News Editor, Barotseland Post
Some of you who are familiar with my point of views would probably remember me constantly advocate our need to oppose the spirit of “I” (disunity) supremacy all the time. To eliminate the spirit of “I” is to make a way for a solution to all the economic, social and political problems faced by the people of Barotseland today due to the aborted fifty year cohabitation with Zambia. Sadly some among us some may still dispute this premise.
As a person whose efforts and heart have always been dedicated to the advancement of our people's independence resolve, my words are simple but so true. “It is not only the spirit of ‘I’ supremacy that is the root cause of disunity, but the ‘Zambianization’ that manifests itself in Zambian politics, still holding a grip on Barotseland too!” I can go on and on, however, I don't like saying things that will hurt the efforts made by most of the activists groups while to a few activists it is the truth they don't like hearing. But it's true that our enemy planted the seed of disunity into our thinking a long time ago through corrupting of some perceived activists, some BRE indunas and the ethnic divide and rule which was started by the late 2nd republican president of Zambia, FTJ Chiluba.
The result of the ‘I’ syndrome is part of the derailment of our independence realization, the very issue our enemy knows and has extensively exploited. Whenever the Zambian regime perceives the possibility that we might unify, it places maximum efforts toward making sure we remain divided to DERAIL our independence.
We cannot end the ‘I’ syndrome as a concept. However, if we re-educate ourselves and re-orient our thinking and stop hating each other, but rather focus on all the things that remind us of our coexistence, we will win our independence resolve. Unity of purpose among all the people of Barotseland is the way out of Zambia's supremacy in our territory. Remember, it is not the names that you are called by that matter. What really masters is which names you answer to. It is in the shared experience of our humanity that we can foster the awareness of our unity and move Barotseland forward.
It is time, therefore, to oppose the ‘I’ supremacy all the time, everyplace we go, every place we are with vigor and strength. Zambian ‘supremacy’ is our real ‘enemy’. Zambia is the enemy of international law, too. However, we cannot unilaterally control and compel Zambians to obey the principal of legality but we can teach them to live to the sanctity of the Law. We can also affect how we individually perceive the world and ourselves. The ‘I’ supremacy cannot flourish where UNITY exists.
The fundamental point is to control our destiny as proclaimed by the March 2012 BNC resolutions which radiated the electronic waves of major world media such as the BBC and others. All what we want is to secure our country's sovereignty.
Tukongote, May God bless all the pressure groups and the people of Barotseland.
The Zambian government has for the first time admitted that it has acquired hardware and software to block certain websites in Zambia.
From 2012, the Zambian government has been blocking news websites critical of government but has been failing to block Facebook.
But now the PF government has announced that it has acquired the relevant technology to block even Facebook. In 2012, the PF government blocked the Zambian Watchdog, Zambia Reports and Barotse Post (this publication). The government is still tampering with Zambian Watchdog and Barotse Post but have removed interference software from Zambia Reports after the owners of that Website sold their independence to State House. It is now a PF (the rulling Patriotic Front party) website.
When president Edgar Lungu visited China last month, the Watchdog reported that part of his mission was to ask and pay Huawei to find ways of completely blocking the Zambian Watchdog especially its Facebook page which has more than 305 000 followers. It is the most popular local site in Zambia.
On Thursday when president Edgar Lungu went to open some shops on the Copperbelt said ‘this culture of sitting and posting stories on Facebook the whole day must come to an end.” Despite the attempt to hide his true intentions, Lungu’ statement was quite revealing that his hatred was for news ‘stories’ on Face book.
The same evening, Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska announced that his office was working on policies and systems that to block ‘certain social media websites’ being accessed in government offices during working hours.
Msiska said Cabinet Office was working on a programme that will bar the use of certain social media sites.
“The hardware and software are already in place, and very soon, we will be filtering certain websites in Government offices. What the President said concerning social websites is very true,” Msiska said.
He said his office is working on e-governance and Zamtel, together with the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications is already rolling it out.
President Lungu has expressed concern that some civil servants waste time on social media such as Facebook.
And Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga his ministry will issue a directive to Zambia Information and Technology Authority to check sites that are abused and block them so that only those that are appropriate during work hours can be accessed - Zambianwatchdog.com
The Zambian government has been accused of pressuring the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the Litunga of Barotseland to support the bid to have the Barotse Plains (Barotse Cultural Landscape) as a world Heritage site, in spite of strong rejections of the nomination bid by a wide section of the Barotse people including the BRE last year.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee last year deferred its nomination of the Barotse Plains for inscription as a World Heritage Site because Zambia “needed to improve on the nomination dossier in readiness for examination and inscription”, so as reported by Isaac Kanguya, spokes-man for Zambia’s National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC), and as quoted by Post Zambia.
Although the Barotse plains do meet more than one criterion, see http://whc.unesco.org/en/criteria for Selection as a world Heritage site, the Zambian nomination seemed to have lacked local representation; Their dossier simply did not show proof and demonstration of participation from the local authority and the people who would be affected by its declaration as a world heritage site.
