News Editor, Barotseland Post

News Editor, Barotseland Post

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I wish to thank Hon. on Nyambe Sapaya for his concerns. I would rather want to see them as concerns than attacks as he sounds to be immensely uncertain of what he is saying.

As you may bear witness with me, at no time have I insulted Hon. Sinyinda or insulted any genuine and clear minded Barotse activists.

I know we still have challenges where timely and factual information on the ground is concerned. This may have resulted in some of us sounding as though ‘one was insulting another’ when addressing a genuine concern.

Furthermore, I have never heard of Linyungandambo or Barotsepost insulting other Barotse activists. If I said I have, I would be lying, instead, the information we get from our informers in the BRE is to the effect that the latter have always wondered why the RESTORATION (of Barotseland Agreement) inclined activists have always attacked the likes of Linyungandambo at BRE while the Linyungandambo has not done such.

It is true that we need to be united. But how can we claim to all believe in the independence of Barotseland when other so called activists fail to simply comprehend that the BNC Resolution of 2012 calls for the emergence of a Barotseland Government and not an administrative authorities made up of disgruntled activists who never believed in our independence in the first place?

I have never heard the Linyungandambo initiated Barotseland Royal Government rejecting or having closed its doors to any activists who believe in a Barotseland government as the only way forward.

In the murky Zambian/Barotse politics waters, we cannot be certain as to deals those activists who operate freely have arranged with the oppressors' government. This is said because Hon. Mombotwa (Afumba) and others were arrested as soon as they showed up, while the likes of those who attack other activists and yet claiming to be zealous proponents of Barotseland's total freedom are roaming free. In such a scenario, would a normal thinking individual blame those who may find it a bit safer to "hide in holes"? Certainly not!

We heartily appreciate the sacrifices the likes of Hon. Sapaya have made. We also recognize that all genuine Barotse activists have made sacrifices one way or the other. The only way we can make all those sacrifices truly worthwhile is by realizing and living our independence according to the BNC Resolution 2012 (BNCR2012, if one may like).

We are aware of the enemy's infiltration and would, therefore, advise valuable activists like Hon Sapaya to really be very careful on that. Our focus should be the international recognition of our nationhood not individuals who may be actively working towards achieving that.

It matters less whether such recognition is achieved by Hon Mombotwa or Hon Sinyinda's efforts as long as the goal is arrived at. Personal animosity will not take us anywhere good. Barotseland does not belong to an individual. Some of us have even laid aside our ‘royalty’ all for the sake of our nationhood. Being called mwana' mulena does not thrill me at all as long as our people continue to suffer injustice. However, what is certain is that Barotseland is indeed free and Barotseland has a working government that has already made substantial gains on the international platform. That Barotseland government is for all Marotse.

The unity that Hon. Sapaya is talking about must start with his calling for the release of Hon Mombotwa and others since he well knows the situation they are in. As a matter of fact, we had internationally called for the release of Hon. Sapaya and others then.

Our motto should be "An injury to one is an injury to all."

The BNFA official web site and the BNFA aligned Social media platform, Barotseland Broadcast Network (BBN), have carried sharp criticism from a senior citizen by the name of Nyambe Sapaya, a Barotse nationalist and a Sinyinda enthusiast, who has directed his fury at incarcerated Barotseland Administrator Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Linyungandambo liberation movement, Barotse Post (this publication), independent writers Shuwanga Shuwanga and Saleya Kwalombota for what he has termed ‘insults’ against Hon. Sinyinda, leader of the Barotse National Freedom Alliance, BNFA.

We publish here below, his sentiments as published by the BNFA official web site in their March 6, 2015 article;

"KWALOMBOTA AND SHUWANGA TOLD-OFF BY A BAROTSE NATIONALIST" by Nyambe Sapaya, Barotseland Broadcast Network.

