News Editor, Barotseland Post
The ruthless illegal shutting down of online publications under the PF administration points to excessive intolerance of criticism and fear of the unknown by the tribal regime of President Sata.
The savage and brutal closure of the Zambian online publication like the Zambian watch dog, the Zambia reports and the Barotse post is clearly un-front and assault on democracy as the free press and media freedoms are essential ingredients in the growth of democracy and human development.
We remain pessimistic on the commitment of this regime on the actual enactment of the access to information bill. Our view is that the regime will continue to play hide and seek. At best we think the regime is merely playing to the gallery and buying time.
No one believes that any responsible government committed to a free press and access to information can at short notice spend millions of Zambian Kwacha to procure high tech equipment to block and kill the free flow of information amongst the citizenry.
Most of the online publicans have operated freely in the past under the previous MMD administrations.
We think China has not been very helpful in helping cultivate a sense of responsible leadership amongst their African trading partners. The continued proliferation and selling and supplying of various eavesdropping gadgets and apparatuses that goes to stifle and block various forms of freedom remains a source of grave concern. Africa should be assisted to grow to their fullest potential in various social and political freedoms without outside interference. We regret to say that China rather than being a good friend and a solution for Africa on one hand has become part of the problem on the other hand by supplying despotic regimes with high technical gadgets and various accessories with which regimes are using to mercilessly interfere in the enjoyment of the various forms of freedom.
We implore and dare the Zambian government to officially unblock the online publications as a gesture of goodwill and prerequisite to commitment of freedom of information and also to demonstrate genuine commitment to media freedom.
The PF is a beneficiary of a free press and therefore must be seen to respect and support institutions that help disseminate information to the public.
We welcome the announcement by government to start giving state funding to private media houses. This is a welcome development and initiative which should be supported by everyone committed to the growth of the private media.
Mr. Mutungulu Wanga, Deputy Chairman of BNFA Strategy, cannot find an excuse to open unhealed wounds of people who were incarcerated by Zambia in 2013. Those gallant and brave men who stood firm to defend Barotseland in the courts of the enemy deserve respect and not to be castigated in anyway by a genuine Mulozi.
It is an open secret that the whole world stood up to condemn Zambia for arresting those people. Refer to the Secretary of State for America Hon. John Kerry, in the 2013 Human Rights Report on Zambia. Even reasonable Mps in Zambia condemned the arrests of the Barotse people. Surely, if we were to bring one who was arresting them for a live interview on TV to answer questions from the public as to why they arrested Mr. Clement W. Sinyinda, there would be nothing to get from him. The truth will always remain that the state, as it is called, failed completely to prosecute those courageous, patriotic, noble, bold and genuine Barotzis, because they did nothing wrong. Only Mr. Wanga seems to condemn them, and think they are nothing. Let us give credit where it is due!
As to his outburst concerning Barotseland Government Mr. Wanga cannot try to be a champion in the field where he is not an expert! Even if we were to summon scholars of international politics for debate, Mr. Wanga would not make a point with his opinions engulfed with hatred. What is a prerequisite to trigger revolution? What qualification is needed to stop a revolution? We leave these questions open for Mr. Wanga to answer.
Even if the BNFA Deputy Chairman General were to put the BTA today, that BTA would not be put simultaneously with the Barotseland Police or Army. Let Mr. Wanga tell us what he is going to do with Zambia police after the BTA has been put? When will the modern time Mr. Wanga was referring to going to start? Did the case of Kosovo’s declaration of independence take place in modern or ancient time? Tell the people of Barotseland what the International Court of Justice said concerning the declaration of Kosovo?
What is true is that, had it not been for the activities of BFM and Linyungandambo and the people he is insulting, Mr. Wanga would not be writing letters petitioning for Human Rights abuse (riding on the tide fortune).
Rationally, nobody can attack or fight what does not exist! We love Mr. Wanga because he is a Mulozi. However, what he has to understand (and of course he is not forced) is that, whatever one does, says, or commitment he/she undertakes, there are risks such as:
i) Emotional risk – where you feel betrayed by someone you trusted much.
ii) Material risk – where you risk losing property.
iii) Intellectual risk – where you risk being told that you are wrong.
iv) Physical risk – where you can lose life or be injured.
