Shut Up, Dora! Si SABC yanyoko! – Barotseland Post Editorial Comment

26 July 2018
Dora Siliya


Zambia’s Chief government spokesperson, Dora Siliya, must shut up rather than trying to threaten South Africa’s state broadcaster, SABC TV, for featuring members of the Linyungandambo Youth League (LYL) on their ‘The Globe’ show through which the Barotse youths revealed to the world the atrocities that her government is committing in Barotseland.

In her shameless threat, Dora says her government will officially lodge a complaint to the South African government over the particular SABC television program and its anchor who interviewed the two youths for unethical conduct. But what does the Zambian government know about media ethics when it has largely muzzled its own national Broadcaster, ZNBC, and shut down any private media which has tried to operate professionally! In our view, and many will agree with us, SABC is a hundred times more professional and ethical than her own country’s national Broadcaster which only parrots Zambia’s ruling party and its government!

We understand that she has need to worry and panic because her own government’s ZNBC would never air a program featuring Barotse people’s aspirations for self-determination for fear that the Zambian population, which has largely been lied to for decades, will know the truth about Zambia’s illegal administration of Barotseland after its unilateral abrogation of the 1964 Barotseland agreement. Is it any wonder that ZNBC recites the baseless “One Zambia One Nation” slogan daily before each and every news bulletin without in fact ever teaching the unsuspecting Zambian audience its true meaning or origin!

We would simply advise her to shut up and leave SABC alone, but in case she has forgotten, we will instead remind her that the people of Barotseland will never forget the pain her now nearly rogue state has inflicted and continues to inflict on the peaceful people of the contested region of the Lozi.

Firstly, we find it very disgusting that Siliya has shamelessly denied credible accusations that Zambian security forces have committed atrocities, especially the raping of young girls in many schools where they have camped during their government deployment to suppress an alleged separatist revolt in Barotseland! This makes us think she is a disgrace to all womanhood. Maybe, she has chosen to forget that it was in the Zambian parliament where it was first reported that one named school alone had recorded up to over 20 school girls impregnated by police officers who had camped at that school after the infamous January 14th 2011 indiscriminate shooting of unarmed victims by state-sponsored security agents when scores of Barotse people had tried to peacefully meet with their royal establishment leaders and discuss the way forward on the long-standing matter of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.

Although the government had shamelessly tried to deny and rubbish the parliamentary report then, eminent parliamentarians such as Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwani maintained that the Zambia army troops deployed in Kalabo were contributing to teenage pregnancies in the region. His assertions were echoed by several other parliamentarians hailing from the contested region with similar reports of what was obtaining in their respective constituencies.

Secondly, the Roger Chongwe Commission of Inquiry which the government has refused to make public six years after it concluded and submitted its report, perhaps out of utter shame, also highlighted specific atrocities that were committed by the combined Zambian security agents in the region, among them raping of school girls at the various schools where they set camp and the killing of at least nineteen young and old Barotse people!

Perhaps what Siliya and her cohorts do not understand is that engaging in sexual activity with minors or an individual who is below the legal age of consent is considered as a crime of statutory rape punishable by law!

Apparently, lying and deceit has become the hallmark of this ‘Christian’ Zambian government! How many times, for instance, have we heard government officials, to the very top, deny publicly that no one has ever been arrested or imprisoned over Barotseland related matters? To this day, even the ten-year imprisonment of Afumba Mombotwa, Inambao Kalima and Likando Pelekelo over treason is still being denied on the claim that the three are mere remandees still awaiting trial. This is in spite of the March 2016 sentencing and jailing of the trio.

It seems that the Zambian state, which has thrived on lies, corruption and deceit, has now been outwitted by the advent of globalization and they can’t stand to see other countries giving a voice to the Barotse who they have oppressed for so long, thinking nobody is watching. We wish to warn Siliya and her government that their evil against the people of Barotseland is fast catching up with them. Indeed, there is no rest or hiding place for the wicked anymore!

In fact, we wish to advise the Barotse to take every opportunity to highlight not only their suffering but also their aspirations for self-determination to everyone who cares to listen in the world so that they can mobilize every means necessary to free Barotseland from the yoke of Zambian colonization.

May the Linyungandambo continue to shake their every neighbor near and far! Shake your SADC and other regional neighbors, until you shake the rest of the world!

Finally, Dora must be reminded that this is not the first time the Zambian government has tried to dissuade the South African government from giving the Lozi people a voice on their state-run media. FTJ Chiluba, in his hate for the Lozi people, tried to stop the South African government’s Channel Africa from broadcasting in siLozi and replace it with ciBemba, alleging further that Bemba had a bigger audience than Lozi. However, the South African government and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) then prevailed when they saw through his Bemba hegemonic agenda and told him that, although Bemba might have a wider audience in Zambia, Lozi was more preferred because it actually had a wider regional and international audience than Bemba. Other than in Barotseland, they argued, siLozi was also spoken in seven other countries such as Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Lesotho, South Africa and Zambia itself!

To borrow words of her tribes-mate, President Rupiah Banda, Dora must shut up already! Si SABC yanyoko! Stick to your ZNBC, or whatever remains of it, because we know that it is now run by some Chinese entity, with absolutely no media ethics to write home about!

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  • Nyambe Sililo Nyambe Sililo Thursday, 26 July 2018

    Dora Siliya must indeed shut up if she does not know what to say than embarrass herself and her government!

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.