BAROTSE CHANGE: Boycott of Zambian Independence Celebrations an opportune revolt and necessity!

13 October 2017
Author  L Wamunyima, Barotseland Post


It is that time of the year once again when Zambia gleams up with jubilations over their national day which falls on the 24th October every year. This is the time the nation of Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) celebrates its independence.

However, it remains with Zambians to evaluate for themselves as to whether really the event has had cumulative value to their country or are just regressing and getting entangled in colonialism of some kind! On the other hand, Barotseland unilaterally declared its independence (UDI) on 8th September, 2011 ratified on 27th March, 2012 irrevocably, by action of the famous and historic BNC the highest policy making body in Barotseland. The UDI was technically and legally correct thereby founding a national event for all Barotseland nationals to commemorate instead of the 24th October. However, in the dusk window hours of our transition period we can take advantage of the moment to reflect on our plight emanating from the same ominous Zambian independence, considering our Zambianship to be a learning curve so as to see how best to appreciate our very own independence, as New Barotseland. The question to consider here is WHAT REALLY IS TRUE INDEPENDENCE, in view of the fact that the independence anniversary celebrated every 24th October is technically for Northern Rhodesia not Barotseland?


The word “Independence” consists of the three parts namely, the prefix ‘In’, root word ‘Depend’ and suffix “ence” all turning it into the adverb it is. The use of the prefix ‘In’ denotes inner or self and ‘dependence’ on the other hand connotes reliance, dependency, need or state of being reliant on something or somebody. All our actions and words are dependent on this inner Self-realization. Self-realization means realizing the true nature of “Self” manifested in the form of I or me – among others, that Iam a Barotseland national and endeavour to live to exploit ones full potential thus. To achieve this requires that true and purely Personal Barotzish Mindset Change and paradigm shift regarding our 2012 BNC UDI Mandate. We should remember that the mindset change is a prerequisite to achieving a completely independent Barotseland. Otherwise, it may only remain a paradox if its nationals do not possess the uniquely true independent Barotzish mindset.


Since 1964 Barotseland nationals have been joining Zambia in independence celebrations every 24th October in commemoration of the decolonisation of Northern Rhodesia and, the attempted unitary statehood with Barotseland which only opened flood gates of evil for us. We should bear in mind that the independence celebrations are actually for Northern Rhodesia and not Barotseland! One wonders as to what really happened to render stale those two other signatures in BA ’64 which birthed Zambia, for Zambia to unilaterally defy and invalidate the Treaty! Consequently, our country Barotseland just exchanged hands and status cold-heartedly, on that initial fateful day, from an Elite British Protectorate to what would soon qualify to be a Postmodern Colony of Zambia! What a political scam it has been! Therefore, our country Barotseland has never really known what true independence means ever since, not even Zambia regrettably; by clinging onto Barotseland the way it has, even after our UDI. The desperation speaks volumes in defence that Barotseland is very viable and has been a powerhouse of Zambia in all terms of reference.

True independence carries different shades of meanings to many people but for my motherland I believe TRUE INDEPENDENCE means a SUSTAINABLE and HOLISTIC country of Barotseland. On the contrary, Zambia’s independence only gave Barotseland dependence on economic and political ills and loss of that “self” identity, as identity crises, to citizens of Barotseland! Wherever you go you smell and see the change and decay in the food we eat, the transport we use, the worship pattern we conduct every weekend, the Silozi we speak, the cloths we wear, relationships we keep mwa Bulozi, the music we sing and dance, the politics we indulge, the sports we play, our economy and so on; mostly bear the insignia of the Zambian political and independence scourge! The message in all is that Barotseland has been very far from enjoying the fruits of the ‘Zambianship’ independence – those who tried to be Barotzish enough only got libelled and labelled tribalists! The majority of Barotzis therefore, compromised seriously their true identity to levels of depravity we see today, mostly for the sake of bread and butter issues.
Thank God that Barotseland’s poverty is highly artificial. The situation can/will be changed drastically by reducing the high poverty level through creation of wealth from our land (timber, oil, natural gas, fish, nuts, meat, minerals, tourism, culture, etc.) for the betterment of us all. Banishing poverty from Barotseland also means eradicating the associated social ills of hunger, illiteracy, hatred, subjugation and violence. Freedom from these constitutes true independence for our country Barotseland – not the rhetoric Zambian independence celebrations we have seen to date, which in essence have been, unfortunately, salient veils of secrecy of celebrations over Barotseland’s apparent failed omens, exacted servitude and perpetrated repression!

