“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)
“The sovereignty of Barotseland is not a matter of illusion or favor but of law as such the fight for independence is a noble and honorary thing that is backed by legal documents.”
It is now time for the people of Barotseland to get united and fight for the total independence of their God given territory and serve the territory from being annexed by Zambia, otherwise posterity will judge us harshly. The docile attitude will not serve the desired goal of having independent Barotseland unless we become focused or no one will ever take us seriously. I doubt if it is the desire of the Malozi to continue to be exploited and trampled upon by small men with small brains!
My fellow compatriots, we shall never rest until we reclaim what is rightfully ours for our children and our children's children. We will not be shaken or intimidated by the on-going arrests of Barotseland transition government leaders by Zambia, for executing the mandate and the will of people.
The history of Barotseland has always been shrouded in secrecy by the rogue state of Zambia so as to deceive successive generations, however, we should note that the following treaties, recognize Barotseland as a separate territory and not as a province of Zambia that should remain enslaved and subjected to untold misery by denying the Lozi nationals their inalienable right to self-determination:-
1.The Lochner Concession of June 1890
2.The Lawley Concession(A) of June 1898
3.The Barotseland - NorthWestern Rhodesia Order- in - Council of 1899
4.Concession B of 1900
5.Concession Agreement of August 11,1909
6.The Northern Rhodesia Order- in- Council of 1911, which amalgamated North Eastern Rhodesia and Barotseland North-Western Rhodesia into Northern Rhodesia.
7.The Northern Rhodesia Oder-in-council of 1924(British Govt Rule take over from B.S.A.C)
8.The Barotse Fund ordinance Act of 1925 , in terms of which a special Fund was established to finance the running of Barotseland Government
9.The Barotse Native Authority Ordinance and Barotse Native Courts Ordinance, both of 1936
10.Special Order-in-council of 1953
11.Sections 57 and 80 of the Northern Rhodesia Order-in-council of 1962, and sections 59 and 112 of the Self -Governing Constitution of 1963, which both affirms and recognizes Barotseland as a separate state within Northern Rhodesia; and
12.The Zambia Independent Act and the Zambia independent Order of 1964 which gave recognition to the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
Why is Zambia so adamant that even the existence of historical and legal facts at her disposal cannot change her policy towards Barotseland? The sovereignty of Barotseland is not a matter of illusion or favor but of law as such the fight for independence is a noble and honorary thing that is backed by legal documents. Therefore the present generation should actualize the desired independence of Barotseland, otherwise we are doomed as a nation and the next generation will never forgive us.
An appeal to all Lozi nationals home and abroad is to identify yourselves with your genesis and turn out in good numbers to give solidarity and patriotism to the noblemen of Barotseland transitional government held by Zambia on trumpet up charges of treason felony, on 6th January, 2015 at Mumbwa magistrate court where they will appear for mention pending instructions from Zambia's DPP for committal to the High court.
We acknowledge that independence is not given on a silver plate by the oppressor but demanded by the oppressed even in face of the barrel of a gun.
Tukongote, kopano ki mata.
By Saleya Kwalombota
Reading Hon. Shuwanga s piece of writing should make all those who truly love Barotseland to raise their heads to review the post BNC 2012 resolution events – the way forward, the killings, the factions and the arrests. BNC 2012 blessed by the King of Barotseland surely gave confidence to all of us Rotse people.
“Mr. Sata who made the March 2012 Barotse National Council Conference possible. He had promised to accept any outcome. An irreversible decision to be independent of Zambia was unanimously arrived at.” Hon Shuwanga
Barotseland activities are all based on the belief of BNC 2012 resolutions. Putting Zambia aside, Barotseland should sought issues out.
I have the following questions;
1. Are we as Barotseland understanding and respecting the BNC 2012 resolution?
2. Does Zambia understand it either?
3. Is the BNC 2012 resolution binding on both Zambia and Barotseland?
4. Why is the King and the Kuta quiet over the current arrest of Hon. Afumba and others?
5. Why is BNFA, if truly an umbrella of all groupings also quiet?
6. The Zambian Government now does not even allow any one going near the court just to listen or support our own blood. Will this continue and people watch dance and vote for them?
