Editor General, Barotseland Post
Let it be known that Barotseland is the World and Africa’s Newest State as such Barotseland has a right to legislate and take control of her own affairs. The Barbaric behavior exhibited by Zambia recently by arresting people of Barotseland government is condemned in the strongest terms and we will go any far to stop this nonsense.
The people of Barotseland will no longer be incarcerated, we say no to the scourge of slavery, servitude and poundage through the language Zambia understands as reflected in the press release of the acting Administrator General Dr. M.Situmbeko. As citizens of Barotseland we have made commitment to defend the territory from extra territorial operation by Zambia, trusting that we have followed the requirements of public international law to the latter. We call upon all Indunas, Headmen, and Lozis who are in political authority home and abroad to observe the demand on the final approach to total independence by defeating Zambia our enemy number one. Especially, as we are ready to put an end to Barotseland impasse because there is nothing sweeter than self-determination and freedom which is a God given gift.
Appreciating the foregoing , it would be the worst act of treachery and betrayal against the tenets of Barotse National Council for the people of Barotseland to fail to secure the territory from invaders (Zambia) as per 2012 BNC resolutions which expressed urgency for total independence and by the act of declaration, Zambia has no general power to pass legislation taking effect outside their own territory. Accordingly, as the people of Barotseland we are entitled to secure self-determination and freedom by any action that will compel Zambia out of Barotseland state without any further delay. Barotseland is African 's newest state and has insignia of state apparatus such as flag, national anthem, emblem , transitional government, cabinet and the Church (Church of Barotseland). Moreover, Zambia has no jurisdiction over an independent state of Barotseland. Therefore, let all those arrested over Barotseland released without any further delay.
I will end up in ALuyana eulogy:- "Mufa na saye ni muteebe, ta liokwe ni mufa na mbuyuyu mu kanwa", meaning, “Blessed is that who is prepared to die for his possession like a Goose is ready to die with a grain in its gully or arroyo".
Kozo, Litunga Ni lyetu.
By Saleya Kwalombota
I heard a voice say this to me, “can you ask among the learned lawyers of this country why the three youths (Mr. Boris Muziba, Mr. Nayoto Mwenda, and Mr. Sikwibele Wasilota) are serving a three years jail sentence when the High Court has ruled that it is not an offence to publish false news in a democratic dispensation in Zambia.” I looked around to see who was speaking to me, then I realised it was the voice of the conscience, that inner “policeman” who always urges us to do what is right and avoid what is wrong. Whenever there is no justice in the society, the people suffer, especially the poor. The Social teaching of the Catholic Church is clear on this, We need to show Solidarity, because we are our "brothers' and sisters' keepers", wherever they live. We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. Learning to practice the virtue of solidarity means learning that "loving our neighbour." Those three youths who were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to three years imprisonment should now be released with compensation. Among our learned men and women in law I beg you in the name of God to use the law you have learnt to secure the freedom of those youths. A friend of mine a lawyer said this to me,
“The law is clear on the freedom of the press in Zambia. All of us including u and I are free to inform and publicise any form of news. We can report on the happenings in the country. Further, we have the freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution [Article 20 (1)]. Given the facts you have given, I wonder why the youths are locked up. That is a clear violation of human rights and an arbitrary use of powers. Given the law I have alluded to, the youths are at liberty to report on anything. However, if what they report on is malicious and turns out to be untrue then they will be liable for defamation. Defamation Father is not a criminal offence, it is a civil offence whose penalty if found liable are damages to be paid to the injured party. The only criminal offence related to Defamation is the defamation of the President.”
My position is that the youths should be released immediately. The Catholic Church teaches that “that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met.” If they reported on an issue in a malicious way, let he who is injured move to the Mongu High Court. What the authorities are committing is an abrogation of rights. Let someone stand up for what is right, especially for our youths! Why are our brothers still in prison? Where is Justice? Where is the integrity in this incarceration? What are they still doing in prison in the clear land mark light of the judgment of the High Court? The three Nayoto Mwenda, 32, Boris Muziba, 36 and Sikwibele Wasilota, 33 were charged and convicted with the offence of publication of false news with intent to alarm and cause fear or to disturb public peace contrary to Section 67 (1) Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia. Why are the human rights groups quiet? Is this not what God condemns in Holy Book of Amos 2:7 “The trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.” In another text, God says to Amos to tell the authorities, “you who turn Justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground.” He further boldly told them, “you oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of Justice in the courts” Amos 5:2. Someone may say, ‘priest what is your interest in all this?’ This is our divine calling, to be prophets to the nations, to stand for justice, it is the reason we are ordained. One such example is of St. Eugene de Mazenod, a French priest and founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate whose congregation believe in the charism of “preaching the Gospel to the poor”....to seek out in a special way “in the lives of the most abandoned in their many faces and voices, and struggle with these...to safeguard human dignity and respond to the calls of Justice and integrity....”
