In a bizarre twist of events, Barotseland independence leader Afumba Mombotwa has been expunged from the earlier list of pardoned inmates released by State House earlier this afternoon.
When asked by a journalist why the number of names pardoned has reduced from five (5) to four (4) with the notable absence of Mr Afumba Mombotwa, Minister of Home Affairs, Stephen Kampyongo, announced that the list he was presenting was the official final list and any other list circulated elsewhere was not the official list.
However, both President Edgar Lungu and his Press aide, Isaac Chipampe, this afternoon released a press statement announcing that the President had pardoned five (5) inmates whom they named as:
1. Chief Mulongwe
2. Hon Maxwell Mwale, former Minister in the MMD Government
3. Mr Derrick Sinjela, a Journalist
4. Mr Afumba Mombotwa
5. General Christopher Singogo, Former ZAF Commander
Their statement was not only widely circulated on social media but was also made available to both radio and television stations in the country, including the country’s national broadcaster, ZNBC on their 13:00hrs news bulletins.
As he celebrates his 63rd birthday, Zambian President Edgar Lungu has pardoned five prisoners, among them Barotseland independence leader, Afumba Mombotwa, who was serving fifteen (15) years in maximum prison for taking an oath of office as Barotseland administrator general in his formed Barotseland transitional government in August of 2013 which would facilitate the peaceful and legal implementation of the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) unanimous resolutions for Barotseland independence from Zambia.
Afumba Mombotwa (60), has been in maximum prison since his arrest on 5th December 2014 with two other Barotseland compatriots and fellow prisoners, Inambao Kalima (59) and Likando Pelekelo (64).
Meanwhile, the fate of Kalima and Pelekelo is yet to be determined.
In a press statement by the Special Assistant to the President (Press and Public Relations) at State House, in Lusaka on Monday, 11th November 2019, to mark Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s 63rd birthday, the President of the Republic of Zambia pardoned the five inmates from various correctional facilities.
Ngambela Mukela Manyando has breathed fire on Zambia’s First Deputy Speaker, Catherine Namugala, calling her not only ignorant but also ‘very dull’ for stating that Barotseland does not exist.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with South Africa government-funded radio, Channel Africa, Barotseland’s Prime Minister, the Honourable Ngambela Mukela Manyando, has wondered how Namugala could state that a nation, so well known throughout the whole world and centuries-old as Barotseland, could suddenly be deemed non-existent.
The Ngambela further advised that Namugala should have researched thoroughly or asked them if she wanted to know more about Barotseland.
And Mukela Manyando has warned that Namugala’s parliamentary outbursts must be interpreted as a saddening provocation of the peaceful co-existence currently enjoyed in the unitary state of Zambia.
The Ngambela has sadly observed that Namugala’s statement also means that the Zambian state will no longer recognize His Majesty the Litunga’s jurisdiction over his Kingdom Barotseland that is now deemed non-existent.
The Ngambela has bemoaned that by implication, Barotseland’s King and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) no longer exist.
He wondered how His Majesty The Litunga will be a King over a non-existing Barotseland kingdom.
Hundreds have turned up at Limulunga Palace to celebrate Litunga Imwiko II on His Majesty’s 19th coronation anniversary ceremony known as Coliso.
His Majesty the King of Barotseland is this week celebrating 19 years on the throne.
Lubosi Imwiko was enthroned Imwiko II, on 13th October 2000 in Lealui, the Royal capital of Barotseland.
His Majesty, Imwiko II, whose birth name is Lubosi Imwiko, has been the King of Barotseland since 2000.
He is the oldest surviving son of Litunga Imwiko the First, whose birth name is Imasiku Mwanang’ono Lewanika, who ruled Barotseland from 1945 to 1948.
Chipangali Member of Parliament, Vincent Mwale, who is also the cabinet minister in charge of Housing & Infrastructure Development, raised a point of order in parliament on Tuesday afternoon, 8th October 2019 to forbid Sikongo constituency lawmaker, Mundia Ndalamei, from mentioning ‘Barotseland’ claiming that the word was un-parliamentary, the Zambian Watchdog has reported.
Mwale claimed that Hon Ndalamei was not in order to say that the Patriotic Front (PF) government had promised to honour the Barotseland Agreement because what is there is Western Province.
“Madam Speaker, is the honourable member of parliament for Sikongo in order to say that the PF government promised Barotseland Agreement knowing very well that a ruling has been made in this house that in this country we have Western Province and not Barotseland, I need your serious ruling,” Mwale said.