Therefore, it can be seen from the aforementioned contentions that there are few virtues or values more important than true independence. That is primarily because true independence, liberation or freedom is a requirement for leading your own life as an individual person and country. Without it one becomes just an obscure or express image of another. How can you make those “Self” decisions if every action you take has to be “blessed” or filtered through other people first? Without true independence, you cannot be the captain of your life - You must only be satisfied with the leavings while someone else sets the direction you are to follow. This has been the typical predicament of my country concerning its allotment in the independence days of Zambia since 1964.

Nonetheless, true independence doesn’t mean you never need other people. We are a network of the human web regardless of our descriptions based on gender, religion, creed, education and so forth. That is why world bodies like UN, AU, SADC and Commonwealth exist to serve human interactions, as nations and states, at such levels. That is why Zambia remains our dear neighbour, despite it all! Most people wouldn’t last a year stranded on an island, unless by divine intervention, with no other people to provide support. Additionally, True Independence means that you add at least as much value back as you take from every deal spiritually, socially, physically, economically or politically; even so for your own country like Bulozi, doing so without anyone needing to ask or beg you.


Sadly, Barotseland has the dubious distinction reputation of having most of its population malnourished and poverty stricken. How could this be, for a country which has massive resources and brain power but could not take care of its few thousands of malnourished citizens is really a matter of shame and concern for all of us? It is not all because of the regrettable Zambian independence! Zambia and its independence of doom for Barotseland for all these past years though is the key reason behind all the deprivation at home! It is a matter that needs our introspection(s) and independence celebration boycotts. Of course the prime reason for both actions (introspection and boycotts) is that Barotseland is an independent country separate from Zambia. If Zambia acknowledges this fact to the extent of incarcerating our leaders should it be by reason of ignorance or defiance for the sons and daughters of Barotseland to still celebrate 24th October or participate in voting thereof?


Historic and current data, accessible to literates and illiterates, is rife with evidence that Barotseland is richer than Northern Rhodesia. However, we need to know that hatred and violence experienced by Barotseland over these years are linked and come from the lack of resources across border and hence the desire to control our resources by whatever means. These tendencies exist in all humans but our case has been quite unique in the way Zambia has increasingly desired to completely control, plunder, horde and hoard our resources out at the expense of the source country - Barotseland. This led to insecurity of both parties and ultimately to violence we have seen in our land. The control has been practised in the name of strategies like one Zambia one nation, one party state, Christian nationhood, intermarriages, deployments of Barotzish civil servants out of Barotseland and then the 21st century generation political indulgences just to ensure continued suppression of Barotseland.

In imperial era most African education systems were set up by colonial administration primarily to train young people for civil service, with Barotseland twice affected; first by the British and secondly by the Zambian systems of education. The trend in both cases was to educate the young people in schools to take up limited available civil service jobs and hierarchies. The danger with this kind of curriculum theory and practice has been the saturation of the civil service, resulting in cadres of unemployed but learned youths (as job seekers and not job creators) roaming the streets. As independents from the world of employment and work our young people ended up being dependent on idleness or got pestered by indolence; as employees of crime and its varied vices.


It is pleasing now to know that RBG stands ready to implement true and complete independence in Barotseland. So, given our full support, the issues of hunger and other ills we see in Barotseland will be mitigated thoroughly by our own government instead, in rooting our complete and true independence.

Evidence on the ground is that, as Barotseland nationals, you have no reason in support of your continued adherence to the 24th October celebrations when the legal documents that should have authenticated such Barotzish actions were long vetoed by the first Zambian government’s failure to ratify the Treaty in the first parliament for incorporation in the constitutional and legal framework of Zambia and, the subsequent repudiation and abrogation of the BA’ 64. Providentially, by action of the 2012 BNC UDI Mandate Barotseland legally accepted Zambia’s desire to completely disengage with us. In effect, the BA ’64 became defunct perpetually and the case considered settled, at least in the minds of civilised international communities and law abiding global citizens!


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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.