BAROTSE CHANGE: An emphatic “NO” to Zambia’s Postmodern and Internal Colonialism – Part ONE

02 May 2017
Author  Lindunda Wamunyima, Barotseland Post



When the term colonialism is used today it normally refers to the period of history from the 15th to the 20th century when people from Europe built colonies on other continents and Africa inclusive. COLONIALISM IS THE MAKING AND MAINTAINING OF COLONIES (DEPENDENCIES OR PROTECTORATES) IN ONE TERRITORY BY PEOPLE FROM ANOTHER TERRITORY. Sovereignty over the colony is claimed by the colonizing power in which case the social structure, government and economics within the territory of the colony are changed by the colonists, exactly what Zambia did to Barotseland in her period of Zambiaship.


The activities which could be called colonialism have a long history in antiquity, with particular common characteristics and intended benefits, trailing even up to contemporary times.


Below are the observed four general characteristics of colonialism:

1.    Political and legal domination over an alien society or country.

2.    Relations of economics and political dependence between colony and colonist.

3.    Exploitation between imperial powers and the colony.

4.    Racial and cultural inequality.


The practice of colonialism at the time mostly resulted from ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, and EMIGRATION motives primarily for the following summarised reasons:

1.    Economic benefits to the colonizing power, whether mutually or parasitically with the colony.

2.    Political benefits to expand the colonizer’s regime power.

3.    To escape persecution in the colonizer; protectorate status benefits.

4.    Acquiring military advantage, such as the creation of a buffer state or the removal of a threat.

5.    To change the indigenous population to the colonists' religion.

Additionally, the colonising power pledged helping the indigenous population with civilisation. However, the reality was often suppression, displacement or death, just like it has been for Barotseland. It was Kaunda’s deliberate ploy common notably in civil service when Barotseland nationals found themselves displaced from their motherland and dispersed or redeployed throughout Zambia all on account of the treacherous Zambianisation agenda.

Since antiquity the activities of colonialism have had a long history of colonies, as ANCIENT COLONIALISM forms. Examples here include records about the Egyptians and Phoenicians of old, through MODERN COLONIALISM which started with the Age of Discovery of new lands across the oceans and built trading posts, to COLONIAL EMPIRES, like our British Empire comprising overseas territories linked to Great Britain in a variety of constitutional relationships corroborated over a period of three centuries. Consequent to this was NEO-COLONIALISM (a term used to refer to a variety of things since the decolonisation efforts after World War II) to POST-COLONIALISM which refers to a set of theories in philosophy grappling with the legacy of the colonial rule era. In this sense, post-colonialism is usually considered a branch of POSTMODERNISM, with the former mostly concerned with the political and cultural independence of peoples who were formerly subjugated in colonial empires as was the case regarding the predicament of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia as Zambia, prior to 2012 BNC.


From the postmodern era and post-colonialism also came the theory of INTERNAL COLONIALISM. With this philosophical outlook is the way in which a country's atrocious and dominant group exploits the so called minority groups mainly for its economic advantages. The dominant group manipulates the social institutions to suppress minorities and deny them full access to their society's benefits. Tribalism, Slavery and racism are extreme examples of internal colonialism, just like the former South African system of apartheid.

Internal colonialism is often accompanied by segregation that is marked by the separation of racial, tribal or ethnic groups, for instance the step-by-step and retrogressive ethnic cleansing in Zambian situation. Segregation allows the dominant group to create and maintain social distance from the minority and yet exploit their labour as low class and middle class workers mostly. For example, in Zambia most high profile portfolios were tabooed against Lozi nationals such that to ascend to the high posts of state president or managing directors (MDs, GMs, CEOs, etc.) of certain parastatal firms or civil service order, with exception of few have been purely for the regime’s political and Zambianisation expedience; for fear of retrogressing the advanced agenda behind the schemed economic and political malevolence on Barotseland. In essence, most of the good remained a preserve for the exclusive ethnic groups and upper social class thereof. A simple survey I conducted with my traditional cousin in 2012 in Lusaka only, across a sample of ten (10) firms, revealed shocking results - security guards manning the doorways mostly hailed from either Zambia’s Southern, Northwestern or Western Provinces while topmost managers were from other provinces! We were not surprised anyway. Today the scenario has not really changed, only in limited cases where Zambia is showcasing to the world the ‘One Zambia One Nation’ ruse claim.

More recent examples of internal colonialism are the movement of ethnic Russians into Siberia, ethnic Arabs into Iraqi Kurdistan, Israelis into West Bank and Gaza, Brazilians into Amazonia, ethnic Chinese into Tibet, East Turkestan ethnic Javanese into Western New Guinea and we can add – movement of Zambians into Barotseland. ALL THESE AND MANY OTHER ISSUES NOT CITED HERE REPRESENT THE DIFFERENT SHADES OF COLONIALISM AS IT HAS EXISTED IN THIS LIFE SINCE ANTIQUITY. The difference between the various types of colonialism compared to the heinous contemporary colonialism is that internal colonialism does not let go easily and requires most subtle efforts to depose, unlike the other forms. So is Zambia’s colonial hold on Barotseland, if left unchecked. Unmistakeably, the BA ‘64 was Zambia’s colonial bid for Political, economic and legal domination over an alien society of Barotseland but providentially got it wrong; for Barotseland’s sake!


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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.