News Editor, Barotseland Post
Dear compatriots, fellow citizens, sons & daughters of Barotseland, friends of Barotseland home and away.
The Barotseland story is undoubtedly becoming interesting to both foes and friends, near and far. While our foes will try to do all within their power to distort and pour contempt on our story, our friends will always take precaution not to misrepresent us, but rather help publicize accurately the prevailing circumstances in Barotseland. Somehow, even our foes have recognized our relentless determination. As such one of their strategies now is to distort and confuse our story, so that our spirits may be broken through confusion and frustration. They have realized that not even terror is enough to break our spirit.
As such, allow me to ask that extreme care be taken so that we do not fall victim to misinformation and rumour mongering. While we may not stop any media or anyone for that matter, from reporting our story, we have taken the necessary precautionary measure, from the inception, to ensure that regular and authentic updates are given to the public at large.
LEGAL AND BAROTSELAND GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Fellow citizens, as you may be aware already, Barotseland is pursuing legal processes, among other interventions, to compel Zambia to immediately cease their illegal occupation of Barotseland. It is our wish, therefore, that you are adequately given timely and precise updates about these processes as well as the general progress being made in consolidating our government in Barotseland.
As the Barotseland transitional government, we formally distribute our legal and official news updates through our media platforms, The Barotseland Post [Barotsepost] and Radio Barotseland, on www.barotsepost.com and www.radiobarotseland.com respectively, who are in the interim playing the role of Public Broadcaster. However, because of the need to spread our news even wider, and because the above mentioned media have restricted access imposed on them by the Zambian government for the Zambian public as well Barotseland, our government has also, in collaboration and through The Barotseland Post, partnered with other friendly media, local and international, who will help publicize our story.
Therefore, any story or news update authorized by the government or that has to do with the legal processes we are undertaking, will always be collaborated by the two media stated above.
Additionally, our official news will also be distributed on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. However, such official news on social media must always carry back links to The Barotseland Post; www.barotsepost.com to be deemed official.
Conversely, when any other news media, local or international carry our official news, such news will also be covered by our two official media as an act of acknowledgement that the news has been approved in its accuracy or relevance, and always with due reference to the contributing media.
Fellow compatriots, allow me therefore, to conclude by expressing profound gratitude and appreciation for the continued patience and hopefulness that you have exhibited as we all push forward the great Barotseland independence agenda. In this regard, our effort together is beginning to bear enduring fruit in entrenching our independence that we unanimously declared on the 27th of March, 2012 at that historic Barotse National Council (BNC).
The BNC, as you may know, is the highest and most representative body of decision making in our nation. Therefore, our collective resolutions of 2012 have pushed Barotseland to this “POINT OF NO RETURN”, so profoundly put by one of Barotseland’s great scholarly minds of the yester-years, Dr. Fwanyanga Matale Mulikita. That decision cannot simply be reversed by any one or any other institution, except by another BNC!
This is our commitment to Barotseland's total independence. We will spare no available resource and effort until we attain all our independence goals.
Therefore, forward we march! Tukongote, Litunga ni lyetu!
May God almighty bless Barotseland and each one of you!
Dr. Matengu Situmbeko
Acting Administrator General
Royal Barotseland Government
The global ‘Pray for Barotseland’ social media group has issued an immediate CALL for country-wide prayer and fasting.
The administrator, Heather Neal has also asked the group members, and those that wish to answer to this call for prayer, to remember that unity is the greatest need for Barotseland at this present time. Quoting from the Holy Bible book of Matthew 12:25, Ms Neal said that it was important for the members of the group and the nation at large to remember that a house that is divided can NOT stand.
“HIS ways are higher than our ways...HE is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE, therefore, we are calling for a countrywide Prayer and fasting to Seek His will and not our wants.” Wrote Ms Neal on the group’s social media channel, advising members to take the call seriously.
Meanwhile, co-administrator of the prayer group Lubinda has echoed Ms. Neal’s need to pray for unity.
“It is very clear that Barotseland is going through a very critical period, and we need to pray for unity and guidance from the Lord. All we are saying is that can people, families, churches and communities find time within this period to pray seriously for Barotseland and her people and leaders” said Mr. Lubinda.
