Barotse change and Leadership – by Lindunda Wamunyima

16 October 2015


The concept of leadership has many definitions attached to it as people try to explain what it is or what it is not. None of the two is a wrong approach because every concept is two side faced like a coin; being what it is on one hand and what it is not on the other. My biased view in this article is to address the issue of leadership from both perspectives; in as far as the subject affects my country Barotseland this time in her dear history. This is in connection with the dual leadership structure of State and Monarch in our Democratic Constitutional Monarch.


Some people look at leadership as “a social influence process in which the leader seeks voluntary participation of subordinates in an effort to reach organizational goals, (Schriesheim, et al cited in Kreitner & Kinicki, 2001:551). Others say leadership means “vision, cheerleading, love, trust, verve, passion, obsession, consistency, the use of symbols (Silozi culture) , paying attention as illustrated by the content of one’s calendar (BNC Resolutions), out-and – out drama, (and the management thereof), creating heroes at all levels, coaching, effectively wandering around, and numerous other things” (Peters & Austin cited in Kreitner & Kinicki, 2001:551). My own working definition of leadership has been and will always be “the ability to direct, motivate and influence the participation of a group of subordinates toward achievement of personal and organizational goals”. Relating this to our Barotse change it becomes evident that “charity begins at home”; the realization of our core change business requires each one of us being in the right frame of personal identity to subsequently ally oneself with the rest of Barotseland for our freedom of independence campaign resolution. Needless to say here that some of our people will assert their identity only when all this strife is ended, for fear of the unknown!


Again here several categorizations of leadership do exist but for the purposes of this article I would like to mention two types namely transactional leadership and transformational leadership. Transactional leadership is implementing type of leadership which guides or motivates subjects or followers in the direction of the established goals by clarifying role and work requirements. It sounds like what managers do to inculcate the culture of efficiency in goal achievement. Experience has shown that this type of leadership is very vulnerable to corruptive vices like we have observed so far in BRE. This needs to be underlined among our ranks to avoid the confusion that has rocked the BRE into stupor they have found themselves in. On the other hand, transformational leadership energizes others with visions and strategies of how to refocus and revitalize the larger organization (Barotseland) so that change meets people’s enduring needs.


It is quite pathetic and regrettable that our monarchic leadership seems to be wanting and bereft of these needful virtues, at a time when we seriously crave them upfront as leaders. This is how bad bribes can go in degrading a man. I do not know how the BRE will clean itself of all these allegations. Here is what the holy writ says about bribes in Prov. 17:23 “A wicked [man] taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.” The Serotse adage states that “muswala-swali wa nama hatokwi mali kwa mazoho”, meaning that if you skin an animal you will definitely get blood stains as evidence of your dealing. The BRE deals and dealings are no longer a hidden but an open secret ready to be chronicled in the pages of our national and struggle history. There is nothing to be timid about our status quo with Zambia given that facts (legally & historically) speak in our favour. To make matters worse Zambia has closed doors to discussions over the same issue. This is why it has never been tabled in their Cabinet or Parliament, WHY? They know that it is all up to us.

All it requires now is decisive, valiant, visionary and consistent leadership on our part to get things done. The whole world is wondering what the hell on earth is BRE and Litunga (Lubosi) are trying to do!!! For instance, our days of fasting and prayer started long ago (in years)and we have never heard the Monarch leadership endorse and proclaim this, even calling upon nationals for convocations at the palace and everywhere in Barotseland! Are they going to promote the recent one (18/10/15) and Zambian day of fasting and prayer in a foreign land Barotseland? We implore the stronger political hand to be the ‘brother’s keeper’ to straighten and strengthen the weaker at all costs, for like in a chain, the weakness of one ring can render the whole chain functional difficulties.

We wish to commend the work of our political or Barotse state leadership for staking all, even their lives, just to make sure that law is mighty and not war, even though it takes all the types of evils by the illegal occupying Zambian leadership! Really we need the strong arm of leadership today more than before. And for sure your great sacrifice is not and will not be in vain.

Leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action. While management focuses on coping with complexity (which the Monarch leadership is failing to display), the focus of leadership is on coping with change (which the political leadership is giving), requires concerted effort from all.

However, for every successful change there is usually a strong integration between strong management and strong leadership. While management aims to maintain stability, create culture of efficiency (doing the right things the right way), leadership aims at creating change, a culture of integrity and effectiveness (results or target getting). To achieve this goal True Leadership embraces the following five point plan imperatives:

1. DIRECTION: - creates strategy and keep the eye on the horizon; to be visionary. Our Vision for now is none other than the 2012 BNC Independence mandate.

2. ALIGNMENT: - creates shared values and culture, helping others to grow and reducing boundaries between members. Tukongote wa mwanaa nongolo!

3. RELATIONSHIPS: - focusing on people to inspire and motivate followers, use personal power to act as coach, mentor, facilitator and servant.

4. PERSONAL QUALITIES: - having emotional connections with the people (heart), open minded (Mindfulness), listening (Communication), Nonconformity (Courage) and Insight to self (Definable Character).

5. OUTCOMES: - create change and a culture of integrity (Transformation- Barotseland ‘colony’ of Zambia to Barotseland Free State).


In Barotseland we really need a fairly blend of transactional and transformational types of leadership, while using different leadership styles, to handle the conflicts, negotiations and politics within and without successfully. However, I feel we need more of transformational leadership for among other virtues, it paints vision of the desired future state and communicates it in a way that makes the pain of change worth the effort, this time around in our continued and heightened Barotse change crusade.

Litunga ni lyetu.

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