The First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Catherine Namugala, may have just confirmed that the Zambian state is intent on destroying, in whole or in part, the entire nation of Barotseland, which amounts to the popular understanding of what constitutes genocide as prescribed by the United Nations (UN) Genocide Convention!
Article II of the Genocide Convention contains a narrow definition of the crime of genocide, which includes two main elements: A mental element and a physical element!
According to the United Nations convention, the physical element may mean any of the following five acts: killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
While the Zambian state may argue that none of the physical elements listed above has ever been done in Zambia in specific relation to the Barotse people, definitely, the Zambian State can no longer deny that it has committed the mental element of genocide which according to the United Nations classification includes the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group!”
This mental aspect of genocide is what the Zambian state has been engaged in – a systematic intent to destroy, in whole or in part, Barotseland which qualifies both as a nation and ethnic grouping.
Rarely do we address individuals except when we have cause to believe their public sentiments represent a national or a sectional mindset that needs pointing out, calling out or deserves commendations. This is the case with our esteemed elder brother, Bo Simataa Simataa, whose recent public sentiments on Barotseland must be addressed because he, like many others, are today apparently struggling to reconcile themselves with the ongoing increase in separatist feelings among many, especially younger Barotse people in Zambia and Barotseland!
Therefore, rather than think that this is an attack aimed at our brother’s person, we would hope that this is taken as an interrogation of his kind of mindset about Barotseland, which unfortunately is still shared by many others! We sadly observe how he and many others suffer noticeable anguish whenever they encounter Barotseland nationalism, especially on social media! Although Barotse people are usually peaceful in their debates, Bo Simataa and his kind somehow believe it is wrong for any Barostzish person in Zambia to think of themselves as anything other than Zambian. Bo Simataa may be sincere in his recent cautionary views about Barotseland but we also think his recent warnings are wrong and misguided.
With His Majesty, The Litunga, King of Barotseland now back from what many agree was a splendid and spectacular historic royal visit to the tourist city of Livingstone, some were, however, unamused that Barotseland Post did not highlight the alleged flouting of some core cultural values of Barotseland!
“How can your publication (Barotseland Post) flatter Lubosi with such praise about his magnificence when you know very well that he is breaking cultural norms daily, uncharacteristic of the King of Barotseland?
“What is ‘Kupuwana Ceremony’ and how could you even think of using such a term for what Lubosi just did in Livingstone?” retorted one unhappy reader of our article on the royal visit, introducing herself as an angry and disappointed royalist and member of the extended royal family, who also went on to say she had since lost confidence in Barotseland Post, claiming further that she previously believed the publication would always defend Barotseland. She was now accusing the publication of apparently condoning and promoting Imwiko II and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) in their gross violations of the long-established cultural traditions.
However, after a long discourse with her explaining that, as a publication, it was within our mandate to document and report on all major events taking place in Barotseland, factually and objectively for posterity, the complainant was pacified by further assurances that the Editorial team would write a commentary to include her actual concerns, among others.
In Barotseland, the Litunga is the owner of the land, water, forests and all animals, fish and birds. He is also the ruler and king over every inhabitant in the kingdom, regardless of their individual ethnicity, tribe, race or creed. His reign extends over whatever territory constitutes Barotseland. His position is very similar to that of the Queen in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland!
In Zambia, however, the Litunga’s position and authority are so unclear that many people don’t know what his official or legal designation is in the nation’s laws or in the nation’s official policy.
This article, therefore, explores at length the facts and misconceptions about this matter to help the reader appreciate why there is so much controversy relating to the Litungaship in Zambia.
This week saw many ex African presidents from the SADC region fly into Zambia to honour Zambia’s founding President Kenneth Kaunda, wrongly considered as the nation’s founding father. These honours coincided with the old man’s 95th Birthday. However, we have said it before and we wish to say it again, that Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia is not an Honourable man. Accordingly, he will not be until he publicly states why and how he has defrauded Barotseland and her people their right to Self-determination alongside their brothers in Zambia as guaranteed in the now-defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
This is the same man who on 6th August 1964 stood before the Barotse King, Sir Mwanawina III, KBE, his Kuta and Barotse government, in the presence of many Barotse people (BNC) as witnesses and said;
“….It is the (Zambian) government’s full intention that the Barotseland Agreement  will be honoured fully after independence…. The government has no wish to interfere with the day to day running of the internal affairs of Barotseland. This is the responsibility of the Barotse government and the intention of the Central Government will be no more than to give the Barotse Government its maximum assistance and co-operation. …The customary rights in Barotseland will remain with the Litunga, National Council and the District heads of Kutas."
Barotse news media have done a tremendous job highlighting issues that affect Barotseland, so far, and it would be very sad if the Barotse Royal Establishment’s newly installed Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, begun to regard the men and women who have worked selflessly to promote Barotseland as enemies rather than partners in development.
It may be true that many times some Barotse media have reported news that has turned out to be untrue or misleading, but again this may also be due to the lack of transparency that has emanated from the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) itself or sheer lack of logistical capacity to run professional news media!
