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."
PEACEFUL INDEPENDENCE STRUGGLE; THE OVERVIEW OF BAROTSELAND INSIGNIA
It has now clocked three years down the line from the time people of Barotseland declared independence on 27th March, 2012, during this period many things have taken place such as arrests , torture of the Activists, division of tribes on ethic lines by the occupying power, luring some activists to trade the independence resolutions for government job offers, oiling of the hands of some activists with Zambian money to work against the resolutions, emergence of underground cartel to disorganize the liberation groups by weakening the BRE and Lozi royalist , deaths, arrests and long detentions of activists etc.
The Mongu saga of 2011 was not a riot but police brutality, and must be seen in that light. We cannot treat those incidences like the smashing of police vehicle windscreen on 16th March, 2015 in Mongu by alleged Barotse Activists in isolation from the Barotseland Agreement 1964. Riots and protests do not just happen unless there is something simmering on the ground. The 2012 BNC resolutions talked of pursuing our independence struggle through a non violence and peaceful approach. In this regard I will sort of look at non violence resistance (NVR or nonviolent action) in the Barotseland insignia. It is also important to bear in mind the background that led to Barotseland independence declaration of March 2012 in order to have a broader picture of the issue regarding peaceful sentiments of independence struggle. Furthermore, it will add value to specify actions considered nonviolent in any independence struggle and the possibility to achieve independence without some degree of violence in such actions! Is it possible to attain independence on a silver plate? This question would require serious input of considerations in order to agree or disagree to the highly preached undefined peaceful independence struggle by some of the Barotse Activists as a shield for their failed rational.
I may fail in my responsibility if I overlook to define the word “VIOLENCE". Violence is an act of aggression; it means actions that can cause damage to property, injuries or death. Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal development, or deprivation." It is worthy to note that the inclusion of "the use of power" in its definition expands on the conventional meaning of the word. Non violence action is the practice of achieving goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, or other methods, without using violence.
Do the people of Barotseland do the exact? Contrary, what is witnessed in Barotseland independence struggle is undefined docility methodology mingled with the element of cowardice. Where on Earth is independence given freely without demand in Diplomacy and Non violence resistance actions such as civil disobedience?
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, or commands of a government, or of an occupying international power in the case of Barotseland, Zambia. Civil disobedience is sometimes, though not always, defined as being non-violent resistance, however, I will not dwell much on its connotations. It is true to mention that independence struggle with non-violent uprisings is more likely to emerge in a democratic state.
There are plenty of examples in history that show that violence is not necessary in order for change. One of the most famous examples is Gandhi in India whose non-violent civil disobedience movement was able to push for independence from the British Empire. Another example is Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States who was able to push for civil rights without ever resorting to violence by non-violent tactics, like sit-ins, to change Jim Crow laws. Given these two successes, it is clear that violence is not required to cause change in our independence struggle. History is full of examples of people who have effected change non-violently. Throughout history, non-violent resistance has often been a catalyst for change and this is possible in Barotseland too.
The merits for NVR are:
i) Can often cause a crisis of legitimacy of Zambian government, which can in turn cause the government to fall in Barotseland. Despite that the Zambian state always has the military force at its disposal to crush just about any uprising.
ii) A violent struggle can end up polarizing people in support of Barotseland legitimate independence demand while NVR can augment the people’s resolve as they work together.
iii) Whereas a Zambia government crackdown against the Barotseland non-violent freedom struggle will often reduce public and international support for the regime and pity the oppressed.
vii) Look at hunger strikes and labor strikes. These can be successful even without violence
viii) Change can be obtained with compromising or avoiding situations where violence can happen. Violence only causes more and more violence and, in the end, people get hurt and no achievement occurs.
In Zambia - Barotseland case, peaceful methods have not really been employed to force the Zambian government come to terms of disengagement. However, in the absence of fear the people of Barotseland can still use NVR such as:
a) Peaceful protests. This occurs in democratic nations the world over, and it is not classified as violence.
b) Mass resistance and labor strikes can force even oppressive states like Zambia to change and accept the dictates of international law. This led Poland to democracy against the Soviets, and it led to change in India in the time of Mahatma Gandhi.
c) Public workers withholding their labor can force Zambian governments to fail to govern Barotseland territory and eventually frustrate its illegal administration of the territory. When too many public workers boycott reporting for work, the signal will be strong to catch the attention of international media.
It is true to mention that peaceful resistance does not work when those in power have no problem killing those who disagree, who organize any type of protest or who strike. This is the problem mostly in countries where the minorities’ human rights are not respected. See North Korea, Iran and Zimbabwe for modern examples of this. Barotseland has been impoverished to such alarming levels that our territory is full of Zambian government boot licking loyalists and cowards, and I will not mince words in mentioning that!
Violence is undoubtedly sometimes the only choice, but it is not always and in all cases the only choice.
Violence can be a dreadful thing that most people avoid, however, it is sometimes required to solve big problems. Of course violence sometimes can be the answer, but not the most efficient choice even at the best of times. The leaders of such a cause then become just common criminals who use violence as a method of control or to gain headlines for their said cause. People may agree with me that Zambia police are a tool of the state to maintain a monopoly of violence on the general population of Barotseland. The people of Barotseland should not fail or avoid protests as a way of disagreeing with the occupying power's continued detentions of Barotseland National
Youth League executive leaders and Barotseland transitional government Administrator general and three members of his cabinet.
Peaceful methods do not mean sitting idle, wondering what comes next; it rather involves the use of legal pursuit and physical expressions of NVR. It is time people and members of liberation groups in Barotseland woke up from the ‘docility’ syndrome and use the power of demonstrations and strikes to achieve the goal of independence. Freedom struggle does not classify physical expressions of a peaceful nature as violent actions. Independence struggle is twofold; use of brain and physical expressions without use of force. Failing to ‘Protest’ for the right cause, yet believing you can do it peacefully is why those in Zambian government classify Lozis as "disorganized people" and they laugh at our docile peaceful attitude in our independence struggle because they KNOW it will do nothing to threaten their presence and illegal occupation of Barotseland while they are free to come down harder and harder on our Activists.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
The fundamental principle of democracy is the freedom of expression and right to affiliate or associate freely with any group or organization without violating the tenets of freedom. I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (women inclusive) are created equal before the law and have equal RIGHTS; and the fact that all HUMANITY is endowed by the Creator with the power of decision making, should be understood and embraced as UNITY in DIVERSITY.
Allow me, therefore, to discuss the issue of ‘Transitional Authority’ verses ‘Transitional government’ and highlight which is appropriate for Barotseland at this stage. I sincerely respect people's views; therefore, I would like to run over the issue in a simplified and logical manner to draw the attention of the subject closer to its visualization.
