News Editor, Barotseland Post
The Lusaka High court was today a hive of colorful activity as Lozi Indunas dressed in their Lizibas and mashushus submitted that the current Mweene Mutondo of the Nkoya is illegally in Office and was wrongly gazetted by the Zambian government, using undesirable Zambian politics. This came to light when Induna Mutwaileti, who was one of the 16 Indunas that came from the Kuta as key witnesses on behalf of the BRE took to the witness stand. This is in continued trial in which Chief Mweene Mutondo has sued the BRE in Kaoma for stopping him to rule the entire Kaoma district as a senior Chief.
“Government has interfered with our governance system in Barotseland by using politics since 1964” charged BRE's Induna Mutwaileti as he told the court furiously over what he termed as abrogation of The Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
Induna Mutwaileti said that the current Mweene Mutondo is illegally in office as he did not go through the normal process according to the Lozi tradition and customs. He added that he (Mweene Mutondo) was not only illegally in office but was also a wrong person to have taken that position even according to the Nkoya Royal family tree. He said this was witnessed by some people who had petitioned the BRE in Mongu to remove him (Mweene Mutondo) from the throne as he was not an original Nkoya, because he is believed to be half Nkoya, which case was taken to Mongu high court.
The Induna clarified that infant it is his office which is in charge of installing Chiefs like Mwene Mutondo on behalf of his Majesty the Litunga of Barotseland, at which point he outlined the whole process of installing the chiefs beginning from the initial process of being picked by the family members to being taken to Lealui where one is officially installed as a chief in the presence of everyone including government officials. At Lealui, a number of traditional rites are performed which include covering of the blanket (kuapeswa kubo) giving of the whisk (muhata), gong (ngongi), skin (mukata) and special advise (litaelo) by Indunas in front of the Litunga while seated on a traditional mat which consist part of the instruments of power.
The new chief is further given extra instruments and more advise by the Litunga himself. Later on the chief is taken back to his Palace by the Indunas who go and present the new chief to his people, and further instructions are given there on how they should treat him and take care of him among other things. When all is done, and about a month or so later, the Litunga writes the Zambian president to officially recognize the chief by Government Gazette. However, all this never took place in the case of this particular mwene Mutondo despite his fore fathers having followed the same procedure.
He added that efforts were made in 1994 to have him follow all the process, but that after he promised to go there in February the same year he did not do so but only to hear that, somehow, the Zambian government had already gazetted him much to the BRE's surprise, which in return refused to recognize him as a chief. Despite him having refused to follow this process, other Nkoya chiefs like Chief Mweene Kahale of the same Nkoya speaking people did the same process in 2006, and has since been recognized by the BRE and the Litunga.
In cross examination by the complainant's lawyer Mr. Sebastian Zulu SC, who asked whether Nkoyas had no rights to their cultures, the Induna said Nkoyas like all other tribes in Barotseland have rights and were enjoying their rights within their jurisdiction. "The problem," the induna continued, "started in 1964 because of the politics by the Zambian government in the governance system of Barotseland. Between the period 1884 to 1964 there was harmony in Barotseland."
“Is it that those Nkoyas who were there then were not intelligent?” he asked.
He added that in Barotseland, which came to exist together with Northern Rhodesia in 1964 through the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, the Litunga is the owner of the land.
“My lady, Litunga means land. In Barotseland the Litunga is the owner of the land, and there is no state land.” said Mutwaileti emphatically.
As to whether the Nkoyas cannot rule in Barotseland, he said they have their powers and rights but that does not surpass that of the Litunga and that if they (Nkoyas) did not agree to that, they were free to go back to wherever they came from. The Induna who physically looked very infuriated with the matter, had to be cooled down by the lawyer,
"I know you are an Induna and am giving you respect, please take your time" advised Sebastian Zulu.
Mutwaileti further added that the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 which was signed in Britain by both countries had been broken by the Zambian government especially Kaunda and that anyone who wanted to make the changes should go back to the drawing board in Britain where it was signed.
But lawyer Zulu said the matter (Barotseland Agreement 1964) the Induna was bringing in court was not necessary in the case at hand, at which point Mutwaileti insisted;
“But that is the genesis of everything which has brought us here, where have you heard the Litunga been taken to court in Barotseland, you have abrogated the BA 1964 which brought us together. This is politics you are bringing because from time immemorial my Lady that has been the system in Barotseland, and we are shocked to see these jokes for the first time.
“In Barotseland there are about 38 ethnic tribes making one language called siLozi. Even these gazettes and records government has are wrong; written by wrong people, and as BRE we don't recognize such confusion in our system. Senior chief Amukena of Naliele Palace is a chief for all people in Kaoma including the Nkoya.
