Prior to 24th October 1964, Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia were neighbours who individually controlled their respective lands, as well as a House and Home. Over the past 500 years, Barotseland through Mbuyuwamwambwa (the First and last female Litunga of Barotseland before adjudicating the throne of Litungaship or in other words, traditional transfer of power from Queen to Kingship to her first born son, Mboo Muyunda) raised her family, children, grand including great grand children with fairness, respect and integrity of acknowledging that God (Nyambe) is Great. Barotseland lived joyously and peaceably happy before 1964, despite a couple of uncouth and engineered political misfortunes. Next is a historical example and territorial integrity of truthfulness in South Central Africa.
A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF BAROTSELAND
The writing demonstrates of what occurred throughout the years in reference to South Central Africa. One day however, a stranger went to Barotseland’s House uninvited. This strange visitor understood to be Northern Rhodesia at the time, who’s roots have been from the Eastern African British Territories in fact has had previously changed his names on several occasions. At the beginning in 1890, Barotseland was a British Protectorate whilst he Northern Rhodesia was West Nyasa in 1890, then transformed into West Luangwa in 1892, North-Eastern Rhodesia 1895, Northern Rhodesia 1924 and Zambia in 1964. Whilst on the Western side territory of Barotseland has never changed its name since it first became to be called so from the 1830s yesterday 2012, 2017 today, tomorrow, and always shall be Barotseland (Linyungandambo, 2003).
After Barotseland interacted with the former stranger who had been changing his names five times since 1890 to 1964 now Zambia, was cooked food and well fed by Barotseland up with a comfortable visitors bed. The following morning breakfast served and Northern Rhodesia thanked Barotseland for all the hospitality the former had received before saying goodbye to the latter.
In regards to the cravings of swallowing Barotseland, the colonialists and leaders who were administering Northern Rhodesia in 1962, intentionally by way of an Agreement resolved in absolving the first into and by the second to create the future united country of Zambia. How to do this and make sure that it happened was problematic because the people of Barotseland resisted.
When Northern Rhodesia was leaving Barotseland back to his home, land or territory, he asked Barotseland if she was interested in becoming a new “One Zambia One Nation” sometime soon. Northern Rhodesia queried that:
“Hey Barotseland, since we are neighbours, can you join me Northern Rhodesia so that we can become one country”?
However, Barotseland responded with an affirmative ‘no’ saying that ‘Barotseland is a Kingdom and Northern Rhodesia in the name of new Zambia is and will be a Republic. It’s not a good deal to have two different countries and transform them into one nation’ as Barotseland requested Northern Rhodesia to genuinely reflect on his future prior to making a decision on the issue of Unionship between the two different territories. This is how Northern Rhodesia returned to his house leaving Barotseland questioning herself whether she can ever trust the former strangers idea of the inconvenience marriage.
In 1890 when Barotseland became a British Protectorate by request after consultation with her family, people and by her King hence it was recognised as such by the colonialists or Europeans during the Partition of Africa (John Mitchell McKenzie, 1983). The Partition of Africa phenomenally was the demarcation of Africa into national States by colonialists without considering the consequences of the aftermath of the Scramble of Africa. Consequently, the King of Barotseland entered into treaties and Agreements with the British in respect of regulating their interests and relations.
As a Kingdom, Barotseland was hesitant to join Northern Rhodesia a Republic to create a new State of Zambia. In 1911 Northern Rhodesia as a territory was procured, named and controlled by the B.S.A.Company (McKenzie, 1983:9).But prior to the arrival of whites, the Territory of West Nyasa, West Luangwa, North-Eastern Rhodesia or Northern Rhodesia if you love historical facts, consisted of various small tribes and each with a tribal head called Chief. In the 1890s however, these tribes were subdued by whites and colonialists. Time went on, until in 1924, Northern Rhodesia ceased to be a colony by conquest during the 1890s and eventually became a British Protectorate, thus over 34 years after Barotseland was granted Protectorate Status and recognised. On the other hand and undoubtedly, Barotseland was a separate territory just like Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Nyansaland or Swaziland. The subdues original territory of Zambia’s name is most likely associated with Zambezia rooting from Mo-Zambi-Que where one of the greatest rivers in Africa is known as “Zambezi”. But the same river is called “Lyambai” in Barotseland (Linyungandambo, 2003).
THE REASONING BEHIND THE INDEPENDENCE OF BAROTSELAND
The reasoning behind the formation of the country Zambia. After collective consultation with her people, eventually Barotseland’s relationship with Britain and Northern Rhodesia culminated into the “Barotse Memorandum of December 1963 and the Barotseland Agreement 1964”. On 18th May 1964, Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia signed the Barotseland Agreement whilst Britain was the sole witness in London. The Barotseland Agreement 1964 was a presupposition intended to be re-affirmed by the newly Zambian government at its independence in October 24th 1964. This BA’64 rests on the condition that Barotseland was to always remain autonomous within the newly to be created country called Zambia. But surprisingly and to the contrary, the Zambian successive governments have failed to implement the BA’64 and it has never been effectively in force (The Barotseland Agreement 1964).
The 5th month premature baby Zambia was hence born on 24th October 1964 based on the legitimate integrity of the international treaty famously known as the Barotseland Agreement 1964.
As a premature child, Zambia after changing its name from Northern Rhodesia to Zambia started tormenting Barotseland and its peaceful people by the way of torture, brutal arrests and killings throughout the last 53 years. On so many occasions, Barotseland notified Zambia that this marriage of inconvenience can no longer continue because the union treaty of the two different territories has been breached by the perpetrator himself. The agreement which brought the two is not in force, therefore Barotseland has no obligations to commit to a null and void treaty which Zambia repudiated.