One may have been confronted with the question (s) relating to the word ‘Government’, its meaning and how Governments are formed. According to Advanced English Dictionary (AED), it is:
I) the organization that is the governing authority of a political unit OR
II) The system or platform by which a community or other political unit is governed.
Going by the above definitions government is a group of people that governs a community or unit through which public policies are set out. In addition, the government exercises executive, political and sovereign power through customs, institutions, and laws within a state.
I must, firstly, emphasize here that the people of Barotseland want nothing less than being governed by a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY type of government, in an independent state of Barotseland separate from Zambia, and not Federalism arrangement of some kind within Zambia. Indeed, the people of Barotseland have a long train of abuses and usurpation afflicted on them by the Zambian authority, especially the Barotse activists who are pursuing the implementation of 2012 BNC resolutions, the same issue that some Elite Lozis schemed to have these true patriotic advocates for government formation arrested by the Zambian authorities. I wish to urge that it is everyone's duty to throw off such leaders who scheme to dilute the efforts and contributions of others who have provided new hope for tangible governance of Barotseland.
It is interesting and encouraging to note that some group leaders who were not in support of inaugurating the government in Barotseland have now revisited the matter and realized the need of ‘government formation’ in line with the 2012 resolutions of Barotseland independence declaration.
It will be better to look up at the words ‘Transitional’ and ‘Authority’! The word ‘transitional’ speaks of the stage between and before being fully independent, especially when applied in the context of politics, while ‘Authority’ is:
I) The power or right to give orders or make decisions OR
II) (Usually plural) persons who exercise (administrative) control over others.
Therefore, ‘Transitional Authority’ is a group of people who exercise administrative functions over others by making decisions and giving orders, but lacks political element to sustain or spearhead the territory’s interaction at international level among sovereign states to lobby for the territory's recognition.
In simply terms a ‘Transitional Authority’ in the case of Barotseland would lack the leverage to interact with other sovereign states of the world for Barotseland’s state recognition.
The BNFA are reported to be proposing an agenda to establish a ‘Transitional Authority’ for Barotseland. Firstly, one is made to wonder as to what would have changed for the BNFA to encompass the idea of government formation to take control of the territory now, when the same leadership was against the idea of inaugurating the government, such as the current transitional government, in place advancing the argument that Zambia has not yet ‘withdrawn’ from the territory. I wonder whether Zambia has now ‘withdrawn’ so much that the BNFA is now planning to set up their kind of "government" in the form of a ‘Transitional Authority’!
The proposed Barotse Transitional Authority is not only ambiguous but its ideals contravene the political principle to facilitate the day to day governance in the territory where a ‘Transitional government’ is already established.
It is also surprising that the terminology of the phrase; TRANSITIONAL AUTHORITY is being advanced in a territory where the Royal Authority already exercises the same Authority in the name of the Barotse Royal Authority (BRA) or the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE)! We, therefore, cannot have Authority over another Authority. Similarly, we cannot have ‘dual’ governments, unless the law and order has been suspended or there is a discontinuity of the hierarchical monarchy system.
Accordingly, the question may arise as what will happen to the Ngambela (Traditional Prime Minister)'s position as a member of both the Privy Council of the Litunga as well the cabinet council? Besides the idea of forming government has already been taken care of through the current Afumba led transitional government that is already in place, and it takes care of the above ambiguity.
Secondly, the proposed BNFA transitional authority seems to gravitate more to ‘Absolute Monarchy’ type of government where roles of governance are totally controlled by the royal authority. If the Induna in charge of Education, for example, is included in the Ngambela’s cabinet as secretary of State for Education or as a minister of Education, I foresee an old arrangement resuscitated in Barotseland, the very system of government that failed to advance the idea of statehood in 1964. Therefore, the unfolding scenario will not only bring the old system of government we had in Barotseland that failed to negotiate for Barotseland independence in 1964, but may also cause us to remain subservient citizens of Zambia, against the wishes of the people. What is more puzzling with this proposal is that it will be going against the majority of the people in Barotseland who have now opted for a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY, and not an ABSOLUTE MONARCHY where the Royal and government roles are not separated.
Government is very important to oversee the smooth running of a country. It will be right to revisit the definition that a government is the system by which a state or community is governed. In Commonwealth English, a government more narrowly refers to the particular EXECUTIVE in control of a state at a given time--known in American English as an ADMINISTRATION.
As alluded to under Transitional Authority the word Transitional means or may refer to the process before COMPLETION.
Transitional governments the world over are not born out of popular ballot elections but by politically organized group or groups through mere consensus. In August 2013, the Barotseland Transitional Government was inaugurated through a public swearing in ceremony that was made available to many media houses locally and internationally. The willing and politically organized groups in Barotseland at the time participated in this transitional government, while others, either due to lack of understanding or due to fear of Zambian government reprisals, opted to refuse the idea of government formation, arguing that such a government would not be considered ‘legal’ because Zambia had not yet withdrawn her administration from Barotseland! It must be emphasized here that the LEGALITY of what Barotseland does now and in future does NOT lie with Zambia or any other country because Barotseland is now free to pursue her own Political destiny in accordance with the BNC declaration of Independence of 2012. Consequently, Barotseland is not in crisis of governance. We have both the Transitional Government and the Royal Authority in place, and the two are coordinating well together so far.
The transitional government in place is already working and has already achieved some success in advancing the cause of Barotseland, among these being the forging and pursuing of bilateral working arrangements with other countries which is has already achieved implied recognition in some cases, ratification of the Katengo legislative council, appointment of constituent assembly, formulation of government Acts and Orders, delimitation of constituencies, legal process against Zambia at ICJ is underway, establishment of media such as Barotseland post and Radio, etc.
It is now, therefore, hoped that the BNFA’S proposed Agenda, if pursued, is not going to be another way of ‘grinding rice with a stick of carrot.’
The process of government formation occurs most commonly following an election, but may be understood that even during independence liberation each and every group is a government in waiting, and can come up with a shadow government. Once the political parties have reached an adequate accommodation, and a government is able to be formed, it is expected that the parties will make appropriate public statements of their intentions.
The process of forming a government is political, and the decision to form a government must be arrived at by politicians and not the Monarch. Therefore, it is unacceptable that the proposed BNFA Agenda of the BTA wants to bring on board the Indunas as members of the constituent assembly and cabinet council.
By convention, the role of the Monarch in the government formation process is to ascertain where the confidence of the people lies, based on the parties' public statements, so that a government can be supported. It is not the Monarch’s role to form the government or to participate in any negotiations under the Constitutional Monarchy type of government (although the Litunga in his role as the Head of State might wish to talk to party leaders for clarification).
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments established in good faith like the current Transitional Barotseland government, led by His Excellence Rt.Hon Afumba Mombotwa, should not be changed for light and transient causes.