“Even though in your gazette it indicates only Naliele, that is just his capital but he rules the entire Kaoma districts including the new ones” concluded Mutwaileti.
The case has since been adjourned to tomorrow (Thursday 26th) at 10:00 hrs, as defense closes up tomorrow with Induna Imandi who will be the last witness called in by defense council. The state is also expected to bring some witnesses in the same matter through the office of the DPP who have since informed the court that their only key witness, the then PS at the ministry of local government and housing died last week, and that they have since informed state house to look for someone else as a replacement.
It will be important to briefly run down some of the government formation processes to remove the innuendo being peddled by those unaware of these processes as they exist in international law, such as has been displayed by some top BNFA leadership and members lately.
‘GOVERNMENT’ is the political organization of the state. It is the concrete and visible instrument of state power. We should be aware that the government is the agency through which common policies are determined, and by which common affairs are regulated.
The particular form of government depends upon the nature of the ‘STATE’ which in turn depends upon the political habits and character of the people. Government usually consists of three branches: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. Their respective functions are legislation, administration and adjudication.
A community of persons does not necessarily form a ‘STATE’ unless it is organized by an established Government, whether in ‘waiting’ or ‘Transitional’ or whether it be based in the ‘TERRITORY’ or in ‘EXILE’.
The ‘Government’ is a very essential ingredient in ‘State’ formation, as without the government's organization; the international community will not take our independence declaration seriously.
‘Governments’ in liberation period can be formed in exile or in the territory they claim, and whether they have complete or partial territorial control is normally NOT really the point. It should also be noted that it is the mandate of the liberation group (s) to form government that will be championing the aspirations of the people. At this stage it can be termed (once it is publicly named) as a PROVISIONAL or TRANSITIONAL government, which is just a vehicle to coordinate the people's ‘Will’ to the international community when it is in bondage. Before the naming Stage it may be termed as GOVERNMENT IN WAITING as they are organizing local support and waiting for certain processes to be ready. PROVISIONAL governments are never usually 'ELECTED' as popular ways of national elections may not be available or may have been suspended, but may have some local process and usually involve willing members from across the popular divide.
Therefore those opposing the formation of transitional government in preference to alliance are either enemies of progressive community or are indeed exposing their deep lack of understanding in International law and process.
There are different kinds of governments in different states, common examples being, MONARCHY, DEMOCRACY and DICTATORSHIP.
Barotseland is a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY system, in which State power is shared between the CIVIL government and the MONARCH, while maintaining distinctive roles between the Royal and the government in a clear cut manner.
ACTIONS OF TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENTS OR GOVERNMENTS IN WAITING, WHETHER THEY BE IN THE TERRITORY OF CONTROL OR IN EXILE.
International law recognizes that such Governments may undertake many types of actions in the conduct of their daily affairs.
These actions include:
1. Becoming a party to a bilateral or international treaty;
2. Amending or revising its own constitution;
3. Maintaining military forces;
4. Retaining (or "newly obtaining") diplomatic recognition by sovereign
5. Issuing national identity cards;
6. Allowing the formation of new political parties;
7. Instituting democratic reforms holding elections allowing for direct (or more broadly-based) - elections of its government officers, etc.
To conclude on the brief subject of Government, I wish, therefore, to let the people of Barotseland know that a TRANSITIONAL government is in place in Barotseland, and YES, this Government is LEGITIMATE and it meets the INTERNATIONAL NORMS. It has already started mobilizing towards the attainment and the actualization of some and many of the above mentioned activities.
So let us all consider it our DUTY to RALLY behind this government to actualize our DREAM. It will not and may not appear to have all the CHARACTERISTICS of a FULLY FUNCTIONAL government (for LOGISTICAL and other REASONS such as SECURITY, etc), BUT let all Barotseland be united under this Royal Barotseland government in place. It is MY government; it is YOUR government and OUR government! In TRANSITION, it is led by ADMINISTRATOR GENERAL (As Prime Minister will be ELECTIVE) while THE HEAD OF STATE is the LITUNGA by Default! The formerly BRE is the BRA and has other distinct Role which I can not get to today. This is what our Emancipating Order Stipulates.
