BAROTSELAND IS ONE COUNTRY - Perspectives on need for unity in diversity in settling Barotseland’s complete independence!

24 July 2018
Author  Lindunda Wamunyima, Barotseland Post


ERNESTO TEODORO MONETA an Italian Nobel peace prize winner is reported to have first adopted the motto “InVarietate Concordia/In Varietate Unitas” to mean unity in diversity. However, the concept of unity in diversity or "oneness of being" and its related phrases is very old and antedates the recordable history of Barotseland, to date back to ancient times in antiquity. Its usage has had applications in a number of fields including religion, philosophy, science, cosmology, ecology and politics. Primarily, from the very beginning to contemporary times the idea of Unity in diversity EXPRESSES THE CONCEPT OF UNITY WITHOUT UNIFORMITY AND DIVERSITY WITHOUT DISINTEGRATION.

That means, shifting focus from unity based on a mere tolerance of physical, cultural, linguistic, social, religious, political, ideological and/or psychological differences toa more complex unity based on the consideration that differences enrich human interactions. In essence, it is these differences which constitute pairs, organizations and made Zambia fail to accept Barotseland as it was! It is important to note here also that,

1. Barotseland’s quest for complete independence is not a move against the concept of “diversity without fragmentation” here being championed because to start with the Zambia union treaty never got ratified and implemented. It was just a political marriage of force and convenience that enabled the pseudonym Zambia to last thus far. So, the complete freedom of independence being sought by Barotseland is, therefore, the best correction measure available for the three associated territories. Even if the territories were legally and fully amalgamated, the same feared disintegration has worked elsewhere like for former USSR and others. What more dismantling an illegal union? Surely whatever instills doubt and fears for smaller case and territory of Zambia beats logic to comprehend.

2. For close to five decades, Zambia failed miserably to understand and implement this concept of “unity in diversity” as prescribed and purported by the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 (BA’64) in the political union of the three territories of Barotseland, North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia. To this end, we have seen Zambia try hard to erroneously “uniformize” the territory and disintegrate it into provinces and other forms of delimitations inconsistently with the terms of reference for the new Freedom of dependences of the territories expatiated in the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, Zambia Independence Order of 1964 and Zambia Independence Act of 1964.


While there are diversities culturally, ecologically, religiously, ethnically and others an analysis of Barotseland’s political predicament reveals that the present political quagmire of our country is occasioned by about five groupings or classifications in serious need of unity in diversity towards the completely independent Barotseland, as discussed below. The point here is that THERE ARE APPARENT DISTORTED PERCEPTIONS ABOUT BAROTSELAND WHICH SOMEHOW HAVE EFFECTED THE PROTRACTED RESOLUTION OF THE POLITICAL IMPASSE between former unitary state partners in the attempted political project Zambia.


Though politically weaker by legal requirements of 2012 BNC the institution of BRE; a twin power in BA’64 signing and consequently Zambian state functioning was supposed to have made great strides in transforming itself towards the powerful status it had prior to BA’64. As BRA it forms the due Royal component of the constitutional Barotseland government in the transition (BTG) and beyond and as such should have acted with due prowess and experience as expected by the Barotseland nation they purport to be leading. Regrettably, our parents in BRE have mostly been interpreting the BA’64 with the Zambian mindset, out of context contrary to the spirit and import of BA’64and international laws governing treaties. Our parents, therefore, have been seen to be representing another Barotseland country since they have been at pains trying to grasp the meaning of our unity of diversity in Zambia; especially when the political marriage of convenience proved no longer viable and beyond restoration. That would have meant among others things, standing at all costs against the coerced annexation of Barotseland to Northern Rhodesia attempting to form an illegal monolithic Zambia, or better still veto the illegal occupation of our land now. Lastly, BRE found it difficult to understand that unity in diversity does not mean the restoration of BA’64 a treaty or agreement that was not implemented in the first place to qualify the championed slogan of “One Zambia, One Nation!” That is tantamount to lobbying for a unity of uniformity!


Driven by ill motives to erase Barotseland from the global face our attempted unitary statehood partner GRZ decided to misconstrue the BA’64 and implemented it invalidly for political self-gratification. They refused to understand that our unity in diversity did not mean they had to dispossess or divest us of our national emblems like passports, flag, national anthem, boundary, treasury, church of Barotseland, educational institutions, other systems and the way it has been done and continues to be with resources like timber, oil prospects, etc.! Neither did it mean stripping our King of his rightful title to degrade him to Paramount Chief, delimitation and changing of Barotseland to Western Province, worse the firing, retiring before time or redeploying Barotzis from their homeland the way it has been done!Undoubtedly, all this has just helped lead to the constitutional crisis and government illegitimacy therein.


