of us will want to change phones, cars, work for instance to others and yet refuse to change their bad past self traits! Without this element of change one becomes an individual who has a need to eat but is not able or willing to stretch out the hand to get bread from a shelf in the kitchen. The result is obvious, for such a person. We are all endowed with capabilities to avoid such experiences in life. Be willing to respond and move with and for the change’s sake. Are you on transfer, promotion, deployment, growing, getting married, on a mission, etc.? Take the year 2015 as a year of change movement.
Stage 3: Refreezing
Once the movement stage is completed, stabilization of the changed aspects of self or organization takes place. Coaching, mentoring and modelling may be used during this stage to reinforce changes as well. Whether it takes the form of induction, welcome home party, kitchen party, dedication or whatever the term refreezing is crucial to the final positive resolution of change agenda. As 2014 dearly joins the historic statistical data take time to refreeze 2014 but unfreeze yourself for 2015 and then move on to achieve those PERSONAL AND BAROTSELAND NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS. AND WHEN YOU WILL HAVE DONE YOUR PART THEN YOU CAN SAFELY AND JOYFULLY SAY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015.Ululuuu, Ululuuu!!
I WISH YOU ALL A JOYOUS, VERY CELEBRATIVE AND PROSPEROUS 2015.
Written by: Lindunda (La Mulonga) Wamunyima
It is with a strange sense of déjà vu as I review the statements of some of the most prominent personalities in the Zambian government in relation to the National policy question that exists between the two sister-countries of Barotseland and Zambia. The Barotseland issue has been characterized by misinformation, misrepresentation and outright ignorance of the facts from our Zambian counterparts. It is simply unacceptable that the people who were suppose to take the lead in resolving this impasse peacefully are the same ones (the PF government) exhibiting high levels of intellectual backwardness about Barotseland's legal facts. What we have witnessed in Zambia for the past two and half year rule of PF are myths, distortions of facts and outright lies in relation to Barotseland national question.
It is no longer possible to deceive neither the people of Zambia nor those of Barotseland on the authenticity of the demands for Barotse nationhood. It is, therefore, most unfortunate that the PF government dismissed the recommendations of the Roger Chongwe Commission, which to us was a referendum in silence. Further, former PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba’s attack on the integrity of Roger Chongwe and members of his Commission for having overstepped their terms of reference was an insult to the many Barotse and Zambians who made submissions.
Dr. Banda, UPND vice president and right hand man to their presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema once said that there were lies going round that if the UPND wins the 2015 elections they will divide the country by allowing ‘Western province’ (Barotseland) to break away. Dr Canisus Banda assured Zambians that the party believes that Zambia was an indivisible unitary state hence it cannot break - whatever that means. Barotseland independence is not in any way considered breaking the country or seceding because Zambia is not monolithic but unitary state that was supposed to be maintained under a union agreement (BA64), which is not the case. In the absence of union treaty (BA64) secession is a misnomer.
The current PF government has so far refused to sign the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) agreement which seeks to have the standoff between Zambia and Barotseland resolved peacefully through the court based in The Hague in Netherlands.
The Zambian government of PF has also ignored the submission that was presented by Barotseland to the Banjul based African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and has not responded as per requirement. How should we still hope for peaceful talks with the people who have openly refused dialogue?
The Zambian government actions are convincingly that Zambia stands not for peace in this regard and it is a call for Barotseland to seek other avenues that will bring the standoff to a conclusion! However, the Barotse Question or the Barotseland statehood, today, merits interrogation as to the validity of the nature of influences that determine the Barotse “people’s wishes” necessitate assertion of self-rule as promulgated in the BA64 or Barotseland's independence declaration of independence of 29th March 2012.
The sooner the Zambian government addressed itself to the demands for attention on Barotseland’s nationhood the better for national security and a region as a whole. No power on earth can stop a people from attaining statehood and political freedom. History is full of examples of people who have contested their subordination and subjugation. Eritrea, Kosovo, Palestine and South Sudan are cases in point.