ANALYSIS TO MR. WANGA'S "BIWAYAWAYA'' RESPONSE TO SHUWANGA'S ARTICLE "BNFA IS MOREBA IN DISGUISE, A RETROGRESSIVE SET-UP FOR FUTURE QUAGMIRE"
I personally stand to disagree with Mutophehi Wanga's response "biwawayi" to Shuwanga Shuwanga's article "BNFA is MOREBA in Disguise, a Retrogressive set-up for future quagmire" where he seems to have displayed his sheer hatred for Hon. Afumba Mombotwa led government. Wanga's hatred seems to be the reflection of the BNFA's ideology identity, and this kind of attitude has been echoed by the group calling itself "BULOZI NAHAYALUNA" an affiliate women organization under BNFA in today's (25th February, 2015) titled, "Linyungandambo and BNFA must work for the good of Barotseland."
1. SUMMARY OF WANGA'S ARTICLE
1.1. In his pre-amble Hon. Mutungulwa talked of;
a. BNFA's stance against criticism- constructive or non constructive
b. BNFA's members cannot be shaken or challenged by people known to them as ' biwayawaya'
c. That Shuwanga as the author was just rumbling against MOREBA and BNFA associates
In summary of the preamble, Hon Wanga writing as a Deputy Chairperson General-Strategy and Diaspora Liaison, BNFA , has proved that:
1). BNFA leadership is arrogant
2). BNFA leadership is not accommodating to people with different views
3). BNFA leadership has selfish and dictatorial attitude that does not believe in dialogue
4). BNFA leadership is composed of people not "having" diplomacy, dispute and conflict solving skills but mere academic rhetoric.
1.2 REFERENCE TO THE WORD "ALLIANCE"
In his endeavor to justify the alliance, Mr Wanga;
a. mentioned that Shuwanga does not fully understand the word alliance in practice and as an English word and told him to refer to English dictionary for clarification.
b. He further claimed BNFA is an umbrella organ through which programs of members organizations are channeled and coordinated.
I am not inspired with his insinuations that Shuwanga lacks understanding of the English word "Alliance" and its etymology. He failed to challenge the genius elaboration Shuwanga gave, and I quote; "Another worrisome precedent that needs to be honestly challenged is the claim that BNFA is the umbrella movement of all Barotse activist groupings. Such a claim is not only untrue but also malicious, bankrupt and counter-active" end of quote.
Mr Wanga has confirmed that the BNFA represents the ideology of the member organization not to fulfill the wishes of the people, it does not care about the urgency of governance formation.
1.3 OTHER ISSUES RAISE
Mr. Wanga in his quest to justify their alliance's non cooperative attitude;
a. That MOREBA did not change its policy from RESTORATION to INDEPENDENCE of Barotseland, but it moves along ONLY because it was one of the stakeholders at the historic 2012 BNC meeting that resolved for independence.
b. That Shuwanga's invitation of MOREBA to support the Transitional government in place is nonsensical because the ideals and work methods of MOREBA, Shuwanga does not agree with.
c. That the idea that the independence of Barotseland can only be realized when all groups work together is utopian.
d. That the Traditional government if it was in charge of Barotseland it could not have allowed Zambia's presence in Barotseland and could have not gone to the KUTA for permission to fund-raise money for legal fees in the territory it is in charge of.
It is surprising that such reasoning could have come from the person holding a high position in a liberation organization. Instead of explaining the failure by BNFA to work or embrace what Hon Mombotwa led government has achieved and done so far, he throws a twist for not having ideology similar to the government in place. I wonder where on earth a government can exist without giving respect to the head of state.
It is good that the Litunga is recognized as the head of state, and a government operates under the mandate given to it by the head of state. The transitional government’s authority and continuity should be embedded into a modernized system.
How can Mr. Wanga, with due respect, diminish the transitional government in place as manduwani? For God's sake, why should he degrade the job well done by serious and down to earth leaders of transitional government in the light of black-out from public media like that?
Is his organization, the BNFA, aware that it is actually in direct violation of the tenets of the 2012 BNC resolutions, that urgently required for government formation within the possible shortest time to formalize the disengagement from Zambia and notify UN of the intent?
Barotseland must be free. Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
I am very much convinced and know that the PF led Zambian government has no solution to the even hotter Barotseland issue, because they were not there when Mr. Kaunda Kenneth abrogated the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
The current government’s main problem is burying their heads in the sand, pretending that everything is OK, and that there is no problem.
They want to make the whole world believe that:
a) Barotseland was NEVER a state before 1964
b) The Litunga is not and that he was NEVER the Heard of state of the Royal Barotseland Kingdom
c) They have NEVER killed, arrested, maimed, tortured and segregated many Barotzish
d) They have NEVER violated Human Rights in Barotseland
e) Even after 50 years of illegal occupation of Barotseland they still DON’T KNOW the boundaries of Barotseland.
f) Even after serving them with the letter of Intent to Sue them to the International Court of Justice for illegal occupation of Barotseland, ALL is well and silence is the order of the day
g) They DO NOT have intentions to eliminate the top leaders in the nationalist organizations in Barotseland and some prominent figures in the BRE, and they think we don’t know
h) They have not been funding SOME prominent people ‘liberation’ groups to destabilize Barotseland and frustrate the efforts of genuine liberation movements.
