Editor General, Barotseland Post

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Unity in diversity does not mean uniformity, but rather that there is unity of purpose. More than ever before Barotseland now needs her people to be one, especially with the legal processes we have embarked upon against Zambia. We need the activists in their two broad categories of Linyungandambo and BNFA to work with the BRE Kuta, and the Kuta itself to be one with the masses. We may have past and present differences but, like Dr. Matengu Situmbeko has said in his latest statement, the route we decide to take at resolving our differences will determine whether or not we actually succeed at resolving them.

Some activists have decided to petition that the entire BRE Kuta be dismissed for some alleged ‘compromise’ in as far as the quest for Barotseland independence is concerned. This is a commendable exercise of their right. However, we should emphasize that because it is not the entire Kuta that has compromised, it is, therefore, important that the Litungaship is left to collate the allegations in fairness, without undue pressure. Justice will demand thoroughness in this regard. Civil unrest may only breed miscarriage of justice.

We have two or three legal processes that have commenced or have been initiated in which Barotseland or a section of it, seek to make Zambia answerable for her treachery and injustice against Barotseland. The nature of these processes requires that we are united as one people and one nation.


This case was lodged by the NGAMBELA of Barotseland and OTHERS on behalf of Barotseland (The Litungaship, the Kuta and the activists or masses.)

The success of this process entails that the head of the Kuta, THE NGAMBELA, works with OTHERS (the activists or the masses). Therefore, whoever occupies the office of Ngambela and his Kuta is conjoined with the people to ensure that this process goes through. However, if the Kuta and the activists are at war with each other, how are they expected to work together successfully to petition the Banjul court against Zambia? Tukongote or Kopano will indeed be the key here. We are reliably aware that this case is progressing very well.


This case is being lodged by the Afumba Mombotwa led Transitional Government on behalf of the people of Barotseland (The Litungaship, the Kuta and the activists or masses).

The success of this particular case too entails that the Head of the Transitional Government works with the Head of State, The Litungaship, the Kuta and the citizens.The lodging of this case has progressed very well. The unity of purpose is greatly required, in this regard, so that the desired outcome is achieved.


The Clement W. Sinyinda led BNFA has also challenged the Zambian government to sign a 'Submission of Arbitration Agreement' at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). Although Zambia has not yet signed this Agreement, this process is still on and will require the co-operation of everybody to go on.

Time and again, it has been emphasized that the matter of Barotseland is not of WAR but of LAW. It has been noted, however, that there are some among us who think that ACTION only means FIGHTING! These are those who often criticize their leadership for doing ‘NOTHING’ only because the leaders have refused to beat the Barotse WAR DRUMS! Barotseland, however, decided to give peaceful settlement the foremost chance. Therefore, we must show total commitment to PEACE before we can relish the idea of WAR!

Barotseland has already tried and will continue to pursue POLITICAL processes such as the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) on the 27th of March 2012. Zambia did not and has not heeded our POLITICAL declarations. That is not to say what we did on 27th March 2012 was not VALID! It simply means IMPUNITY on the part of Zambia. Now, as we seek LEGAL processes, can we give chance for these processes to reach their logical conclusion? The required action now is NOT Fighting but financial contributions to further all these legal processes. Those who think they have a lot of energy should direct it towards raising funds for all our legal efforts and processes.

It is not our desire to see one big movement but that we learn how to pursue UNITY in DIVERSITY. Our common denominator should be a FREE and INDEPENDENT Barotseland. Ideological differences will be there. This is expected and most desirable in any progressive society such as ours. But these differences should not make us lose focus on our immediate prize! Therefore, let us heed Dr. Matengu when he calls for CALM and revisit of our individual and collective strategies so that we can now all work together; Linyungandambo, BNFA, The BRE Kuta and The Litungaship, The transitional government and all the people for the sake of Barotseland. Bigger hurdles still lie ahead. But we will together cross over them and create the change we all seek!!

Tukongote! Litunga Nilyetu!


The piece of land historically known as the Barotse Park was designated thus because it was the site on which numerous protocols between King Lewanika and his successors on one part and the agents of British South Africa Company and later the British Crown on the other part were negotiated and sealed. From its inception, the Barotse Park was a soft spot of encounter between the settler communities and the indigenous people of Zambia. The following are some of the important meetings that were held on the site:


The Company asked its senior representative the Rt. Honourable Captain Arthur Lawley, then resident in Bulawayo (Matebeleland), Southern Rhodesia, to inform Major Robert Coryndon, then resident commissioner in Barotseland-North Western Rhodesia who resided at Kalomo, the then capital of North-Western Rhodesia to officially request the Litunga of Barotseland Lubosi Lewanika to meet at the Victoria Falls. The three party talks were aimed at consolidating territorial jurisdiction and the treaties that Lewanika had earlier agreed with Harry Ware in 1889 and Frank Lochner in 1890, whereas these treaties culminated into THE BAROTSELAND-NORTH WESTERN RHODESIA ORDER-IN-COUNCIL of 1899. The talks were scheduled to take place on 25th June 1898 at Victoria Falls, but the high water level of the Zambezi River affected the preparations of receiving the Litunga as the surroundings of the Old Drift or Sekute's Drift were damp and muddy. The Coryndon Administration, after consultations, decided to change the venue to a higher and dry ground on the Sandbelt. The site that was chosen was where Lubosi Lewanika's Royal Pavilion was constructed. Talks were held between the Litunga and the British Resident Commissioner in Barotseland-North Western Rhodesia on the one part and representatives or agents of John Cecil Rhodes of the British South Africa Company on the other part, agreed to provide a path for the British South Africa Company (BSAC) to proceed to the north bank of the Zambezi river, constructing the railway from Cape to Cairo. It was at this site where the Lawley treaty was concluded.


Following the passing of THE BAROTSELAND-NORTH WESTERN RHODESIA ORDER-IN-COUNCIL which was passed in 1899, two concessions were signed at this site. The first one was Concession A which was commonly known as LEWANIKA'S TREATY. The second Concession B was signed in November of the same year. The treaty was for the mining syndicate and for sanctioning the British South Africa Company to generate hydro-electric power from the Zambezi at the Victoria Falls for usage in the mining industry on the Copperbelt. In 1901, the said concessions were ratified.


The Constitutional Conference was held at this site to ratify the two treaties agreed to in 1900. This lead to the subsequent naming of the Sandbelt on which this site was situated The Constitution Hill. At the same time the site was named the Barotse Centre in honour of King Lubosi Lewanika, his council and the people involved in the advancement of development in the territory of North-Western Rhodesia.

In 1902, the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika was invited to attend the coronation ceremony of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria in England. The Barotse Centre at the heart of the Constitution Hill is where the Litunga bade farewell to his council and the people who wished him a safe journey. It was at this same site where Lewanika assured and impressed the crowd that feared for his safety, by planting his royal walking stick into the ground as a sign that would predict whether his entourage was safe. This historic event was evident enough that the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika's royal wooden walking stick germinated, rooted, branched off and grew into a big tree. Lewanika's way back from England at the end of 1902 in December was welcomed by a great royal traditional guard of honour at the Barotse Centre, which he marked by the unforgettable legacy. The Litunga arrived at his capital Lealui at New Year's first day of 1903 to a thunderous welcome, which was anti-climaxed as the final briefing was about his mother Inonge who had died.

Gradually, more settlers arrived in the Victoria Falls area, the administrators at the Old Drift or Sekute's Drift (which was unhealthy) decided to have a new township planned at the Constitution Hill. By the end of November 1904 the new township was being surveyed and the roads were marked. The township was layed out as a rectangular grid of streets and sanitary lanes forming fifteen blocks in all covering an area of rather less than one square kilometer. The central street main way (now Mosi-O-Tunya road) was to be 43 metres wide. The central block was to be an open park known as THE BAROTSE CENTRE, which still survives. The remaining fourteen blocks comprised two hundred and four stands. Some of these were reserved for the Administration's offices and other residents who were to be forced to abandon their old settlements at the Old Drift. The remaining stands were sold at an auction held on 23rd January 1905.

In 1904, when the railway line from Bulawayo reached the Zambezi River at the Victoria Falls, the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika came to the Victoria Falls for the official opening ceremony of the bridge conducted on 12th September 1905 by Professor George Darwin, President of the British Association. The first regatta which featured the Barotse royal badges of Mwandi Palace under Litia Yeta, son of Lewanika in Sesheke and Lealui the capital of Barotseland raced and Mwandi won.

It was at this very important event that the first curio shop was put up by Lewanika in the new town at the Barotse Centre. King Lewanika further declared the centre should be held unto perpetuity as a soft spot for all Africans who had less access to the new settlement, to utilize it as trading area for their crafts and as a green market. The official ceremony was the first of its kind. There were crafts and a lot of artwork from Barotseland, vegetables and fruits from surrounding areas of the Victoria Falls displayed for sale. As years passed activities among the White settlers and Africans at the new town increased. The main meeting place remained the Barotse Centre. Here the White settlers could buy crafts, artwork, vegetables and fruits from Africans.

The Barotse Centre further served as a recruitment point for native labour and as a venue for activities which involved the BAROTSE NATIVE POLICE and the BAROTSE NATIVE POLICE BAND, where Africans were actively involved.

The end remark by the parties involved during the official opening of the Victoria Falls bridge was to consider naming the Constitution Hill and areas surrounding the Victoria Falls as Doctor David Livingstone in honour of the great explorer who put the falls, the mighty Zambezi river, south and central Africa, including the people who were party to his expedition on the world map.

Two years after the official opening of the bridge in 1907, a decision was made by the White Administration of North-Western Rhodesia headed by Sir, Robert Codrington, in consultations with the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika of Barotseland, to shift the capital from Kalomo to Livingstone. The Barotse Centre was the venue for the celebrations that marked the importance and growth of the town. The town by then had two hotels, a restaurant, two mineral water factories, at least eight clothing and general stores, two butcheries, four building contractors, a chemist and a barber. Also Standard Bank of South Africa and the first North-Western hotel were opened at the capital.

In 1909 King Lewanika travelled to Livingstone to welcome the new Administrator Mr. Wallace, who replaced Robert Codrington who died. He was accorded a reception by the White Administration and Africans at the Barotse Centre especially the two pioneer Lithuanian business brothers, Harry and Elie Susman, who had been cattle traders in Barotseland, who took over the pioneer butchery, Mopane Clarke's store and a bar. The two brothers paid great tribute to the Litunga.