Therefore, the BNFA should endeavor to prevent the population of their membership from being misguided away from the present truth that the Transitional government is in place and working because it has commenced the process of taking Zambia to the competent court of ICJ on a Government to Government basis. Further, the BNFA should not make their members to be dependent on their wishful thinking alone for the tenure of forming governance body.
Equally important is our hope that the BNFA should not obstruct the administration of unity by refusing to recognize and embrace the Transitional Government in place. If their concern now is lack of adequate representation in the current transitional government, having snubbed it before, they could pursue representation by cooperating with the already established government, and therefore, be a part of the reconstruction of the Barotseland Kingdom, or simply consolidate themselves for checks and balances as they organize themselves to participating in the general elections and seek people’s mandate to form future government.
If by any cause, the ‘Transitional Authority’ proposed is to be formed is a ‘Government’, a question may arise about the current Barotseland Transitional Government we have in place since August 2013, and how many governments Barotseland will have in place? However, if it is not a government but just an ‘Authority’, questions will similarly arise as to where the current Barotse Royal Authority will be placed, because the BTA is the authority we already have in our land in the form of BRE.
If the proposed March 26th – 27th 2015 BNFA sponsored conference is dubbed to be a Barotse National Council (BNC), a question may arise, as to who sanctioned its hosting? To my best knowledge, only the head of state can sanction the hosting of BNC.
As things are now, the document proposing the March 26th – 27th 2015 BNFA sponsored conference has neither been disowned nor assented to by the BNFA. It could not be attributed to Linyungandambo as its source, either, because to my best knowledge Linyungandambo is not part of the BNFA ? Therefore, it can only be assumed that this BNFA Agenda is really alive. It is with this in mind that this opinion has been written to highlight what I believe are weaknesses of this BNFA Agenda.
Nevertheless, I believe that a united Barotseland is the only hope forward to independence and peaceful co-existence among political players and followers. Let us, therefore, avoid "Moya wa ka kundukundu" (going with the whirlwind of confusion) and move forward together in UNITY.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.
As an independent observer allow me to categorically express my utter dismay at what BNFA is reportedly trying to do. Where is Kopano ki mata if what is reported here is something to go by? After having come this far in our political struggle and then they just want to undo everything this way! Do they really understand the implications of their move? If the BRA allows this to take place then they should know that
1. They are condemning to death those who are already still for this same cause by Zambia. They need the same BRA's support to stand by the Transitional Government progress so far and the ideals of our land they stand for.
2. The world will not take us serious and will not trust us with their cooperation in this regard. It will be like we do not know what we want! Are we politicking for self glory or that of Barotseland?
3. The legal case for ICJ will be nullified in effect until the warring parties come to good terms with each other in purpose, methods and goals.
4. We will all believe that indeed BNFA is Zambian sponsored because they do not seem to champion the same cause Linyungandambo is holding for motherland Bulozi.
Otherwise why the hurry and frustration when your counterparts have not tired up yet at it?
How else can we interpret their miscalculated move (after the poorest Lozi has struggled and sacrificed to contribute toward the litigation in ICJ) other than that of trying to sell off our land again to the opponents of our Total Independence, a second time.
BNFA will not lose anything by waiting for the final resolution of the Linyungandambo agenda in ICJ and participate in the general election thereafter. Otherwise, whatever reasons are being advanced for their move they are ill-timed and subject to be viewed just like the AGAPE agenda.
I, therefore, wish to appeal to all peace loving Barotzish not to allow this to happen. May all the elders of the land sit down with the BNFA leadership and find better ways of resolving this problem. Personally I see the Lungu-Inonge government behind all this saga to try and thwart our hard earned progress and goal so far.
Litunga ni lyetu.
THE AFRICAN UNION, IS IT COMPETENT IN CONFLICT RESOLUTIONS ON THE CONTINENT, BAROTSELAND QUESTION IN PARTICULAR?
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.
I note Mutompehi Saleya Kwalombota's response to my article titled Shuwanga on Moreba--A case of siwawayi, which was in turn a response to Shuwanga’s article. I wish to make the following observations:
1. Creation of Provisional or Transitional Government
Mutompehi Kwalombota has made great effort in defining the spheres of government, though in the context of Barotseland Kingdom he forgot to mention the Monarch. While his effort is appreciated, it was not the matter of contention. Further, there is nowhere in my article where I demanded that the start-up government should be elected and neither did the question of legitimacy arise. Indeed, the issue of legitimizing any governmental set-up should be one of the key ingredients of the process of establishing sovereignty, but it is not necessarily a starting point.
The point I raised was that of visibility of the Afumba government or whatever it calls itself in terms of tangible performance in areas such as the ones Mutompehi Kwalombota outlined—Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. A government, whether provisional or substantive, should be felt by the people it is serving through tangible outcomes, otherwise it is nothing but mandwani (child play). With substantial performance being churned out, there will be no need to beg uninterested people to join, support or recognize it as they will simply be sucked-in by its whirlwind. On the issue of who was mandated to run governmental affairs by the Barotse National Council resolutions of March 27, 2012, Mutompehi Kwalombota should pinpoint which one supports his provisional government.
2. Co-operation with others
Mutompehi Kwalombota is suggesting that Moreba and/or BNFA members are uncooperative and arrogant in not wanting to work with other organizations. He forgets that Shuwanga’s theme, as reflected in the title and the rest of his article, was that BNFA should DISBAND and WORK WITH the so called transitional government. Who created this illusive Provisional government? I pointed out that BNFA was a creation of the efforts of Linyungandambo and the other organizations that are now comprised in it while the said Linyungandambo has stood aloof after assisting that creation. Mutompehi Kwalombota has not disputed these facts. So who is uncooperative and arrogant? What does the phrase ‘disband and work with entail? We should learn to understand the words we choose to use.
3. Interpretation and application of the BNC resolutions
The BNFA has not held itself as a government and does not wish to prevent formation of government. The BNFA’s main objective is to facilitate implementation of the BNC resolutions as correctly interpreted, including assisting the Barotse Government, as it existed at the time of the BNC meeting and supporting the modernization of its institutions as laid out in the resolutions. Resolutions 8 and 10 are very clear in that regard and they do not mandate any one of the participating groups to unilaterally form a parallel government or structures. Has Mutompehi Kwalobota forgotten that BRE was Kaunda’s creation and mockery? We have always had the Barotse Government, despite the onslaught by successive Zambian regimes.