Barotseland forward in 2015,
By Saleya Kwalombota
In June 27 1890, King Lewanika I and the British South Africa Company signed the Frank Lochner Treaty, which made Barotseland a British protectorate.
NOTE: However, the Treaty to a considerable extent diminished Lozi autonomy. And probably, this lose of autonomy could be the genesis of the quest for self-rule that has been evidenced overtime, with first at colonial times, and subsequent post-colonial time.
In 1907, King Lewanika requested the British Government to accord Barotseland protectorate the same status as Bechuanaland (Botswana) and be removed from North Western Rhodesia and company rule.
However, the request was denied by Lord Selborne, the British High Commissioner in Cape Town.
In 1921, King Yeta III presented Prince Arthur of Connaught, the new High Commissioner, a petition that demanded direct rule of the Imperial Government as a protected native state over the entire territory known as Barotseland North-Western Rhodesia.
In 1932, the Barotse Royal Establishment held discussions with the Governor at the Colonial Office on the quest for Barotseland being a separate Native State. The discussions, again, did not yield the desired quest for self-rule.
In June 1948, the Barotse National Council (BNC) demanded that there should be self-governing status for the Barotseland protectorate.
In 1953 a phantasms of self-rule was attained, when Barotseland was declared a ‘protectorate within the Northern Rhodesia protectorate of Northern Rhodesia'.
In addition, Barotseland’s sovereignty was further recognized in section 112 of the Constitution of Northern Rhodesia.
In 1957, the Barotse Native Government, through its National Council, resolved that Barotseland should secede from the Federation and remain under the protection of Her Majesty’s Government.
In the year, 1960, a demand for secession from Northern Rhodesia and the Federation was instituted by the Barotse National Council (BNC). To which end, it is imputed that Ngambela Imasiku said the following:
“We do not consider ourselves a part of Northern Rhodesia or as a ‘protectorate within a protectorate’. We are a different country and a different people. We have our own government.”
In 1961 Barotseland secession demands submitted to the Colonial Secretary and to the Northern Rhodesia Government mostly affirmed Barotseland’s right to self-rule and independence.
Noteworthy, is that protestations for Barotseland self-rule continued up to Zambia’s independence and even after the promulgation of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 due to the post colonial government of Zambia's failure to live to the terms and conditions of the treaty of 1964.
In 2012, however, the Barotse National Council (BNC) made a historic move that declared Barotseland territory in its entirety as it was in 1900, independent.
It is observed that the struggle for Barotseland independence has always required the consolidated efforts of the Litungaship as an institution to accomplish the vision of our forefathers, that of having self-governing territory.
Barotseland was destined to exist as a separate country, not as an integral part of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia).
It is, therefore, puzzling to note the docile attitude of the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and Mulonga in regard to Barotseland independence struggle. For instance, we have not yet heard of any public position statement from the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) in regard to the recent arrests and eventual incarceration of His Excellence Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Hon. Pelekelo and Hon. Kalima of the Barotseland transitional government by the Zambian government, three weeks after their arrest.
Sadly, even the BNFA under Hon. Clement W. Sinyinda, who claim to be ‘umbrella’ group of all liberation movements in Barotseland, has conspicuously kept quiet and one is left to wonder whether the 2012 BNC resolutions have been invalidated!
If not, we need to draw our strength from the past Litungas who courageously fought to secure the autonomous status of Barotseland, even before the world could have Public international law in force.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.
By Saleya Kwalombota
“An opportunity freely given may be misused”, a feature written by Hon. Wamu brought tears to my sad eyes. Tears; not of hopelessness but of sadness at how things have played out since the March 2012 BNC Conference. I sincerely hope that what I am going to write in response will answer some of the questions posed and help shed some light in the minds and hearts of those among our people who may be losing hope.