A major event in the early history of Livingstone town was the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught in 1910. They came to South Africa to open the first session of the Union Parliament and then proceeded on a tour to southern and northern Rhodesia. The Litunga Lubosi Lewanika and other Barotse royalty came to Livingstone for the occasion and were accommodated in town. Lewanika arranged an exhibition and demonstration of traditional Lozi crafts in the Barotse Centre, of which he took the visitors on a conducted tour. As usual, Lewanika made an excellent impression on both the visitors and settlers.

In 1911, the British South Africa Company with the approval of the British Government passed an ORDER-IN-COUNCIL to facilitate the amalgamation of the two territories of North-Western and North-Eastern Rhodesia into one but for Barotseland of the Litunga, which was reserved as a state within a state. Livingstone became the capital of Northern Rhodesia. The Barotse Centre was where the celebrations took place involving the peoples of the said territories backed by the two bands of the Barotse Native Police and the North-Eastern Rhodesia Constabulary which also amalgamated to one Northern Rhodesia Police.

Three years after the amalgamation in 1914 world war one broke out. Attention in all the British colonial territories, Northern Rhodesia included, turned to war activities at the expense of development especially in Barotseland. The events of this war bothered Lewanika (who wanted to develop his nation) so much that he did not live any longer and died in 1916.

Thereafter, it was not until 1921, when the Litunga Litia Yeta III CBE who succeeded his father Lewanika, who while on his way to Cape Town via Livingstone where he was invited to meet the Prince of Connaught, met with his people in the area and the Governor General.

Another exciting event at the Barotse Centre was in 1924 when Litia Yeta III CBE travelled to Livingstone for the great celebrations that marked the handover power from the British South Africa Company to Great Britain under the rule of King George V. The Litunga was to meet the first Governor Sir Herbert Stanley.

A spectacular visit by King George VI in 1947 who was to meet his friend the Litunga Imasiku Mwanan'ono Imwiko I put the Barotse Centre on the world map because of the modern print and electronic media that covered the Royal counterpart's shake hands, bolstering links between England and Barotseland. An occasion comprised of impressive activities such as the flotilla canoes that accompanied the regatta involving the Litunga's Royal badges at the boat club, a guard of honour on the Northern Rhodesia regiment and a Royal Walk (Kutamboka) where the two Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth participated.

Sir Mwanawina III KBE, too had extensively utilized the Barotse Centre as a venue for important activities on his many visits especially when he went to Salisbury in southern Rhodesia to sign for Barotseland as a state within states in an order of the federation that was evoked in 1953.

More importantly was when the Litunga Sir Mwanawina III KBE, the Ngambela Imenda Sibandi and some high ranking Indunas flew from Livingstone to England to sign the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. The Barotse Centre has been so significant to most Litungas (even at the time of Godwin Mbikusita Lewanika II) that whenever any of them visited Livingstone they passed by to see the centre.

This site therefore where these legal documents which described Zambia as a state and nation were signed and ratified is an important historical site which should be preserved without any uderlterations.


1. London; Colonial Office; (Commonwealth Library)-Public Record Office; (Affairs North of the Zambezi); News from Barotseland, Une Collection Comple'te, 4 Volumes 1897-1932

2. PEMS; (Paris Evangelical Mission Society) Headquarters, 102 Boulevard Arago; Francois Coillard, Personal Papers, Letters and Journals 1880-1904 (Zambezi Files; 1885-1904), Administration Britannique, Kalomo-Mongu, 1908-1933, Sefula Mission Station.

3. National Archives, Southern Rhodesia Salisbury (Harare Zimbabwe). Administrator's Files-A15/1-15 Miscellaneous, 1889-1899. A 3/18/5 Lewanika 1896-1903. A 11/2/12/5-6 Lewanika 1901-1903 A11/2/14/1-23 North-Western Rhodesia,1902-1909

4. British South Africa Company Files, Cape Town (C.T.1/4/1-7 Barotseland, 1890-1895; C.T.1/11/1 Concessions, Barotse, 1890-1895; C.T.1/15/1 Matters relating to Native Affairs 1892, Barotseland. London Office [L.O.5/2/1-58; L.O.5/3/1-4; L.O.5/7/1-6)

5. National Archives, Northern Rhodesia Lusaka (Zambia) A Series: Papers of the Administrator, North-Western Rhodesia, (NW/A) NW/A1/1/1-13, In letters 1902-1911, High Commissioner for South Africa; A1/2/1-17 In letters 1902-1911, London Office; A2/1/1-5 Out letters 1908-1911, High Commissioner; A2/2/1-6 Out letters 1901-1911, London Office; A2/3/1 Barotse Boundary Commission (January 1904); A3/25 Barotse Native Police, Lealui 1905-1906. Reports by Harding and Gibbisons.

6. Papers of the Northern Rhodesia Secretariat (NR/B) B Series: NR/B1/1; B1/1 (A353D) Concessions-Litia Yeta III CBE Correspondence with the Secretary of State, 1922-1924; B1/1 (A281A) Boundaries, District Barotseland 1912-1925.

7. NR/B1/2/1927 Series. NR/B1/2/177-9 Barotse Concessions 1901-1911; Lewanika: 1901 Amendments: 1905 and 1906; Lewanika; 1909: Lewanika to T.B. Davvies; Barotseland boundaries 1899 March to September 1925; B1/2/291 Control of Barotseland by the Imperial Government, 1921-1922; B1/2/302-3 Barotse Government: Land cases and outline of political system 1921

8. B1/3/1928 File Series: B1/3/677 The Litunga Litia Yeta III CBE's visit to Livingstone 1928. B1/3/688 Native Affairs, Barotseland 1928.

9. B1/7/1929 Series Lewanika Concessions, 1900-1912; Reconsideration of Concessions, 1927-1931

10. KDE Series Papers of Resident Magistrate, Barotseland: KDE 2/43/1-5 Anthropological, Historical, Slavery, Language, Customs; KDE 2/44/1-21 History of Barotseland, Notes and Documents.

11. OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS British Government Agreement between Great Britain and Portugal Relative to Spheres of Influence North of the Zambezi. Cmnd 7032 (London, 1893) Award of His Majesty the King of Italy respecting the western boundary of the Barotse Kingdom Cmnd 2584 (London 1905). Barotseland Agreement 1964, Cmnd 2366

12. ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT (Northern Rhodesia) Barotse Native Authority, Constitution Committee Report, Rawlings 1957. British South Africa Company, Report by the Ministry of Finance, Lusaka, on the Company's claims to Mineral Royalties in Northern Rhodesia, Government Printers, Lusaka 1964.


1. Bertrand Alfred-The Kingdom of Barotsi, upper Zambezi, London 1899

2. Col. Colin Harding-In Remotest Barotseland, Hurst and Blackett London 1905

3. Coillard Francois-On the Threshold of Central Africa, Hodder and Stoughton, London 1897

4. Stirke D W Barotseland; Eight Years among the Barotse, London 1922

5. Jalla Adolphe- Lewanika, Roi des Ba-Rotsi, Geneva 1902 Litaba za Sicaba sa Malozi; Oxford University Press, Cape town 1921, revised; London 1959

6. Baxter T. W; The Barose Concessions' Part 1, Northern Rhodesia journal, June 1951, no. 3, pp. 39-49. Part 2 Northern Rhodesia journal, December 1951, no. 4, pp. 38-45.

7. Bradley Kenneth; "Statesmen" Coryndon and Lewanika in North-Western Rhodesia; 'African Observer, Sep. 1936, volume V, no. 5

8. Caplan Gerald Lewis; A Political History of Barotseland, 1879-1965, thesis for Ph.D, London University 1968, published as The Elites of Barotseland, 1878-1969, C.Hurst and Co. London 1970.

9. Clay G C R; Your Friend, Lewanika, Litunga of Barotseland, 1842-1916 Robin's Series no. 7, Chatto and Windus London 1968.

10. Gluckman Max; Economy of the Central Barotse Plain, Roads-Livingstone Institute Paper no. 7 1941. Administrative Organization of the Barotse Native Authorities, with a plan for reforming them. Roads-Livingstone Institute Commn. no. 1, 1943.

11. Mutumba Mainga; Ph,D. Bulozi Under The Luyana Kings, (Political Evolution and State Formation) in Pre-colonial Zambia, 1973.

12. Brian M Fagan, M.A, Ph,D. The Victoria Falls, the Batoka Gorge and Part of the Zambesi River

(CNN) The Palestinian Authority officially became the 123rd member of the International Criminal Court on Wednesday, a step that gives the court jurisdiction over alleged crimes in Palestinian territories.

The formal accession was marked with a ceremony at The Hague, in the Netherlands, where the court is based.

The Palestinians signed the ICC's founding Rome Statute in January, when they also accepted its jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed "in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014."

Later that month, the ICC opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestinian territories, paving the way for possible war crimes investigations against Israelis. As members of the court, Palestinians may be subject to counter-charges as well.

The war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza last summer left more than 2,000 people dead, the vast majority of them Palestinians.

Israel, which is not an ICC member, has opposed the Palestinians' efforts to join the body.

"The Israeli position -- like the position of the U.S., Canada and others -- is that the Palestinians are not eligible to join the ICC and the court does not have jurisdiction in this instance, first and foremost, because there is no Palestinian State in international law," Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

"The decision of the Palestinians to join the ICC as an attempt to move 'processes' against Israel is political, cynical and hypocritical."

The Palestinian Authority, which is allied to the "murderous" militant group Hamas, "is the last one that can threaten to present a case to the ICC in the Hague," the ministry added, saying that the Palestinians' membership violated the founding principles of the ICC and risked politicizing the body.

But Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki, speaking at Wednesday's ceremony, said joining the ICC was a move toward greater justice.

"As Palestine formally becomes a State Party to the Rome Statute today, the world is also a step closer to ending a long era of impunity and injustice," he said, according to an ICC news release. "Indeed, today brings us closer to our shared goals of justice and peace."

Rights group welcomes Palestinian decision

Judge Kuniko Ozaki, a vice president of the ICC, said acceding to the treaty was just the first step for the Palestinians.

"As the Rome Statute today enters into force for the State of Palestine, Palestine acquires all the rights as well as responsibilities that come with being a State Party to the Statute. These are substantive commitments, which cannot be taken lightly," she said.

Rights group Human Rights Watch welcomed the development.

"Governments seeking to penalize Palestine for joining the ICC should immediately end their pressure, and countries that support universal acceptance of the court's treaty should speak out to welcome its membership," said Balkees Jarrah, international justice counsel for the group.