Fortunately, people belonging to Linyungandambo know this fact! That is why they stand firm in all situations. If Mr. Wanga wants to avoid these risks in his approach and style, he should shut himself up in a closed room; but that would be a risk as well. Malozi kaufela mina, I can confirm to you that Linyungandambo is on the right truck!!
For curiosity’s sake, can Mr. Wanga release a ten steps plan on how to restore the Barotseland Agreement that he submitted to Dr. Roger Chongwe Commission of Inquiry; audio and visual records are there; bo Wanga is in the gear for Agreement restoration and not for total emancipation of the Barotseland territory. If Mr. Wanga does not know this, he must know it from today, because his actions can tell.
As for the police officers and magistrates who failed law at NIPA; what laws do they apply? Are they applying laws which are inconsistent with Barotseland Agreement or not? People cannot be concerned with them; we know they are just a menace!! Their days are limited, and they will be punished for their actions including their bosses individually.
Assuming that the legal personality derives from the legal right of the entity in question to self-determination, it seems most unlikely that the use of force to assert that right should be illegal.
It is probably the case that the use of force by a none-state entity in exercise of the right to self-determination is legally neutral that is not regulated by law at all.
In their actions against and resistance to such forcible action in pursuit of the exercise of their right to self-determination, such peoples are entitled to seek and receive support in accordance with the purpose and principle of the UN Charter. It is a pity those magistrates in Mungu Mr. Wanga refers to, do not know these facts!! So they should not think that we are fools, because we are peaceful and we do not hit harder!!
Written by Sikopo Mataa
USA-New York Branch
Although Zambia is a constitutional republic governed by a democratically elected president and a unicameral national assembly, United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor has reported that Serious human rights abuses were committed by Zambia during the year 2013
Among these abuses cited under Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including Freedom of Speech and Press, internet freedoms were not respected such as the blocking of this publication, Barotse Post (cited as Barotse Reports) and two major Zambian websites, Zambia Reports and Zambia Watchdog, critical of Zambia's bad governance.
Barotsepost is not only a media platform that seeks to highlight the social political and economic aspirations of the people of Barotseland, but also gives them the platform to express themselves freely without censorship. As such the Zambian government has widely banned it considering it seditious. Many Barotse have been arrested for merely possessing news article extracts from the publication.
With Zambian media outlets forbidden to publish any view point contrary to the Zambian government stand point on the matters relating to the abrogated pre - independence Barotseland Agreement 1964 between then Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland that gave birth to the republic of Zambia, which successive government failed to honor, Barotsepost has been the only media platform that has given the Barotse people exclusive coverage, thereby Zambian government labeling this publication 'propagandist' and seditious.
The Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which guaranteed the political and economic autonomy of the territory of Barotseland within the new independent state of Zambia, which the new Kenneth Kaunda regime repudiated and abrogated within the first 18 months after asserting political power in 1964, and successive Zambian governments there after, has also been highlighted as a major Human Rights Abuse in the year 2013 just like the two years before that.
"The government (Zambia) does not recognize the 1964 Barotseland Agreement that granted the Lozi political autonomy and was signed by the United Kingdom, Northern Rhodesia, and the Barotse Royal Establishment immediately prior to the country’s independence. Some Lozi groups continued to demand official recognition of the Barotseland Agreement or formal secession from Zambia.
"On May 3, the Magistrates Court convicted and sentenced 17 Barotseland secessionists to six months’ imprisonment for destroying copies of the draft constitution in September 2012. On August 14, a Barotseland secessionist group announced that it had formed an administrative government and unilaterally declared independence. Police arrested more than 70 of the activists and charged them with treason. On September 24, police also arrested and charged Clement Sinyinda, former ngambela (prime minister) of the Barotse Royal Establishment in connection with the secessionist group. During several appearances in district court, the Barotse activists told the court they were not Zambian citizens and could not be tried in Zambian courts. On November 2, the state withdrew charges against 31 of the activists. The 50 remaining detainees were released without charge on November 29." the report reads in part.
