BAROTSE CHANGE: Ruminations on Constitutional Royal Barotseland Government (RBG)

18 October 2019
Author  Lindunda Wamunyima, Barotseland Post
Litunga, King of Barotseland, Imwiko II [L] confers with His majesty's royal guest - CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE



Recent trends in Barotseland and social media have prompted us to reflect on this important subject in our Barotse Change project. It is pleasing to note that the message is sinking in both the proponents and critics of Barotse Change. Indeed “truth pains” as it were, and it is difficult for anybody to stop an idea whose time has come – the complete separation of the once state parties to the attempted
 unitary Zambia. Whenever truth is exposed it is like sunlight shining on various objects - while cement is hardened margarine is softened by the same.

Barotzis are being softened by the reality of Barotse Change while some Zambians are hardening every other day. However, the good news is that all the reactions so far are normal and healthy requirements to expedite the change to its logical conclusion. Barotse Change is not the first case of separation of states parties to some treaties. Some were even legally unionized, unlike our case, but ultimately accepted complete separation and continue enjoying healthy neighbourliness today.

At any rate, what has become common sense now in the world of political academics is that the 2012 BAROTSELAND NATIONAL COUNCIL (BNC) was both REVOLUTIONARY and TRANSFORMATIVE in nature. This is because of the following twofold considerations, in our Barotse Change national agenda:

1. Revolutionary because it technically marked the end of Barotseland’s dubious political cohabitation with hoax Zambia, instituted the formal acceptance by Barotseland of Zambia’s abrogation of BA ’64 Treaty thereby founding the transition period for Barotseland Transitional Government (BTG) and usher our country on its footing to a completely independent Barotseland.

2. Transformative because the Barotse National Government (BNG), demeaned to Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), was transmuted to the duality of Royal arm and Civil arm power-sharing system herein dubbed as constitutional Royal Barotseland Government (RBG), at the fullness of time – AN IDEA AND REALITY WHOSE TIME HAS COME, AGAINST ALL ODDS!

Therefore, this write-up attempts to explore and expose Barotseland’s envisaged political disposition and dispensation for the benefit of our readers, especially those who may be new OR dissident to the ideology of RBG Present Political Truth.


The first states were mostly monarchies as far as history can tell. They were ruled by kings or queens as Monarch of a kingdom or empire. The existence of the Kingdom of Barotseland is one such territory, especially before 1964. A monarchy is, therefore, the system or form of government of the country that is ruled by a Monarch. As a monarchy for over five (5) centuries Barotseland has had a record of twenty-four (24) traceable Litungas (Monarchs) to date comprising 2 Queens with the other 22 as Kings; excluding the period under the Kololo interruption. As a monarchy the form of government in the figure of the head of the state fell on a single person the Monarch, bearing the office title of Litunga.


Therefore, one wonders why the British Empire attempted the project of unitary Zambia in the first place, not tried in the British system of government or anywhere in global history!

On the other hand, a democracy, like the one practised in Northern Rhodesia, is the form of government in which the will of the majority imposes itself. Monarchy in its true form has become rare today, but it was the most common form of government in the world from the genesis of mankind and during the medieval times.

Today, 44 sovereign nations across the world still have Monarchs as their heads of state. Barotseland will soon be re-identified and classified accordingly, on the map of global governance systems. However, in her medieval era, Barotseland practised a mix of absolute and more of a constitutional monarchy system of government. The 2012 BNC Resolution and Unilateral Declaration of Indepependddence, UDI, Mandate just undertook to modernize BNG into a constitutional monarchy government system, informed by trending global monarchy systems and Barotseland experience with Northern Rhodesia in the attempted project called the Republic of Zambia.

With that having been said, we need to state here that there are evident similarities and differences between a democracy (republic) and a monarchy. The key similarity between monarchy and democracy is that each one is a form of government of a country. Categorically, the import of the now-defunct BA ’64 was to found a country called Zambia comprising 2 states namely Barotseland monarchy government and Northern Rhodesia republic government in Government Republic of Zambia (GRZ). Unfortunately, this project failed to take off simply because the two government systems were and are incompatible and extreme opposites.