Firstly, I am not surprised at what has unfolded thus far since that historic 2012 day in our modern history. My main concern is what would happen to our people and our country if credible action was not taken soon. We can no longer live a life of make believe clouded by lies and wild imaginations where Barotseland is concerned. Our enemy’s reaction towards us only shows how serious the Barotseland issue is. Starting off as we did with the Barotseland Freedom Movement and Linyungandambo was the best way we could have stood up to our nationhood challenge. However, we missed an earlier opportunity for unity merely due to mistrust mixed up with past misunderstandings among the senior cadres. Here I refer only to those who believed in the immediate and total independence of Barotseland like most of us do. On the flanks were those who thought they knew even better than everyone else and, for a while, had exclusively negotiated for a restoration of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 clandestinely, only coming out to the masses in a calculated manner whenever they needed signatures for their exclusively worked out petitions. This latter group, largely made up of Lozi people from Lusaka and enjoying unequaled support from the Barotse Royal Establishment, was always against Barotseland’s total and immediate independence; particularly if that independence did not have them at the helm of control. They had sworn to fight, at all costs, against our external self-determination even if it meant selling us who believe differently to the enemy. These are the same people who advised BRE to force BFM to work with them; a venture that almost killed the struggle had we not momentarily broken rank and reached out to the actual owners of the matter, the Lozi masses in a bold manner.
Although we managed to make some irreversible gains, aided by the emergency of Linyungandambo, leading to the 2012 BNC, the ‘restorationists’ reappeared on the scene with an unworkable and irrelevant “alliance” which they only used as a front to push their own selfish agenda. This “alliance” was meant to “unite” activist groups and work towards our independence despite the fact that the BNC had already declared us free and that its resolutions only called for the formation of a Barotseland Government (not an alliance) to lead the proceedings of disengagement with the Zambians. As has now turned out, the “alliance”, was only a paradox designed to divide us, slow and eventually kill the very BNC declaration. We are presently in this, seemingly, limbo and confusion all because of the involvement of a small but very powerful group of those who believe in a restoration of an Agreement that never even operated.
I trust that the foregoing does answer, even in part, some of the valuable question posed by Hon. Wamu.
It is immaterial for Zambia to understand the 2012 BNC resolution if we the ones who came up with it do not comprehend it in the first place. The people of Barotseland are the only ones who can emphasize (binding) its seriousness. Zambians and the international community can only follow.
Concerning the king’s “silence”, this writer was reliably informed that His Majesty the Litunga had called upon the Zambian acting President to unconditionally release Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and the rest. Given the confusion and the power struggle currently taking place in that country, one would believe that Dr. Guy Scott is almost powerless to a greater extent. If it were not so, our leaders were going to be released as soon as it was learned that there had been an attempt to kidnap them for diabolical reasons. It is actually reported that Dr. Scott had even articulated that Hon. Mombotwa and company did not commit any crime. Why would they still be detained then and made to appear in Zambian courts without any supporters, relatives or well wishers? I believe the king has and is still possibly doing something about it although it is impossible to count on BRE given their track record.
It will not be far fetched to state that BNFA is actually NOT what it represents itself to be. This is the “alliance” I refer to above. It is actually not an alliance but an extension of ‘restorationist’ group with a self explanatory name. That is why they would not hesitate to insult the victimized people of Barotseland, labeling them the “semi-illiterate hiding in holes holding the wrong end of the stick”. That is not talk one would expect from a unitary body. Recently there were some activists who broke away from the BNFA and formed a “congress”. This only shows that the BNFA is simply not for Barotseland’s independence and some of its members will not hesitate to betray their own brothers. This is in spite of some acknowledgeable positive efforts the group has made. However, we shall do ourselves good service not to count the BNFA as being genuinely bent on the BNC resolution because not everyone claiming to be in the struggle is sincerely in it.
About participating in the Zambian elections; honestly speaking, we do sympathize with them on what has befallen their presidency and we pray that all goes well with their elections. However, we realistically have nothing much to do with Zambian elections based on the 2012 BNC Resolution. After all, we have never benefited from whatever government sits in Lusaka. This is a fact. That is why we are the poorest compared to other Zambian regions. This is also much against Clause 9 of the BA’64. Lozis who will participate will do so due to fear or their own selfish ends, period.