By Rev. Fr. Chanakila Muyunda,
Santa Croce University, Rome, Italy
As a concerned citizen and servant of God I call upon the Zambian Government through the acting President Dr. Guy Scott to immediately release Mr. Afumba Mombotwa, Mr. Likando Pelekelo, Mr. Kalima, Mr. Boris Muziba, Mr. Nayoto Mwenda, and Mr. Sikwebele Wasilota.
Remember and Do not forget the advise that the Catholic Bishops did give to the nation clearly, they had advised that the “unrest in the western province was caused by a perception that the province is marginalized in matters of development,” this am convinced of having lived there for 35yrs. The Catholic Bishops went further to state that the people of Barotseland were questioning how Zambia was being governed socio-economically and politically.
The issues of Barotseland can only be solved through honesty dialogue between the parties concerned as recommended by the National Convention on the drafting of the New Constitution and also in the pastoral letter of 2012 and solidarity statement of ZEC in February 2011. To solve the issue of Barotseland Agreement, the government must quickly remember the advise they were given by the Church and put it into practice. The Church had advised the government to do five things, namely:
1). Release the Rodger Chongwe Commission Report,
2). Work out an amicable solution towards a clearly spelt out strategy of addressing the issue once and for all,
3). That the parties involved (The Government, The people of Western province, The Barotse Royal Establishment, and the organised activist group) must embrace the spirit of dialogue by coming together to find a lasting solution,
4). Other Stake holders should be involved in this process,
5). Stake holders to demonstrate their commitment to peace by refraining from violence, intimidation, or use of force as a means of achieving their objectives.
I strongly believe that arresting and imprisoning people on this issue creates an infinite cycle of hatred, violence, desire for revenge, and apathy towards the development of the people. The arrests just hardens hearts and makes all stake holders to harden their positions. At the end of it all, there is no winner as correctly stated by the Church. Enough blood has been spelt already on this issue, and memories of it feel the people of God with tears, no one single group wants this cycle to continue and we need our leadership to step up and provide a lasting solution.
Zambia is not the only Nation in the World where such calls of “Self Determination” are heard. We have an example of Quebec in Canada, Scotland in United Kingdom, and Catalan in Spain, etc. We can learn with great humility from these Nations. Despite the fact that they have the best military hardware, the best air force, the best well trained special forces, and the best well trained and equipped police force, they have not used force to suppress the calls, that’s what true leadership is! True leadership entails courage to enter into fruitful dialogue whatever issue arises.
At the heart of it all, we should all know that we are brothers and sisters. We need to love each other because we are one people created in the image of God. Let Love lead! Let us exercise good judgement. Let us behave in a responsible way so that each of us can effectively contribute positively to this process. What we all want is development and peace. We all have to ask ourselves the question: What can I do to bring about peace, healing, reconciliation, and respect of the rights of others? Dr. Guy Scott can initiate this process which will be completed by whoever wins the presidential elections. I wish this could be done before Christmas Day.
I invite my fellow Christians to pray with me for our leaders.
I submit herein my own views regarding this very dear subject that has overwhelmed our motherland since March 2012. In particular, the recent and current developments in and around Barotseland cannot be sidestepped without comment.
First and foremost I wish to reiterate that our change agenda which culminated into the 2012 BNC resolution is final and certain indeed. However, we still keep hearing and seeing dissident behaviour from those among us and purportedly with us, in our struggle for total Barotse Independence Agenda. With the upcoming presidential by-elections in Zambia it will not be surprising to see more of our people aligning themselves especially with the party that evidently is promising to take away the majority vote and form the next Zambian government, following the demise of the late president there. What is more heartbreaking is the fact that it is mostly the seasoned politicians at home choosing to play the role of Judas Iscariot. To me this means that all Barotse youth should own the total independence agenda seriously without depending much on the elderly some of whom are seeking milk and honey in the Zambian political arena.