Therefore, the slogan “ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION” will NOT help at all now, because just like in the time of its evil master minder and architect Kenneth Kaunda, it is HYPOCRITICAL .Just like the authors and perpetrators of the slogan then were not sincere, so are today’s architects. KAUNDA had an agenda different from that of Sir Mwanawina III, KBE, the other party and signatory to the Barotseland Agreement 1964.
His mission of abrogating the agreement started there; right after signing the agreement. He very well knew that the agreement had envisaged or enshrined in it powers of the Litunga among others, an issue Kaunda perceived as a threat to his ill motive of NOT wanting to share power. He was POWER hungry. He found a perfect LOZI ally and collaborator in the WINA family, who were at the time annoyed with the reigning Litunga for having ‘thrown-out’ their father out of Limulunga royal village to settle at Namitome, East of Limulunga, having lost the Ngambela-ship. Consequently the Wina family thought that being with Zambia would give them some sought of relief for their father’s demotion. They thought being with Zambia would make them more political power to belittle the Litungaship. One wonders whether this is NOT what is currently happening with some frustrated former top BRE leaders?
Let me EMPHASIZE that the slogan will NEVER bring unity in Zambia, as there can NEVER be PEACE in the absence of JUSTICE. Justice for the people of Barotseland and their LITUNGA who are denied of their RIGHT to SELF-DETERMINATION! The slogan can only be used by people who are hiding something. If you reflect back during the Chiluba regime, you will realize that FTJ Chiluba threw it away, because he knew that the people behind the slogan were HYPOCRITICAL.
Progressive people don’t spend time mobilizing Nations to become one nation even if it was not possible. The English belong to England, the French belong to France, the Spanish belong to Spain, the Portuguese belong to Portugal, the Scottish belong to Scotland, the Tswanas belong to Botswana, the Swazis to Swaziland. What is wrong with Barotzish belonging to Barotseland?
To the Zambia government, please, wake up! The ‘One Zambia One nation’ slogan is causing more harm to your reputation. No dog has ever eaten what it had vomited before. The more you shout “ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION” the more Zambia is divided and the more you send more people laughing at you.
The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has challenged the Nkoyas in Barotseland to prove their oppression (Kunyandiswa kwanima). This follows the Nkoya's move to sue Senior chief, HRH Senior Chief Amukena 11 (Prince Makweti Isisteketo Lewanika) of Naliele Palace in Kaoma and the BRE by Chief Mwene Mutondo as first and second defendants respectively in the Lusaka High court. The matter, which started on Monday last week where the Mwene Mutondo's representatives, gave evidence in the matter where they are represented by Sebastian Zulu, a state council.
In their evidence they complained to the court that ‘Lozis’ have oppressed them in many ways like imposing the ‘Lozi’ chiefs on them such as the Naliele Palace, which according to them, was established in 1937 by Mwanawina who came as a tax collector and later on became their chief. They further claim that ‘Lozis’ have stopped the teaching of the Nkoya language in government schools because of the ‘lozi’ influence on government. Further, that Nkoya songs are not been played on radio Zambia, ZNBC and that ‘Lozis’ choose only ‘Lozi’ teachers to go to Nkoyas areas so that they can learn Silozi. They further argued that the whole land in Kaoma belongs to Nkoyas, therefore, no one should rule them on their land.
But during cross examination, the defendant's (BRE) lawyer Mr. Christopher Mundia, state council, gave the Nkoya representatives a tough time to prove their allegations. State council Mundia, who went through the history of the Nkoya’s coming up to the present day Western province, asked Mwene Mutondo's Ngambela as to whether he was aware that he is a refugee in Barotseland going by the history. He asked him whether he recognizes the Litunga as his King, in which he answered no to both questions. He then asked him if that was not insubordination.
Many questions followed which he failed to provide answers to.
Another witness had tough time to prove the allegations to the court, when asked as to how the BRE could exactly choose which teacher to send to which region when the BRE was not the ministry of education. The witness expressed ignorance on that point. Council Mundia further asked if this witness knew the procedure used in choosing which language should be on radio (ZNBC), to which he said no. He was also asked if BRE was the one in charge of that process.
On the claim that Nkoya books were burnt by Lozi people, the witnesses failed to prove.