"What's objectionable is the attempts to undermine international justice, not Palestine's decision to join a treaty to which over 100 countries around the world are members."

U.S.: We will oppose actions against Israel at the ICC

In January, when the preliminary ICC examination was opened, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as an outrage, saying the court was overstepping its boundaries.

The United States also said it "strongly" disagreed with the court's decision.

"As we have said repeatedly, we do not believe that Palestine is a state and therefore we do not believe that it is eligible to join the ICC," the State Department said in a statement.

It urged the warring sides to resolve their differences through direct negotiations. "We will continue to oppose actions against Israel at the ICC as counterproductive to the cause of peace," it said.

But the ICC begs to differ with the definition of a state for its purposes and refers to the territories as "Palestine."

While a preliminary examination is not a formal investigation, it allows the court to review evidence and determine whether to investigate suspects on both sides. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office would "conduct its analysis in full independence and impartiality."

The inquiry will include alleged war crimes committed since June.

The International Criminal Court was set up in 2002 to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

As Barotseland pushes for total independence from Zambia, it is clear that the road will not be smooth as it has been with many countries and as such, we will draw a few lessons from countries and movements in the region that went through freedom struggle.

In Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, the struggle took the path of armed struggle after peaceful means failed to yield positive results. The Zimbabwe bush war or second Chimurenga was fought from 4th July 1964 to 12th December 1979, a period of 15 years, five months, one week and one day. Before commencement of the armed struggle, a number of black Africans started to agitate for freedom, however, many whites and a sizable minority of black Rhodesians viewed their lifestyle as being under attack, which both considered safer and with a higher standard of living than many other African countries.

The same situation today applies to Barotseland were despite the general majority being aware of the situation and eager to break free of Zambian hegemony, a sizable Barotse minority who feel better placed in economic terms within Zambia see the push for freedom as a danger to their lifestyle and simply rubbish calls for freedom.

Two rival nationalist groups emerged in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) following a split in the former in August 1963 following disagreements over tactics as well as personality clashes. ZANU and its military wing ZANLA were initially headed by the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and later by Robert Mugabe. ZAPU on the other hand and its military wing, the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) were under the leadership of Joshua Nkhomo.

The Zimbabwe Bush war pitted three belligerents against one another, the Ian Smith government forces, ZAPU’S ZIPRA and ZANU’S ZANLA. The two nationalist movements fought separate wars against the Rhodesian forces but the two groups sometimes fought against each other as well.

The minority Rhodesian government held that the traditional chiefs were the legitimate voice of the black Shona and Ndebele population and not ZANU and ZAPU nationalists, who it regarded as dangerous and violent usurpers.

Following the birth of nationalist movements in Barotseland, the Zambian government has always felt that the traditional authority or the Barotse Royal Establishments (BRE) is the legitimate voice of the people of Barotseland and not the nationalist movements. The Zambians have however failed to listen to the people of Barotseland after they spoke through the Barotseland National Council (BNC), a body that includes all the traditional leaders of Barotseland.

Zimbabwe was however saved from possible confrontation among the nationalists, (like the case was in Angola after independence), when the British took control of the country from the Smith government for a year under which they organized elections which were won by Robert Mugabe’s ZANU. In the case of Mozambique, the local population became nationalistic and frustrated by the nations subservience to foreign rule.

Many acculturated indigenous Africans who were fully integrated into the Portuguese ruled social organisation of Mozambique, in particular those from urban centres, reacted to the independence claims with a mixture of discomfort and suspicion. The ruling Portuguese on the other hand responded with increased military presence and fast paced development projects which resulted in the construction of the Cabora bassa Dam for generation of Hydro power.

Among the freedom fighting movement which took to the battle field to achieve independence, FRELIMO, lost one of its top commanders, Filipe Samuel Magaia, who was shot dead by Lourenco Matola, a fellow guerrilla who was believed to have been employed by the Portuguese. Prior to the formation of the Soviet backed FRELIMO, the Soviets position regarding the nationalist movements in Mozambique was one of confusion. There were multiple independence movements in Mozambique and they (Soviet) had no sure knowledge that any would succeed.

As Barotseland pushes on the path to freedom, Zambia will deploy all manner of gymnastics to derail the process. They will bring in fast paced development projects, fake promises like the Mungu stadium, divide and rule tactics alongside intimidation and heavy deployment of military forces. On the part of Barotseland, collaborators will always be there like has been the case in every country that has ever fought for freedom but the key is for all movements and individual citizens to remain determined and focused.

Like Mandela, we may say, "There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere; What Barotseland is going through today, others went through it too."


The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights’ 56th Ordinary Session is bound to take place from 21st April – 7th May 2015. The commission will, among other things, look at issues that affect and conflicts peoples' human rights. In view of the commission's role as a commission within the African union, AU, I am compelled to express my opinion of what is expected of the commission, having in mind the serious human rights violations reportedly perpetuated by AU member countries with impunity. I am not going to dwell on the objectives or roles of the African Union where the commission attributes its mandate, but on the legal rights of Barotseland, as in person under international public law. Is the African Union a serious platform to handle political conflicts, which are on the increase, across the continent or is it just a platform for sharing tips on how to rig elections in order to cling to power for the longest period by various African leaders?

It would be naive to believe that the African union is not able to solve conflicts happening in most parts of the African continent, as long as the administration of the African union is seemingly shifting in attitude towards the human rights abuses reports before her committed by member countries against the minorities calling for political freedom to self-determination. In short, if AU upholds the human rights as enshrined in UN charter, it will not fail in its duties of maintaining peace in the continent which needs urgent attention. The African Union, I believe does not oppose the right to self-determination of peoples, like in the case of Barotseland. The AU should come open to the idea and demand for an independent Barotseland, as evidenced by the legal and historical facts that Barotseland was never traded to a new country of Zambia by the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.

There have been, however, some indications that the African union may not be decidedly more biased in favor of new independent territories in the continent than they are to territorial integrity. Undoubtedly, by referring to international legality, the case of Barotseland is among a few considered African prospective states as born out of legality, and requires the justice of law to bring it to conclusion not the barrel of a Gun. Unfortunately, most of armed conflicts in Africa resulted due to inefficiency by the African union to handle disputes that boarder on sovereignty integrity in good faith including the option of independence.

What is certain is that the African union leaders and members, just as countries in the world, are torn between continuing to support a traditional ally and setting a new course that would contradict the interests of that ally. Now, that the African union has a new chairman, president Robert Mugabe known as a critic of Britain's occupation of huge land in Zimbabwe , should work in supporting the efforts of the United Nations peace process that seeks for peaceful resolution to disputes that exist within member countries. It will be another assault on fundamental principles of international law if bipartisan stance takes center stage by the African union in handling the Barotseland question in favor of Zambia's abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, and human rights abuses against unarmed people of Barotseland. Should such step be taken by the AU it will go on record as having endorsed Zambia's illegal annexation of Barotseland and human rights abuses including the right to self determination which is an unalienable Right.

In the meantime, the violations of human rights in occupied Barotseland have in fact amplified despite their denunciations by respectable human rights organizations, such as the USA 2013 reports on human rights violations in Zambia or Human Rights Watch. The Barotseland Activists are subjected to inhuman treatment such as illegal arrests, long detentions, suppressed freedom of expression and freedom of association, deaths with some killed buried secretly, etc. In 2011, about 19 Barotse people who were among those that wanted to discuss the abrogated BA’64 were shot dead by the Zambian police or simply went missing to date.

In 2013, about 150 Barotse people were arrested by simply celebrating at the news that the Barotseland government is put in place, a case which was discontinued by Zambia after six months of detention without trial. The case of the Barotseland Youth Activists is also another example, who wrote a letter in 2014 of protests against Zambian's government sponsoring division amongst liberation leaders by luring some to disrespect others, led to the arrest of three youth leaders Muziba, Nayoto and Sikwibele who were later sentenced and are currently serving a three year imprisonment with hard labor.

Furthermore, the Barotseland self-determination quest is not bound to be solved by holding a referendum. The people of Barotseland have already objected to the idea of referendum in spite of calls by some Zambian political opposition parties and some civil rights societies to subject the issue to a referendum. The rejection is out of the fact that nothing gives Zambia the right to offer referendum to Barotseland, as in the absence of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, the two territories of Barotseland and Zambia are not bound to each other, and it is utter ambiguity and assault to the Law of treaties.

Even though the issue very rarely makes the headlines, the Barotseland conflict has a significant impact on the development of SADC region. Indeed, the lack of regional integration is a serious consequence: economic exchange between southern member states will lead to economic hardship of the region.

I, therefore, expect the African Union to handle the Barotseland impasse with seriousness it deserves as it borders on the very principle of international law, than military capabilities.

Barotseland must be let free.

Litunga Ni lyetu.


The subject of the Nkoya relationship with the rest of Barotseland has been in public domain for some time now, and because of the misinformation that is carried on about it by those that deliberately wish to use it as a tool to divide and rule Barotseland, we have decided to feature a paper that was written by Hon. Namushi Nyambe who is BRE Induna Yutanga. He is also the current Acting Imangambwa at the Naliele District Kuta of Kaoma, which is at the centre of the Intransigence of the Nkoya of Mwene Mutondo. This paper, in our opinion, is one single most contextualized writing on this matter, as it features not only the historical genesis of the problem, with references to correspondence between the Litungaship and the Zambian presidency, but also outlines the efforts made by the Barotse Royal Establishment to have this matter amicably resolved to date.

We publish it under the title; ‘Scramble for Barotseland: The Intransigence of the Nkoya of Mwene Mutondo.’ The original, however, was simply titled ‘The Intransigence of the Nkoya of Mwene Mutondo’ and was written in 2014.

We wish, therefore, to thank Hon. Nyambe Namushi most sincerely for his efforts in putting this paper together and for permitting us to reproduce it entirely, save for the slight change in the title. It is our hope that the public will use this material as a reference manual vis –a- vis the Nkoya subject matter, and be better informed about it.

It is a lengthy paper; therefore, we here publish it in page-break format to coincide with the original pages of the paper, and it is here filed under SPECIAL REPORTS. Click Next >> to continue reading OR simply select a title in the Article Table of Contents above to READ..