However, if the new Ngambela will appreciate the potential good that Barotse media can bring to the general development of Barotseland, he should now be seeking to see how he can engage the various existing Barotse media, and avail himself to them so that whenever there are issues that need clarification, the news media could simply reach out to him to authenticate their news before publishing it.
Brandishing them as mere enemies of the Kingdom will be counterproductive!
Zambia’s propensity to shed innocent Barotse blood is so sickening that our blood is still boiling, tempers infuriated by the dumbfounding and mind-numbing gruesome videos and pictures that came out of Zambia’s Sesheke by-election political campaigns, especially as recorded on Friday the 8th, the day that Republican president, Edgar Lungu was in the area to drum up support for his ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party candidate in the election that was slated for Tuesday, 12th February 2019.
From the carnage, one would think the state agents needed a ritualistic sacrifice to feed the presidency’s diabolic appetite for Barotse blood! It makes us wonder what it is with Lozi blood that makes Zambian state agents and politicians crave it so much that they appear more easily ready to not only brandish their loaded guns but also discharge them at unarmed innocent children, young and old men and women!
The Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, has recently made some encouraging pronouncements that have cheered many in the Barotse fraternity. However, keen observers are still sceptical, and rightly so, because the BRE still seem to be out of tune with the current aspirations of the people, especially if Induna Ingangwana’s speech during the installation of the new Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, is anything to go by. Clearly, they don’t seem to know what the people of Barotseland want today.
The people themselves also seem to be confused about self-determination! Certainly, many do not understand that there are two kinds of self-determination which Barotseland must choose from; internal self-determination or external self-determination, and this BRE talk about ‘engaging’ the Zambian government for an equitable share of development does not really go well with the majority people of Barotseland who expect the BRE to be talking more of ‘disengaging’ or expelling the Lusaka government from Barotseland!
Clearly, the BRE are today trying to mend their apparently broken relationship with the people of Barotseland who they had watched being brutalized by the oppressive Zambian regime without doing anything to stop the brutality because they were all the while wining and dining with the oppressor. As such, the BRE was widely seen as collaborating with the Oppressor State and naturally became enemies of their own people!
For their efforts in repairing the broken relationship with the people, the BRE must largely be praised, commended and supported so that it will become easier for the Barotse nation to forge a united front in their pursuit for Barotseland self-determination.
Commemorating the end of World War I without a special mention of the contribution of King Lewanika I and his son, Sir Mwanawina III (KBE) King of Barotseland, is one of the most hypocritical stunts the Zambian state has pulled thus far.
In their centenary celebrations, slated for the northern Zambian town of Mbala where the last war shots were allegedly fired, government officials keep talking of how Zambia contributed 2000 plus soldiers to the war but conspicuously neglect to mention that, in fact, the 2000 of the about 2300 soldiers were actually from Barotseland, and were contributed to the war by King Lewanika I under the command of his own son, then Sergeant Mwanawina.
King Lewanika did not only send the 2000 men from Barotseland but he also reportedly contributed £1400 towards the war which later Germany, through their territories of Germany East and South West Africa, Tanzania and Namibia, intensified in Africa.
“For I know your manifold transgressions And your mighty sins: Afflicting the just and taking bribes; Diverting the poor from justice at the gate” Amos 5: 12 (NKJV) in the holy writ is a great indictment on Zambia, which by all indication, is a diabolical, thieving, corrupt and suppressive state! Zambia has failed to hold a national dialogue for over a year now to reconcile its citizenry over contentious national issues, and has for over five decades failed to reconcile with the Barotse people over the contentious pre-independence Barotseland Agreement 1964 for which the state is clearly culpable! Unfortunately, the Zambian State prefers arresting and killing the Barotse people whenever they raise the issues outstanding from the defunct pre-independence Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
The egoistic, outraged and simple-minded often fail to learn from the mistakes of the past! A case in point is the upholding of Afumba Mombotwa and two other Barotseland independence leaders’ subordinate court conviction by Zambia’s Supreme Court. And yet, to draw valuable lessons, the Zambian state would not have needed to look any further than the 1963-1964 Rivonia trial at which the iconic global champion in the struggle against white domination of the majority black South Africans, Nelson Mandela and seven of his comrades were condemned to life imprisonment with hard labour on charges of conspiracy, sabotage and treason, for simply advocating the freedom and equality of their people!
We love Afumba Mombotwa for his leadership and patriotism. However, he and others on trial today need all of us to demonstrate our own love and patriotism by financially carrying them through this difficult moment!
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NO AMOUNT IS TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH! ONLY DO YOUR BEST!
They alone and their families cannot pay legal fees! They are currently in jail and on trial because of their love for Barotseland!
So, will you help them today to ensure that they continue receiving professional legal help?
Urgently required is money for the lawyer to continue looking at their legal affairs in Ndola until their case is disposed of in the Supreme Court currently sitting far away from Barotseland in Ndola on the Copperbelt region of Zambia.