Lawyer Mundia later produced documents to prove how the Nkoya people have caused problem in Kaoma, which documentary evidence the witnesses failed to challenge. Letters written by District Commissioners (DCs) complaining on how Nkoyas were bringing insecurity in the District were also produced.
Yesterday, Monday the 23rd, was it was the time for BRE's to respond to the allegations in their defense. Acting Induna Imangambwa Hon. Nyambe Namushi laid out the historical background of the Nkoya people from Congo where he stated they ran away because of their insubordination and came to the present day Western province, Kaoma in particular. Mr. Nyambe also outlined clearly how the process of installing chiefs in Barotseland is done before anyone could be recognized as a chief.
He further clarified the assertion that the Palace Naliele was established by around 1936 by the BRE as a tax collecting channel but rather in line with the decentralization policy to suit other districts in Barotseland. He also clarified that the current Mwene Mutondo claimant has not been recognized by the BRE because he did not go through the traditional process of installing a chief in Barotseland, and has since asked the court to de-gazette him. He said Mwene Mutondo is insubordinate to the BRE as he arrogantly failed to appear before it on four occasions he was required to. He stated that in Barotseland all the seven districts have Palaces headed by a resident Prince and Princess to which area chiefs report, and that there are about 90 area chiefs currently. He further stated that the said Mwene Mutondo is a sub chief who should report to Senior Chief Amukena, however, he Mwene Mutondo is currently not doing so. Instead he is creating parallel structures in the district, hence, causing problems, and that his actions have not pleased the BRE.
Mr. Namusihi continued to state that in Kaoma there are about 15 sub chiefs, and Mwene Mutondo is just one of them, but that instead Mwene Mutondo has given himself too much power equivalent to that of a Resident Prince.Mr. Namushi also emphasized that according to the Barotse governance and administration, the Nkoya people, like any tribe in Barotseland, were free to chose who should became the Mwene Mutondo, and that the role of BRE was just to install the chief without any interference.
On Friday 20th, however, there was drama when the interpreter the court had called to interpret Nkoya failed to do his work much to the surprise of the court. He failed to interpret words like ‘chief’, ‘government’, ‘oppression’ and ‘trouble’ among others. But he was not the only one challenged with the language as their hired lawyer who does not understand the Lozi tradition and culture had difficulty explaining certain concepts, save for the help from Mr. Mundia.
Trial continued today as the defense called Indunas from Lealui to come and give evidence among others.
Recognition constitutes the acceptance of a specific position by identifying an entity both in periods of the applicable factual criteria and in periods of resultant lawful repercussions and may generally take two forms, de jure or de facto.
1. De jure recognition is one that is bound by a constitution and considered as legitimate and so accepted by all.
2. When a government as a matter of fact, has effective control over a territory and exercises this control ‘in good faith', but not recognised formally by the existing states, such an entity or government is said to have a de facto recognition.
The government of a territorial entity, whether de jure or de facto only exercises the sovereignty conferred to it by the state. It is possible for the government of state to be recognised but not the state itself. For instance, contacting the foreign affairs ministry of an entity with regards to the welfare of the citizens of the recognised state does not necessarily mean that the state is recognised. It may merely signify the recognition of a governing entity of that territory. If this is the case, the international status and the rights of the peoples and their territory will seem to depend on arbitrary decisions and political contingencies.
Recognition may be expressed or implied. It must however be noted that, recognition does not necessarily mean the establishment of diplomatic and bilateral relations between states or governments. But with regards to diplomatic relations the two are interrelated because, a state cannot establish relations with a territorial entity whiles refusing to recognise it. A state, once recognised and qualified as a state, cannot cease to be a state but in terms of recognition of governments, this could be a possibility.
Barotseland has been a stateless nation for centuries because it lacked what could turn it into a state. The elements of statehood are:
No state can be imagined without the people, as there must be some to rule and others to be ruled. The people constitute its "personal basis". There is no such hard and first rule as to the number of people required to make a state. But it is the kind of people that matters more than their numbers.
People cannot constitute a state, unless they inhabit in a definite territory. So the state requires a fixed territory, with clearly demarcated boundaries over which it exercises undisputed authority. But how much territory is necessary for the maintenance of state? There is no accepted rule as to the size of a state's territory.
This is the important- indeed, indispensable machinery by which the state maintains its existence, carries on its functions and realise its policies and objectives. A community of persons does not form a state unless it is organised by an established government. Government usually consists of three branches: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. Note that the organization of a Barotseland's transitional government in realization of self rule is cardinal and it is in line with international norms.
The fourth essential element of the state is sovereignty. It is that important element which distinguishes the state from all other associations. The word 'Sovereignty' denotes supreme and final legal authority and beyond which no further legal power exists.