By Nyambe Namushi, Induna Yutanga (Acting Imangambwa), Barotse Royal Establishment, Naliele District Kuta, Kaoma - 2014


Imutakwandu (late King) Litunga Ilute Yea 1V did not economise in language when he made the following frank clarification to the late President of Zambia Dr. Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba in a bold letter dated 1st February, 1994:-

“Mr. President if the Nkoya chiefs Mwene Mutondo and Mwene Kahare are not prepared to adhere to the customary law jurisdiction of Barotseland, then they should go elsewhere away from Barotseland where they can exercise their new found jurisdiction”. He continued; “the important thing to note is that Barotseland is a Kingdom even as of now and that should explain to you why the Chiefs Act Cap 479 (now Cap. 287) of the Laws of Zambia recognises the customary law jurisdiction of the Litunga throughout Barotseland; notwithstanding the fact that there are several tribes who are not strictly Lozi. In a kingdom one cannot find a chief who was independent and separate from the king because such a situation is untenable. The chiefs in Barotseland unlike elsewhere in Zambia are installed by us and they hold office by strictly following our tradition and custom”.

This statement underscored the traditional set up of governance in Barotseland. It also throws light into the official policy governing the management of affairs and relationship of the elaborate but clear line of command in the kingdom of Barotseland; which has survived political, legal, economic harassment and marginalisation by the colonial powers and the Zambian administrations from the first President Kenneth Kaunda to the current President Michael Sata.


The history of the Nkoya speaking people in Barotseland is somewhat convoluted. This is because there is no authoritative written history about them and that they were in several groups entering Barotseland at different periods. The written documentaries which have surfaced recently contain narratives of historical accounts from doubtful sources. However, the migration of the most notable groups that migrated into Barotseland namely: - the Lushange (Mutondo), the Mashasha (Kahare) and the Lukolwe (Kabangu) is well known. These people were previously called “Mbweras” before they assumed their now famous name Nkoya; which is said to have derived from the siluyana name “Ñoya”.

The Nkoyas themselves have made wild and uncoordinated rumbling claims relying on myths and fables about their origins. However, what is not disputed is the fact that they came into Barotseland after the Humbu war which resulted in their expulsion from Kola. They were expelled because of their insubordination in that they did not adhere to the circumcision practices which the Nkoya-Lushange had abandoned. The Humbus, a Lunda sub-group, were the chief whip that ensured that all those within the kingdom of Mwatayamvu, adhered to the law on circumcision of all male children. That is how cousinship (simbuye) between the Nkoyas and Lundas developed, hence today their joking relationship.

Their expulsion saw them trek into Angola where they failed again to live side by side with the Luvale at Luena. They came to Barotseland to seek refuge during the reign of King Mwananyanda Liwale the 10th King. Upon arrival in Barotseland, they were welcomed and resettled accordingly. One group settled in Makoma area in Kalabo district under the leadership of area chief Lioko. Another group remained at Lukona, also in Kalabo district, under the leadership of area chief Katusi. These two groups are still found in Kalabo district today. The Lushange and Lukolwe groups lead by Kayambila, Kabonge and later Manenga preferred to settle in the eastern forests between the Makwangwa and the Kafue River (which the Luyana called Lwenge River). This area appealed to their appetite for hunting because they were great hunters. Prince Maimbolwa, who became King Mulambwa, was assigned to resettle these people by his elder brother King Mwananyanda Liwale. They joined the Mashasha who have distinct origins led by Mwene Kahare, who are recorded to have arrived earlier after their flight from Kaondeland. The Mashasha and the Lushange are two clans which borrowed the title Mwene from the Mbunda to identify their leaders, while the Nkoya-Lukolwe of Kabangu - Dongwe area does not use the title.
King Mulambwa was enthroned to succeed his brother King Mwananyanda in 1780. Mulambwa was famous for his anti slavery stance against the Arab slave traders; hence he was nicknamed Mulambwa which means (mu ule ambwa) “buy dogs”. Mulambwa reigned until 1830 just before the invasion of Barotseland by the Makololo from the south in 1835. King Mulambwa is credited for welcoming the Mbunda and related peoples from Angola after the arrival of the Nkoyas. It was during Mulambwa’s reign as King of Barotseland that the Nkoya-Lushange installed their first Mwene Mutondo named “Shinkisha Mate Lushiku” who, on assuming the title said the following “ami Mutondo mwana Manenga”. He is the first leader to assume the title “Mutondo”.

The Mashasha of Kahare claim to originate from Sioka Nalinanga, whom they corruptly refer to as “Shihoka”. Sioka is a Luyana ancestor who settled in Lukulu and Mongu areas. Archival records reveal that “Kahare the first chief of the Bamashasha is said to have been the younger brother or nephew of Shihoka and came with him from Barotseland”.. Sioka’s mother Nalinanga was a sister to Mwambwa the ancestor and originator of the Luyana royal dynasty. Sioka had stolen Mwambwa’s royal drum called “mutango” in an apparent claim that he should also be accorded royalty status. He escaped to Mwito in present day Lukulu district where Isimwaa, his cousin, retrieved the drum. Prior to that incident, Sioka was raided by Mwanambinyi, his nephew, who looted his cattle and drove them south to Imatongo in present day Senanga. A dejected Sioka drifted north to Dongwe then to Kabompo where he died. It is in Kabompo where he must have integrated with the Mashasha group, and became the ancestor and originator of their leadership.

During the Makololo occupation of Barotseland from 1835 to 1865 the various tribal and ethnic people in Barotseland were disorganised and displaced because their leaders had fled into exile at Lukwakwa in present day Kabompo district. This is where the Lozi government in exile was domiciled. The Nkoyas in particular were scattered and some of them had fled to Kaondeland. The Nkoya leader, Mutondo the 2nd, Shiyengi, had been captured by the Makololo together with Prince Lutangu, King Mulambwa’s son, (later called Sipopa). These two with the aid of agents from Lukwakwa led by Njekwa managed to escape in 1859 from the Makololo and joined their kith and kin at Lukwakwa in 1863. In 1865 the Makololo were effectively removed from the surface of the earth by the Luyana. Sipopa who became the King of Barotseland with Njekwa as his Ngambela had the task of restoring and reconstructing the Barotse Kingdom. Shiyengi was ordered by Sipopa to return to his people the Nkoya – Lushange but he was disowned and thus he died a dejected man.

After Mutondo Shiyengi’s death there was a serious vacuum in the leadership of the Nkoya-Lushange. Thus Sipopa had to find a successor and brought in Munangisha from Katusi in Lukona to become Mwene Mutondo. Munangisha at first declined in preference for his nephew Kashunkami who became Mutondo the third. Later Munangisha became jealous of Kashunkami. He plotted Kashunkami’s removal and Munangisha was installed Mwene Mutondo the fourth.

In 1892 the King of Barotseland Lubosi Lewanika received very disturbing reports about the suffering of the Nkoyas who had fled to Kaondeland during the Makololo occupation of Barotseland. One Mwene Kahare had been killed and skinned by the Nyamwezi, a predatory tribe from East Africa. The Kaondes were also reported to be co-operating with the Arabs to catch and sell Nkoyas into slavery. The Nkoya sought protection and asked the King to rescue them. Thus a battalion called likolo la Kabeti under the command of Mukulwakashiko was sent to rescue the Nkoyas at Munte which is today known as katumbwe ka musongolwa.

After the rescue operation in which many Lozis and Mbundas lost their lives, the Nkoyas were once again resettled with a view to give them further protection. Thus Mutondo was moved from Kalimbata in Kalumwange area along the Lalafuta River to Shikombwe. This is where Munangisha, the fourth Mutondo established his capital which he named Lukena meaning blessed in siluyana and in remembrance of the other settlement in Kalabo which is Chief Lioko’s capital at Makoma.

To safeguard the Nkoyas from further Kaonde raids, King Lewanika created the boundary between the Kaonde and Bulozi at Lalafuta River. In 1895 he posted Kafunya a Mbunda warrior and hero brother of Mwene Chiyengele, who fought in the Kaonde war, at Lalafuta and became the first Mwene Kasimba. The eastern border was allocated to Libinga and Kakumba to give further protection to Mwene Kahare as well. Kahare was resettled at Litoya the ruins of Mukelabai Simulyañumba who had decided to return to his original home in Senanga district. He named his village “Njonjolo”. Njonjolo is the name of the first Nalikwanda built for King Mulambwa by the Nkoyas of Katusi at Lukona!

In 1889, during the last raid on the Ila (Mashukulumbwe) at Bwengwa, Lewanika had noticed an active and brave young warrior by the name of Shamamano. On enquiry, he found out that Shamamano belonged to the Kahare dynasty. The King therefore decided to reinstate the Kahare chieftainancy which had gone into limbo due to lack of quality leaders. At first Kabwata was installed before Shamamano who is the grandfather of the present Mwene Kahare, Bollen Munguya.


We have stated elsewhere in this paper that the Nkoya speaking people came to Barotseland as refugees to seek protection after their flight from the Humbus and against the marauding Kaondes who were selling them into slavery. They were given land on which to settle and even allowed to establish their chieftaincy which they did not have when they entered Barotseland. The chieftaincy positions were not allowed to be independent of the King but were installed and functioned in accordance with the Lozi tradition and customary law. Therefore on a few occasions the Nkoya had to seek intervention from the Litunga in order to resolve wrangles surrounding successions. For instance King Sipopa resurrected the Mutondoship after the demise of Mutondo Shiyengi and Lewanika resurrected the Kahareship when he appointed Kabwata in 1889. Below we give a list of occasions which prompted interventions. In all cases it was for the good of the people that such action had had to be taken in response to their complaints and not otherwise:-

1. Mutondo 11 – Shiyengi - During the Makololo invasion of Barotseland Mutondo Shiyengi had escaped from Sekeletu together with Sipopa and joined the Lozi government in exile at Lukwakwa. In 1867 King Sipopa revived the Mutondoship and ordered the Nkoya to respect Shiyengi as their leader upon his return. Shiyengi, however, died a dejected leader.

2. Mutondo 1V – Munangisha - After Shiyengi’s death King Sipopa could have abolished the Mutondoship if he had wanted at the time when the chieftaincy went into limbo due to lack of suitable and willing leadership. Instead he despatched Munangisha from Lukona to take over the throne. Munangisha had at first declined in preference to game hunting; hence chance was given to his nephew Kashunkami who became Mutondo 111.

3. Mutondo V – Mushunga – Mutondo Mushunga was removed because of the people’s dislike for their new chief. They sent their appeal to Lewanika who removed Mushunga and installed popular Wahila who became Mutondo V1.