Ms. Heather Neal further asked members and the nation that specifics will be communicated periodically through the group channel as well as other media.
The Global Prayer Group for Barotseland is a non denominational social network of people from various countries of the world, who have joined together in prayer devotion for and on behalf of Barotseland and Zambia, so that the two will resolve peacefully the matters that have come between them as a result of the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964, cutting across political and denominational persuasions.
Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika has observed that celebration of Africa Freedom Day is meaningless for as long as Barotseland activists remain in prison.
He said the Zambian government must release all those who are political prisoners over the issue of Barotseland.
Akashambatwa said the government must adopt practices that engage in honest dialogue rather than repressive detention of citizens expressing and advocating for what they believe in.
He further demanded for eradication of all other manifestations of the culture of partisan politics and personalized leadership in state affairs.
He said Zambia’s independence that was granted on 24th October 1964 falls short of reinforcing the agenda of Pan Africanism because the Barotseland Agreement that was a product of consultation and negotiation that brought Zambia’s independence remains abrogated.
He wondered why voices calling for reinstatement of the agreement are subjected to brutal police action and state terrorism.
Eight Barotseland activists are in prison with four at Mwembeshi open prison while the other four are in Kaoma, Mongu and Senanga - ZambianWatchdog
Editors' Note: Meanwhile, the President of Zambia Edgar Lungu has pardoned and released 177 prisoners in exercise of powers vested in him under article 59 of the constitution of Zambia which empowers the Head of State to exercise prerogative of mercy. Some of those released back into the Zambian society were prisoners on death row for aggravated criminal offences such as murder, aggravated robbery and rape.
Latest reports have confirmed and insisted that the looming activist protests against the Litunga over some allegedly compromised Indunas are indeed planned and financed by occupying forces to get to the Litunga who they have now allegedly realized to be working with his people to actualize Barotseland independence.
“We wish to confirm that the Barotseland National Information Center has received intelligence reports from reliable sources that, the government of Zambia has released funding of over K200, 000 to some Lozi ‘groups’ so that they can carry out ‘peaceful’ demonstrations, purporting to be sympathizers over issues surrounding Barotseland Independence.
“The source revealed that, the government of Zambia is trying hard to confuse the independence of Barotseland, hence the plan to stage a ‘non-violent’ demonstration, with many Zambia security officers infused in and dressed up in traditional Misisi and Liziba wear of the Lozi people pretending to be Lozi independence activists, when in fact they are security officers.
“These people will conduct the so-called peaceful protest and match to the Kuta, and the moment His Majesty the Litunga comes out to Namoo to meet with them, they will shoot to kill him.
“If the plan is successfully completed, a named and known Lozi prince based in Botswana at Kanye is tipped to assume the Litungaship, and will be tasked to reverse all the people’s independence expectations,” read the report from the Barotseland National Information Center obtained by Barotsepost.
The source further said that, some Indunas and other few notable individuals in the Kingdom like one Mr. Mulele Mumbisho, popularly known as Mwanamuchembele and Mr. Nyambe Mwenda have allegedly been heavily funded, and their specific assignment is to monitor the movements of the Litunga, and inform the Zambian Government so that a plan is perfected to have His Majesty King Lubosi Imwiko II assassinated along the way; say in an induced road accident.
All these schemes are reported to be the latest efforts that the Zambian Government is doing to frustrate the aspiration of the people of Barotseland so that the independence dream will be aborted and stopped.
However, when contacted for a comment, Barotseland Acting Administrator General Dr. Matengu Situmbeko, who is currently in the Republic of South Africa on official duties, has assured that Barotseland will not be derailed but will move on with the independence program.
“Right now we are on course and at the point of filing the case at the ICJ. This case will bring substantial amount of shame on Zambia. We, therefore, urge them (Zambia), to stop interfering in the internal affairs of Barotseland,” said a highly confident Dr. Matengu.
He further stated that, the Barotseland Government is doing all it can to quickly formalize its existence, and come what may, the independence dream is now within ‘perspective’.