The BNFA’s activities which are in the public domain include:
1) Barotseland membership to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). It is Barotseland as a nation that has been admitted as a member not an individual activist group. No individual activist group has been registered or de-registered;
2) Prosecution of the matter laid by the Ngambela of Barotseland and Others before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR), which is an organ of the African Union based in The Gambian capital of Banjul. The Commission is in session right now and I trust that it will be considered as per our plea—it is common knowledge that the Zambian government failed to provide counter evidence;
3) The matter of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague where the immediate past Zambian president ran-away from the process by refusing to append his signature and thereby admitting guilty. We have since challenged the new president to rise to the occasion and do the needful—Already, he is also showing symptoms of running away;
4) Engaging SADC to support Barotseland statehood as clearly demonstrated by Zambia’s admission of guilty by failing to append its signature to the PCA process as in (3) above; and
5) The reconstitution of the Barotse government via the establishment of an all embracing Barotseland Transitional Authority (BTA)—Transitional Katengo Legislative Council.
In what sense are these activities contradicting the BNC resolutions? Going forward, it will be very useful for anyone claiming to be acting on the basis of the BNC resolutions, or accusing others of violating them, to cite the specific resolution/action that is being violated or implemented in contradiction thereof by such a party. Wild claims or accusations do not help the attainment of Barotseland statehood.
Self-determination declaration announced by the people of Barotseland in 2012 through the historic BNC , refer to the territory's expressed preference for self-government and independent statehood. This territorial self-governance extends not only to the existing ‘western province’ boundary but that of 1900 as described and documented in the Anglo /Portuguese Barotseland boundary case of 1905 and Barotseland Northwestern Rhodesia in Council of 1899. The demands are for both external and internal self-determination. From the perspective of the traditional Barotseland nation-state, there are no challenges that the self determination of Barotseland claim of 2012 is not born in sincerity, or rather than as part of illegality process that would threaten the political boundaries of other states. The due process of the law was followed to the letter. For the people of Barotseland, the pursuit of territorial self-governance does not become a question of secession but a legitimate control over the institutions of government and cultural reproduction throughout the territory of the state.
The autonomy of a state is one of the most often employed term to describe territorial approaches to conflict resolution. It is used both in an abstract and functional sense in the context of governance arrangements, and as a concrete manifestation of territorial self-governance. It is important to bear in mind that Barotseland territory is not seeking for mere autonomy but sovereignty. The former is about self governance within an existing state in a unitary arrangement. Barotseland is no longer interested in unitary arrangement with Zambia, that has ruled or misruled our territory for fifty years, without any legal back up. Barotseland as a territory is conceptualized more appropriately as a place, bearing significance in relation to the Lozis history, collective memories, and ‘character’ of national identity. How we depict ourselves and how others define us is an essential trait of our existence as a nation that evolved for centuries. It defines who we are as a nation, and as part of the international community of southern Africa.
Every individual in Barotseland holds power identity that defines the vector of our independence resolve to statehood. It is realistic in a sense of individual power as a reservoir of unity in radical dimension to total freedom attainment, which is inversely proportional to change according to perception of events and their manipulation by leadership strategy of prospective liberation groups. The value of territorial identity is cardinal to avoid dormant attitude until it is threatened, revived or incited by political, military or cultural leadership utilizing a particular identity to attain power. However, it should be noted that every individual person is very important among the ethnic people of our great nation of Barotseland having several different group identities. In other words, Barotseland is a multicultural and a multiethnic nation, united under the old founded hierarchical monarch system, and it never had anything like one ethnic group threatening or overshadowing others.
The terms and principles of unity generally include policies or guidelines towards separation and integration within the future internal constitutional order of a state to maintain sovereignty, statehood and identity completely. This realization has been fulfilled by the act of transitional government inauguration in August 2014. It is appropriate to mention that the transitional government is under obligation to implement the terms of 2012 BNC resolutions which is an act of unilateral declaration of independence. It is also worthy of note that at no time did the 2012 BNC resolutions demand for an alliance or any other vehicle in order for the resolutions to be implemented ; to the contrary the resolutions demanded urgency of government to carry out the implementation. The gesture taken by the transitional government for the impasse between Barotseland and Zambia to be settled once and for all by the international court of justice is applauded, knowing the importance role of the court in international disputes.
As indicated in the letter of intent to take Zambia to ICJ, the lawyers, on behalf of the transitional government and people of Barotseland will seek relief from the court in four categories, namely Declaratory, Consequential, Financial and Interim or urgent relief.
1. The Court will be asked to declare: (under Declaratory relief):
a). that the basis Barotseland became integral part of Zambia was through the BA64 agreement
b). in its absence Barotseland has reverted to her original status,
c). hence, administration of the territory by Zambia is illegal.
2. The Court will, under Consequential relief:
a). asked to give directions for the assumption of responsibility for and control of Barotseland by Barotseland government and request Zambia to peaceful withdraw from the territory.
3. Under Financial relief Zambia shall be Ordered to make financial reparations to Barotseland:
(a) for the unlawful taking of the contents of its Treasury.
(b) for the loss of mine and mineral revenue and
(c) for the violation of the human rights of citizens of Barotseland.
3. The court will further ask under, Interim Relief:
(a) to be made on urgent application, either before or after the substantive case is commenced to secure safe and secure passage to the Barotseland legal team to travel to, within and from Barotseland and Zambia for the purposes of preparation and conduct of the case.
For now we should rally behind our government to be, internationally and administratively, seen as accepting the visionary leadership exhibited by His Excellence Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and his team for engaging international lawyers of high caliber to table our case before appropriate court of ICJ , for the cause of achieving the expulsion of the oppressors. The facts are before us that Barotseland is ours, and was never annexed to Northern Rhodesia. All the people of Barotseland totally want Barotseland independent and there is nothing to stand in our way.
We already rejected the issue of mere self autonomy under RESTORATION of the abrogated BA64 and unanimously VOICED out for TOTAL Independence in our 2012 BNC gathering.
Barotseland must be free.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.
It will be important to briefly run down some of the government formation processes to remove the innuendo being peddled by those unaware of these processes as they exist in international law, such as has been displayed by some top BNFA leadership and members lately.
‘GOVERNMENT’ is the political organization of the state. It is the concrete and visible instrument of state power. We should be aware that the government is the agency through which common policies are determined, and by which common affairs are regulated.
The particular form of government depends upon the nature of the ‘STATE’ which in turn depends upon the political habits and character of the people. Government usually consists of three branches: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. Their respective functions are legislation, administration and adjudication.
A community of persons does not necessarily form a ‘STATE’ unless it is organized by an established Government, whether in ‘waiting’ or ‘Transitional’ or whether it be based in the ‘TERRITORY’ or in ‘EXILE’.
The ‘Government’ is a very essential ingredient in ‘State’ formation, as without the government's organization; the international community will not take our independence declaration seriously.