4. Mutondo V11 – Kanyinka – The appointment of Kanyinka as Mwene Mutondo by the District Commissioner was irregular. Thus the Nkoyas protested to Lewanika. Lewanika nullified this appointment and confirmed their choice Mushonto as Mwene Mutondo V111.

5. Mushonto V111 – was succeeded by Kanyinchya who became Mwene Mutondo 1X

6. Mutondo X – Muchaila succeeded his father Kanyinchya – Muchaila was clearly insubordinate and rebellious. The Litunga allowed freedom of expression and opinion provided that his government did not suffer. Muchaila was removed because he went against this dictum. After his removal in 1948 by statutory order of the Governor of Northern Rhodesia he was restricted in Kalabo for five years. He spent another five years in Lealui before he returned to Mankoya as a reformed man. He was succeeded by Mutondo Kalapukila in 1949. Muchaila became Mwene Mutondo again in 1980 after the death of Kalapukila.

7. As regards the Kahare chieftaincy, it had also gone into limbo through no fault of the people. King Lewanika revived it by appointing Kabwata in 1889 and later Shamamano in 1898.

8. Kahare V1 – the short lived deposition of Timuna who was Kahare the sixth was based on reports of the chief’s misdeeds and unfitness by his people. After investigations he was found not wanting, hence he was reinstated.


The Nkoyas have contested the legality and relevance of the royal establishment at Naliele as the headquarters for the senior chief for Kaoma district (now Kaoma, Luampa and Nkeyema). We shall outline below the structure of the Barotse traditional monarchical administration. As a prelude, we shall give a brief narration of the reasons which led to the establishment of Naliele in 1937.

The Nkoyas, unlike other tribes in Barotseland, were a disorganised and uncivil society because they were unaccustomed to administration and education. They are fundamentally disunited, fragmented, disconnected and lacking political organisation and judicial structure. Basically they are full of intrigue, unpredictable and barbaric. A civilised society can function well only when there is order. This required the administration of authority and good governance. The alternative is chaos and anarchy. The Naliele kuta therefore was established to provide proper organisation of good governance, good order, education, proper judiciary and public administration; and above all to set the Nkoya free from themselves. This called for the arm of government to be brought nearer.

In the early 1930s the colonial administration established various administration posts called British Overseas Military Administration, (acronym BOMA) at Mongu, Senanga, Kalabo, Mankoya and Sesheke. In these areas there were already princes or princesses who were running the affairs of the Barotse Native Government (BNG), except for Mankoya. The traditional affairs of Mankoya district were administered from Lealui. Therefore to complete the exercise, the Governor of Northern Rhodesia in consultation with the Litunga and the Resident Commissioner proposed the establishment of a similar position of a resident prince to provide leadership and uniformity in administration, more so that the Barotse Native Government was introducing the Barotse Native Treasury. A meeting was called which was addressed by the Governor in which all the area chiefs from Mankoya district were invited. Mwene Mutondo Kanyincha did not attend but he did send a representative. The Governor outlined the functions of the native treasury to be established which was an arm of the Barotse Native Government and how it would be applied. He explained the requirement to open a district kuta in the district to dispense law and order and provide effective public administration as was the case with other districts.

All the area chiefs welcomed the new arrangement as it would reduce the travel to Mongu/Lealui for their allowances and other duties; these would now be performed locally. In 1937 the Naliele royal establishment was opened and Mwanawina was appointed to be the new senior chief for Mankoya district. The Naliele Kuta got off to a good start. Mwanawina coordinated the affairs of the district very well, and Mutondo and Kahare were each given two positions on the kuta. Thus the administration of the Barotse Native Government was based at Naliele in line with other BNG regional posts at Nalolo for Senanga, Libonda for Kalabo, and Mwandi for Sesheke.

In 1947, Mwene Mutondo Mwita Muchaila, a young former district messenger who had succeeded his father, Kanyincha in 1944, rebelled against Mwanawina. Muchaila was summoned to Lealui and in view of his insubordinate attitude the Kuta recommended for disciplinary action. The Litunga accepted this advice and was supported by the Resident Commissioner and Government of Northern Rhodesia. By order of the Governor, Sir Gilbert M Rennie, dated 31st March 1948 Mwene Mutondo Mwita Muchaila, Mampila Timuna and Mayunka were ordered to leave the district within 30 days. Muchaila and his arch supporters were removed and sent into restriction to Kalabo for five years. He spent another five years of rehabilitation in Lealui before he was allowed to return to Mankoya in 1958. During the period of his restriction, Mutondo Muchaila was treated well and he was even paid his Indunaship salary by the Barotse National Government. The reformed Muchaila was reinstated as Mwene Mutondo after the death of Mwene Mutondo Kalapukila in 1980. The disciplinary action taken against Muchaila was because of insubordination and undermining the authority of chief Mwanawina.


Barotseland is divided into seven major regions which are headed by a member of royal family except Mongu-Lealui region as follows:- Mongu-Lealui – Induna Inete (a commoner- current holder Mr. Akapelwa Silumbu); Senanga –The Litunga-la-Mboela, (current holder: Princess Mukwae Mbuyu Imwiko); Kalabo – The Mboanjikana, (current holder: Princess Mukwae Kandundu Yeta); Sesheke – Mulena Inyambo, (current holder:- Prince Lubasi Yeta); Kaoma – Mulena Amukena II, (current holder:- Prince Makweti Isiteketo Lewanika); Lukulu – Prince Anañanga Imwiko; Shangombo – Prince Meebelo Mutukwa. This level of leadership reports to His Majesty the Litunga through the Siikalo Kuta led by the Ngambela of Barotseland. Under these regales, they are followed by area chiefs called in Lozi ‘Silalo Indunas’. The majority of them are commoners but wield immense powers of public and judicial administration. It is this tier of administration in which the four mwenes fall; namely Mwenes Mutondo and Kahare (Nkoya) and Mwenes Chiyengele and Kandala (Mbunda). The last tier is that of village headmen and silalanda heads called ‘bo lyaminzi’.

There are more area chiefs in Barotseland than any other province in Zambia. All the tribes in Barotseland have a recognised area chief/Induna by Lealui. The Nkoyas for instance have been allowed to maintain their leadership in Lukulu, Kalabo, Kaoma and Sesheke as follows:- Kalabo district: chiefs Lioko and Katusi; Kaoma district: Mwene Mutondo and Mwene Kahare; Lukulu district: chief Kabangu; Sesheke district: chief Mungabwa.

In reference to Kaoma district, there are thirteen area chiefs or Silalo Indunas taking into account the various tribal groups which inhabit the district in order to dispense public administration not based on tribal affiliation. These are: chief Mwanambuyu (Kwangwa) for Lukute Silalo; chief Mwene Kasimba (Mbunda) for Lalafuta Silalo; chief Mufaya (Totela) for Mayukwayukwa Silalo; chief Kabilamwandi (Luyana) for Luambuwa Silalo; chief Libinga (Subiya) for Mulamatila Silalo; chief Kakumba (Kwangwa) for Shishamba Silalo; chief Mwene Kahare (Nkoya) for Litoya Silalo; chief Afumba (Luyana) for Liyunyi Silalo; chief Mwene Mutondo (Nkoya) for Shikombwe Silalo; chief Siwiwaliondo (Luyana) for Nalifalamba Silalo; chief Mwanatete (Nkoya) for Kahumbu Silalo; chief Kasabi (Luvale) for Kabaa Silalo and chief Kanguya (Luvale) for Mulwa Silalo. The district has a permanent representation by Induna Mbongwana at Lealui and had several representatives on the Katengo, the de-facto parliament for Barotseland.

During the period approaching the independence of Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland, the Barotse Native Government was reformed. After the reforms which excluded chiefs from participating in the National Council, each district was represented equally on the Katengo (Parliament) by five elected Councillors and nominated councillors. Mankoya (Kaoma) district had the following representatives: Mr.Kenneth Mbandu Kalyangu (Mbunda) Mr.Kashiwa Mutaima (Nkoya) Mr.Jevans Kapatiso (Luvale/Luchazi) Mr. Simon Liyoka (Nkoya) and Mr. Misheck Mutti (Mbunda). Mr. Simon Liyoka was appointed to Sir Mwanawina’s cabinet and held the portfolio of Minister for Transport and Communications. Among the nominated councillors were; Induna Imangambwa Mr. Munalula, Mwanamulena Imasiku, Induna Kabilamwandi from Naliele Palace and Mwanashihemi Ngwelela (Mutondo), Mwanashihemi Muleka (Kahare) and Mr. Kankolomwena represented the Nkoya community.


The conflict between the English term “chief” and the Lozi word “Induna” appears to have brought some confusion in the application of the terms in relation to the meanings of the two words. We must explain here that the term chief does not denote royalty but leadership. The Roget’s Thesaurus gives the following synonyms for chief: leader, ruler, head, person in command, boss, captain, person in charge. From these synonyms it can be seen that there is no royalty connection. An Induna on the other hand is also described as a leader or ruler of a community. Thus, all the area chiefs are in effect indunas who receive high respect in recognition of their status in society. An Induna in the Barotse structure is a highly respected leader and ruler assigned to lead a community. Therefore the terms Induna and chief are interchangeable and mean one and the same.

As a kingdom, Barotseland has no chiefdoms in the really sense. The correct definition of a silalo is “county”. Silalo Indunas do not preside over chiefdoms, but counties and are supervised by a senior chief (Mulena) at district level. Tribal chiefs at Silalo Induna level are also “Indunas” and are installed by strictly following their family lineage just as is the case with regales. Notwithstanding this arrangement, they have authority to preside over the customary and traditional affairs in their areas by following the Barotse customary and traditional law.


Kaoma region has been a haven of peace since the Nkoyas’ arrival in Barotseland in the mid 1700s. As mentioned earlier above, the first problems in the management of Mankoya district rose in mid 1940s resulting in the disciplinary action taken against Mwene Mutondo Mwita Muchaila in 1948. Nkoyas are born intriguers hence chances of continued peace were disrupted again in the 1980s after the re-installation of Mwene Mutondo Mwita Muchaila. In an address to the nation entitled “I wish to inform the Nation”, delivered on 25th August 1969, President Kenneth Kaunda stated the following policy statement concerning chieftainship in Barotseland among other anti-Barotse statements:

“I know that certain chiefs in Western Province have been performing the functions of chiefs without government recognition. I wish to announce that I am making investigations into the possibility of having more chiefs in that province.............All I am saying is that where my investigations reveal quite clearly that a chief has been acting as a chief but has been deliberately denied recognition such as Chief Mwene Mutondo in Mankoya, I would be prepared to give them recognition”.