To our leaders, I would like you to take comfort and wisdom in a quote from one scholar on management Tetenbaum (1998) who asserts that “ to be a successful manager in the 21st century……calls for a new mental model of manager, one suited to the world of chaos” (p 31). He further adds that if the manager fails in this regard they will “find themselves leading their organisations into oblivion” (Tetenbaum, 1998:31). The 21st century is well known as a chaos century in the school of management because chaos seems to be its most dominant characteristic norm.
Much has been said before in preceding articles, on the subject of Barotse change; as to why resistance to change by both individuals and organisations. I even shared with readers some of the strategies useful in overcoming resistance to change at the discretion of our leaders as follows:
- Education and communication programmes. We appreciate greatly what our media houses are doing to this effect, under the daunting circumstances they are operating in. With funds availed by all well-wishers and progressive people more will be done for the same cause.
- Participation. It is the duty of all of us to participate in whatever way possible; networking with our neighbours, praying for leadership and Barotse and other methods, including donating time, intellect, money or any other resource of worth. This is the best way I believe for one to show patriotism and not when the independence project is already delivered or realised
- Facilitation and support; for instance our interim government needs this from us all. Our own adage states that “munwana ulimunw’i a ukoni ku tuba nda” . The equivalent English idiom says “two heads are better than one”. That is why TUKONGOTE WA MWANAA NONGOLO and KOPANO KI MAATA, all familiar maxims.
- Negotiation; with whoever matters or stands in our way to ultimate freedom of independence. The Barotse Government is busy at it realizing that it is an important ingredient to our total package of securing what is ours – Barotse nation.
- Manipulation; where need be to actualize our goal. Actually, without really connoting any negativity, manipulation here looks at the strategic planning which is crucial to all of us not just to our leaders.
- Coercion; sometimes this is necessary like the Lord God dealt with lot and his family from Sodom. Some of our people need to be rescued the Lot’s way from the stupor of their utter shock and disbelief of the Barotse nation status quo, or even deculturation process we went through during the 50 years period of slavery in Zambia. Otherwise, these are the same people who will blame it on the leadership someday for not providing the needed leadership.
Otherwise, so far so good as our leadership continues to show commitment and skill in employing these strategies to make the new nation of Barotse a learning environment. However, there is always room for improvement as mortals and I think we need to intensify our effort in these areas now more than has been the case so far, as need may be.
JUST HOW CAN WE CREATE THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN BAROTSELAND?
Let me take a bit of your time, dear reader, to expatiate on the subject of Barotse Change and Learning Environment. Among other responsibilities our leaders have is to ensure the transformation of Barotseland into a LEARNING ORGANIZATION which provides for risk taking, exploration and toleration of failure. In other words, we all know that as Barotse nation we are divided into three categories in as far as this change agenda is concerned. These categories include the risk averse, risk taking and the risk neutral. The risk averse includes all those individual Barotzish wishing to identify themselves with Zambians for various economic, social reasons and political gains while shunning the duty call at home kwa Bulozi. The risk neutral are the indifferent and diffident citizens who do not have a decided stand but are ready to flow with the majority. Last but not the least are the risk takers in the likes of all our brave and resilient leaders in their varied types (From mwa lapa to Namuso and Interim Barotse Government).
Creating a learning organization out of Barotseland may be defined as the groups and teams of Barotzish working together to collectively, while accepting each other’s uniqueness, to enhance our capacities to create results that we truly care about-an independent Barotse nation. To achieve this synergy of a learning organization we need a continuous capacity to adapt and change. This means, among others, our ability to adapt and change to advice and render our strategy and change management work for us within our time bounds.
In conclusion let me assert that a leader in Barotseland can build and manage a learning organization through implementing five main activities namely:
1. Systematic problem solving; using the principles of total quality management. Even in our poor and disadvantaged state we can keep dreaming about quality in all we do, if we cannot achieve it now. This may not make much sense now but with time it will be quite mandatory that we talk quality, as we begin to run our affairs as a nation. If at all we will mind about quality services and/or products in independent Barotseland then the blue print must be framed now and be entrenched in the various policy documents being drafted. This requires adopting scientific methods for solving problems and not relying on guess work. This further entails the utilization of statistical tools and Barotse data, and not assumptions to guide our decision making. For example, we should know by now roughly how many Barotzis are at home, those estranged in Zambia and in the diaspora, including all the other demographic data to inform our planning.