Linyungandambo's mission was good but has been lost half way through fighting other freedom fighters using fake accusations. We can’t worship Afumba or Linyungandambo, NEVER! They started well, but poor finishing is awaiting them. Just look at their mouth piece, the Barotse Post, they don’t even report or give others a chance to express their views over Barotseland statehood. Let them come out and stop hiding. Sinyinda’s office is open and what about theirs?

Kanti Saleya Kwalombota kimani (who is Saleya Kwalombota)? Information has it that he is a young man living in comfort in Gaborone, Botswana. He has never shown his face to the Barotse. What has he done to the people of Barotseland or to Barotseland itself? He is a new kid on the block who starts by insulting our integrity. He should know that, we have suffered a lot. We have been arrested, beaten, shot and jailed by the illegal Zambia regime over the issue of Barotseland statehood. I, in particular, lost my family’a nephew and a young brother who died in Zambia jails. Even today, my nephew, Kabayo Kabayo, is still in my heart. It bleeds when I see insults from the likes of Kwalobota. Where was Kwalombota? This man stands and insults us here today. Please stop insulting us.

What does he know about Hon. Clement Sinyinda? Hon. Sinyinda is a man of integrity with a passion for continuing the freedom struggle for Barotseland. Kwalobota and his kind are bitter and jealousy over Sinyinda’s achievements. The so called Royal Barotse government or whatever they call themselves is fake, where are their offices, on the internet or in Windhoek? Let them just know that, we are watching them.

I am disappointed with Shuwanga Shuwanga. Soon after I was introduced to him by a dignified Barotseland national, he is already making outbursts on other Barotse freedom fighters and everyone is wondering if that is indeed how you can achieve independence? Is he in Nakonde or Tanzania from where he keeps on talking ill about Hon. Sinyinda? Jealousy ikamunyokola sha (He will die of jealousy). Please come to your senses. END

We want a united family, co-operation ki mata - BNFA

About the author as published on the BNFA website:

Mr Nyambe Sapaya is a Barotseland freedom fighter arrested twice by the illegal Zambian regime, first on 23rd October 2010 after telling-off then Zambian president, Rupia Banda, then Police Inspector, Francis Kabonde and then Barotseland (Western Province) Zambia Police Commander, Fanwell Siandenge over the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, he together with other Linyungandambo founders, such as Mr Mukubesa Ilukena, Nawa Luyanga, Pastor Nawa Mutakela started their civic education campaign in Barotseland, which shock the Zambian government. Mr Nyambe was arrested for the second time in Limulunga in January 2011 together with the former Ngambela (Prime Minister) of Barotseland, late Maxwell Mututwa, aged 90years at that time.

I note Mutompehi Saleya Kwalombota's response to my article titled Shuwanga on Moreba--A  case of siwawayi, which was in turn a response to Shuwanga’s article. I wish to make the following observations:

1.    Creation of Provisional or Transitional Government

Mutompehi Kwalombota has made great effort in defining the spheres of government, though in the context of Barotseland Kingdom he forgot to mention the Monarch. While his effort is appreciated, it was not the matter of contention. Further, there is nowhere in my article where I demanded that the start-up government should be elected and neither did the question of legitimacy arise. Indeed, the issue of legitimizing any governmental set-up should be one of the key ingredients of the process of establishing sovereignty, but it is not necessarily a starting point.

The point I raised was that of visibility of the Afumba government or whatever it calls itself in terms of tangible performance in areas such as the ones Mutompehi Kwalombota outlined—Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. A government, whether provisional or substantive, should be felt by the people it is serving through tangible outcomes, otherwise it is nothing but mandwani (child play). With substantial performance being churned out, there will be no need to beg uninterested people to join, support or recognize it as they will simply be sucked-in by its whirlwind. On the issue of who was mandated to run governmental affairs by the Barotse National Council resolutions of March 27, 2012, Mutompehi Kwalombota should pinpoint which one supports his provisional government.