As the umbrella organization of all political entities fighting for the complete liberation of Barotseland BNFA knows very well that Barotseland has a legitimate government in the transition period. However, the current local political ecosystem insinuates failure by BNFA to recognize the Afumba led government. Therefore, BNFA has postulated difficulties, in my view, acknowledging and accepting to work with the Barotseland Transitional Government (BTG); consistent with the 2012 BNC Resolutions and UDI Mandate; a situation that has not been healthy for us, as though we have more than one country called Barotseland or Barotseland as a territory of amalgamated islands! Even after complete independence, the manner of compatriotism and comradeship or solidarity leaves much to be desired. The gap is vivid and needs closing up in the spirit of the much-needed unity in diversity in our country toward the ultimate goal of complete liberation. The danger of failing to publicly show that needed cooperation with BTG now may imply, among other perceptions, that BNFA will be intolerant to plural politics in the completely independent Barotseland once it transforms into a political party Barotseland; when it forms the government. In exemplifying unity in diversity “Kopano ki mata” should be the case now with BRE and Linyungandambo in ways that enhance the complete implementation of 2012 BNC Resolutions.With so much in common already our three key and local functional diversities should find it easier to harmonize their operations.


The political entity charged with due civil and political function in BTG to actualize the complete independence of our motherland in the shortest possible time and in collaboration with BRE and other stakeholders at home and abroad. In essence, as the name implies, more activity is expected to “shake and arouse the neighbours” to the reality of Barotseland’s complete independence for there is no other country to liberate than our very own the “one Barotseland”. Under oath emanating and authored by the 2012 BNC Resolutions the Linyungandambo charge is to deliver a completely one and free Barotseland to Barotzish nation without fear and favour, while protecting the weaker and royal government companion from the scavenging politicians in the land across the border.

It is important to admit here that conflict observed in our land to date has been either negative and/or positive. Usually, leaders who view conflict as negative will work hard to eliminate it just as Zambia is addressing our complete independence program. To the contrary leaders who regard conflict as functional virtue recognize its inert potential to inspire the creative and curative power in problem-solving. A good leader therefore, as BTG will not only try to eliminate negative conflict but will ensure that Barotseland citizens are kept from wasting their energies in addressing conflict destructively but constructively; exploiting and focussing more on the positive take of conflict, given Barotseland’s milieu of plethora of legal, historic, international and other pieces of evidence contending in our favour. This is possible to achieve substantially by harnessing the inherent power of “unity in diversity”.


The international community is very versed with the stipulations and principles of international law which aptly apply in our case.Nevertheless, there seemed to be indecisiveness from the political bodies like UN, Commonwealth, AU and SADC as though waiting until there is mass bloodshed, and yet this is not part of the written international law.We observe that these are organizations that are products of “unity in Diversity” comprising many nations. However, they sometimes seem to be either indifferent and/or diffident to the ideals of globalization, forgetting that while it is their duty to support member states their sought peace can elude due to unfairness meted against non-member states; as they take the law in their own hands. Additionally, it can only be out of selfish ideas or motives for anyone to contend that membership to these international bodies or continents should only be confined to the current member states. Growth and maturity of organizations mean accepting legitimate and marginalized default member states and nations like Barotseland which has been there long before there was a country called Zambia or all these organizations! This same country is one, has never transmuted ever since and is not Western Province, Zambia or any other than the only Barotseland.From United Nations standpoints or considered values, among others, Globalization means unity in diversity of nations and not uniformity.


All the observed inconsistencies within the key stakeholders managing Barotseland’s complete independence seem to give a false image of more than one Barotseland to completely liberate, a situation that is awkward and in need of rectification now.THERE IS ONLY ONE BAROTSELAND MY COUNTRY TO COMPLETELY LIBERATE. Despite the varied combination of the divisions that exit what is needed now is just unity in diversity approach toward amicable resolution of the political conflict and impasse between Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia. THERE IS NO WAY OUT OTHER THAN COMPLETE DISENGAGEMENT OF THE PARTY STATES BECAUSE THE ANTECEDENT EVENTS OF THE 1969 ANNULMENT OF THE BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT (BA’64)BY ZAMBIA AND SUBSEQUENT RATIFICATION OF THE SAME BY BAROTSELAND NATIONAL COUNCIL (BNC) RESOLUTIONS AND UDI MANDATE OF 2012 ARE IRREFUTABLE AND IRREVERSIBLE.

If there was an international tripartite political dialogue that led to the attempted formation of the unitary state of Zambia why should the reverse process seem impossible? It only demands that all the dissimilar political stakeholders should work as a unified whole using their diverse natures and approaches toward the common goal of complete disengagement of Barotseland from Zambia, and consequently inhibit possible instability in the global regional body, this part of Africa. Otherwise, the varied distorted perceptions about Barotseland should be tabled on a common table for an adequate solution because BAROTSELAND IS STILL ONE COUNTRY!


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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.