We believe that a lot has been done by the Royal Barotseland Government, Linyungandambo, BFM and actually by the BNFA too. It is only that seemingly, the latter is still working towards its selfish goal. However, a number of countries are now aware of our situation with Zambia. Anyone who would even attempt to reverse our declared independence will be attempting to bring a catastrophe that we have thus far managed to avoid. The BNC has never reversed its resolutions and it will not do so with the 2012 one.
I also personally have a weird belief that we find ourselves in this predicament today because of our fore-fathers’ sins. I also believe that God has heard our prayers, like the children of Israel (Exodus 3:7-9) and has forgiven us because we have asked Him to do so (1John 1:9). However, we also need to be intelligent enough to know the power of unity and perseverance. A nation’s freedom does not normally come easy. Much has been done already and against all odds, we shall soon be independent in the actual meaning of the word. We need to break down the walls that divide us.
I believe that in convening the 2012 BNC conference, His Majesty the Litunga did all that he could. He actually voiced his support for an independent Barotseland when we met him on 24th January 2012 in Kashandi. He said it was all going to depend on the BNC’s outcome and that he hoped that that year’s Kuomboka ceremony was going to be the happiest. The king being sincere or not, the fact is that Barotseland is now supposed to stand united on our independence regardless of who calls himself Administrator General or Prime Minister. The enemy only takes advantage when we are divided. We shall hold the Zambians accountable for all crimes committed against our people. No human being dies without God’s knowledge. God will always judge for spilt innocent blood. Barotseland is ours and we have nothing to fear. We shall not lose hope because from where some of us stand, we see our day. The songs and dances are already prepared.
Kozo. (Shuwanga Shuwanga)
The recent developments in Barotseland call for a rethink and change to the approach in Barotseland’s quest for total independence.
It is clear that Zambia does not respect or recognize the 2012 BNC resolutions and will never let go of Barotseland peacefully just like Barotseland joined Zambia in 1964.
From 1965 when Zambia through Kaunda begun to dismantle the Barotseland Agreement, barely a year after it was signed, to the present time 50 years later, several Barotse nationals have been arrested and killed yet not a single one has ever been successfully tried and jailed on the issue.
Those that are jailed have always been incarcerated for lesser and trumped up charges of riotous behavior and publication of false information, whatever it means.
The Zambian authorities know very well that they cannot handle the matter before a neutral arbiter and continue holding Barotseland hostage because courts do not order estranged spouses to continue in a broken marriage.
They have resorted to pretending that all is well so as to mislead their citizens and the international community while secretly they eliminate dissenting Barotseland voices through poisoning.
Several gallant Barotseland men and women in the struggle for Barotseland’s freedom who at one time found themselves in Zambian prisons are dying at an alarming rate and this will even be worse if not stopped.
Our approach of dialogue and peaceful disengagement won’t work, how can one dialogue with people who won’t listen to you and do not even know what disengagement means in this situation?
The very person who led us in this situation, Kaunda said about a year ago that if you fight for freedom from the British you use dialogue but if you seek freedom from any other power you use your gun.
We should never be cheated that we are at peace; we are already at war because the enemy is killing us and they are determined to force us into submission to their strange and uncivilized way of doing things.
International law is very clear on the consequences of termination of a treaty. Article 70 of the Vienna Convention states that ‘Unless the treaty, otherwise provides or the parties agree, the termination of a treaty under its provisions or in accordance with the Convention;
a. “Releases the parties from any obligation to, further, perform the treaty.”
It is becoming a highly considered view that time has come to consider to pursue our struggle for independence differently as it is now clear that we are not dealing with Bishops and Pastors but highly dangerous and violent pretenders hiding under the guise of a peaceful Christian nation.
They will probably only respond to our quest for freedom once they see and hear us speak the language they understand – the offensive!
KI NAAKO, LIYWA LINEKI (TIME HAS COME AND IT IS NOW)