Barotseland has its population, a definite territory as documented as it is was in 1900, a duly established government that was organised on 14th August 2013 as Transitional government under the able leadership of His Excellence Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and sovereignty. Absence of any of these elements could denies Barotseland the status of statehood. The current transitional government should be given the support it deserves to effectively exercises the prevalence of internal sovereignty. It is important to bear in mind that the external sovereignty follows the establishment of the internal one, because sovereignty is with the people ,exercised by the representatives of the people.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
By Mutungulu Wanga, Deputy Chairperson General-Strategy and Diaspora Liaison, BNFA
Reasonable people are not easily moved by happenings around them, taking action only when there is absolute need and not regretting it afterwards. But in society there are other people who are naturally unsure of themselves and these are prone to move with the wind, which ever direction it blows. A clear demonstration is found in harvested grain, such as maize, which is normally mixed with some remnants of off cuts of maize stock leaves or cob covers, otherwise known as biwawayi . When the wind blows the maize grain, on account of its high value, does not move or shake but the biwawayi will always manifest movements, depicting their unstable character.
The recent Barotse Post article by Shuwanga containing rumblings against the Movement for the Restoration of Barotseland (MOREBA) and its alliance partners in the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) calls for comments because it is a follow-up on a number of other postings by him, which have been ignored for their inconsequential content, thereby raising need for the writer to be made aware of his error lest he is carried away with the mistaken belief that his performance is anything to write home about. Meanwhile, it should pointed out, from the outset, that each and every time members of the BNFA have had to debate an issue with anyone on this forum it has been in form of a response to attacks on either the organization in general or specific individual members of the organization. Surprisingly, some contributors to the debate who bemoan the fact that the matters arising from the ensuing exchange constitute washing of dirt linen in public only come up with their wise counsel after those who were on the receiving end of the barrage of attacks have responded, forgetting the much more wise adage that prevention is better than cure. It is with this background that the following comments on Shuwanga's recent effort at painting red the BNFA and, through it, MOREBA, are made:
1. 1. Meaning and Purpose of an Organizational Alliance.
Clearly, Mutompehi Shuwanga has a very misleading understanding of not only the functioning of an alliance of organizations but also that of groupings of individuals. It appears, from the disappointment he displays on seeing MOREBA's characteristics emerging in the BNFA, that his expectations were that the organizations that formed the Alliance would cease to exist and a completely new set up devoid of any semblance of the partners will emerge. This is a very poor interpretation of the word Alliance as a noun, and he would be better advised to pick up the ELD (English learners dictionary) to acquaint himself with the correct meaning of the word so that he performs better next time he grapples with this subject.
The BNFA is an umbrella organ through which the programmes of the member organizations are channeled and coordinated, nothing more and nothing less. While it is expected that the Alliance partners will influence and even modify each others programmes and outlook, the major objective is that of coordinated effort and thus enhanced action on issues and not annihilation of member organizations of the Alliance. This is the basic ingredient of any Alliance or partnership, whether at individual or organizational level, and this extends even to amalgamation of nations into federal or unitary states. The reason the unitary state of Zambia has failed is that the characteristics of Barotseland as a partner have been suppressed by the governing authorities and this is a recipe for breakup of any such partnership. It is assumed herein that Mutompehi Shuwanga is married, and an examination of his family unit will show that the characteristics of both himself and his spouse are not only reflective in his homestead but the offspring of the marriage as well. Anyone who finds fault with such a revelation does not know what they are dealing with.
As for the complaint about MOREBA altering its colours to embrace total independence of Barotseland contrary to its original stance, this is a contradiction of the assertion that the same MOREBA has high jacked the Alliance. The truth is that MOREBA and its Alliance partners as well as those outside the Alliance were participants in the historic Barotse National Council Resolutions of 27 March 2012. The Chairperson of MOREBA was appointed to preside over the Resolutions Committee of the Conference and went on to present the resolutions to the Plenary Session of the Conference for their adoption. How then can MOREBA be expected to work contrary to its own resolutions? The fact is members of MOREBA are good at executing that which they commit themselves to, the only difference being that they do so in a reasoned, well thought out and coordinated manner as opposed to ku tulatula fela wa simbotwe sesi yambilwe ki sului.
1. 2. Report to Kuta on Meeting with President Sata.