‘Governments’ in liberation period can be formed in exile or in the territory they claim, and whether they have complete or partial territorial control is normally NOT really the point. It should also be noted that it is the mandate of the liberation group (s) to form government that will be championing the aspirations of the people. At this stage it can be termed (once it is publicly named) as a PROVISIONAL or TRANSITIONAL government, which is just a vehicle to coordinate the people's ‘Will’ to the international community when it is in bondage. Before the naming Stage it may be termed as GOVERNMENT IN WAITING as they are organizing local support and waiting for certain processes to be ready. PROVISIONAL governments are never usually 'ELECTED' as popular ways of national elections may not be available or may have been suspended, but may have some local process and usually involve willing members from across the popular divide.
Therefore those opposing the formation of transitional government in preference to alliance are either enemies of progressive community or are indeed exposing their deep lack of understanding in International law and process.
There are different kinds of governments in different states, common examples being, MONARCHY, DEMOCRACY and DICTATORSHIP.
Barotseland is a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY system, in which State power is shared between the CIVIL government and the MONARCH, while maintaining distinctive roles between the Royal and the government in a clear cut manner.
ACTIONS OF TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENTS OR GOVERNMENTS IN WAITING, WHETHER THEY BE IN THE TERRITORY OF CONTROL OR IN EXILE.
International law recognizes that such Governments may undertake many types of actions in the conduct of their daily affairs.
These actions include:
1. Becoming a party to a bilateral or international treaty;
2. Amending or revising its own constitution;
3. Maintaining military forces;
4. Retaining (or "newly obtaining") diplomatic recognition by sovereign
5. Issuing national identity cards;
6. Allowing the formation of new political parties;
7. Instituting democratic reforms holding elections allowing for direct (or more broadly-based) - elections of its government officers, etc.
To conclude on the brief subject of Government, I wish, therefore, to let the people of Barotseland know that a TRANSITIONAL government is in place in Barotseland, and YES, this Government is LEGITIMATE and it meets the INTERNATIONAL NORMS. It has already started mobilizing towards the attainment and the actualization of some and many of the above mentioned activities.
So let us all consider it our DUTY to RALLY behind this government to actualize our DREAM. It will not and may not appear to have all the CHARACTERISTICS of a FULLY FUNCTIONAL government (for LOGISTICAL and other REASONS such as SECURITY, etc), BUT let all Barotseland be united under this Royal Barotseland government in place. It is MY government; it is YOUR government and OUR government! In TRANSITION, it is led by ADMINISTRATOR GENERAL (As Prime Minister will be ELECTIVE) while THE HEAD OF STATE is the LITUNGA by Default! The formerly BRE is the BRA and has other distinct Role which I can not get to today. This is what our Emancipating Order Stipulates.
ANALYSIS TO MR. WANGA'S "BIWAYAWAYA'' RESPONSE TO SHUWANGA'S ARTICLE "BNFA IS MOREBA IN DISGUISE, A RETROGRESSIVE SET-UP FOR FUTURE QUAGMIRE"
I personally stand to disagree with Mutophehi Wanga's response "biwawayi" to Shuwanga Shuwanga's article "BNFA is MOREBA in Disguise, a Retrogressive set-up for future quagmire" where he seems to have displayed his sheer hatred for Hon. Afumba Mombotwa led government. Wanga's hatred seems to be the reflection of the BNFA's ideology identity, and this kind of attitude has been echoed by the group calling itself "BULOZI NAHAYALUNA" an affiliate women organization under BNFA in today's (25th February, 2015) titled, "Linyungandambo and BNFA must work for the good of Barotseland."
1. SUMMARY OF WANGA'S ARTICLE
1.1. In his pre-amble Hon. Mutungulwa talked of;
a. BNFA's stance against criticism- constructive or non constructive
b. BNFA's members cannot be shaken or challenged by people known to them as ' biwayawaya'
c. That Shuwanga as the author was just rumbling against MOREBA and BNFA associates
In summary of the preamble, Hon Wanga writing as a Deputy Chairperson General-Strategy and Diaspora Liaison, BNFA , has proved that:
1). BNFA leadership is arrogant
2). BNFA leadership is not accommodating to people with different views
3). BNFA leadership has selfish and dictatorial attitude that does not believe in dialogue
4). BNFA leadership is composed of people not "having" diplomacy, dispute and conflict solving skills but mere academic rhetoric.
1.2 REFERENCE TO THE WORD "ALLIANCE"
In his endeavor to justify the alliance, Mr Wanga;
a. mentioned that Shuwanga does not fully understand the word alliance in practice and as an English word and told him to refer to English dictionary for clarification.
b. He further claimed BNFA is an umbrella organ through which programs of members organizations are channeled and coordinated.
I am not inspired with his insinuations that Shuwanga lacks understanding of the English word "Alliance" and its etymology. He failed to challenge the genius elaboration Shuwanga gave, and I quote; "Another worrisome precedent that needs to be honestly challenged is the claim that BNFA is the umbrella movement of all Barotse activist groupings. Such a claim is not only untrue but also malicious, bankrupt and counter-active" end of quote.
Mr Wanga has confirmed that the BNFA represents the ideology of the member organization not to fulfill the wishes of the people, it does not care about the urgency of governance formation.
1.3 OTHER ISSUES RAISE
Mr. Wanga in his quest to justify their alliance's non cooperative attitude;
a. That MOREBA did not change its policy from RESTORATION to INDEPENDENCE of Barotseland, but it moves along ONLY because it was one of the stakeholders at the historic 2012 BNC meeting that resolved for independence.
b. That Shuwanga's invitation of MOREBA to support the Transitional government in place is nonsensical because the ideals and work methods of MOREBA, Shuwanga does not agree with.
c. That the idea that the independence of Barotseland can only be realized when all groups work together is utopian.
d. That the Traditional government if it was in charge of Barotseland it could not have allowed Zambia's presence in Barotseland and could have not gone to the KUTA for permission to fund-raise money for legal fees in the territory it is in charge of.
It is surprising that such reasoning could have come from the person holding a high position in a liberation organization. Instead of explaining the failure by BNFA to work or embrace what Hon Mombotwa led government has achieved and done so far, he throws a twist for not having ideology similar to the government in place. I wonder where on earth a government can exist without giving respect to the head of state.
It is good that the Litunga is recognized as the head of state, and a government operates under the mandate given to it by the head of state. The transitional government’s authority and continuity should be embedded into a modernized system.
How can Mr. Wanga, with due respect, diminish the transitional government in place as manduwani? For God's sake, why should he degrade the job well done by serious and down to earth leaders of transitional government in the light of black-out from public media like that?
Is his organization, the BNFA, aware that it is actually in direct violation of the tenets of the 2012 BNC resolutions, that urgently required for government formation within the possible shortest time to formalize the disengagement from Zambia and notify UN of the intent?