7. BNC 2012 resolution was the strength of all Barotseland, BUT, count how many people have lost their lives over this issue? Some are still dying today from suspected poisoning. Is this going to continue?
8. People are dying, arrested, families displaced, children and women are suffering, people live in fear. How do the leaders of BNFA, LINYUNGANDAMBO, THE KUTA (BRE) AND THE KING feel?
9. Will Barotseland be a place without human rights?
10. “The late president had clearly articulated his willingness to allow Barotseland go free of Zambia if only our elders supported such a conclusion”. Is any elder in support?
11. Is it possible that the Barotse leadership can issue a statement and its respected by Zambia?
12. Is every one claiming to be in struggle really in it?
13. Will Barotseland happily participate in the Zambian presidential elections in the light of BNC 2012 resolution?
14. Are we one, two or three?
15. Is the BNC 2012 resolution closer to be reversed?
16. What sin have Barotseland committed which cannot be forgiven?
Hon. Afumba is very much in danger of poisoning by Zambian assigned plants within the prison, latest reports have revealed.
“The information received again is in agreement with the earlier one. The source is from OP (Zambia Office of the president) personnel, operating from State House, who claims to have attended the meeting that resolved to hire mercenaries to eliminate the general (Administrator General Afumba) through food poisoning, or poisoning the blankets, or drinking water.”
According to this report, the mission timeline is 7 days, and when accomplished the trio (Afumba, Pelekelo and Kalima) would then be released on a nolle.
The personalities named and planted to carry out this mission by OP is named to be Masiye and Mashekwa who were recently arrested in very un clear and suspicious circumstances at Afumba’s latest court appearance, which has since be rubbished as a fake arrest, only done to plant the two in Mwembeshi prison close to Afumba and other Barotseland leaders and also to hoodwink and deceive unsuspecting people.
The purported OP meeting, where this scheme was designed, took place on 30th Nov 2014 way before the arrest of the leaders took place.
The source further prayed for the media to report and expose this;
“I hereby reaffirm the issue of the safety of Hon. Afumba I brought to your attention earlier on to our media platform, however due to the unfolding information of the planned evil scheme against Hon. Afumba, I am troubled to ignore or keep silent over the just received information too. I would have used Zambian watchdog to have this issue published in order to curtail the planned evil before it is done, but looking at the issue at hand it is suitable to be handled first by our own media.” Said the source to Barotseland Intelligence, who in confirmation have authorized the publication of this report.
In the grand scheme of thwarting the Barotseland independence, it has now been decided to eliminate the front leaders, and using some activists as mercenaries in exchanged for money. Some named compromised top leader belonging to a competing liberation movement as well as some greedy BRE indunas have also been named to be collaborators in this attempt to have Hon. Afumba and other transitional government leaders eliminated permanently.
Before his arrest, Masiye’s movements and activities were suspected to be fully funded and protected by the OP.
Reports that Patriotic Front President, Mr. Edgar Lungu, had sent security personnel to Mwembeshi maximum prison to kidnap unjustly arrested Linyungandambo leaders are not only of grave concern to the people of Barotseland but also provide an informed idea of the man who may become the next president of Zambia. What has so far been reported about Mr. Lungu since the passing of President Michael Sata only suggest that Zambia may be led by a man who could be equated to the Idi Aminis and Sani Abachas of the gone-by days. It is apparent that Honourable Afumba and the comrades he was arrested with are not safe at all.