Shuwanga alleges that MOREBA high jacked the presentation of the report on the meeting with President Sata. This is twisted story telling. The fact is that at the time of that encounter with State House no established liaison arrangements were made among the organizations that had been invited, and the said organizations were invited in their individual capacities. As a matter of fact the representatives of Linyungandambo and BFM at that meeting did, immediately on their return to Mongu, present a verbal report to the Kuta and this they did without the involvement of MOREBA. The latter, on their part, decided to file in a written report which was copied to President Sata and the Cabinet Ministers who had been part of the State House meeting. When Shuwanga and his friends got sight of the report they were infuriated, not by its contents but the fact that they were not part of it. In their blind fury they forgot that they had already presented their own verbal report to which they did not invite MOREBA and the latter had no issues with this fact. In an attempt to make up for what they considered inadequate performance on their part they set out to produce their own written report, in which they copied everything from the MOREBA report, including commas and full stops. When MOREBA followed up with a visit to the Kuta on its report which had gone in advance, Shuwanga and company also chose to present their own written version at the same time. The Kuta was naturally amused by their action, after listening to the reading of the report and realizing it was a reproduction of the MOREBA paper. The Kuta, in its wisdom, decided that what was to be presented to the Kaongolo ka Nyambe would be the MOREBA report but that all who had presented themselves for the occasion would be allowed in the Kashandi to witness the same. Shuwanga and company readily accepted this decision and this is how they formally adopted the MOREBA report for the said presentation. What is evident in all this is that while Shuwanga and his likes detest the existence of MOREBA they, on many occasions, have had no problems associating themselves with its products. The issue of holding the BNC came up during both the Kuta and Kashandi sessions and all were agreed that the matter was urgent. The liaison meeting which followed was suggested to the rest of the entourage by Mutompehi Mukubesa Ilukena, the representative of Linyungandambo, and Shuwanga was in attendance at the time of the proposal which was made immediately after the Kashandi session. The MOREBA party accepted the suggestion and requested Ilukena and his Mongu based friends to arrange for the venue so that the liaison meeting could be held the following day. As matters turned out it took the initiative of the MOREBA side to secure the venue at Lyambai hotel because those who had proposed for holding of the meeting could not do so. This was the birth of the Liaison Committee for the groups, and MOREBA cannot claim to have initiated it and has never done so.
1. 3. BNFA as an Exclusive and Elitist Body.
As a background, it must be established that MOREBA was born out of efforts by organizations that existed prior to its formation, to create a joint front for securing Barotseland emancipation. Shuwanga is very much aware of those efforts as he was personally involved in recruiting would be member organizations and individuals. However, it turned out that some of the targeted groups and individuals chose to shun the meeting that was held at Mongu's Mumwa Crafts Center to launch the new organization and its objectives, but Shuwanga was in attendance and ended up as a member of the Steering Committee of what emerged as the Movement for the Restoration of the Barotseland Agreement, abbreviated as MOREBA. He was to pull out shortly thereafter. Nonetheless, the organization persisted in its endevours, through the petitioning of the National Constitutional Conference, the Roger Chongwe Commission whose recommendations tied up with the MOREBA presentation but was spurned by President Sata, right up to the holding of the BNC. It must be emphasized, for the sake of clarity, that it was Sata's u-turn on his promises with regard to Barotseland and, most importantly, his refusal to accede to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry which he voluntarily appointed, that precipitated MOREBA's review of its strategy on Barotseland and the fate of the organization in this respect was sealed at the BNC of 27 March 2012 .
The Groups Liaison Committee (GLC) which led to the formation of the BNFA was chaired by Mutompehi Mukubesa Ilukena of Linyungandambo. MOREBA missed most of its meetings, attending only two out of six and those missed include the last meeting which resolved to form the BNFA . The targeted member organizations were called upon to nominate five members each to form the Executive Committee of the Alliance which, by decision of the Groups Liaison Committee, was to invite Mutompehi Wainyaye Sinyinda to head it as Chairman-General. MOREBA, alive to the factors that had ensued at its own formation, where those who had initially been in the forefront withdrew at the last minute, took its time in formally joining the Alliance. Linyungandambo members, led by its Secretary General, Samuel Kalimukwa and Mukubesa Ilukena having been the Linyungandambo representative on the GLC, which he had also chaired, as well as the BFM members were the first to enter the Alliance Executive Committee. However, the inaugural meeting was delayed by MOREBA's late entry but this eventually took place. Nonetheless, it is a notorious fact the Afumba Mombotwa led Linyungandambo turned their back on the BNFA the moment it was formed, despite having held the position of Chairperson of the GLC whose activities caused the birth of the Alliance. To this end, their Secretary General, who had occupied the same position in the Alliance, attended only the inaugural meeting and was to disappear immediately thereafter, amidst statements of condemnation of the new Alliance by his Linyungandambo leadership. Those who had accompanied him in the Alliance were also eventually forced out by their leadership.