The report was released by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on February 27 2014. The Zambia 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices can be downloaded in PDF format here: http://ww.state.gov/documents/organization/220386.pdf
As Barotsepost.com turns 2 years this 24th June, we wish to sincerely thank all of you our news readers and followers for your continued support throughout this challenging year and beyond. It was indeed your encouragement that made us through trying times in the year gone. The Year was undoubtedly very challenging, however, we managed to achieve some milestones, and all thanks to your loyal support.
When we set out two years ago little did we realize the timeliness of our entrance on the news media landscape for the Barotse audience, home and abroad, as well as the rest of the world beyond the citizenry of Barotseland. Ours is an effort to interrogate, expose and follow authentic developing stories around Barotseland, an emerging nation that the world now somewhat understands a little more clearly than when we first started, two years ago. There is no doubt that information about this little known story abounds now more than even two years ago. We only hope we have been a great contribution to the distribution of that information, and hopefully you our audience have found our stories and news most helpful in your understanding of what is really obtaining in Barotseland.
Over this year, we have achieved some milestones that we consider significant in spite of the challenges faced in our work. With you unwavering support our audience has grown to milestones averaging now 3 - 4 million hits per month on this platform alone with over 30,000 - 40,000 new visits monthly largely coming in from search engines and direct entries from uniquely new IP locations.
According to Awstats reports, among the top 25 countries visiting our web sites, which accounted for over 80% of our captured audience on Barotsepost alone are:
United States, Great Britain, Poland, Finland, China, Ukraine, Zambia, Germany, Turkey, France, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Namibia, Russian Federation, Kenya, Austria, Australia, Romania, Botswana, Estonia, Mauritius and Others.
Of course we have received an equally tremendous follower-ship on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, especially that these social platforms became the only platform that we could largely reach our Zambian audience after our Barotsepost.com and RadioBarotseland.com were blocked from access through main ISPs in Zambia by the Zambian government from the 10th of September 2013 last year to about March this year when partial access was allowed. It is Sad to note, though, that from mid May to-date, access has once again been denied completely. We are however, grateful that our Zambian audience can still access our platforms from social media as well as through proxy avoidance websites and software, without much difficulty.
We also wish to note, with sadness, that our platform continued to receive inhibitions also in that some people were arrested for having been found with news excerpts allegedly down loaded from Barotsepost.com although these articles were not in themselves seditious in any way as most of the materials used on Barotsepost.com is what already exists in the public domain.
Barotsepost or its associated platforms do not promote propaganda or malice but seeks only to report that which is historically, politically and socially true about the people of Barotseland, and their aspirations for Self-Determination emanating from the failure by successive Zambian governments to honour the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which agreement was signed regarding the position of Barotseland within independent Northern Rhodesia (to be named Zambia at independence) which was concluded and signed at the commonwealth Relations office on 18th May, 1964 by Dr.K.D.Kaunda, Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia, by Sir Mwanawina Lewanika III,K.B.E Litunga, King of Barotseland and by the Right Honourable Duncan Sandys (M.P) Secretary of State for common wealth Relations and for the colonies signifying the approval of Her Majesty the queen of England’s UK Government.
Mr. Waluka Mubita is currently still on trial and detention for having been found with copies of the Barotseland Agreement 1964, The Zambian Constitution Review Executive Summary Report, and the Barotseland National Anthem Lyric (allegedly downloaded from Barotsepost), documents that are very much in the public domain, which Zambia state police have extra judicially deemed ‘seditious’!
Sadly, also, were three (3) Barotse nationals picked up in Livingstone on Sunday of 8th September 2013 for being in possession of news articles they allegedly downloaded from www.barotsepost.com . The three were immediately taken into police custody and upon interrogation one was set free while two were transported to Mongu Central police over seditious or possibly treasonous charges.
The two transferred to Mongu were a Mr. Akakandelwa Erick and a Pastor Matongo, while a Mr. Muyunda was released.