2.    Co-operation with others

Mutompehi Kwalombota is suggesting that Moreba and/or BNFA members are uncooperative and arrogant in not wanting to work with other organizations. He forgets that Shuwanga’s theme, as reflected in the title and the rest of his article, was that BNFA should DISBAND and WORK WITH the so called transitional government. Who created this illusive Provisional government? I pointed out that BNFA was a creation of the efforts of Linyungandambo and the other organizations that are now comprised in it while the said Linyungandambo has stood aloof after assisting that creation. Mutompehi Kwalombota has not disputed these facts. So who is uncooperative and arrogant? What does the phrase ‘disband and work with entail? We should learn to understand the words we choose to use.

3.    Interpretation and application of the BNC resolutions

The BNFA has not held itself as a government and does not wish to prevent formation of government. The BNFA’s main objective is to facilitate implementation of the BNC resolutions as correctly interpreted, including assisting the Barotse Government, as it existed at the time of the BNC meeting and supporting the modernization of its institutions as laid out in the resolutions. Resolutions 8 and 10 are very clear in that regard and they do not mandate any one of the participating groups to unilaterally form a parallel government or structures. Has Mutompehi Kwalobota forgotten that BRE was Kaunda’s creation and mockery? We have always had the Barotse Government, despite the onslaught by successive Zambian regimes.

The BNFA’s activities which are in the public domain include:

1)    Barotseland membership to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). It is Barotseland as a nation that has been admitted as a member not an individual activist group. No individual activist group has been registered or de-registered;

2)    Prosecution of the matter laid by the Ngambela of Barotseland and Others before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR), which is an organ of the African Union based in The Gambian capital of Banjul. The Commission is in session right now and I trust that it will be considered as per our plea—it is common knowledge that the Zambian government failed to provide counter evidence;

3)    The matter of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague where the immediate past Zambian president ran-away from the process by refusing to append his signature and thereby admitting guilty. We have since challenged the new president to rise to the occasion and do the needful—Already, he is also showing symptoms of running away;

4)     Engaging SADC to support Barotseland statehood as clearly demonstrated by Zambia’s admission of guilty by failing to append its signature to the PCA process as in (3) above; and

5)    The reconstitution of the Barotse government via the establishment of an all embracing Barotseland Transitional Authority (BTA)—Transitional Katengo Legislative Council.

In what sense are these activities contradicting the BNC resolutions? Going forward, it will be very useful for anyone claiming to be acting on the basis of the BNC resolutions, or accusing others of violating them, to cite the specific resolution/action that is being violated or implemented in contradiction thereof by such a party. Wild claims or accusations do not help the attainment of Barotseland statehood.

Zambia's SPORTS minister Vincent Mwale says the government is scrutinising the K294 million Mongu Stadium contract as it is too expensive for a 20,000-seater facility.

And Parliament heard on Tuesday that Wakong Enterprises and PJP Associates Limited, who are the contractors engaged to jointly erect the stadium are demanding K59 million to move on site.

Responding to concerns raised by opposition backbenchers on the reasoning behind the signing of such an expensive contract for a small stadium, Mwale said the government was reviewing the whole issue.

Kalabo Central UPND member of parliament Chinga Miyutu wondered whether the initial amount would suffice to complete the stadium, to which Mwale responded in the negative.

“It’s true that time has passed since this contract was awarded to the contractors. I know that obviously the prices for things like cement and other materials have escalated but I must mention here that the Ministry of Finance is really finding it hard to raise this money because even just the initial payment looks so huge,” Mwale said.

“I mean, K294 million, more than US$40 million for a 20,000-seater capacity stadium; I think that it’s so exorbitant.”

Mwale said his ministry was working out modalities of seeking a cheaper contractor for the project, even though it had already engaged those awarded.

Keembe MMD member of parliament Lieutenant-General Ronnie Shikapwasha wondered why the government did not sign the contract after securing funds, to which Mwale said the state had negotiated with the contractor, who had agreed not to move on site untill funds were secured.