This was the turning point in the sour relationship between the Barotse Royal Establishment and the Nkoyas of Kaoma supported by the Government. Kaunda recognised Muchaila vide Statutory Instrument No. 113 of 1981 without adhering to the provisions of the chiefs’ act which require recognition by the Litunga and council first before presidential recognition. As a result of this anomaly, there were no consultations between the Litunga and Government, with the result that this statutory instrument wrongly included Lalafuta and Luambuwa in the areas of jurisdiction for Mutondo. No protest is known to have been lodged by the Barotse Royal Establishment. Clearly the recognition of Mutondo by President Kaunda was preconceived and in tandem with his speech mentioned above. It was done outside the provisions of section 3(2)b of the Chiefs’ Act which requires that for a chief to be recognised as a chief that chief must first of all receive the blessing of His Majesty the Litunga of Barotseland. Therefore we hold that Kaunda acted outside the provisions of the law.

What followed was the publication of the Village Register for Western Province in 1985 which divided Kaoma district between chiefs Mutondo and Kahare. This publication listed all the area chiefs under either Mwene Mutondo or Mwene Kahare completely ignoring the structure of the Barotse Royal Establishment and the existence of the Senior Chief for the district as follows:-






Area chief Area Area chief


Shikemi Litoya Muleka


Libinga Liyunyi (Iluya) Afumba


Mwanambuyu Nalifalamb (Chilanda) Siwiwaliondo


Kabilamwandi Shishamba Kakumba


Mwanatete Mulwa Kanguya


Mwene Kasimba    





The General List of Chiefs published in 1978 and used by the Department of National Registration to determine and verify area chiefs, produced the following record which is at variance with the Village Register of 1985 thus throwing more confusion.

1. Chief Litia

– Naliele –



2. Chief Kahare

– Litoya

Chief Mutondo –

Lukena - Shikombwe
Area Area Chief Area Area Chief
Lukute Mwanambuyu Luambuwa Kabilamwandi
Kaaba Kasabi Lalafuta Mwene Kasimba
Mwito Mayankwa (Lukulu!)    
Luambuwa Kabilamwandi    
Kahumbu Mwanatete    
Mulamatila Libinga    
Shishamba Kakumba    
Luampa Mululumi    
Mulwa Kanguya    
Liyunyi Iluya (Afumba)    

What boggles the mind is that even the geographical distribution of the areas listed under Kahare militate against reason as shown on the area chiefs’ map for Mankoya district produced by the District Commissioner in 1958. This map currently serves as the official recognised government document listing area chiefs and their boundaries. The two Government publications mentioned above have not been revised despite our protests pointing out the anomalies contained therein. For example the General List of Chiefs contains some non areas such as Luampa under Mululumi and an area located in Lukulu district – Mwito for Chief Mayankwa was also listed under Mwene Kahare! The government of Zambia has not shown either political or administrative will to make the corrections by publishing revised editions.


Mr. Edward Mbombola Moyo became Mwene Mutondo in 1992. Since his accession to the throne this district has seen the worst of intransigence by the Nkoya speaking people. He was gazetted as chief by President Frederick Chiluba in 1993 vide statutory instrument No.56 of 1993. Mutondo Mbombola Moyo has created the Nkoya royal council and the Kazanga cultural society. Both institutions have the professional mission to destabilise peace and promotion of Nkoya tribal hegemony, and outright rebellion against the Barotse Royal Establishment. He has attempted to create illegal parallel indunaships or what he terms “sub-chiefs”, in various sub-districts (lilalo) in total defiance of the 1958 area chiefs’ map which is the official government document for chiefs’ boundaries, and the statutory instrument captioned above stating his authorised areas of jurisdiction.

Concerning the procedures of installation of chiefs, it was clarified in an affidavit sworn by the Ngambela of Barotseland Mr. Griffiths Musialike Mukande. He stated that, following the death of the holder of Mwene Mutondo, Mr. Dominic Chipimpi in 1992, His Majesty Imutakwandu Litunga Ilute Yeta IV directed the Ngambela, and the KUTA to find a successor from the family of the deceased Mwene Mutondo in accordance with the customary and traditional practices of Barotseland. Thereafter consultations with the family members of the late Mwene Mutondo were made. The Ngambela and the Kuta were approached by elders of the late Mwene Mutondo in October 1992 who presented Mr. Edward Mbombola Moyo as the most suitable and acceptable person in the family to be installed. The Kuta and His Majesty the Litunga accepted the nomination and in accordance with the traditions and customs of Barotseland, the Kuta directed the Ngambela to carry out the initiation rites in order to prepare the candidate for formal installation and eventual recognition.

The initiation rites were by tradition carried out in two stages. The first initial rites are usually conducted after the prospective chief is introduced to the KUTA and are intended to put him under probation for about three months after which the Ngambela would then conduct the final traditional rites and subject to good behaviour and satisfactory conduct, the prospective chief would then be presented to His Majesty the Litunga. After the Litunga’s recognition, the candidate in then formally installed, thereafter it is the duty of the Ngambela to submit the name to the Government for recognition by the President in accordance with the provisions of section 3(2) b of the Chiefs’ Act pf the Laws of Zambia.

The procedures outlined above were followed. As stated earlier, Mr. Edward Mbombola Moyo was presented to the Kuta by elders of his family who were instructed to take him back to Lealui at the end of February 1993 to enable him complete the second stage of the initiation rites. Contrary to instructions Mr. Edward Mbombola Moyo failed or refused to return to Lealui, thus was the beginning of the insubordination by Mwene Mutondo supported by the Government who meddled in the traditional and customary practices of Barotseland. Soon thereafter the new uninstalled Mwene Mutondo began to issue press statements demanding the removal of the late Senior Chief Litia from Kaoma district and the creation of Kafue province by detaching Kaoma district from Barotseland. Furthermore reports were received that jointly with the late Mwene Kahare Timuna; they would use violence and cause bloodshed in Kaoma to achieve their tribally soiled objectives.

A barrage of adverse and violence threatening press reports prompted the Barotse Royal Establishment to summon both Mr. Edward Mbombola Moyo and the late Mwene Kahare Timuna to Lealui for discussions with the KUTA and His Majesty the Litunga on their demands but they both declined. In an apparent show of disloyalty and contempt of the Kuta and the Litunga, Mr. Mbombola Moyo fraudulently presented himself through the then Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President, Mr. Mulubisha (a Nkoya), to the Government to recognize him as Mwene Mutondo. Eventually the government of Zambia by acquiescence succumbed and gave him recognition vide Statutory Instrument no. 56 of 1993 by the President of Zambia Mr. F.T.J. Chiluba, without consultations with His Majesty the Litunga as required by article 3(2)b of the Chiefs’ Act Cap. 287 of the Laws of Zambia.

On 18th July 1993, following the recognition of Mwene Mutondo by the President, the Mulongwanji was convened by the Ngambela at the request of the KUTA. The Mulongwanji is the highest disciplinary body in Barotseland. It is composed of all the district regales or district chiefs and chieftainesses, and chaired by the Ngambela. According to the customary law of Barotseland, a decision taken by the Mulongwanji is final and irreversible. At this meeting it was resolved to dethrone Mwenes Mutondo and Kahare for gross indiscipline, misconduct, insubordination and undermining the authority of Senior Chief Litia and the Barotse Royal Establishment. This resolution was communicated to Government but was frustrated by President Frederick Chiluba who refused to withdraw the recognition of both chiefs. Instead the President threatened His Majesty the Litunga Ilute Yeta IV and the Barotse Royal Establishment with stern action.

On 24th December 1994 The Ngambela of Barotseland Mr Griffith Musialike Mukande filed an application in the High Court for Zambia to seek judicial review against the recognition of Mr. Edward Mbombola Moyo as Mwene Mutondo on the ground that he was not duly enthroned as he did not receive the blessing of His Majesty the Litunga as demanded by tradition and customary law of Barotseland and the Chiefs’ Act referred to above. The application also sought to quash the recognition by the President of Zambia on grounds that it was a nullity in law since it did not conform to the provisions of the Chiefs’ Act. This cause was discontinued for unknown reasons after applying for an injunction to restrain Mr. Edward Mbombola Moyo from performing the chiefly functions of Mwene Mutondo. The Barotse Royal Establishment may have decided to discontinue the matter because no Zambian High Court judge appointed by the President can be expected to rule against the wrongful act of the President who has flaunted the law.

Following the failure to conclude this matter in the High Court for Zambia, Mwene Mutondo Mbombola Moyo continued with his campaign to undermine the Barotse Royal Establishment as testified by the following actions by which he created parallel structures in all the lilalos adjacent to Shikombwe Silalo:-

a) Lalafuta Silalo: He appointed Yuvwenu and Malasa instead of Mwene Kasimba the legitimate area chief.

b) Luambuwa Silalo: He appointed Lumano instead of Chief Kabilamwandi the legitimate area chief.

c) Lukute Silalo: He appointed Mangothi instead of Chief Mwanambuyu the legitimate area chief.

d) Nalifalamba Silalo: He appointed Munyikwa alias Matanda instead of Chief Siwiwaliondo the legitimate are chief.

e) Mayukwayukwa Silalo: He appointed Muyani a Kaonde instead of Chief Mufaya, the legitimate area chief.

f) Mulamatila Silalo: He appointed Sintunya as area chief instead of Chief Libinga who is the legitimate leader of the area. He also appointed Derrick Moyo as sub chief Mulemena.

g) Kabaa Silalo: He attempted to corrupt Chief Kasabi to be answerable to him taking advantage of the boundary conflict between Kasabi and Mwanambuyu.

In an act of further defiance, irresponsibility and insubordination, in July 2003, the Mwanashihemi for Lukena Mr. D.S.Yowela issued a circular letter replacing silalo indunas in areas claimed to be under the jurisdiction of Mwene Mutondo namely:- Kabilamwandi, Mwanambuyu, Kanguya, Mwanatete, Siwiwaliondo, Kakumba, Kasabi and Afumba. Upon receipt of this letter the then District Administrator for Kaoma Mr. Ngombo, directed the Mwanashihemi to withdraw the letters for the following reasons among others:-

(i) His action was contemptuous since there was still a cause in the High Court for Zambia in which Mwene Mutondo had sued Senior Chief Amukena II.