Dr. Matengu continued to say that, Zambia has committed serious crimes against the people of Barotseland and any further crimes committed against the administration and the people of Barotseland, will sink Zambia into ‘oblivion’ on the world map.
“Already the claims Barotseland is advancing in the ICJ court will leave Zambia in a bad state, if at all it will survive; even the name of Zambia may die as we may demand that they find not only a new name, but also another national anthem. We may also demand royalties from the mines in the Copper belt.
“The human rights violations alone may hit them economically and socially, in fact if we wish we can cripple Zambia to its knees!
“So we warn Zambia not to commit any more crimes against the people of Barotseland and if so, they must not complain of the imminent action and consequences approaching them as a result of these violations,” concluded Dr. Matengu.
Report by Gibson Sitamulaho Muzige, Barotseland Information Centre, Mungu
A Zambian Non Governmental Organisation championing the enactment of a new constitution, Grand Coalition for A people - Driven Constitution for Zambia, has said that the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 should be subjected to a national referendum.
Grand Coalition Chairperson Father Leonard Chiti told a media briefing Friday morning in Lusaka that the Zambian government has not mentioned the contentious issues that will be taken to parliament.
Father Chiti, however, said his organisation would want to believe that the government will subject the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 to a national referendum.
He said the recognition of the Barotseland Agreement was a contentious issue which must be handled through a referendum.
Zambia abrogated the treaty and for four decades refused to recognise the 1964 treaty which attempted to join the Barotseland nation and Northern Rhodesia to form the unitary state of Zambia.
Barotseland resolved to accept the abrogation and reverted to the pre-October 1964 status on 27th March 2012 but the Zambian government and Civil Society Organisations have continued to ignore the current position. Such proposition, however, would beat all logic as the mere demographics of Zambia would not make sense. The population of Barotseland is less than 10% of Zambia's total population.
The people of Barotseland know that, technically, the Zambian government stripped itself of any legal mandate to administer Barotseland and its associated territories the moment they made legal amendments to their national constitution that abrogated the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. As such Zambia cannot prescribe a referendum for Barotseland.
POSITION STATEMENT BY LINYUNGANDAMBO ON THE CALL TO DISMISS THE ENTIRE BRE KUTA.
The recent happenings at the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) Kuta cannot go without comment. However, what has emerged out of these recent agitations to have the entire Kuta dismissed, although camouflaged as an attempt to purge the BRE system of some ‘corrupt’ indunas, is in reality an attempt by some desperate individuals who wish to impose on the kuta individuals who will implement their proposed structures of governance. A couple of months ago, the same individuals wished to force the Kuta to hold a Barotse National Council at which conference they wished to flout their retrogressive ideas which would endorse them and their clique’ at the whelm of leadership of our independence struggle, so that they would then steer its direction whichever way they desired, especially back to the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 or Total Monarch type of government with little or no support of the common masses. Thankfully, the BRE Kuta saw into their conniving maneuvers and rejected their self conceited proposals.
It is, therefore, with great dismay to learn that a section of so called ‘Activists’ can actually behave in the manner that they have done. As such we, the National Executive Committee of Linyungandambo condemn in the strongest terms the behavior portrayed by one Mwanamuchembele, Hon. Wanga, their clique and hired activists of attempting to bring the Kuta into public disrepute. This confusion is highly unnecessary and is only succeeding at misdirecting our nation into unnecessary squabbles.
Attempting to dislodge the Kuta, on account that the Kuta has not accepted one’s proposal represents the highest level of desperation. The Kuta should not be forced to support any ideas, but rather must be convinced by the merit of any proposition. Dismissing the Kuta does not solve the problem, especially when the personalities involved in the process are of questionable motives. The Kuta was installed by the Litunga and it is His Majesty’s prerogative to use intelligence reports at his disposal to deal with allegations leveled against any of his Indunas.
While we agree that our BRE structures may need ridding of ‘bad’ elements, the manner in which we do this will also determine our outcomes. For us in the Linyungandambo, we have always held the view that the BRE must be reformed to match the democratic aspirations of our people today. However, dismissing one set of indunas only to replace them with another will simply not do in this modern era, but rather a complete reform of the entire governance structure.