“We have had challenges and the ministry has raised very serious questions of the pricing of this stadium. We are trying to get back to the contractors to look at the whole pricing and negotiate,” Mwale said.

Mafinga MMD member of parliament Catherine Namugala asked Mwale to be categorical, that the contract would be cancelled and a new one entered into, so as to save resources, but the minister said negotiations were ongoing with the substantive contractors.

“We have to wait for the negotiations to be concluded, we are not sure. We are going to lose money because we might get a better price after negotiations with the contractors,” he said.

And earlier, sports deputy minister Ronald Chitotela told the House that the contractors were demanding K59 million as initial payments to move on site.
Chitotela was responding to follow-up questions by Lubasenshi independent member of parliament Patrick Mucheleka and Miyutu over the matter.
He explained that the contract would run for 24 months after works resume.

“So far the contractors have issued a demand for down payment of K59 million. Once this money is paid, they will move on site,” Chitotela said.

He explained that the construction of the stadium would only resume once the government had sourced funds.
He said so far, over K300,000 had been spent on the project for bush clearing.

Kasempa MMD member of parliament Kabinga Pande asked why the government signed a contract without money, to which  Chitotela said the project was launched in 2013 by late president Michael Sata even when it was not budgeted for -

Zambia’s Minister of Information and government's official spokesperson, Chishimba Kambwili, has rebuked the 'Nkoya' Royal council’s David Tamboka for alleging that the Zambian government did not consider Nkoyas for any government positions.

The Nkoya faction that has been used as a tool to destabilize Barotseland by the Zambian government has attacked its sponsors by accusing Zambian President Edgar Lungu of being ‘a Lozi tribalist.’

Nkoya ‘Royal Council’ (a creation of the Zambian government) Chairperson David Tamboka claimed that the Zambian government was siding with one ethnic group which he said was dividing the region.

Tamboka said the Zambian government should reserve some positions for Nkoyas so that they also have representatives in the governance system and complained that every new government left the Nkoyas out of governance.

He said Nkoyas would soon seek audience with government so that they actively participate in governance of the country and warned that if government did not listen to them they would demonstrate against people appointed by the Zambian government to serve in Kaoma.

The Nkoya constitute only 16 percent of the population of Kaoma which is comprised of Luyis, Kaondes, Luvales, Mbundas and Chokwes but have always accused a nonexistent tribe they call 'Lozi' of undermining them. Lozi is not a tribe but a language (Lingua franca) spoken by all ethnic groups of Barotseland.

But the chief government spokesperson for the Zambian government Chishimba Kambwili has expressed disappointment at the remarks by Tamboka.

Kambwili said on Wednesday, 4th 2015, that Tamboka’s tribal statement can cause disunity in the country adding that government cannot reserve positions for one tribe.

The Zambian government has for a long time been using certain Nkoya individuals to destabilize Barotseland by promoting ethnic tension and sponsored the creation of the so called 'Nkoya Royal Council' which is now attacking them.

The Nkoya sentiments appeared in the Daily Nation newspaper edition of Wednesday 04th March 2015.

Muziba, Nayoto and Sikwebele were today brought to Mongu high court by prison officers, to an enthusiastic warm Barotseland greeting from many of their supporters who had come to attend their appeal case take off today. However, they were not brought into the maim court room because their appeal case was moved to 11th of March 2015. As such, upon arrival at the courts, the trio was kept in waiting cells. Many people, however, were able to greet them, and as they were taken back out of the court grounds, people and supporters sang the Barotseland national anthem, ‘Bulozi fasi Labondata luna’ among other solidarity songs.

The three are currently serving jail sentences of three years each with hard labour for “publication of false news with intent to cause fear or alarm to the public contrary to the laws of Zambia” a case they have since appealed against.

A female judge yet to be named has been assigned this case, as trial starts next week on Wednesday, the 11th of March 2015.

The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.