Perhaps to emphasize this feeling is a report on Zambian Watch Dog that alleges Mr. Lungu’s knowledge of the cold blooded murder of Zambia Air Force Deputy Commander, General Muliokela Muliokela, a Lozi, and Colonel Mwene by ZAF Commander Erick Chimene and former Director Intelligence Xavier Chungu. More worrying still is the fact that the acting Zambian President, Mr Guy Scott, has clearly stated that the Barotse quartet committed no crime and yet he, as the head of government, has not used his authority to have them released. As if to confirm our concerns, Mr. Masiye Musialeti and others who attended the court hearings in Mumbwa were suddenly arrested. This is nothing else but deliberate provocation. These grim concerns may explain why the Barotse leaders were taken to Lusaka, far away from their relatives and comrades. Acts like these can only be associated with tyrants who have no slightest respect for human rights and cannot be acceptable in this age; worse still in a society that claims to be Christian and one of the beacons of democracy in Africa. The Bible teaches that God will judge all unrighteousness regardless of whether one believes or not. It does not change what the Creator Has ordained in eternity (Hebrews 9:27).
History has always proved harsh to all so called leaders who transgress other people’s rights. We have not forgotten those who murdered our people in cold blood in 2011. Kabayo Kabayo and the bodies of other Barotse activists who died in Zambian prisons or after their release from jail will be exhumed and be subjected to forensic post mortem to determine the actual cause of their death. We have not forgotten the missing five and we shall leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of what became of them. Culprits will eventually be taken to the International Criminal Court. Mr. Lungu and any other power hungry Zambian leaders who may want to go and join Pierre Bemba and the rest at The Hague are at liberty to do so. No one will ever get away with crimes committed against our people.
The late Mr. Sata was sensible enough to understand the gravity of the Barotseland impasse. He had clearly stated to us on 28th December 2011 that he never wished to be taken to The Hague at any time, hence his unconditional release of all Barotse activist and the setting up of a commission of inquiry. Any aspiring Zambian president who would want to violate Lozi people’s rights must not be encouraged by the Uhuru Kenyatta case in that the Kenyan and Barotseland positions cannot be similar in any way. Indicted Zambians will have no one to bribe or intimidate on the Barotseland case.
It was Mr. Sata who had advised us to meet our elders in order to map out the way forward on Barotseland. The late president had clearly articulated his willingness to allow Barotseland go free of Zambia if only our elders supported such a conclusion. Although his promises turned out to be like the ones Pharaoh had earlier made to Moses, it was essentially Mr. Sata who made the March 2012 Barotse National Council Conference possible. He had promised to accept any outcome. An irreversible decision to be independent of Zambia was unanimously arrived at. It is, therefore, short sightedness and irresponsible for any Zambian authorities to victimize our peace loving people in this manner. Detaining Hon. Mombotwa is not in the interest of peace loving Zambians either. Whoever authorized the arrest did so for his own selfish and diabolical ends. Being elections time, one cannot avoid believing that the arrests were all made for political mileage sake. That will not work.
It is, furthermore, a paradox of some sort for the acting president to announce that Hon. Mombotwa and company had committed no crimes and yet perpetuating their detention. Such actions only expose the incompetence of post Michael Sata Patriotic Front and its incapability to progressively rule Zambia.
Hon. Afumba Mombotwa must be released forthwith for the sake of peace and progressive disengagement with Zambia. Barotseland is a free nation. Zambian presence in Barotseland is only an occupation against our will. Mr. Scott, who is actually a Lozi by birth since he was born in Livingstone, must exercise his prerogative and free Hon. Mombotwa and company before power hungry wolves bent on anarchy add more calamities to the Zambian presidency. Barotseland will not reverse the March 2012 BNC resolution.
Afumba and three others’ Court Appearance Switched twice to Evade Media as Zambia police arrest people attending his court hearing.
Honorable Masiye Masialeti, a member of Hon. Afumba’s Barotseland interim government has been arrested this afternoon, along side undisclosed others, at Mumbwa Magistrate Court shortly after today’s court proceedings at which hearing Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and his co-accused Likando Pelekelo and Hon Kalima Sylvester appeared for mention. The trio were arrested by Zambia police on the 5th of December 2014 at Kasaya after they had visited Senior Chief Inyambo of Mwandi in Sesheke, and on their way to Livingstone.
The police arrested Masiye Masialeti and others after they attended the case but it is not clear what charge has been slapped on them.