2. Experimentation; referring to the systematic searching for and testing of new knowledge in managing our change agenda. In the world we live in today knowledge economy is a booming and vital discipline among many that we know. This may require that our leaders work closely with experts or knowledge workers to redeem and harness back home the brain drain that Barotseland has suffered for many years. In effect problem solving can be encouraged through the ongoing programmes which provide for incremental gains in knowledge and demonstration projects which involve holistic, Barotsewide changes, introduced at village level and escalated upwards aimed at developing new national capabilities. It is not right to assume that all citizens know fully what is happening on the ground especially given the levels of intimidation prevalent from/by the Zambian occupying forces.
3. Learning from past experiences; involves the Barotse Team Organisation reviewing our past failures and successes, so far, from the signing of BA ’64 to many other actions inclusive of our being duped by PF in 2011. What message do we get from our failures and successes? This information must clearly be availed to all citizens. I categorically appreciate what has been done so far to this very end as concerns our historic 50 years of servitude to Zambia-much information has been dag up to inform our change momentum. Notwithstanding, it is quite painful as Barotse youth to see our elders still yoking themselves with the Zambian Parties for the ‘ politics of the stomach’ as it were, at the expense their role and function in the great web of Barotse citizenship. With our past experience so far I would not hasten to say that actually this is the time and opportunity to affirm our stance to the whole world by totally boycotting the Zambian presidential by-election on our soil! Maybe foreigners can be allowed with permission from powers that be in our land, and ECZ educated on this matter. The mere fact that Zambia has littered our country with military hardware, software and persware is good motive for this action. Not forgetting the incarceration of our BNYL leaders and now Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, the Administrator General of the Barotseland (head of the interim government) and others in prisons for being ‘lindwalume za mwa hae’ and champions of our real and genuine cause. The chapters of history repeating itself are closed and open are the pages bearing the lesson from the history.
4. Learning from others; both within Barotseland and from outside. We applaud the work done so far by our leaders in consulting with others all over; no man is an island.
5. Transferring knowledge; where knowledge is spread throughout the nation in an efficient and quick manner. Mechanisms to achieve this spread of knowledge include visual, audio and oral reports, village visits, tours and so on whichever is possible. This means that we need to see more utilization of channels of communication followed by measuring learning through follow- ups like the use of questionnaires, interviews and surveys just to ascertain that our communication with the grassroots and others is not one way.
The whole idea is to put everybody on board to ensure that we speak the same language and walking the same walk of our liberation struggle. However, it must be noted that LEARNING IS PERMANENT CHANGE IN BEHAVIOUR; our thoughts, actions and words must all be consistent with our resolve of self-determination. With us the youth this is possible to achieve if our leaders teach and direct us accordingly. With the old however, some may still be suffering from the syndrome of OLD HABITS DIE HARD. This is why some of the sporadic cases of dissidence and defections of some of our elders to rally with Zambian leaders.
Historically, we cannot dispute the Claim of Barotseland to self-determination.
It will be interesting to watch how Barotseland independence struggle come to conclusion as all efforts to redress the peaceful disengagement with Zambia, as good neighbors, have proved to be futile and now further evokes sentiments of treasonable charges, of which to me sounds irresponsible on the side of Zambia. How can abrogator blame the victim? This is an act of rebellion against public international law of which gave birth to most of modern countries exist to day.
For the past 49 years, Zambia refused to dialogue with Barotseland within the realm and sphere of her own law. It will even be more difficult for Zambia to accept to solve Barotseland impasse at international court of Justice, going by Zambia's disrespectful of Human rights, without external pressure. It is in the records at Permanent Court of Arbitration that the Zambian government , under the late Michael Chilufya Sata, refused in May 2014, to have the Barotseland issue settled through the arbitration process. This is the principle Zambia stands on, and whoever becomes the president upholds the same principle. However, legal dimension in Barotseland independence struggle is expedient as it is the peaceful approach favored by international community and a right weapon to deal with rogue state like Zambia. The government of Zambia defaulted the BA64 and expect Barotseland to remain mute and be part of Zambia as subservient citizens! How can Zambia be trusted , when has failed to obey the law on treaties by unilateral abrogating the BA64 with impunity?