Our commitment going forward is to grow even bigger in our service to you. As such a new and bigger Barotsepost.com web site will be launched soon to cover more sectors of Barotseland, such as Business, Economy, Agriculture, Mining, the Environment, Arts and culture, among many other thematic areas.
Finally, we wish to thank the different interest groups of Barotseland such as the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), the liberation movements; The Linyungandambo, BFM (Barotseland Freedom), MOREBA (Movement for the Restoration of Barotseland), Barotseland National Youth League, Barotse National Youth League, BI (Barotse Imilema), to mention but a few, as well as individual activists who have allowed us to freely cover their activities, in their individual groupings as well as through their collective membership under the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) whose leadership we are greatly thankful to.
We may have fallen short in some ways, but our commitment was and is always to do our very best as we offer our service to them and Barotseland.
The Afumba Mombotwa led Barotseland transitional government (whose banner and support we operate under) deserve our sincere gratitude for giving us the opportunity and liberty to cover authenticated developing stories around Barotseland and beyond, without their censorship or inhibition. We are truly enjoying 'freedom of the Press' under their guidance and support.
To our many editors, contributors, volunteers and news writers we wish to say, 'What would we do without them?' Though too numerous to mention by name, our prayer is that they will not only continue offering their service to Barotseland but also that more and more volunteers will come on board so that Barotsepost can truly expand and grow as we offer another year of service to not only Barotseland but the whole world and humanity at large.
Tukongote! Litunga Nilyetu
Barotsepost - The Independent Post of Barotseland Team
God Bless all our readers and Followers!
In a continued effort to highlight and promote the social cultural and political aspirations of the people of Barotseland, Barotsepost (this publication) has forged a partnership with a locally based and social media magazine Barotse Hiphop and Rnb Magazine (BHRBM). With this partnership our readership will be exposed to the musical arts and culture of Barotseland, detailing the efforts of Barotseland based as well as internationally based artists, who are working hard to produce works of art and entertainment, especially music, so that the Barotseland music, arts and entertainment industry can not only bud but also flourish.
“As a dynamic and growing media platform we hope that we can do our bit to promote the budding but rich arts, cultural, music and entertainment industry of Barotseland.” Said Sibeta Mundia of the Barotsepost editorial team.
This partnership will also mean that works of art and music identified and sourced by BHRBM will also be played and featured on Radio Barotseland (currently internet based) as well as Barotse TV which will launch as soon as possible. Artist profiles, recording studios, cultural groups and all entertainment houses contributing to the growth of the industry in Barotseland will have a chance to be advertised and featured on Barotsepost and all its associated media platforms.
Meanwhile, BHRBM in an article on why Barotseland music industry needed promotion had this to say:
The Music industry in Barotseland.
Entertainment in Barotseland is on the rise with youths showcasing their skills. Those blessed with the talent have realized their duty of feeding their motherland with the entertainment they need rather than relying on Zambia, whose Entertainment Industry has continued to favour mostly two tribes out of many tribes the nation has.
Every Nation need to be entertained, this is why Barotseland has not remained behind as far as art is concerned. The main form of art in Barotseland currently is "Music."
The history of Music in Barotseland can be dated back to the times of Frank Mukanwa, and many legendary artists of the early 21st century when Traditional Musical Bands like Barotse Band came to the scene. Barotse Band is believed to have paved a way for artists such as the now legendary ‘Professor’ Mungunda, Natalui Band, Tuyana Musica and many others.
However, folk music is slowly fading. This is because the new generation has embraced urban music with Hiphop, RnB, and Dance-hall becoming favorite genres. This type of music has continued to receive positive response from different age groups, particularly the youths. Since positive change should always be accepted, it is the duty of every patriotic Barotse citizen to support the movement. Therefore, Barotse Hiphop and Rnb Magazine is making efforts to promote this ‘Mbunga’ music as music promotion still remains a challenge in Barotseland.
Every region in Barotseland has its own music stars, however the following are some of the biggest names in the Industry; Jah Boy from Mongu, Arube from Mongu, Bling Gee from Kaoma, Mumble jumble from Kaoma, Mwali Ginx Senanga, B-boy from Kalabo, Mutumba Libeke from Sesheke as male artists with Females artists like; Kassy Nalu, Lady mooka, Momo Diva, T-girl and City girl all from Mongu and many others.