(ii) There was already a resolution reached between the two Mwanashihemis and the Imangambwa arising from a meeting chaired by the District Administrator that all matters pertaining to land and the Royal Establishments must not be discussed or dealt with until after the disposal of the suit.

(iii) The history and appointments of the silalo indunas affected viz:- Libinga, Kasimba, Mufaya, Kabilamwandi, Mwanambuyu, Kanguya, Mwanatete, Siwiwaliondo, Kakumba, Kasabi and Afumba were well known.

Despite being cautioned by the office of the District Administrator, this behaviour was repeated each time a new District Commissioner is appointed. Hence it was repeated during the tenure of the following District Commissioners:- Messrs Kasempa, Chinyama, Nasilele and Manjolo.


In 1998, a meeting of the Barotse National Council was held on 16-18 August to discuss the problems of Kaoma district. This meeting was attended the Mwanashihemis (senior or chief Councillors) for Mutondo and Kahare. Among the resolutions reached, under resolution 3(a) rejected the Village Register Book of 1985 concerning the Kaoma district because it was badly edited and unsuitable for use and application by Government. This book ignored the presence of the Senior Chief at Naliele and divided the district between Mwene Mutondo and Mwene Kahare as the only chiefs. The rest of the area chiefs or Silalo Indunas falling under the two as has already been shown elsewhere in this paper.

In 1999 the resolutions of the Consultative Meeting of the Indunas of all Districts of the Barotse Royal Establishment held in Lealui on 12th – 14th February, 1999 on the Problems of Kaoma District made the following resolutions:-

1. That a meeting of all the ten (10) Chiefs of the Barotse Royal Establishment should be convened as soon as possible to resolve the problems of Kaoma district.

2. That Statutory Instruments No.63 of 1981 and No. 112 of 1996 and Village Register of 1985 should be amended because the meeting felt they were published in bad faith and therefore they were repugnant to natural justice.

3. The Naliele Chieftainship should remain.

In January 2010, the Naliele Kuta assembled all the eleven area chiefs in the district accompanied by their senior indunas to Limulunga where their grievances concerning the Nkoya chiefs, and the administration of Kaoma district were presented to the Saa-Sikalo Kuta and His Majesty the Litunga. The meeting lasted over three days and concluded by reiterating the same resolutions that had been made before. Significant resolutions however dealt with the dethronement of Mwene Mutondo and that statutory recognition of all area chiefs in Kaoma and by extension the whole of Barotseland was recommended to government. The latter resolution was arrived at in order to find a lasting solution to the Kaoma problem by gazetting all the area chiefs in the district so as to counter the Nkoya chiefs who have been selected by government at the expense of other tribes. These resolutions were never acted upon by Namuso.

In July 2010 the previously unknown Nkoya-Kaonde Royal Establishment in Kalumwange wrote to the District Commissioner for Kaoma that it was withdrawing the recognition of ‘sub-chief’ Kasimba in Lalafuta area for what was termed to be in the interests of ‘peace, order and good governance’. This letter was copied to His Majesty the Litunga. Following this letter, in September 2010, the Mwanashihemi for Mutondo wrote letters revoking the appointments and recognition of area chiefs Mwanambuyu, Mwanatete, Libinga, Mwene Kasimba, Mufaya and Kabilamwandi. These letters were ignored though the government of Zambia took no action against these rebellious activities. Namuso were informed as well, but as usual no action was taken against the so-called Nkoya-Kaonde Royal Establishment supported by Mutondo.


In the year 2000, Mr Edward Mbombola Moyo suing as Chief Mutondo filed a claim against Senior Chief Amukena II and the Attorney-General, seeking to remove him from Kaoma district as senior chief and that he Mutondo was the legitimate heir to the senior chieftainship of Kaoma district. The matter has not passed beyond interlocutory stage, since the action was commenced. A summary of his statement of claim states the following main claims among many others:-

(a) That Senior Chief Amukena was and has always been the Administrator of the Naliele Native Authority since its inception in or about 1937 and that Senior Chief Amukena was erroneously appointed by the Litunga.

(b) That upon the establishment of Kaoma District Council Senior Chief Amukena should have ceased to perform the functions of administrator of Naliele Native Authority instead continuing as a chief of the Lozi people.

(c) That the appointment of a senior chief based at Naliele is wrongful, null and void, and contrary to the provisions of the Chiefs’ Act.

(d) That Naliele royal village is in chief Mutondo’s area of jurisdiction and control.

Furthermore, Mwene Mutondo claims to have jurisdiction and control of the following areas:- Lukena, Shikombwe, Luambuwa, Mulamatila, Kaaba, Mayukwayukwa, Lalafuta,and Kahumbu.

This law suit is still pending in the High Court for Zambia awaiting trial; but we hope it will now finally take off as it is scheduled to take place from 6th to 10th October 2014 before Mrs. Justice M Mungomba.


As though there is no case before the High Court of Zambia, in his desperation, Mutondo has continued to defy law and order by fomenting further acts of destabilisation. On Saturday 16th June 2012, over thirty (30) Nkoya tribesmen descended on Mr. Mupala Chipango who is Induna Mooto of Naliele Kuta at his home in Sangenjo area. Sangenjo is an area located in area Chief Siwiwaliondo’s Nalifalamba Silalo. The group was led by a self styled chief Matanda alias Innocent Munyikwa Lushato. The tribesmen had travelled some 12 kilometres away from Katunda. The purpose of their attack was to evict Induna Mooto and burn his homestead. They alleged that they had been instructed by Mwene Mutondo and Mwene Kahare with firm support from the Zambian President Mr. Michael Sata.

At 13.00 the Naliele Kuta received a phone call from Induna Mooto who reported the intruders at his homestead. This report was relayed to the Police and the District Commissioner, who acted promptly and police were dispatched to the area.

Meanwhile, the residents of Sangenjo, who are predominantly Luchazi, Luvale and Lozi speaking organised themselves to defend Induna Mooto. They quickly surrounded the Nkoya militia to prevent them from attacking Induna Mooto until the arrival of the Police. It is reported that there was a scuffle which resulted in Matanda being manhandled as he tried to escape and had his trousers torn to pieces.

The Police collected Matanda and a few others. To our surprise the insurgents were delivered back to their homes in Katunda, instead of arresting them, and they were merely ordered to report to the Police the following Monday since it was a weekend.

On Monday 18th June 2012, Induna Mooto and his people went to the police where they found Matanda and many Nkoya speaking people who included Mwitila Shumina (a former Member of Parliament), Kashandula ( then Patriotic Front District Chairman for Kaoma now District Commissioner for Nkeyema) and Greenwell Kakumba (Naliele Ward Councillor). The District Commissioner, Mr. Manjolo, ordered everybody to go to the Council Chamber where discussions were held. Among those who attended the meeting were senior Government officials, namely the Officer-in-Charge for Kaoma Police, Office of the President Intelligence Officer, and Army Officer of the rank of Captain from Luena Barracks, several government officials. Induna Malenga was assigned by the Kuta to accompany Induna Mooto.

In his statement Matanda proudly and with impunity told the meeting that he had been sent by Mwenes Mutondo and Kahare with the presidential sanction from President Sata to evict what he terms illegal settlers in Kaoma district. He described these to include all non-Nkoya speaking people. Arrogantly and rudely Matanda said that even Senior Chief Amukena II is a squatter and that he must go and leave Nkoyaland for Nkoyas.

The Naliele Kuta took action and lodged a formal complaint against Innocent Munyikwa Lushato that he should be arrested and charged accordingly with the following offences:-

(a) Criminal trespass and conduct inimical to public order and peace in Luampa district.

(b) Holding himself as a chief when not a chief in contravention of section 12 of the Chiefs’ Act Cap 287 of the Laws of Zambia.

The Kuta also recommended to government that Mwene Mutondo and Innocent Munyikwa Lushato alias chief Matanda should be considered for indictment for contravening Section 46 of the Penal Code of the Laws of Zambia which states that “Any person who, without lawful authority, carries on, or makes preparation for carrying on, or aids in or advises the carrying on of, or preparation for, any war or warlike undertaking with, for, by, or against any chief , or with, for, by, or against any tribal group, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life on conviction”.

In relation to the second option, the Naliele Kuta had received intimation from the Kaoma Police that a directive from the Director of Public Prosecutions has been communicated to the effect that there must be an attempt to reconcile the two, because the dispute is purported to be embroiled in some tribally motivated political connotations. In the event that reconciliation is not achieved the Police should prefer charges of criminal trespass against Lushato and prosecute him accordingly. The letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions also stated that land in Kaoma district belongs to Mwene Mutondo but that he was given the land by King Lewanika. Here lies the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of facts concerning the issue of customary land administration in Kaoma district as interpreted by the Government! This is at variance with the policy on land administration in Barotseland, which states that all land in the province is under the custodianship of the Litunga. Area chiefs are agents of the Litunga in the management and alienation of land. Therefore Mutondo does not own land per se and does not have power over land above the district chief, but administers land through the district chief on behalf of the Litunga and Council who in turn holds it in trust for the people of Barotseland. The view expressed by the DPP is not correct and does not find support from historical facts and the traditional and customary laws of Barotseland.


The Naliele Kuta stumbled on some minutes of the Nkoya royal council revealing a plot to eliminate certain personalities. Upon discovery of this document, the Kuta on Wednesday the 21st of May 2014 summoned the heads of security departments and the District Commissioners for Kaoma and Luampa. The purpose of the meeting was to bring to their attention security concerns orchestrated by the so-called Nkoya Royal Council; arising from minutes of a meeting held at Lukena village. The minutes which are self-explanatory reveal serious strategies aimed at assassinating politicians, area chiefs and Barotse human rights activists loosely identified as Linyungandambo.

More striking and mind boggling is the purported co-operation between the Office of the President and the Nkoya royal council; where the latter had requested the Office of the President to supply them with assault weapons (pistols). They had gone to the extent of identifying certain individuals as their targets, namely Hon. Josephine Limata member of Paliarment for Luampa, area Chief Mwanatete for Kahumbu, area Chief Libinga for Mulamatila, area Chief Mufaya for Mayukwayukwa, area Chief Mwene Kasimba for Lalafuta, Crispin Shumina a former diplomat and Member of Parliament for Mangango, and Collins Lifasi Kashweka. This co-operation between the Office of the President and the Nkoya royal council has not been denied by the authorities in Government circles.

This latest discovery of the unholy alliance revealed through the minutes of the Nkoya royal council has strengthened our suspicion that the Government of Zambia if behind the problems of Kaoma district by promoting Nkoya tribal insurgency, hegemony and supremacy.


