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Zambia’s integrity questioned over Barotseland – eNCA Reports

04 March 2013
Courtesy of eNCA

Barotseland, traditional homeland of the Lozi people. Many here have never recognized the government in Lusaka. Many don’t accept they are part of Zambia, and many want that independence formally recognized. “What we want is our Barotseland back. We won’t die without the Barotseland independence ” vowed a Barotse activist.

Michael Sata’s response to this? He's threatened to send in troops against them with orders to shoot the activists. It is the latest chapter in a story that stretches back to the days of Cecil John Rhodes.


The Barotse always felt they had a special relationship with the British Empire, one that granted them the power to run their own affairs. And when Zambia won its independence in 1964 they sought to maintain that autonomy, but the likes of Kenneth Kaunda and Fredrick Chiluba weren’t interested. Nor was Rupiah Banda. His security forces suppressed separatist rallies. Nayoto Lyamba was among those detained during those days. “We were taken to Lusaka and were detained in Lusaka Central police, eeh, Central prison. The detention was very bad. Seriously bad. So prison condition is always bad”  lamented Nayoto Lyamba.

A new generation of Barotse is now taking up the fight and they insist the president’s threats will not deter them. “We have been appealing to the Zambian government since 1964, since 1969 that we should come on the round table and discuss this issue but they have been making a lot of excuses” revealed a Barotseland National Youth League activist.

But there is more at stake here than new laws and a new flag. Zambia’s integrity is also in question.See embedded video below:



Cecil John Rhodes - the founder of the state of Rhodesia, which was named after him. In 1964, Northern Rhodesia became the independent state of Zambia and Southern Rhodesia was thereafter known simply as Rhodesia. In 1980, Rhodesia, which had been de facto independent since 1965, became independent from Britain and was renamed Zimbabwe.


Kenneth Kaunda - First Republican President of Zambia and signatory to the Barotseland Agreement 1964 which he abbrogated unilaterally in 1969

Fredrick Chiluba - Zambia's 2nd Republican President

Rupiah Banda - 4th Republican President of Zambia

Michael Sata - 5th Republican President of Zambia

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Media Editor, Barotseland Post

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