Producers on the other hand are doing everything possible to bring the best sounds to our motherland. There are some notable big names to the music production sector already with good and creative producers such as; Radikoh of Dollaz Entertainment, Trex Tripo of Foxbark music (Kaoma), Rapid-x of Mega Sounds (Mongu) Prince of Sunrise (Mongu), Young killa of Mbunga Records (Kalabo) Dj wazz of Imac music (Kaoma), Mutumba Libeleki of Aluyana Records( Sesheke) and many more.
Music as art can be used as a unitary tool in Barotseland if much effort is done to promote it. Therefore Barotse Hiphop and Rnb Magazine urge all Barotseland citizens to come on board and help promote Mbunga music.
We, therefore, wish to thank Barotsepost and its team for having identified BHRBM for this partnership. We can only hope and pray that it is a partnership that will bring great joy and happiness to many in Barotseland and beyond.
For more of Mbunga music posts and updates follow Barotse Hihopp and Rnb Magazine on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/barotsemusic
Barotse Hiphop and Rnb Magazine (BHRBM)
It is like only yesterday when, exactly 1 year ago today, that we decided to embark on an endeavor that we believed would add value to Barotseland’s quest for Self Determination, which we were convinced as much as we still are, is a Human Right for any human being on earth, therefore, the people of Barotseland’s right given the historical context that they found themselves as a geo political nation engulfed and almost completely swallowed under the patronage of another country, Zambia, having been deceived into signing the Barotseland Agreement 1964 with people who had no intention of honoring it but fully intended to abrogate it no sooner had it been signed.
At the core of our undertaking at Barotsepost this past year was the realization that no Zambian media platform would have the commitment to truthfully report and represent the views of the Barotse people, seeing that most of the Zambian people regarded and still regard any one, let alone any Barotse, who dared to express any views that exposed Zambia and her government’s treacherous treatment of Barotseland as enemy number of their so called peaceful existence under the falsified slogan of ‘One Zambia One Nation’ when in fact most Zambians are ignorant of the genesis of that base slogan and how it really became the bedrock of untold misery to many Barotse people as Zambia sought to repress any one that tried to highlight the deceitfulness of the Kaunda regime and subsequently the successive Zambian regimes.
To this day many of us are still regarded as enemies of both state and society, only because we have chosen to point out a historical injustice that the people of Barotseland are still faced with and are striving to make every effort and sometimes at great personal and family sacrifice to get out of. Why should we all remain silent knowing what we do now, is a question that every Lozi and Zambian should ask themselves. Does our silence now guarantee that posterity will live freely in a Zambia that has refused to acknowledge even the very historical facts that brought Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland to what the world now know as Zambia? To the contrary, we at Barotsepost believe that our silence today is just a postponement of the inevitable in as far as this whole Barotseland question is concerned. We strongly believe that, whether we like it or not, this question will not vanish away , neither can it be wished away, except we courageously confront it head on or posterity will deem us cowards and irresponsible generation that did nothing to correct historical errors but chose to leave their problems for their offspring to solve. What we must also bear in mind is that a problem not solved today has the potential to grow and become monstrous for future generations.
As such we hoped, one year ago, that we could help in the sensitization and dissemination of views of the many Barotse people home and abroad who lacked any platform in Zambia for expressing their views without being misunderstood or harassed. We have endeavored to do this without fear or favor, amid many challenges from within and without. Within because the Barotse voices are quite diverse and varied, as we found out. Others to this day have not seen the need and even the basis of this ‘struggle’ due to the deliberate blackout that the Zambian government have over the years put over the Barotseland Agreement 1964 . Simply put many Zambians including Barotse people, especially those living and raised outside of Barotseland are completely ignorant. Although thankfully that is now changing. On the other hand few Barotses have seen it as an opportunity to make money as they aligned themselves with the Lusaka administration and therefore, served as informers or traitors of the Barotseland quest for independence, therefore, we needed to carefully make discernment between who were patriotic to the cause and those that were in it for personal enrichment.
