Editor General, Barotseland Post
Rarely do we address individuals except when we have cause to believe their public sentiments represent a national or a sectional mindset that needs pointing out, calling out or deserves commendations. This is the case with our esteemed elder brother, Bo Simataa Simataa, whose recent public sentiments on Barotseland must be addressed because he, like many others, are today apparently struggling to reconcile themselves with the ongoing increase in separatist feelings among many, especially younger Barotse people in Zambia and Barotseland!
Therefore, rather than think that this is an attack aimed at our brother’s person, we would hope that this is taken as an interrogation of his kind of mindset about Barotseland, which unfortunately is still shared by many others! We sadly observe how he and many others suffer noticeable anguish whenever they encounter Barotseland nationalism, especially on social media! Although Barotse people are usually peaceful in their debates, Bo Simataa and his kind somehow believe it is wrong for any Barostzish person in Zambia to think of themselves as anything other than Zambian. Bo Simataa may be sincere in his recent cautionary views about Barotseland but we also think his recent warnings are wrong and misguided.
With His Majesty, The Litunga, King of Barotseland now back from what many agree was a splendid and spectacular historic royal visit to the tourist city of Livingstone, some were, however, unamused that Barotseland Post did not highlight the alleged flouting of some core cultural values of Barotseland!
“How can your publication (Barotseland Post) flatter Lubosi with such praise about his magnificence when you know very well that he is breaking cultural norms daily, uncharacteristic of the King of Barotseland?
“What is ‘Kupuwana Ceremony’ and how could you even think of using such a term for what Lubosi just did in Livingstone?” retorted one unhappy reader of our article on the royal visit, introducing herself as an angry and disappointed royalist and member of the extended royal family, who also went on to say she had since lost confidence in Barotseland Post, claiming further that she previously believed the publication would always defend Barotseland. She was now accusing the publication of apparently condoning and promoting Imwiko II and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) in their gross violations of the long-established cultural traditions.
However, after a long discourse with her explaining that, as a publication, it was within our mandate to document and report on all major events taking place in Barotseland, factually and objectively for posterity, the complainant was pacified by further assurances that the Editorial team would write a commentary to include her actual concerns, among others.
This week saw many ex African presidents from the SADC region fly into Zambia to honour Zambia’s founding President Kenneth Kaunda, wrongly considered as the nation’s founding father. These honours coincided with the old man’s 95th Birthday. However, we have said it before and we wish to say it again, that Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia is not an Honourable man. Accordingly, he will not be until he publicly states why and how he has defrauded Barotseland and her people their right to Self-determination alongside their brothers in Zambia as guaranteed in the now-defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
This is the same man who on 6th August 1964 stood before the Barotse King, Sir Mwanawina III, KBE, his Kuta and Barotse government, in the presence of many Barotse people (BNC) as witnesses and said;
“….It is the (Zambian) government’s full intention that the Barotseland Agreement  will be honoured fully after independence…. The government has no wish to interfere with the day to day running of the internal affairs of Barotseland. This is the responsibility of the Barotse government and the intention of the Central Government will be no more than to give the Barotse Government its maximum assistance and co-operation. …The customary rights in Barotseland will remain with the Litunga, National Council and the District heads of Kutas."
Barotse news media have done a tremendous job highlighting issues that affect Barotseland, so far, and it would be very sad if the Barotse Royal Establishment’s newly installed Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, begun to regard the men and women who have worked selflessly to promote Barotseland as enemies rather than partners in development.
It may be true that many times some Barotse media have reported news that has turned out to be untrue or misleading, but again this may also be due to the lack of transparency that has emanated from the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) itself or sheer lack of logistical capacity to run professional news media!
However, if the new Ngambela will appreciate the potential good that Barotse media can bring to the general development of Barotseland, he should now be seeking to see how he can engage the various existing Barotse media, and avail himself to them so that whenever there are issues that need clarification, the news media could simply reach out to him to authenticate their news before publishing it.
Brandishing them as mere enemies of the Kingdom will be counterproductive!
Zambia’s propensity to shed innocent Barotse blood is so sickening that our blood is still boiling, tempers infuriated by the dumbfounding and mind-numbing gruesome videos and pictures that came out of Zambia’s Sesheke by-election political campaigns, especially as recorded on Friday the 8th, the day that Republican president, Edgar Lungu was in the area to drum up support for his ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party candidate in the election that was slated for Tuesday, 12th February 2019.
From the carnage, one would think the state agents needed a ritualistic sacrifice to feed the presidency’s diabolic appetite for Barotse blood! It makes us wonder what it is with Lozi blood that makes Zambian state agents and politicians crave it so much that they appear more easily ready to not only brandish their loaded guns but also discharge them at unarmed innocent children, young and old men and women!
The Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, has recently made some encouraging pronouncements that have cheered many in the Barotse fraternity. However, keen observers are still sceptical, and rightly so, because the BRE still seem to be out of tune with the current aspirations of the people, especially if Induna Ingangwana’s speech during the installation of the new Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, is anything to go by. Clearly, they don’t seem to know what the people of Barotseland want today.
The people themselves also seem to be confused about self-determination! Certainly, many do not understand that there are two kinds of self-determination which Barotseland must choose from; internal self-determination or external self-determination, and this BRE talk about ‘engaging’ the Zambian government for an equitable share of development does not really go well with the majority people of Barotseland who expect the BRE to be talking more of ‘disengaging’ or expelling the Lusaka government from Barotseland!
Clearly, the BRE are today trying to mend their apparently broken relationship with the people of Barotseland who they had watched being brutalized by the oppressive Zambian regime without doing anything to stop the brutality because they were all the while wining and dining with the oppressor. As such, the BRE was widely seen as collaborating with the Oppressor State and naturally became enemies of their own people!
For their efforts in repairing the broken relationship with the people, the BRE must largely be praised, commended and supported so that it will become easier for the Barotse nation to forge a united front in their pursuit for Barotseland self-determination.