News Editor, Barotseland Post
LUSAKA. Zambia’s Tourism and Arts Minister, Ronald Chitotela, has called for the need to integrate and connect Black-African Americans, who have chosen to track and reconnect with their ancestral roots, to the rest of Zambia.
Mr Chotela said this when a 12 - member delegation of the Homecoming Project led by their president Eric Sheppard of the United States of America and Induna Namamba of the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) paid a courtesy call on him.
“Through this, the Americans behind the initiative will be able to appreciate what Zambia has to offer in terms of tourism and become tourism ambassadors for the country,” Mr Chitotela said.
He said his Ministry would support the project and ideas that come with it as it has the potential to promote Zambia as a tourist destination of choice for international travellers Worldwide.
The Minister said the Americans need to have a broader view of the country so that they can tell a detailed and sellable story when they go back home.
And Eric Sheppard said Diversity Restoration Solutions, the organization behind Homecoming Project, has established a strategic partnership between The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, a US Federal Government Agency, and Barotseland which needs to be turned into a tourism partnership.
The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has rejected the Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2019, indicating that some proposed articles are not consistent with the traditional system of Barotseland.
Addressing the press in Limulunga on Tuesday 6th August, 2019 afternoon, Ngambela Mukela Manyando, the Litunga’s Prime Minister, stated that the Kuta had observed with grave concern that some of the proposed articles would derogate the authority and stature of the Litunga of Barotseland and, therefore, he questioned the motive of passing such legislation whose effect was the destruction of traditions and customs of one section of the same country!
And Zambia’s Prime Television News has reported in their mid-morning news on Friday, 9th 2019, that the BRE feels that some articles if passed would have the potential to create anarchy in the region because others will have powers of declaring themselves chiefs.
Prime Television’s Lloyd Kapusa reported that in a meeting held on July 30th - 31st 2019 by the District Palace Kutas which convened in Limulunga, the Winter Capital of the Litunga (King) Lubosi Imwiko II, the BRE sat to analyze the constitutional Amendment Bill of 2019 and resolved not to support the National Dialogue Forum, NDF, resolutions.
“The BRE observed with grave concern that some of the proposals in the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2019 will if passed, derogate the authority and stature of the Litungaship - the very foundation of our tradition and identity.
“We, therefore, question the motive of passing such legislation, whose effect is the destruction of traditions and customs of one section of the same country!” Ngambela Mukela Manyando was quoted reading out the Kuta’s resolutions opposing the controversial NDF resolutions.
Through a program called The Home Coming Project, which helps African-Americans trace their original roots, some who reportedly traced their roots back to Barotseland are scheduled to arrive home today for a two-week-long pilgrimage to commemorate 400 years since the first slaves arrived in English America.
The team of ten African-Americans led by Eric Antony Sheppard, the President and Founder of The Diversity Restoration Solutions (DRS) Inc. (USA), arrived in Lusaka, Zambia on Tuesday 6th August en route to Barotseland, where they will be received by the King of Barotseland, Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II, the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and their brothers and sisters in Barotseland for two-week-long festivities that will be organized in many districts across the Kingdom.
The first documented Africans to arrive in the English-speaking colony of what would become the state of Virginia in America, arrived in August 1619 on the “White Lion,” a Dutch man-of-war ship carrying enslaved cargo from the West Coast of Africa, and this August 2019 will be exactly 400 years since.
And to commemorate this special event, many African-Americans, and some from the Caribbean, are travelling back to Africa to reconnect with their ancestral homeland, with many deciding to relocate there permanently!
The nine (9) Livingstone Barotseland activists who were arrested and jointly charged for ‘unlawful assembly’ and ‘seditious practices’ last year have been freed on nolle prosequi.
Col. Lubasi, Ndopu Sanjola, Pastor Elliot Mbulana, George Akufuna, Silumina, Kebby Sishekanu, Phelim Kaungu, Ms Mukubesa Mubita and Mrs Yubai Mutukwa were arrested on 10th May 2018 and left to languish in deplorable incarceration for a month before they could be granted bail or trial dates.
This was after the nine Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) Livingstone Chapter leaders held a peaceful press conference to reject the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) imposed dialogue process presented at an earlier press conference by the GRZ/BRE emissary, Mutungulu Wanga, who had wanted the people of Barotseland to rubber-stamp the suspicious dialogue process with the Government of Zambia over the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
However, when the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday, 30th July 2019 at the Livingstone Magistrate court, Zambia’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shawa Siyunyi, said the state had decided to discontinue the cases against the nine accused on a nolle prosequi.
Social and political commentator, Munyinda Munukayumbwa, has been arrested after the Barotse Royal Establishment’s Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, ordered for his arrest for allegedly ridiculing and undermining the authority of the Litunga and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE).
In a social media post attributed to BRE’s Induna Katema (Aketata Batunda) confirming Munyinda’s arrest, the Royal establishment has warned that they ‘will not let any individual insult the intelligence of the Kuta and the Ngambela’.
A further press query to Induna Katema for clarification on the matter has gone unanswered for over a day.
Munyinda was arrested on Tuesday, 14th May 2019, at 16:00 hrs when he responded to a police call-out at Mongu police station where he was reportedly interrogated for over three (3) hours by Police officers from Lusaka and Mongu Central Police who now plan to charge him with the crime of ‘promoting tribal war’!
Munyinda, not a stranger to such police arrests over social media activities, will be the first Barotse activist ever to be charged with the crime if the police decide to proceed as planned.
Meanwhile, some police sources have disclosed that the BRE’s Ngambela (King’s traditional Prime Minister), Mukela Manyando, asked the Zambian Police to silence Munyinda through intimidation because he has persistently criticised the royal establishment and the Litunga.
“Some senior police officers disclosed to us that Ngambela Mukela Manyando asked the Zambian Police to intimidate Munyinda so that he may stop criticising the BRE, especially after his recent remarks on Facebook accusing the BRE of having neglected some retainers for the newly BRE enthroned chief of Nañoko area, now languishing in extended police incarceration without trial, for defending their chief who is now the right Mwene Chengele after he was properly enthroned by the Royal establishment!” reported an anonymous source close to the happenings.
The Barotse Royal Establishment’s newly installed Ngambela, Mukela Manyondo, may have scored his first this afternoon when he swiftly called a press briefing to dispel some malicious Barotse social media rumours suggesting that HRH the Senior Chief Amukena Isiteketo of Kaoma regency had been arrested by the Zambian military at the instruction of His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland!
And the Ngambela has clarified that the scores of Zambian military personnel seen arriving in the territory yesterday were on a routine operation with Zambia’s newly appointed Army Commander who is in the area to inspect his troops on his familiarization tour.
He further said that as demanded by traditional custom and royal etiquette, the Army Commander Brig. Gen. William Sikazwe, proceeded to pay homage to His Majesty the Litunga before he could embark on his familiarization tour and that nothing was unusual in his visit!