“As such the Zambian government is now reported to be pressuring the Litunga and the BRE to endorse this bid pushed by Lusaka. We may again see vice president Inonge Wina rush to Limulunga Royal palace to seek a meeting with the Kuta or the Litunga over this issue” intimated a highly placed source.
Zambia's Western Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mwangala Liomba, said in December last year that good progress had been made so far towards inscribing the Barotse Plains, now called the Barotse Cultural Landscape, as a World Heritage Site.
Speaking when he officiated at the stakeholders’ consultative meeting held at Ngulu Hotel, in Mongu, organized by Zambia's National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC), Mr Liomba claimed that since 2007 National Heritage Commission has been collaborating very well with government and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) on making the landscape a World Heritage Site.
However, of the four nomination dossiers from Africa examined at the World Heritage Committee Meeting from 15th - 25th Of June 2014 in Doha, Qatar, i.e. Okavango Delta (Botswana), Tongo-Tengzuk Tallensi Cultural Landscape (Ghana), Mount Mulanje Cultural Landscape (Malawi) and Barotse Cultural Landscape (Zambia),only Okavango Delta was inscribed on the World Heritage List.
The nomination of the Barotse Cultural landscape, has always been very contentious from both Zambian parliamentarians representing Barotse people, and more so by Barotseland Independence advocates as well as the Traditional authorities in the BRE.
Last year Monze member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu of Zambia’s main opposition UPND and his Nalikwanda counterpart Geoffrey Lungwangwa of the MMD advised government to consult widely over the issue:
“When a heritage site is declared, you don’t alter it, but maintain the site in its original state. Even if you discover oil, which I am meant to understand there is in the Barotse Plains, you cannot mine that oil (...). Why would you want to declare an area as vast as the Barotse Plains a heritage site? Almost the entire Western Province to be declared a Heritage Site, indicating that there will be no development?” Mwiimbu advised in the Zambian parliament.
The Barotseland independence advocates on the other hand see this as a ploy by Zambia to take away Barotseland’s future source of development because of the speculation of the availability of petroleum, gas, diamonds and other natural resources within the same territory proposed to be declared as a world heritage site.
“We wish to exploit these resources sustainably for our country’s development, and if we desire to have it protected, it will be our own Barotseland government that will submit the nomination, and not Zambia, a foreign power,” commented Mr. Lubinda Kunangela, the national information officer of the Linyungandambo liberation movement.
Another proponent of Barotseland Self determination disagreed with Zambia's intentions as the move would make Barotseland lose her right to decide on how best to use the landscape in regards to mining and farming. Listen to Dr. Mufalali's recorded interview on Radio Barotseland here: http://barotsepost.com/images/mp3/dr_mufalali.mp3
According to UNESCO the floodplain under application stretches from the Zambezi's confluence with the Kabompo and Lungwebungu Rivers in the north, to a point about 230km south, above the Ngonye falls, south of Senanga. Along most of its length its width is over 30km, reaching 50km at the widest, just north of Mongu, main town of the plain, situated at its edge.
The main body of the plain covers about 5500km², but the maximum flooded area is 10750km² when the floodplains of several tributaries are taken into account, such as the Luena Flats
The Barotse Cultural Landscape (submitted by Zambia's National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) in 2009), and with it, the Kuomboka and the reverse Kufulehela ceremonies, is proposed for inscription as a “cultural landscape that bears a unique and exceptional testimony to a living cultural tradition”.
The area has been inhabited continuously since the early 1800s.
In the case of Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland, no union was established, except for the inheritance of power and obligations of the queen by Mr. Kaunda in 1964. Surely there is no united, "Baro-zam" as a country; so there was an elliptical formation of the Zambian state parallel to none.
It is quite evident that Barotseland has never been formally annexed to any territory to date; and it has never been an enclave. The legality of annexation of Barotseland to Zambia could only depend on the entry into force of the Barotseland Agreement 1964. Really the Agreement was a presupposition intended to associate Barotseland to Zambia. Many people believe that the Agreement united Barotseland to Zambia; but the truth is that the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 suggested condominium with regard to Authority.
To our dismay, however, the Barotseland Agreement 1964 was unilaterally terminated by the Zambian government; while at the same time they continued occupying our country, although by implication; termination of the agreement meant severing the relationship.
The consequences of abrogation of the Agreement resulted into coercion, forced assimilation, subjugation; and domination. The Zambians try to maintain relationship with Barotseland by fire-arms while they occupy Barotseland illegally.
Zambia's dominance is derived from the law of succession, i.e. Zambia inherited obligations of her Majesty the Queen of Britain over Barotseland.
According to Zambian understanding Barotseland's liberty is termed as ‘secession.’ To shed light on this notion, we know that ‘secession’ is perceived to be in conflict with the idea of preservation of the territorial integrity of a country.