Masiye is one of the 84 people who were rounded up and arrested in August of 2013 after a video of the swearing-in of Afumba Mombotwa as Administrator General of the Barotseland transitional government was circulated on popular media.
Zambia defense Minister, then Geoffrey Mwamba, had alleged that Afumba’s swearing-in video was uploaded from Masiye’s house at Sioma High School and after he was released he (Masiye) was fired from the civil service.
On 1st November last year Masiye and all the treason accused were released after the Director of Public Prosecutions entered a nolle prosequei.
Meanwhile, the case that was transferred from Mungu Magistrate court to Lusaka Magistrate court was today dramatically heard at Mumbwa Magistrate court without prior notice, all in an effort to black-it out from media coverage. While some section of the media went to Lusaka Magistrate court or Mungu magistrate court the case was actually heard at Mumbwa magistrate court at 14:00hrs, at which hearing the matter was adjourned to 6th January 2015 for mention.
The accused have all been slapped with treason felony punishable by death under Zambian laws if proven guilty.
There is now heightened fear for the safety of those arrested as well as many other Barotseland interim government officials and Barotseland independence activists in general as the Zambian government has proven ruthless and heavy handed on the people of Barotseland questing for self-determination. The evening of 19th December 2014, Barotseland Intelligence reported a foiled attempted kidnapping of Hon. Afumba from Mwembeshi maximum prison on the pretext that the Zambian minister of home affairs, Edgar Lungu, had instructed for his release when in fact Mr. Guy Scot, the Zambian acting president had not even signed for such an instruction. The plan was to allegedly have him (Afumba) harmed if not killed.
As it is no Zambian media, either radio or television was able to cover today's court proceeding as it was done in such a secretive manner.
The concern about Barotseland's security should now take center stage because Barotseland has the right legal framework to do so, therefore, it's right time now for Barotseland to constitute a national Defense Force to defend the territory from external threats. This time around Zambia will be held responsible should this issue spill into armed conflict, if Zambia persist to control Barotseland territory contrary to the dictates of public international law.
Even before recognition Barotseland state has the right to defend its integrity and independence. For any country to effectively and authoritatively command control of her territory, it should have established defense force. According to Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States Signed at Montevideo, 26 December 1933 and Entered into Force, 26 December 1934 article 3 starts that ,
"The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states. Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts."
Therefore, there is nothing wrong for Barotseland to exercise her right under the Rights and Duties of States by establishing national defense force to stand against external threats especially from Zambia the occupying force in Barotseland territory.
Legal interpretations and knowledge are at our disposal, to enable us to stand against Zambia's uncalled violation of Barotseland's right to self-rule. States signatory to the Geneva Conventions undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the Conventions in all circumstances.
The Barotseland transitional government through the Acting Administrator General is expected to take appropriate action to take Zambia to the international Court of Justice if Zambia thinks they can use domestic Zambian jungle laws to hold the people of Barotseland captive. The question at hand now is how far the Barotseland government is prepared to stop this extra territorial operations by Zambia? We understand the defense force requires good funding to procure necessary military hardware and to sustain personnel through salaries and training.
Of course with the efforts put so far these are non challenges for Barotseland as a state to constitute a defense force.
The people, who are the citizens of Royal Barotseland, have already spoken and opted for independence through the BNC of 29th March 2012 , whose resolutions insisted on an urgent government formation and peaceful independence struggle to prevail even if it faces stiff opposition from the occupying force.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 15 (2)) stipulates
“No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his Nationality nor denied the Right to change his Nationality.”
Indeed we are Barotzhish, and as nationals of Barotseland, we are ready to defend our country if pushed too far.
Zambia's persistent and violation of various international conventions on the rights of people to self-determination is regrettable, and it will cost Zambia in compensation to pay Barotseland for the lost economic opportunities for five decades.
The recent arrest of the Administrator General Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and two transitional government officials may best be seen as the arrest of an ex‐diplomats of a foreign State, and is viewed as hostile acts on the part of Zambia against unarmed people of Barotseland.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.