The key differences consist of the following government aspects;

1. HEAD OF STATE – Head of State of the Barotseland Kingdom is Monarch with reserved powers second to none in the Kingdom of his jurisdiction. The Head of State of a Republic system is the elective President also bearing reserved powers second to none in the republic of jurisdiction.

2. GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE - a government is devoted to establishing and maintaining hierarchy of authority, rule of law, social order and security followed with government taxation, government military needs, government assistance (social security) for the poor and disabled including grants for support of business systems, for the benefit of the country’s local economy. This remained Zambia’s nightmare to merge and accomplish for all these years due to the incompatibility of the two government systems in GRZ. For instance, the Zambian Permanent Secretaries (P.S.) above the Prime Minister (Ngambela) and other political portfolios accredited to Barotseland have always been irrelevant, a misplacement and antagonistic structure with the native government of the Barotseland kingdom.


First, the reader may want to know that monarchies can be either Limited/Constitutional, or Absolute.

1. Limited, or Constitutional Monarchy - is a system of government in which most power is held by a legislature while the nation recognizes a Monarch as the head of state, though limiting his or her power using a national constitution. This is one feature our current royalists are labouring to grasp and embrace. Almost all modern constitutional monarchies have a parliamentary system in which there is a Monarch and an elected Prime Minister. Their respective roles are outlined by a Constitution. The monarch can either have ceremonial duties or reserved powers, such as the power to dismiss a Prime Minister, to grant pardon, refuse Royal Assent to legislation, and other directives. The Prime Minister, on the other hand, is the head of government and has effective political power while the monarch retains effective royal power. Simply put, Barotseland as a Constitutional Monarchy is a parliamentary monarchy or democracy. Democracies are governed by elected heads of state, usually a President or a Prime Minister. According to the centuries-old unwritten constitution of Barotseland governance system the Ngambela, Lord Chancellor also called Prime Minister has been an elective post, till post-1999.

Parliament/Legislature, on the other hand, is also known as Katengo. Processes are still underway to transform and maintain the legislature. Consequently, Barotseland’s new constitution is still a work in progress just undergoing final touches. The constitution does not necessarily have to be written in part, whole or codified; it can be unwritten, as in the case of the Barotseland Kingdom and the United Kingdom. In these forms of monarchies, the Monarch retains his or her unique position with regards to the legal and ceremonial role, but exercises limited or no political power, as an Apolitical Head of State, while Prime Minister (Ngambela) is the Political Head of Government. There is a division between the Governing Body and the Ruling Royal Body so that an independent body, usually a parliament establishes laws, while the ruling body, the Monarch, remains influential in affairs of state and public welfare. With the monarchy limited by a constitution, just like our model monarchy Great Britain's is defined and limited by the constitution. Countries that have a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY system are Andorra, Bahrain, Belgium, Bhutan, Cambodia, Denmark, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, Tonga, and the United Arab Emirates.

2. Absolute Monarchy - is a system of government in which most power is held by a monarch. With the exception of monarchical advisers, there is nobody else other than the monarch who makes laws and sets the government taxes and others. Today, countries like Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Swaziland (eSwatini), United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the Vatican all have ABSOLUTE MONARCHY system.


A (Constitutional) monarchy is an extreme opposite to (democratic) republic. What GRZ has been attempting to do with BRE is only possible between the twin power of RBG (Royal and Civil Wings) working as complementary systems within the monarchy of Barotseland; AND NOT across monarchy and republic. This is because the attempted union of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia could not form Zambia a constitutional monarchy or democratic republic – just an undefinable alien system altogether! No, wonder the project failed dismally. Thanks to Barotse Change for the steps in the right direction to redeem Barotseland back to her once lost by modernized glory as a monarchy among others, consistent with contemporary trends and politics.


Aluta continua, Litunga ni lyetu.

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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.