News Editor, Barotseland Post
The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) have rejected the Barotse Dialogue Council (BDC) proposed to dialogue with the Government of the Republic of Zambia on the possible restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 which the Zambian state unilaterally abrogated in 1969.
The BNFA, like their Linyungandambo counterparts, have argued that the proposed dialogue council has no mandate from the Barotse National Council (BNC) of 2012 which unanimously resolved that Barotseland should revert to her pre-treaty sovereign status because all repeated appeals to have the abrogated 1964 agreement implemented by successive Zambian governments had proved futile for nearly five decades.
Restoring the defunct agreement, they said, would be a disregard of what was unanimously resolved through the 2012 BNC which overwhelmingly voted for the Kingdom of Barotseland’s sovereign independence from the Republic of Zambia.
A BNFA press statement on the proposed Barotse Dialogue Council categorically stated that they cannot and will not take part in the Barotseland Agreement 1964 negotiations proposed by the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) because there is nothing to negotiate about the 1964 Agreement as insinuated by the BRE press statement of April 16th, 2018.
According to the BNFA, the negotiations were done and concluded before the co-signing of the pre-independence Agreement in 1964 and what should have followed was implementation, but the Zambian regime defaulted and legislated against its obligations.
Barotseland’s main independence movement, the Linyungandambo and the Barotseland National Youth League (BNYL) have refused to be a part of the so-called Barotse Dialogue Council (BDC) which will soon be constituted to dialogue with the Zambian government over the possible restoration of defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964.
And some unconfirmed reports have indicated that both the Mwandi/Sesheke and Kaoma/Naliele Kuta have also resolved not to take part in the illegitimately proposed Dialogue Council because it does not derive its mandate from the people of Barotseland.
In their letter delivered to the Ngambela (Prime Minister of Barotseland) this morning, the Linyungandambo have questioned who had mandated the Saa-Sikalo (Limulunga) Kuta to pursue the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 when the people’s PIZO, the Barotse National Council (BNC), of 2012 had specifically declared the independence of Barotseland and not the perpetuation of Barotseland’s subjugation within Zambia.
“After carefully analysing the invitation, Linyungandambo wishes to make the following observations regarding the proposed Barotse Dialogue Council.
“Firstly, the Barotse Dialogue Council reneges from the spirit of the March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) resolutions.
“The BNC 2012 resolutions do not give an option for the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964, but instead, they call for the total independence of Barotseland.
“BNC Resolution 6 specifically states: ‘The people of Barotseland shall exercise their right to revert Barotseland to her original status as a sovereign nation so that the people of Barotseland shall determine their political, cultural, social and economic development.’ ” read part of the Linyungandambo’s letter to the Ngambela, Mukela Manyando.
Leaked information indicates that the Privy Council is currently deadlocked on Namuso, particularly the Kutas representing the Ngambela and Iñete of Mongu, mooting the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 with the other Kutas opposing the proposal, insisting on honouring and implementing the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) unanimous resolutions that called for the total independence of Barotseland.
A source close to the events has revealed that the Ngambela’s Kuta and that of Iñete have proposed that a select committee of 125 be drawn from the Lilalo Kuta to convene and edit the 2012 BNC people resolutions so that the resolutions can line-up with the Zambian government proposed dialogue for the restoration of the defunct 1964 agreement rather than the total independence of Barotseland.
The other Kuta, however, have sharply objected to the ‘restoration’ proposal, demanding an explanation on why the people’s unanimous calls for independence can not be honoured.
The respective Zambian Permanent Secretaries (PS) for Western and Southern Provinces, Danny Bukali and Mwangala Liomba, have been implicated in a clandestine plot to allegedly 'silence' some targeted Barotseland activists by offering them some disclosed amount of money.
The bribe allegedly offered especially to those once arrested or detained for their involvement in the push for Barotseland independence, is reported to be as high as ZMW 30,000.00 (USD2,000 – USD 2,500.00).
Some of those allegedly targeted have reported that Mr Liomba called them and asked them to contact Mr Bukali for their share of the money if only they could commit to renouncing the Barotseland independence bid.
“Yes! Mr Liomba directed me to Mr Bukali who then offered to give me ZMW 30,000.00 if I could help mobilize others who, like me, were in the past arrested over Barotseland matters so that we can together openly renounce the independence bid,” revealed one ex-detainee on condition of anonymity.
His Majesty Imwiko II the Litunga, King of Barotseland, has summoned his Privy Council to possibly consider many outstanding issues affecting Barotseland.
The Privy Council meeting to take place in Limulunga royal village until Wednesday, 27th November 2019, is expected to come up with some policy direction concerning the many issues affecting the region, more especially the long outstanding matter of the now-defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964.
In March 2012, King Imwiko II had regularly constituted the supreme Barotse National Council (BNC) which unanimously resolved for Barotseland to peacefully negotiate for total independence from Zambia.
However, seven years later, the King and his Privy Council have not yet facilitated the implementation of the 2012 BNC unanimous resolutions causing a lot of anxiety in both Barotseland and Zambia.
The delay in a policy direction from both the Litunga and his privy council has given rise to a tumultuous relationship between the Litunga and his people on one hand and the Zambian state and the Kingdom on the other.
Our independent sources have confirmed that Mr Afumba Mombotwa has not been released from jail and that no such instructions to release him have been issued to the prison authorities by 10:00 hrs this morning.
While Afumba Mombotwa and his fellow political prisoners, Inambao and Pelekelo confirm listening to the various news bulletins announcing his name among the five inmates supposedly pardoned by the Zambian president yesterday, Mr Mombotwa has not yet received any official contact or communication from the prison authorities to that effect.
And the authorities at Kabwe’s Mukobeko State maximum prison have confirmed that in spite of the various announcements about Mr Mombotwa’s supposed pardon, no official instructions have yet been issued to release him from the correctional facility.
“Unfortunately, we don’t work on radio or television announcements. To carry out any such instructions, we must have written or direct orders from the prison hierarchy, which we have not yet received. So, we do not know if any such instructions have been issued,” stated a prison officer at the state maximum facility speaking anonymously.
Understandably, all release orders for the day are issued and carried out between 08:00hrs and 10:00hrs, and by 10:00hrs no such orders had been received in respect of Afumba Mombotwa.
Mr Afumba Mombotwa (60), the Barotseland independence leader, was yesterday named among five inmates supposedly pardoned by the Zambian president to celebrate his 63rd birthday.