Barotseland must be free. Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Saleya Kwalombota
I am very much convinced and know that the PF led Zambian government has no solution to the even hotter Barotseland issue, because they were not there when Mr. Kaunda Kenneth abrogated the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
The current government’s main problem is burying their heads in the sand, pretending that everything is OK, and that there is no problem.
They want to make the whole world believe that:
a) Barotseland was NEVER a state before 1964
b) The Litunga is not and that he was NEVER the Heard of state of the Royal Barotseland Kingdom
c) They have NEVER killed, arrested, maimed, tortured and segregated many Barotzish
d) They have NEVER violated Human Rights in Barotseland
e) Even after 50 years of illegal occupation of Barotseland they still DON’T KNOW the boundaries of Barotseland.
f) Even after serving them with the letter of Intent to Sue them to the International Court of Justice for illegal occupation of Barotseland, ALL is well and silence is the order of the day
g) They DO NOT have intentions to eliminate the top leaders in the nationalist organizations in Barotseland and some prominent figures in the BRE, and they think we don’t know
h) They have not been funding SOME prominent people ‘liberation’ groups to destabilize Barotseland and frustrate the efforts of genuine liberation movements.
Therefore, the slogan “ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION” will NOT help at all now, because just like in the time of its evil master minder and architect Kenneth Kaunda, it is HYPOCRITICAL .Just like the authors and perpetrators of the slogan then were not sincere, so are today’s architects. KAUNDA had an agenda different from that of Sir Mwanawina III, KBE, the other party and signatory to the Barotseland Agreement 1964.
His mission of abrogating the agreement started there; right after signing the agreement. He very well knew that the agreement had envisaged or enshrined in it powers of the Litunga among others, an issue Kaunda perceived as a threat to his ill motive of NOT wanting to share power. He was POWER hungry. He found a perfect LOZI ally and collaborator in the WINA family, who were at the time annoyed with the reigning Litunga for having ‘thrown-out’ their father out of Limulunga royal village to settle at Namitome, East of Limulunga, having lost the Ngambela-ship. Consequently the Wina family thought that being with Zambia would give them some sought of relief for their father’s demotion. They thought being with Zambia would make them more political power to belittle the Litungaship. One wonders whether this is NOT what is currently happening with some frustrated former top BRE leaders?
Let me EMPHASIZE that the slogan will NEVER bring unity in Zambia, as there can NEVER be PEACE in the absence of JUSTICE. Justice for the people of Barotseland and their LITUNGA who are denied of their RIGHT to SELF-DETERMINATION! The slogan can only be used by people who are hiding something. If you reflect back during the Chiluba regime, you will realize that FTJ Chiluba threw it away, because he knew that the people behind the slogan were HYPOCRITICAL.
Progressive people don’t spend time mobilizing Nations to become one nation even if it was not possible. The English belong to England, the French belong to France, the Spanish belong to Spain, the Portuguese belong to Portugal, the Scottish belong to Scotland, the Tswanas belong to Botswana, the Swazis to Swaziland. What is wrong with Barotzish belonging to Barotseland?
To the Zambia government, please, wake up! The ‘One Zambia One nation’ slogan is causing more harm to your reputation. No dog has ever eaten what it had vomited before. The more you shout “ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION” the more Zambia is divided and the more you send more people laughing at you.
Recognition constitutes the acceptance of a specific position by identifying an entity both in periods of the applicable factual criteria and in periods of resultant lawful repercussions and may generally take two forms, de jure or de facto.
1. De jure recognition is one that is bound by a constitution and considered as legitimate and so accepted by all.
2. When a government as a matter of fact, has effective control over a territory and exercises this control ‘in good faith', but not recognised formally by the existing states, such an entity or government is said to have a de facto recognition.
The government of a territorial entity, whether de jure or de facto only exercises the sovereignty conferred to it by the state. It is possible for the government of state to be recognised but not the state itself. For instance, contacting the foreign affairs ministry of an entity with regards to the welfare of the citizens of the recognised state does not necessarily mean that the state is recognised. It may merely signify the recognition of a governing entity of that territory. If this is the case, the international status and the rights of the peoples and their territory will seem to depend on arbitrary decisions and political contingencies.
Recognition may be expressed or implied. It must however be noted that, recognition does not necessarily mean the establishment of diplomatic and bilateral relations between states or governments. But with regards to diplomatic relations the two are interrelated because, a state cannot establish relations with a territorial entity whiles refusing to recognise it. A state, once recognised and qualified as a state, cannot cease to be a state but in terms of recognition of governments, this could be a possibility.
Barotseland has been a stateless nation for centuries because it lacked what could turn it into a state. The elements of statehood are:
No state can be imagined without the people, as there must be some to rule and others to be ruled. The people constitute its "personal basis". There is no such hard and first rule as to the number of people required to make a state. But it is the kind of people that matters more than their numbers.
People cannot constitute a state, unless they inhabit in a definite territory. So the state requires a fixed territory, with clearly demarcated boundaries over which it exercises undisputed authority. But how much territory is necessary for the maintenance of state? There is no accepted rule as to the size of a state's territory.
This is the important- indeed, indispensable machinery by which the state maintains its existence, carries on its functions and realise its policies and objectives. A community of persons does not form a state unless it is organised by an established government. Government usually consists of three branches: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. Note that the organization of a Barotseland's transitional government in realization of self rule is cardinal and it is in line with international norms.
The fourth essential element of the state is sovereignty. It is that important element which distinguishes the state from all other associations. The word 'Sovereignty' denotes supreme and final legal authority and beyond which no further legal power exists.
Barotseland has its population, a definite territory as documented as it is was in 1900, a duly established government that was organised on 14th August 2013 as Transitional government under the able leadership of His Excellence Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and sovereignty. Absence of any of these elements could denies Barotseland the status of statehood. The current transitional government should be given the support it deserves to effectively exercises the prevalence of internal sovereignty. It is important to bear in mind that the external sovereignty follows the establishment of the internal one, because sovereignty is with the people ,exercised by the representatives of the people.
Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu
By Mutungulu Wanga, Deputy Chairperson General-Strategy and Diaspora Liaison, BNFA
Reasonable people are not easily moved by happenings around them, taking action only when there is absolute need and not regretting it afterwards. But in society there are other people who are naturally unsure of themselves and these are prone to move with the wind, which ever direction it blows. A clear demonstration is found in harvested grain, such as maize, which is normally mixed with some remnants of off cuts of maize stock leaves or cob covers, otherwise known as biwawayi . When the wind blows the maize grain, on account of its high value, does not move or shake but the biwawayi will always manifest movements, depicting their unstable character.