This being the case, it is incredible to suggest that boundaries of Barotseland that were drawn and concluded between 1890-1905 should not be preserved at the expense of cheap slogans.
The perception of ‘secession’ implies the state of breaking away from the mother country. If this is true then Zambia has never been a mother country to Barotseland; and shall never be, because Barotseland is older. Furthermore the intention of impairing territorial integrity of Barotseland and the desire to deprive Barotseland of her sovereignty by Zambia is not compatible with international norms.
The issue of deprivation of Barotse people's right to self-rule as provided by the Barotseland Agreement 1964 can never be entertained any more. We are re-building our nation upon the foundation laid down by King Lewanika; a foundation that enables us to secure what belongs to us. Being Zambians to us is simply questionable; and something the Barotse earned on the way. We are Barotzish by virtue of descent.
We would like our African Brothers to know that we were occupied by a Neighbouring country, and we are here to claim what belongs to us.
Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa
Royal Barotseland kingdom
Please allow me space to react to the insults hauled upon the Barotse people by Zambia's minister Michael Kaingu during his recent visit to Barotseland where he called the people of Barotseland ungrateful when even dogs show gratitude to their masters for the scraps of food they receive by wagging their tails.
First and foremost,the people of Barotseland are not boot-lickers like the Hon Minister,it is a known fact Mr. Kaingu puts his foot in his mouth every time he speaks and we take strong exception to that kind of insults. If Mr. Kaingu is alluding to the appointment of Mrs. Wina as Vice president,the people of Barotseland have nothing to celebrate about! What is Vice president to Barotseland? You want us to celebrate simply because One Hungry dog is given scraps in Lusaka.
The Minister should understand that we cannot join him in his celebration as we are living in two different times and different places, let him realize that the people of Barotseland cannot celebrate simply because One hungry dog is feeding on scraps from its master's table in Lusaka
The people of Barotseland do not need clowns to come and perform their circus acts mwa Bulozi,as we are faced by real poverty,we are still in mourning as some of people remain missing since January 2011 and others still in Zambia's prisons for simply pressing the fact that Barotseland is a state that deserved to be respected. Mr. Kaingu should take his scraps and bones elsewhere.
Mr. Kaingu sir,the Barotse people do not need scraps from Zambia,they do not need something short of political freedom. What the Barotse people want is freedom! They are not asking to be given a dog's horn,they are simply asking to be given their Birth-right the right to determine their own future and destiny
By:True son and Citizen of the soil of Barotseland, Muyunda Makala
Zambia’s VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina is expected in Mongu tomorrow for a three-day visit to Barotseland during which she will meet the Litunga (King) before addressing public meetings in the provincial capital, in Senanga and in Nalolo.
This will be her first official visit to the region since President Lungu appointed her as Zambia’s first female Vice-President last January.
According to the programme issued by Zambia’s Western Province administration, obtained and reported by LusakaTimes.com , Ms Wina will hold public meetings at Limulunga market and Mabumba School grounds in Limulunga district.
On Monday, she will address public meetings at Katongo grounds on Senanga road, at Namushakende grounds, where the Zambian government intends to build King Lewanika University, and in Nalolo, while on Tuesday morning, she will pay a courtesy call on the Litunga La-mboela at Nalolo and in the afternoon hold a public meeting at Nasilimwe and another on Wednesday at Nambwae before returning to Lusaka.
However, speculations reported by social media network close to the BRE, BBN, while quoting BRE sources, are that she is in fact sent by the Zambian president Edgar Lungu to clear the way for his impending visit to meet the Kuta and the Litunga.
The BRE insiders further revealed that Mr. Lungu had phoned the Litunga’s office on Monday this week to express his desire to meet the Kuta and the Litunga to put the Barotseland Agreement 1964 to rest without having to go through the imminent court actions at the International court of Justice (ICJ), Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)as well as at the The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) of the African Union, which are all advancing considerably. His commitment, the source further said, was to opt to resolve the matter by either one of two ways:
- Restoration of the abrogated agreement of 1964 or
- settling it through the holding of a REFERENDUM
To demonstrate his sincerity as a Lawyer, Mr. Lungu is further said to have promised to make public the findings of the Rodger Chongwe Commission of inquiry shortly.
However, Mr. Lungu’s suggested two options were already strongly rejected by the majority of the people of Barotseland and all the political activists groups earlier this year when Mr. Lungu announced at a presser in Ethiopia recently that he was going to visit the Kuta to propose the referendum idea. The activists argued that Zambia could not be trusted with a referendum that was not only unnecessary but also inapplicable in the case of Barotseland because the Barotseland Agreement 1964 was never implemented in Zambia as it was repudiated and abrogated shortly after its signing, technically separating Barotseland from Zambia, while the RESTORATION idea was no longer feasible as Barotseland formally consented the agreement’s abrogation in 2012, thereby officially declaring Barotseland’s independence from Zambia.