WHY SHOULD A PERSON COMMIT TO A VIOLENT AND ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP OR MARRIAGE?
Furthermore, the last 53 years of a forceful marriage between Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia, the progeny Zambia after intoxicating himself with alcohol, went to Bulozi or rather Barotseland at night kicking off doors and smashing windows. Shocked to see the turn of events by the former stranger of Northern Rhodesia, Barotseland resisted the these malicious attacks and questioned the progeny Zambia why he is suddenly being violent. Ironically how can a small and novice “child” Zambia call its “mother” Barotseland as its “Western Province” or girlfriend ? Isn’t this abomination?
Noticing the eventualities of a forceful marriage, Barotseland continued to rebuke Zambia because of its failure in following the laid down rules surrounding the pre-independence treaty, BA’64. In response to Barotseland’s refusal to accept the circumstantial marriage, Zambia told Bulozi that Barotseland is not yours any more. Without consultation or consent of Barotseland, in 1969 Zambia nicknamed the Kingdom of Barotseland as its “Western Province” under the 27 years of dictatorial leadership during Kenneth Kaunda’s one party UNIP state. The legitimate children of Barotseland were oppressed and imprisoned, whilst many others massacred in cold blood by the Zambian successive brutal military and police force. Essentially and example, in 2003 the Zambian Constitutional Review Commission stated that the “Zambian government derives its authority over Barotseland from the Barotseland Agreement 1964”.
SADNESS AND MISERY IN BAROTSELAND
The peace and harmony which Barotseland enjoyed for centuries was getting lost and disappearing. The people of Bulozi all of a forceful sudden have become frowned and patronised in their own home, house and land by the ruthless Zambia. Eventually, Za ?? U l?!?eấT]\
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For centuries, clearly we the people of Barotseland have a historical traditional connections with our land and its nature which goes far beyond as much as deeper than ownership of the land. We the people of Barotseland like any other peoples have strong spiritual connections, beliefs, norms and values to our own land and goes back at least 500 years. Therefore Barotseland gives us life, stories and rich culture because we belong to the land, and the land to us.
In light of the ongoing nature of this discourse, then why is it so cumbersome for some people to understand this genuine concern, feelings and need for Barotseland to be independent? The best way and solutions to the problem was reached by the Barotseland National Council (BNC) on 27th March 2012. Barotseland’s UDI needs to be recognised and acknowledged by Zambia and the rest of the world community. This is the only decent thing that needs to be done so that history is connected.
THE WAY FORWARD
The BNC is the highest decision making body of Barotseland and it resolved to accept the repudiation of the BA’64 by Zambia. Wondering what would former Northern Rhodesia or Zambia say if they were still under the British or colonial rule? Otherwise there wouldn’t be Zambia today if the British decided to stay and continue administering it. Let’s not denounce reality and truth over convoluted mess by a stranger in the house.
The people of Barotseland can not fathom themselves with loss of their lives after 53 years of being in concussion coupled with bruises. For example, the looting of Barotseland’s £78.5 million National treasury. The integrity of Barotseland was once more and again reaffirmed by Britain’s Consul and High Commissioner H.H. Johnstone who in 1893 wrote that “I also hold that the administration of these territories north of the Zambezi excepting the Barotse-must be under one head,” the Governor. The governor was the only thing that Northern Rhodesia had in common with Barotseland.
Since the issue of Barotseland is imperatively a public interest, many smart people than myself are sharing their beliefs and views over the BA’64, I am also compelled to add to this discussion with respect to my own life experiences as well as convictions.
So in cementing this article conclusively, I argue that as peoples we should never trade temporary pleasures for engraved regrets. With this in mind, we need to ask the Zambian leadership a very simple question as to why they never implemented the BA’64 at its 24th October Independence? It is laughable that a country continues to refuse its birth certificate. Leaders must be made to account for their own deeds and address many issues that affect people’s well-being. It is also important that leaders must respect rule of law and comply with the principles of universal human rights and other conventions adopted by all UN member States.
Consequently what is or was the primary obligation to the BA’64 article 8:Implementation? Based on the evidence provided in this article, any legitimate and independent court can find various violations of the BA’64 by Zambia. Therefore with the foregoing, any independent persons or courts of law would dismiss the tramped up arguments that the successive Zambian leadership depends upon. The reason for not implementing the BA’64 according to Zambia is due to “passage of time”. This is insufficient to justify the non enforcement of the rights to property or land for the people of Barotseland.
It is not illegal for people to express their own democratic, political, economical, social and cultural rights. These are the issues that the AU, UN, EU or SADC courts of human rights must be addressing and not working against the oppressed peoples like those who dwell from Barotseland. In the nutshell, the BNC ruled that the Independence of Barotseland is legitimate and the international society was fully informed of this decision on 27th March 2012. Significantly, it must be noted that before 24th October 1964 there was no Zambia. What was there is Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia. So nicknaming Barotseland as “Western Province” is a violation of article 8 of the BA’64. The people of Barotseland can not lose their nation on the account of demagogic political concepts that belittle them. Classically, Zambia defaulted the BA’64 because there is no Union Act to support and prove that Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia were legally and politically united as one nation. Zambia’s continuous refusal to negotiate and recognise Barotseland as a Nation in a broader context has systematically alienated the people’s economic and autonomic prospects after having hitherto to accepting the devolved BA’64. So how would you really feel if it was you and your family being dehumanised by a stranger in your own home? Obviously you would feel sad and surely this is how the people of Barotseland feel about Zambia-a stranger in the house.
In other words, I hope and strongly believe that this writing has enlightened the masses of people about Barotseland and its historical integrity prior to the 24th October 1964.