Yes! We, perhaps more than anyone else understand that some Indunas have a very questionable reputation towards the independence of Barotseland. We know and remember, for instance, that it was an Induna who tipped the Zambia police about the presence of Hon. Afumba at Mwandi Palace which led to his arrest and that of the other transitional government leaders! However, this is no passport for any individual to freely insult and use abusive language to the elderly statesmen respected in the Kingdom. The prerogative of dismissing the Indunas solely remains in the Litungaship. His Majesty the Litunga is at liberty to scrutinize proposals and allegations, but never should anyone seek to impose or suggest his course of action over his Kuta, especially never through civil discord! The activists’ actions should end at what has already been done; ie; petitioning respectfully, and then allow the Litungaship to take over the case to its logical conclusion.
Linyungandambo, therefore, is not involved in this illegal activity propagated by the enemy to be fulfilled by the so-called Malozi activists, just like what happened in 1964. We are strongly convinced that Zambia is, once again, at the centre of all this latest confusion in Barotseland, through the surrogacy of their partners in BNFA, so that they find reason to hold the Litunga to ransom. We also know that their real target is the Litunga. We, therefore, wish to call upon all our members in Linyungandambo and all well meaning Barotse nationals to stay away from engaging themselves in these demeaning activities, meant to derail us from achieving our real goal of self-governance.
We in the Linyungandambo have proposed already, and we know it is the wish of many of our people evidenced by the over 20000 signatures that endorsed the Barotseland emancipation order of 2012, that the new and independent Barotseland will be structured on the model of a DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY, a system which is not only close to ours, but has also worked very well for many progressive countries of the world such as Great Britain, Canada, Japan, Netherlands and many others. We are already on course, and others such as the BNFA intend to only duplicate and pervert what has already been done. The BNFA refused to work with us on the basis that they would seek to liberate Barotseland differently. The question we may ask now is why they keep repeating what we have already done. If they are going to do the same thing that we have done, why then did they refuse to work with and be part of the already set up transitional government in the first place?
We love and cherish our monarchy and traditions, and we must promote and protect them at all times. We must not act like the Winas, when they flogged our parents on account that they, in their wisdom, refused to buy into the Winas’ fiendish idea of joining Barotseland to Northern Rhodesia. And the results are what Barotseland is currently grappling with! This is the same old story that is manifesting today. Mwanamuchembele is actually fighting against our efforts as a nation to achieve the dream of self-rule, and we doubt whether his boss Hon. Milupi has approved his actions, and we still suspect that he is being used by the enemy to delay and derail the process of our independence. The problem is not with the Indunas, but it is with the personality spearheading the move against them. They still believe that Barotseland cannot survive when it stands alone, when we have plenty of brains around! Why should the BNFA force the Indunas to buy into their proposal? And if anything, most of the Indunas were previously sympathizers of the BNFA, including late Induna Kalonga. We know how the same Kalonga blocked the lawyers currently representing the nation of Barotseland in the International Court of Justice where we are suing Zambia for illegal occupation. Although we knew that he personally inhibited our lawyers from doing their work in Barotseland, we however, did not advance the kind of character the BNFA are manifesting today.
If the BNFA have the strength to fight, why don’t they fight Zambia who is the real enemy? Zambia is arresting them, killing them, maiming and causing a lot of harm on their bodies, including us. Indunas, like everyone else in Barotseland, are also captives of Zambia. We must not fight each other, but must direct our efforts to fighting Zambia instead. Zambia is our real problem.
We are also still aware that, some so-called Barotseland Activists are benefiting and are making a lot of monies from the enemy, so that they cause confusion and stop the independence dream that everyone is pursuing and craving for.
We, therefore, wish to request the BNFA to revisit their ideas and strategies, and stop what they are intending to do. The Kuta is headed by our parents! A parent is a parent, whether rich, poor or foolish, they still remain as parents, and we must protect them, love them, understand them and value them as such.
Tokongote wa mwana nongolo!
Dr. Matengu Situmbeko,
Linyungandambo, National Executive Committee