The recent Barotse Post article by Shuwanga containing rumblings against the Movement for the Restoration of Barotseland (MOREBA) and its alliance partners in the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) calls for comments because it is a follow-up on a number of other postings by him, which have been ignored for their inconsequential content, thereby raising need for the writer to be made aware of his error lest he is carried away with the mistaken belief that his performance is anything to write home about. Meanwhile, it should pointed out, from the outset, that each and every time members of the BNFA have had to debate an issue with anyone on this forum it has been in form of a response to attacks on either the organization in general or specific individual members of the organization. Surprisingly, some contributors to the debate who bemoan the fact that the matters arising from the ensuing exchange constitute washing of dirt linen in public only come up with their wise counsel after those who were on the receiving end of the barrage of attacks have responded, forgetting the much more wise adage that prevention is better than cure. It is with this background that the following comments on Shuwanga's recent effort at painting red the BNFA and, through it, MOREBA, are made:
1. 1. Meaning and Purpose of an Organizational Alliance.
Clearly, Mutompehi Shuwanga has a very misleading understanding of not only the functioning of an alliance of organizations but also that of groupings of individuals. It appears, from the disappointment he displays on seeing MOREBA's characteristics emerging in the BNFA, that his expectations were that the organizations that formed the Alliance would cease to exist and a completely new set up devoid of any semblance of the partners will emerge. This is a very poor interpretation of the word Alliance as a noun, and he would be better advised to pick up the ELD (English learners dictionary) to acquaint himself with the correct meaning of the word so that he performs better next time he grapples with this subject.
The BNFA is an umbrella organ through which the programmes of the member organizations are channeled and coordinated, nothing more and nothing less. While it is expected that the Alliance partners will influence and even modify each others programmes and outlook, the major objective is that of coordinated effort and thus enhanced action on issues and not annihilation of member organizations of the Alliance. This is the basic ingredient of any Alliance or partnership, whether at individual or organizational level, and this extends even to amalgamation of nations into federal or unitary states. The reason the unitary state of Zambia has failed is that the characteristics of Barotseland as a partner have been suppressed by the governing authorities and this is a recipe for breakup of any such partnership. It is assumed herein that Mutompehi Shuwanga is married, and an examination of his family unit will show that the characteristics of both himself and his spouse are not only reflective in his homestead but the offspring of the marriage as well. Anyone who finds fault with such a revelation does not know what they are dealing with.
As for the complaint about MOREBA altering its colours to embrace total independence of Barotseland contrary to its original stance, this is a contradiction of the assertion that the same MOREBA has high jacked the Alliance. The truth is that MOREBA and its Alliance partners as well as those outside the Alliance were participants in the historic Barotse National Council Resolutions of 27 March 2012. The Chairperson of MOREBA was appointed to preside over the Resolutions Committee of the Conference and went on to present the resolutions to the Plenary Session of the Conference for their adoption. How then can MOREBA be expected to work contrary to its own resolutions? The fact is members of MOREBA are good at executing that which they commit themselves to, the only difference being that they do so in a reasoned, well thought out and coordinated manner as opposed to ku tulatula fela wa simbotwe sesi yambilwe ki sului.
1. 2. Report to Kuta on Meeting with President Sata.
Shuwanga alleges that MOREBA high jacked the presentation of the report on the meeting with President Sata. This is twisted story telling. The fact is that at the time of that encounter with State House no established liaison arrangements were made among the organizations that had been invited, and the said organizations were invited in their individual capacities. As a matter of fact the representatives of Linyungandambo and BFM at that meeting did, immediately on their return to Mongu, present a verbal report to the Kuta and this they did without the involvement of MOREBA. The latter, on their part, decided to file in a written report which was copied to President Sata and the Cabinet Ministers who had been part of the State House meeting. When Shuwanga and his friends got sight of the report they were infuriated, not by its contents but the fact that they were not part of it. In their blind fury they forgot that they had already presented their own verbal report to which they did not invite MOREBA and the latter had no issues with this fact. In an attempt to make up for what they considered inadequate performance on their part they set out to produce their own written report, in which they copied everything from the MOREBA report, including commas and full stops. When MOREBA followed up with a visit to the Kuta on its report which had gone in advance, Shuwanga and company also chose to present their own written version at the same time. The Kuta was naturally amused by their action, after listening to the reading of the report and realizing it was a reproduction of the MOREBA paper. The Kuta, in its wisdom, decided that what was to be presented to the Kaongolo ka Nyambe would be the MOREBA report but that all who had presented themselves for the occasion would be allowed in the Kashandi to witness the same. Shuwanga and company readily accepted this decision and this is how they formally adopted the MOREBA report for the said presentation. What is evident in all this is that while Shuwanga and his likes detest the existence of MOREBA they, on many occasions, have had no problems associating themselves with its products. The issue of holding the BNC came up during both the Kuta and Kashandi sessions and all were agreed that the matter was urgent. The liaison meeting which followed was suggested to the rest of the entourage by Mutompehi Mukubesa Ilukena, the representative of Linyungandambo, and Shuwanga was in attendance at the time of the proposal which was made immediately after the Kashandi session. The MOREBA party accepted the suggestion and requested Ilukena and his Mongu based friends to arrange for the venue so that the liaison meeting could be held the following day. As matters turned out it took the initiative of the MOREBA side to secure the venue at Lyambai hotel because those who had proposed for holding of the meeting could not do so. This was the birth of the Liaison Committee for the groups, and MOREBA cannot claim to have initiated it and has never done so.
1. 3. BNFA as an Exclusive and Elitist Body.
As a background, it must be established that MOREBA was born out of efforts by organizations that existed prior to its formation, to create a joint front for securing Barotseland emancipation. Shuwanga is very much aware of those efforts as he was personally involved in recruiting would be member organizations and individuals. However, it turned out that some of the targeted groups and individuals chose to shun the meeting that was held at Mongu's Mumwa Crafts Center to launch the new organization and its objectives, but Shuwanga was in attendance and ended up as a member of the Steering Committee of what emerged as the Movement for the Restoration of the Barotseland Agreement, abbreviated as MOREBA. He was to pull out shortly thereafter. Nonetheless, the organization persisted in its endevours, through the petitioning of the National Constitutional Conference, the Roger Chongwe Commission whose recommendations tied up with the MOREBA presentation but was spurned by President Sata, right up to the holding of the BNC. It must be emphasized, for the sake of clarity, that it was Sata's u-turn on his promises with regard to Barotseland and, most importantly, his refusal to accede to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry which he voluntarily appointed, that precipitated MOREBA's review of its strategy on Barotseland and the fate of the organization in this respect was sealed at the BNC of 27 March 2012 .