The Naliele district Kuta again stumbled on correspondence from three different sources in connection with the proposed visits to Luampa district by Matanda and the Mwanashihemi for Lukena as well as bye-laws from the Litoya royal establishment of Mwene Kahare as follows:-

(a) Letter dated 9th May 2014 from District Education Board Secretary signed by the District Standards Officer for Kaoma advising heads of schools that a (chief?) Matanda would be touring all the schools in Luampa district.

(b) Undated document from the Mwanashihemi Litoya royal establishment advising village headmen that they have devised bye-laws to enable them levy chickens and cash from villagers and farmers in Shishamba in Nkeyema district and Liyunyi in Luampa district.

(c) Letter dated 6th June 2014 from the Acting Mwanashihemi Lukena royal establishment. This letter advises that the Mwanashihemi intends to visit Luampa district on 28th June, 2014.

After consultations with the Kuta, the alert District Commissioner for Luampa did not allow Matanda to undertake his tour of schools in the district. We wondered how a government education Officer could have written the letter authorising the illegal chief to visit schools. On the other hand the meeting by Mwanshihemi for Lukena did take place. It is at this illegal meeting where he announced that Mwene Mutondo had appointed Innocent Munyikwa Lushato alias Mwene Matanda as chief for Luampa district. Area Chief Mwanatete is reported to have advised the police not to allow the meeting to go ahead. They did not take action reasoning that the meeting was traditional therefore they had no authority. Mwanatete who is the area chief for Kahumbu took legal action to sue both Matanda and Mutondo for interference in Luampa district. The Mwanatete also sued Matanda for holding himself chief when not a chief in contravention of the provisions of Chiefs’ Act. This action is supported by the Naliele Royal Establishment and has been reported to the Siikalo Kuta accordingly.


We have attempted to show in this paper the problems orchestrated by the Nkoya speaking people in Kaoma region which is Barotseland. We have concentrated to highlight the problems caused by Mwene Mutondo only but we intend to do the same for Mwene Kahare in a separate paper.

Kaoma, Luampa and Nkeyema districts are not inhabited by the Nkoya speaking people only. There are several others who include the Lozi speakers such as Makwamakoma, Makwangwa, Makwamwenyi, Makwamashi, Maluvale, Mambunda, Maluchazi, Machokwe, Matotela and Masubiya to mention just a few. All of them are bonafide citizens of Barotseland. The Nkoyas who are a minority are the main cause of intriguing demands for separatism. The talk of secession of Kaoma from Barotseland is unacceptable and untenable. The Nkoyas are themselves refugees who sought and received protection from the Lozi. They did not enter Barotseland through war, therefore there is no record that they ever captured any part of Barotseland; neither is there evidence that they had captured slaves or cattle, but were themselves traded into slavery by the Kaondes, save for the rescue operation at Munte by the Lozi. The Lozi went to war and many died for their sake yet today they exhibit hatred against their rescuers and protector. We hold that as quid pro quo it was a requirement that they paid the Lozi for the protection they received and the land they were given to settle but not to kick out the owner of the land. They paid tribute to the Litunga just as other tribes in the outlying areas were required in order to sustain the Barotse economy.

The Lozi have interacted with the Nkoyas such that their relationship is interwoven in culture and tradition. This is because they have lived in peace for centuries together as a united people moulded into a nation by Kings Mulambwa, Sipopa and Lewanika. There are more than thirty (30) tribes in Barotseland but only one tribal group revolving around the Lushange of Mwene Mutondo and Mashasha of Mwene Kahare is threatening to divide Barotseland. More recently they appear to have recruited the Mbundas of Mwene Chiyengele to join their rebellious and insubordinate attitude against Barotseland.

Some of the royal drums that grace the royal occasions at Lealui, Nalolo and Libonda and in the Nalikwanda during the majestic Kuomboka ceremony have their source from the Mankoya people. We are proud of this. However, we must make it clear to our Nkoya relatives that chiefdoms are created to serve the people, if they fail to satisfy this need they wane and wax no more. The Litunga is on record as having tolerated unbecoming behaviour of Mwene Mutondo in particular. This may not be allowed to continue for long. Let them remember that the Lozi had in the past played major roles in resuscitating their leadership otherwise if it was not for King Sipopa and King Lewanika, there would be neither Mwene Mutondo nor Mwene Kahare today.

We concur with Van Binsbergen in the concluding chapters of his book “Tears of Rain” that the Nkoya are trying to build their kingdom out of myths. Mythology spring from arrested and unsatisfied desire, wish fulfilment or fantasy gratification.

We note that Mwene Mutondo and his Nkoya-Lushange royal council have been shadow boxing for a long time; it is now time to follow the footsteps of their forefathers. When Mutondo 2, Shiyengi had a problem, he went to Sipopa for assistance; when the Mutondo throne was on the brink of extinction it was Sipopa who revived it; when the Kahare throne was on the wane Lewanika reinstated it; when the Nkoya protested against unpopular Mutondo V, it was Lewanika they appealed to who resolved the issue by removing him and installing popular Wahila; when the district Commissioner for Mankoya made an unorthodox decision to appoint a Mutondo, it was Lewanika who intervened by reversing the appointment; when Mwene Kahare Bollen Munguya had a problem reclaiming the chieftaincy in a legal battle against his maternal cousin of Kaonde paternity, Mayowe, it was to Senior Chief Amukena II and His Majesty the Litunga he went for assistance. We advise Mutondo and his royal council to do the same now and turn to the Litunga of Barotseland to resolve their unsatisfied wish fulfilment springing from their mythological desires.

We also advise and recommend that the government of Zambia should undo the wrongs done by previous administrations by revoking the Presidential statutory instruments which wrongly recognised Mutondo as chief of the Nkoya people of Kaoma district. Mutondo’s area of jurisdiction is Shikombwe only and does not extend to other areas. The violation of the 1958 map for area chiefs in Barotseland by the government of Zambia should be corrected.

Finally, the words of His Majesty Litunga Ilute 1V quoted in the opening remarks of this paper underscore the policy direction of the Barotseland Royal Establishment. We reiterate and conclude by quoting the Litunga from the same letter when he stated categorically that “It was decided to withdraw our customary law mandate from them so that they may go elsewhere away from Barotseland where they would exercise their new found jurisdiction”; adding “that the Lozis are not willing to force the Mwene Mutondo and Mwene Kahare to accept the customary law jurisdiction of Barotseland and therefore there is no way they can continue to claim the chieftaincy which they have disowned”.

The Litunga’s disciplinary action was frustrated by the President of the Republic of Zambia who refused to co-operate. Hence it is this government support which has seen the Nkoyas making wild statements concerning the campaign for the creation of Kafue province and to elevate Mutondo to paramount chief! This can only be achieved if Mutondo and his people can be relocated elsewhere away from Barotseland. The Nkoyas constitute a paltry 16% of the population in Kaoma, Luampa and Nkeyema districts combined. What justification is there for Mutondo to reign paramount over the various tribes who make up the remaining 84% with the Lozi, Mbunda /Luvale speaking people in the majority? Barotseland cannot allow former refugees to cause anarchy in a region which has seen peace, harmony and tranquillity for many centuries as a united people. This scramble for Barotseland is ill conceived, and designed to stimulate undesirable problems whose consequences will be too ghastly to contemplate. It shall be opposed with all the vehemence at our command.

Our Nkoya brothers would be wise not to underrate the people of Barotseland. To arrest this mentality, the other solution is for the Government of Zambia to stop meddling in the customary and traditional affairs of Barotseland. In the words of His Majesty Litunga Ilute Yeta IV in the same letter to President Frederick Chiluba,

“....Barotseland is a kingdom even as of now.......and in a kingdom you cannot find a chief who is independent of the King, because such a situation is untenable”.

The government of Zambia should not encourage Nkoyas to establish independent chiefdoms within Barotseland.

We conclude by reiterating the passionate appeal by Mwene Mutondo Edward Mbombola Moyo signing as Watunga Moyo in a letter to His Majesty the Litunga in 1995 in which he acknowledged that “No any other person would come up with solutions to problems of your families in Kaoma other than you, Sir”. Yes indeed Mutondo and the people of Kaoma district belong to the larger Barotse family under the undisputed rulership of His Majesty the Litunga. Therefore no decisions concerning the chieftainship leadership in this district should be entertained by the Government of Zambia including the President who should refrain from arbitrary recognitions without full consultations with His Majesty the Litunga and Council. We believe very strongly and with confidence that the Litunga is more than capable of solving problems in this part of his kingdom. For meaningful solutions to be found both Mwenes Mutondo and Kahare should not shun attending meetings called by the Litunga and the Council designed to discuss their artificial concerns on the traditional governance and leadership of the district. This has been the main stumbling block because both had declined to attend such meetings in the past.


1. Letter to President of Zambia Mr. Titus Jacob Chiluba by H.M the Litunga Ilute Yeta 1V, 1st February, 1994.

2. Northern Rhodesia Government, Barotseland Protectorate, Provincial Administration – Mankoya Tour Reports, National Archives of Zambia, BSE1/2/102, 1958.

3. Barotse Royal Establishment, Minutes of the Barotse National Council, Lealui, 1998, 1999, and 2000.

4. Barotse Royal Establishment, Report of the Meeting of Silalo Indunas from Kaoma, Lealui, 2010.

5. Government of Zambia, Statutory Instrument No. 56 of 1993.

6. Government of Zambia, Statutory Instrument No.63 of 1981

7. High Court for Zambia, Griffiths Musialike Mukande {suing as Ngambela of Western Province} versus Edward Mbombola Moyo {sued as Mwene Mutondo}, Lusaka, cause No.1994/HP/127. Lusaka, 1994.

8. Sunday Mail, “Nkoya chiefs defy Barotse court”, 3rd April, 1993

9. The Post Newspaper, “Nkoyas warn of Bloodshed” 23rd March 1993

10. Kaunda, Kenneth David, President of Zambia, “I wish to inform the nation” an address to the nation 25th August 1969.

11. Government of Zambia, Village Register 1985,

12. Government of Zambia, General List of Chiefs 1978

13. Barotse Royal Establishment, Naliele District Kuta, The Institution of Chieftainship in Barotseland vis-a-vis Zambian Government, 2013

14. Barotse Royal Establishment, Naliele District Kuta, Report on Mwene Mutondo’s Activities in the District, 2010

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