There are some of the questions the legal forum in a sitting court may ask, not limited to the objector subject only, a Lawyer who is well versed in constitutional law is likely to ask other questions that will challenge the Zambian state machinery for unconstitutional omissions and commissions of Public International law regarding Treaties and Agreements, as they relate to the 1969 Vienna convention on the law of Treaties.
People of Barotseland are law abiding , peace loving and determined to achieve their political liberty without bloodshed and none violence method. Don’t we have enough to die from, that we should think so low as to wage war and die from the barrel of a gun, instead of natural death? Let all peace loving communities around the world come to the aide of Barotseland as the call was made through the BNC 2012 resolutions for peaceful disengagement. This government of Zambia can no longer be trusted in this regard.
In God we trust that soon Barotseland shall be liberated. God bless you all, in Zambia and Barotseland.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.
By Saleya Kwalombota
Following the unfolding events of Zambian 's presidential bye-election campaigns and visitation of Barotseland territory by one of Zambia's aspiring presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema that has raised the dust among the citizens of Barotseland can not go without comment. If the reports reaching us are true concerning the stand taken by BRE "endorsing" Hakainde Hichilema a foreigner of Zambian territory as their preferred candidate and adopted as their own "SON" to stage his Zambian presidential campaigns in Barotseland is not only shocking but a revolt against the will of the Barotseland people. This is serious and danger to the peace and respect the people of Barotseland has for the monarch.
It is really difficult to understand what has gone wrong with the present BRE or our monarchical system of today! Poverty should not rob us of our integrity, our independence struggle should be above monetary gains . What signal are we sending to the international community if our very monarch is dining and feasting with our (oppressor) enemy? No matter what, the Leopard will never change its color, the scheme that led to the abrogation of the BA64 is inherent in the Zambian blood. The BRE should live to the fact that nothing will change Zambia's treacherous altitude towards the autonomy of Barotseland, that is the reason Zambia is not willing to vacate Barotseland honorary or to settle the issue at international court of justice (ICJ). It will be prudent for the Indunas close to Litunga to exercise high level of reasoning when dealing with issues bordering the territorial integrity of Barotseland, than exhibiting their thirsty of monetary gains. They should have known by now that whoever become the Zambian president can never go against the principle laid by the first Zambian Republican president Kenneth Kaunda concerning the BA64 and autonomous of Barotseland.
It is a well known truth that there was no agreement called ‘Western Province’. Any zambian politician or political party call Barotseland by such name, automatic becomes an enemy of Barotseland and as much as I do not tend to diminish the BRE, I see no logic for them to get excited with the visitation of UPND leader or any Zambian political party leader whose party call our country by western province name. The tagging of Barotseland as ‘Western Province’ was an autocratic imposition of the Northern Rhodesia government to alter the margins of Barotseland.
Not even the United Party for National Development ( UPND)'s stance on Barotseland; that of the creation of structures being similar to a federal system of government, where provinces have semi-autonomous powers , addresses the BA 64 question. In July 2014, the UPND deputy spokesperson had this to say in response to defend Hakainde 's visitation of Barotseland's for Mangango parliamentary bye-election campaign, "that the people of Western province should be left to solve their own problems" and he further said, "that at no time has Hakainde Hichilema ever promised to restore the BA64." This is UPND's ideology over the BA64, let us be careful least we will be dubbed as in the past. UPND is in agreement with Zambia's abrogation of the union treaty (BA64). It is time for the BRE to recourse the institution not to be used as a doormat into Zambia's State house by Zambian politicians.
For how long will it take the Zambian government to acknowledge and respect the human, political and economic rights of the people of Barotseland expressed by the 2012 BNC resolutions? Were they not the same rights the people of Barotseland had enjoyed for centuries as a nation before the union with Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) in 1964? Certainly, it is only denialist, misguided and selfish if BRE think supporting the independence resolve of Barotseland of 2012 BNC declaration of which the BRE was part and organiser of the congress whose resolutions were endorsed by BRE for implementation, can be tantamount to treason! The BRE has to be in forefront in this matter as is the very institution that was a signatory to the BA64 and in the absence of this agreement , secession does not arise, only self-assertion becomes the issue. The territorial assertion should first start with ourselves, the BRE and every Mulozi should cease to call the territory as western province from now onwards. whosoever shall call barotseland western province is committing an offence and must be disowned.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.
By Saleya Kwalombota