The Groups Liaison Committee (GLC) which led to the formation of the BNFA was chaired by Mutompehi Mukubesa Ilukena of Linyungandambo. MOREBA missed most of its meetings, attending only two out of six and those missed include the last meeting which resolved to form the BNFA . The targeted member organizations were called upon to nominate five members each to form the Executive Committee of the Alliance which, by decision of the Groups Liaison Committee, was to invite Mutompehi Wainyaye Sinyinda to head it as Chairman-General. MOREBA, alive to the factors that had ensued at its own formation, where those who had initially been in the forefront withdrew at the last minute, took its time in formally joining the Alliance. Linyungandambo members, led by its Secretary General, Samuel Kalimukwa and Mukubesa Ilukena having been the Linyungandambo representative on the GLC, which he had also chaired, as well as the BFM members were the first to enter the Alliance Executive Committee. However, the inaugural meeting was delayed by MOREBA's late entry but this eventually took place. Nonetheless, it is a notorious fact the Afumba Mombotwa led Linyungandambo turned their back on the BNFA the moment it was formed, despite having held the position of Chairperson of the GLC whose activities caused the birth of the Alliance. To this end, their Secretary General, who had occupied the same position in the Alliance, attended only the inaugural meeting and was to disappear immediately thereafter, amidst statements of condemnation of the new Alliance by his Linyungandambo leadership. Those who had accompanied him in the Alliance were also eventually forced out by their leadership.
The foregoing is a presentation of the attitudes of some of our compatriots to the idea of unified front over Barotseland. Their idea is that an alliance should be based on their partners discarding of their principles in favour of theirs or, indeed, they and only they should lead. When they do not get these conditions they cannot accept the alliance, even if they are the ones who initiated it in the first place. As for MOREBA, they will invite it along but the moment it makes its entrance they will be so petrified that they will immediately shoot up niku lusikisa lubilo kuli mane abayo yema ki kwa buse bwa Windhoek. Now Shuwanga is yet again inviting the BNFA , in which MOREBA is comprised, to join the so called Transitional Government. Does he want to start another long run to Windhoek? It is nonsensical to invite partnership from someone whose ideals and work methods you do not agree with. Indeed, it is a reflection of low level thinking to insist on such deals when they cannot work. Meanwhile, the idea that Barotseland independence can only be achieved when all political organizations merge is utopian. A look around SADC, Africa and the world proves that the general rule is that of multiplicity of liberation movements in countries which attained independence from oppressors, whether foreign or local. Mergers may have their advantages but they cannot be forced and, in this respect, it is important to recognize the inevitability of diversity and learn how to manage it.
1. 4. The Transitional Government.
This illusive government of Barotseland has changed nomenclature each time its existence is questioned. It started as the government- in-waiting but when we questioned if it was to wait forever it quickly changed to government-in-place . We then questioned how a government in place can tolerate the arrests and trial of its people and leaders by foreign forces within the territory in which it is in place. This question arose in our response to unfair attacks over the proposal for the establishment of the Barotseland Transitional Authority (BTA) submitted to the Kuta. We note that following that question and the issue of BTA the government-in-place became the Transitional government of Barotseland. This tells a lot about knowledge of what constitutes a government by the people concerned, the bottom line being that it is nothing but very big mandwani . Of late we have heard that this government had approached the BRE to give it a letter authorizing it to fund raise among the people of Barotseland in aid of legal fees for Botswana and South African Lawyers who should take the issue of Barotseland independence to the International Court of Justice. It boggles ones mind to hear of a government of a territory seeking someone else's authority to raise funds from its own citizens. The BRE, of course, did not take the issue seriously. Meanwhile, elements of this same government had poured scorn on the initiative by the BNFA to engage the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and The Hague based International Court of Arbitration, and their reasoning is that Barotseland is already independent and does not need court processes to get what it already has. This is infantile delinquency at its very best.
1. 5. Rumour Mongering and the Specter of Educated Illiterates:
There is a very bad element of easily being carried away by rumours, mostly generated by those who wish Barotseland ill. This unfortunate situation thrives on failure to counter check information and swallowing anything that paints the opponent black. Most unfortunately, even those better placed in terms of exposure and formal education fail to use their acquired attributes because they are too lazy to interrogate information being fed to them, to the total detriment of society. The specter of educated illiterates manifests itself in people who are gifted with the ability to read and interpret information being drawn into conclusions from loose and idle talk and even acting on it without taking the trouble to examine the relevant documents for guidance. This is what happened with the AGAPE Associates letter which was projected by rumour mongers as a letter from GRZ inviting the BRE and the BNFA to discussions on the issue of Barotseland. A lot of opponents of the BNFA went into a battle cry calling for the blood of Hon Sinyinda and his lieutenants, without seeking to read the letter first. This was an act of illiteracy on the part of these people, notwithstanding whether or not they are literate whenever they decide to be. When you are educated but fail to read literature to help society you are as good as the one who can't read, and if you fail to correctly interpret information because you are too lazy to read a document critically then you are semi-illiterate, notwithstanding the fact that you have ability to understand the written word if you really cared to do so, by reading instead of just glancing at the document. It is noted that Shuwanga has persistently brought up the phrases of semi- illiterates and picking wrong end of stick that were used in the article defending the BNFA against unfounded attacks on alleged invitation to a meeting by government on account of the AGAPE letter, which allegation continues to this day under a different form with different accused persons. But allegations are just that, ie, allegations. Nonetheless, Shuwanga's obsession in this respect arises from the fact that he is one of those who had swallowed the bait and sees the semi-illiterate phrase as having been aimed at him. As has been said by the wise, the guilty are always afraid, meaning that mu ipilaezi kiyena sifosi.
The Barotseland struggle is a long and tedious undertaking, requiring the contribution of all who care. However, as we rise from time to time to put in whatever we can, we should at all times strive kuli lube limbonyi, lusike lwaba siwawayi.
The time for the annual Kuomboka ceremony has come again after last years’ ceremony was cancelled as Barotseland was mourning the queen who died weeks before the ceremony was scheduled to be held.
The ceremony has always been graced by a guest of honour from the Zambian government mostly the President or Vice President.
This trend should however not be a routine as Barotseland declared independence from Zambia and is at liberty to invite a guest of honour from within Barotseland or any friendly country.
Since Zambians have refused to peacefully vacate Barotseland and have maintained their presence by force, they should not be invited to grace our ceremony because this will be tantamount to shooting ourselves in the foot.
The Zambian government has so far refused to listen to the people of Barotseland and has continued to arrest and terrorise our leaders and people but want to officiate at our ceremony to mislead their people and the international community that all was well between Zambia and Barotseland.
It is however time for the people of Barotseland through the Barotseland Royal Authority (BRA) to send a clear message to Zambia that we are no longer interested in their make believe (Mandwani) games by not inviting them to officiate at the ceremony.
If the Zambian government is interested in attending the ceremony, either through President Lungu or Vice President Inonge Wina, then they should attend just as tourists.