HE WHO PAYS THE PIPER CALLS THE TUNE: Just who is financing Litunga Litigation?

15 February 2017

This is a question too important to be ignored as it may help us interrogate further the current predicament that has befallen Barotseland in which Nabiwa Imikendu and three others have sued Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II in the High Court of Zambia, demanding that he abdicates the Barotse throne for alleged gross incompetence among other accusations.

Although Lubosi Imwiko II has sufficient money to finance his own defense, it is not unlikely or surprising that Zambia’s ruling establishment will come to his aid because not only is he sued in his public national capacity as Litunga of Zambia’s ‘western province’ but also because he is a friend and supporter of the establishment.

However, it should be very surprising and suspicious that Imikendu, on the other hand, has not appealed to the public for ‘help’ to finance this venture considering that he claims his pursuit in this litigation is for the common good of the people of Barotseland. Clearly, litigation of this magnitude should cost hundreds of thousands of Kwacha, and we know this because during Afumba Mombotwa’s trial, some of the law firms we now hear will be representing Imikendu were approached for possible engagement to launch a court appeal and they quoted their legal fees in hundreds of thousands. Sicaba sa Bulozi (the people of Barotseland) were engaged and financial appeals were made. It was a daunting task because the fees were astronomical and time was limited. The appeal was never made because the people could not raise sufficient money for the action in the given time and some ‘prominent’ Lozis with ‘money’ did not seem to care either!

Imikendu, however, does not seem to have that problem in this litigation, else he would have asked the people to help finance him. So, who is really financing this well funded litigation?

Those who know Imikendu as an individual should also know too well that he does not have such kind of money and that even if he had it, he is not one who would spend it for ‘public’ interest. Imikendu’s public conduct, thus far, has been of self-centeredness regardless of what is at stake for the nation. He has been known to move from one political party to the next; MMD to UPND to PF all in search of fortune and prospects of power and money. Suffice to say, however, that we will not want to dwell on that aspect. Our concern is that if we do not ask this question, we run the risk of not guiding the nation in making an informed decision over a matter that needs careful consideration. After all, the one who pays the piper chooses the tune.

The question today is who among the Barotse fraternity would be so interested in the dethronement of Lubosi Imwiko II but share no similar interest in the welfare of Barotseland independence leader Afumba Mombotwa and his colleagues now languishing in Zambian jails? Our assumption is that if such Lozi individuals existed and they had money and interest in Barotseland’s independence, surely they would have come to Afumba’s aid at the time that he needed such help the most to appeal his case to a higher court that would have seen him subpoena the people that mattered in his defense like Kenneth Kaunda. However, because Afumba’s defense was based on him not being a ‘Zambian’ but a Barotse national, some Lozi with ‘money’ considered supporting Afumba too ‘risky’ for their involvement. Therefore, if they are now willing to finance the litigation against Lubosi, could it be because the suit is done within the context of Zambian ‘citizenship’ and has nothing to do with Barotseland independence? Maybe they are aware that the ruling establishment is actually the one behind it or perhaps they are even agents of the same establishment. It could also mean they harbor personal interest in the throne.

We will continue to ask these questions. If we are wrong, then we will be happy that Bulozi will be safe. However, if we are right in raising the red flag over Imikendu’s action, then we would hate ourselves for keeping quiet at the time that the nation needed us to speak out. Our support is not for Lubosi Imwiko II, but for the integrity and independence of Barotseland and its institutions of governance.

We still wish to insist that Zambia’s ruling establishment might really be the devil in the detail pitting brother against brother like they have done before in their support for the Kennedy Mubanga spearheaded Mbunda Royal Council and David Tamboka spearheaded Nkoya Royal Establishment, whom they have funded privately to rebel against BRE and the Litungaship. While the two groups are considered illegal publicly, they are allowed national media coverage! The bigger picture in Imikendu's case is to destabilize the cohesion of Barotseland so that the genuine voice of self-determination is extinguished.

The Barotse fight should be against Zambia and all its institutions and not against each other. We can never be independent from Zambia using Zambian institutions, but by completely REJECTING all that is Zambian as much as possible! For instance, although Afumba and others are in Zambian jails today, they live as ‘liberated’ and ‘free’ Barotseland citizens because they denounced Zambian citizenship. In Imikendu’s case, however, we might win against Lubosi (although doubtful) but it will be at the expense of our national independence, and either way, Barotseland will be left too weakened and divided to continue fighting for independence. This we think is the bigger picture and national sovereignty is at stake!

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  • Sikeletu Sipopa Sikeletu Sipopa Wednesday, 15 February 2017

    Both Lubosi and Nabiwa are not for the people of Barotseland they are both agents of Zambia PF ,it seems Lubosi is eating alone the favours from Zambian Govt leaving Nabiwa suffering, after all ,Nabiwa is annoyed of Lubosi for eating alone ,both Characters do not favour Barotse People, they are greet chaps who must leave their heritage positions immediately Both Lubosi and Nabiwa cant hold heriage Postions they are very luatic and porous in their minds.

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