The foregoing is a presentation of the attitudes of some of our compatriots to the idea of unified front over Barotseland. Their idea is that an alliance should be based on their partners discarding of their principles in favour of theirs or, indeed, they and only they should lead. When they do not get these conditions they cannot accept the alliance, even if they are the ones who initiated it in the first place. As for MOREBA, they will invite it along but the moment it makes its entrance they will be so petrified that they will immediately shoot up niku lusikisa lubilo kuli mane abayo yema ki kwa buse bwa Windhoek. Now Shuwanga is yet again inviting the BNFA , in which MOREBA is comprised, to join the so called Transitional Government. Does he want to start another long run to Windhoek? It is nonsensical to invite partnership from someone whose ideals and work methods you do not agree with. Indeed, it is a reflection of low level thinking to insist on such deals when they cannot work. Meanwhile, the idea that Barotseland independence can only be achieved when all political organizations merge is utopian. A look around SADC, Africa and the world proves that the general rule is that of multiplicity of liberation movements in countries which attained independence from oppressors, whether foreign or local. Mergers may have their advantages but they cannot be forced and, in this respect, it is important to recognize the inevitability of diversity and learn how to manage it.
1. 4. The Transitional Government.
This illusive government of Barotseland has changed nomenclature each time its existence is questioned. It started as the government- in-waiting but when we questioned if it was to wait forever it quickly changed to government-in-place . We then questioned how a government in place can tolerate the arrests and trial of its people and leaders by foreign forces within the territory in which it is in place. This question arose in our response to unfair attacks over the proposal for the establishment of the Barotseland Transitional Authority (BTA) submitted to the Kuta. We note that following that question and the issue of BTA the government-in-place became the Transitional government of Barotseland. This tells a lot about knowledge of what constitutes a government by the people concerned, the bottom line being that it is nothing but very big mandwani . Of late we have heard that this government had approached the BRE to give it a letter authorizing it to fund raise among the people of Barotseland in aid of legal fees for Botswana and South African Lawyers who should take the issue of Barotseland independence to the International Court of Justice. It boggles ones mind to hear of a government of a territory seeking someone else's authority to raise funds from its own citizens. The BRE, of course, did not take the issue seriously. Meanwhile, elements of this same government had poured scorn on the initiative by the BNFA to engage the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and The Hague based International Court of Arbitration, and their reasoning is that Barotseland is already independent and does not need court processes to get what it already has. This is infantile delinquency at its very best.
1. 5. Rumour Mongering and the Specter of Educated Illiterates:
There is a very bad element of easily being carried away by rumours, mostly generated by those who wish Barotseland ill. This unfortunate situation thrives on failure to counter check information and swallowing anything that paints the opponent black. Most unfortunately, even those better placed in terms of exposure and formal education fail to use their acquired attributes because they are too lazy to interrogate information being fed to them, to the total detriment of society. The specter of educated illiterates manifests itself in people who are gifted with the ability to read and interpret information being drawn into conclusions from loose and idle talk and even acting on it without taking the trouble to examine the relevant documents for guidance. This is what happened with the AGAPE Associates letter which was projected by rumour mongers as a letter from GRZ inviting the BRE and the BNFA to discussions on the issue of Barotseland. A lot of opponents of the BNFA went into a battle cry calling for the blood of Hon Sinyinda and his lieutenants, without seeking to read the letter first. This was an act of illiteracy on the part of these people, notwithstanding whether or not they are literate whenever they decide to be. When you are educated but fail to read literature to help society you are as good as the one who can't read, and if you fail to correctly interpret information because you are too lazy to read a document critically then you are semi-illiterate, notwithstanding the fact that you have ability to understand the written word if you really cared to do so, by reading instead of just glancing at the document. It is noted that Shuwanga has persistently brought up the phrases of semi- illiterates and picking wrong end of stick that were used in the article defending the BNFA against unfounded attacks on alleged invitation to a meeting by government on account of the AGAPE letter, which allegation continues to this day under a different form with different accused persons. But allegations are just that, ie, allegations. Nonetheless, Shuwanga's obsession in this respect arises from the fact that he is one of those who had swallowed the bait and sees the semi-illiterate phrase as having been aimed at him. As has been said by the wise, the guilty are always afraid, meaning that mu ipilaezi kiyena sifosi.
The Barotseland struggle is a long and tedious undertaking, requiring the contribution of all who care. However, as we rise from time to time to put in whatever we can, we should at all times strive kuli lube limbonyi, lusike lwaba siwawayi.