Challenges from without were mostly the constant threats and harassment from those that had apportioned themselves as masters over Barotseland and claimed that Barotseland could not possibly survive on her own and therefore must constantly maintain the status quo and continue ‘begging’ for development and that any one that expressed the view of a free and independent Barotseland is committing treason and must be put in prison without trial and possibly have the keys thrown away in the vast oceans and never to be found.
Overall the one year journey has been exciting and adventurous. Friends, as foes, have been many making our work a lot more bearably achievable. Here we are talking about the support of our gallant men and women in the liberation movement, some of whom have enriched and deepened our understanding of the real issues surrounding the Barotseland struggle. These constantly gave us news and trusted us to report and relay it to the masses hungry for news about Barotseland, without misrepresentations, or using that news entrusted to us against them with the Lusaka administration and their police. To these men and women, too numerous to mention, we are eternally grateful. Suffice to say that the following deserve special mention in no particular order; Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and his team in the Linyungandambo, Rt. Hon. Nyambe Namushi and his team in the Barotseland Freedom Movement, Rt. Hon. Mutungulu Wanga with his team at MOREBA, Pastor Kaluwe of the Barotse Peace Foundation. Kumina bashemi baluna luti lwitumezi ahulu, shangwe. Others are the Barotseland National Youth League team and their counterpart at Barotse National Youth League.
Special thanks also must rightly go to the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), particularly, Rt. Hon Clement W Sinyinda, in his capacity then as The Ngambela of Barotseland for most part of the year and also in his personal capacity after his BRE assignment. Others are Induna Mukuluwakashiko, Induna Inete and the present BRE leadership of Acting Ngambela Induna Kalonga
Personal mention also go to contributors at Barotsepost, again in no particular order, such as Mungandi wa Mungandi, Shuwanga Shuwanga, Nayoto Mwenda, Martin N Makweti, Mushoke Walusiku, Mulope Mutumba, Kalaluka Mwiya Jr, Maurice Pelekelo, Muyunda Makala and many others as they contributed either in their personal capacity or as representatives of their organizations. Yela mina haiba kuli lumisile fa mizo, shangwe baluswalele mukwa wakuba batu, fokumwi lwalibalanga.
Our list of appreciation will not be complete without the mention of the friends on the social networks such as Bulozi Nahayaluna, Barotseland Broadcast Network, Federation of Free States of Africa, Free State of Barotseland, UNFS, Barotseland Transitional Government, Zambian Watchdog, Post online, Lusakatimes, Zambia Daily Mail as well as those bloggers and commentators on either Barotsepost or our face book platforms, supporters and critics alike, too many to mention, who either supplied vital Intel, stories,news or videos. Studio Sakata, Skwizi, Lubasi (King Jah) and several other artists we say thank you for your gallantry and artistic works. Lindwalume kaufela, friends and comrades who have suffered arrests and persecution, you are dearly remembered and appreciated. You made most of our stories through your unfortunate sufferings at the hands of Zambian security forces. You are too many to mention. Soldier on as we are nearer to our deliverance now more than before.
Finally, appreciation go to the Barotseland Government and the Barotseland Nationals home and abroad for your support and readership and audience. We can only hope we have served you well this year and hopefully we will serve you better going forward. Barotsepost rose from a few hits a month to now about 2million hits a month!! We, therefore, wish to commit ourselves to continue being that platform you can rely on for authenticated and un-sensationalized developing stories around Barotseland and beyond.
Coincidentally our second year starts with an addition of the internet Radio Barotseland (www.radiobarotseland.com) whose usefulness is yet to be realized as we officially inaugurate our first Live Chat Forum this Friday the 28th of June 2013 at 19:00hrs (CAT) / 05.00PM (GMT) which we hope to stream around the world through interaction with you our audience and readers via Phoneline (number to be unveiled on Friday), Skype (radio.barotseland), Facebook (www.facebook.com/BPnewspaper) and Twitter (@BarotsePost)
Tukongote, Litunga Ni Lyetu, Muyoyange Malozi Kaufela - Barotsepost Team