In her ruling, First Deputy Speaker of parliament, Catherine Namugala, reserved her ruling to allow her to research on the matter.
But Monze Central parliamentarian, Jack Mwiimbu, rose on another point of order and wondered if the executive members were in order to have been referring to the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) in the past seating of the house, and asked if mentioning the ‘Barotse Royal Establishment’ was also un-parliamentary.
Mwiimbu’s point of order was, however, not sustained because a decision had already been taken by the chair to reserve ruling on the earlier point of order.
His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland, Imwiko II has arrived in Livingstone to grace the 5th Zambezi International Regatta scheduled to take place on the 14th of September.
On hand to receive him as his aeroplane touched down on Wednesday afternoon, 11th September 2019, were several Batoka chiefs, among them, their Royal Highnesses Chief Chikanta and Chiefteness Sekute of Kalomo district, covering Dundumwezi and Kazungula districts respectively.
The chiefs were at the Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport alongside the Provincial Minister, Edify Haamukala, to welcome the Litunga who is in the tourist capital for an official royal visit to grace the International Regatta and South investment Expo at the invitation of the Provincial leadership and the government of Zambia.
Batoka, now largely the Southern Province of Zambia, was once a District of Barotseland and its people continue to enjoy a very special relationship with the King of Barotseland.
This September, His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland, will ceremoniously travel to Livingstone on the Zambezi River, the first such royal travel by any Litunga since his father did it in April 1947 when he travelled on the incredible Zambezi to meet King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the Zambezi Boat Club.
The Litunga will travel to Livingstone to grace the 5th Zambezi International Regatta scheduled to take place on the 14th of September.
For this royal tour of duty to Livingstone, the King and his royal entourage will travel the traditional way called Kupuwana, when the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) will come with their royal boats and barges for a flotilla on 13th September 2019.
Kupuwana is a distinct water ceremony the King of Barotseland undertakes when on an official or ceremonial tour of duty different from the annual Kuomboka or Kufuluhela festivals.
Consequently, alternative but equally spectacular royal barges, such as the Indila, are used for the voyage in the place of the Nalikwanda and the Notila royal barges that are the main features during the Kuomboka water festival and its reverse voyage, Kufuluhela.
As the African-American Homecoming team emotionally retraced their ancestors' painful journey through the Lwanginga River basin, hundreds of their brothers and sisters in Kalabo were on hand to walk with them and later console them with a regatta on the Lwanginga.
The visit to Kalabo happened on Tuesday, 13th August 2019, to help the African-American Homecoming team retrace some of the routes that their enslaved ancestors may have passed as they were taken away into American slavery centuries ago during the transatlantic slave trade.
Their activities for the day ended with an emotional visit to the Kaasa ka ma Mbali at Namaloko village in the Barotse plains.
And Barotse social media, BBN, reports that the team was officially welcomed by Kalabo District Commissioner (DC), Fridah Luhila, and her Sikongo District counterpart, Bright Tombi, at the Kalabo District Administration office.
The Homecoming team later paid a courtesy call on acting Muleta, who is the most senior Induna and representative of Her Royal Highness, Mulena Mukwae Mboajikana of Libonda Royal Palace, after which they proceeded to the Kalabo harbour at the banks of the Lwanginga River where the local Homecoming organizing committee had set up a regatta (canoeing competition) for their entertainment.
King Mulambwa Santulu, the tenth male Litunga of the then Alui Kingdom, which was later named Barotseland, and Moses Grandy, an African-American former slave, were on Sunday afternoon recipients of honours from their respective descendants for the distinguished roles they played in ending the centuries-long transatlantic slave trade.
At a national prayer rally held on 12th August 2019 to commemorate 400 years since the first African slaves arrived in English America at Mongu Stadium presided over by the Honorable Ngambela, Prime Minister of Barotseland, Mukela Manyando, and attended by thousands of Barotse people from across the Kingdom, the two historical figures were given honorariums in recognition of their rare courage and determination.
The Ngambela of Barotseland received the honorary trophy on behalf of His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland and the Kingdom, while Mr Eric Anthony Mubita Sheppard received the honorary trophy on behalf of Moses Grandy.
His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland, Lubosi Imwiko II has warmly welcomed the African-American homecoming team led by Diversity Restoration Solutions (DRS), Eric Anthony Sheppard, and has given his royal blessings for this week’s 400th anniversary commemorations of the beginning of slavery in English America as well as the planned future restoration activities to be undertaken by DRS in the Kingdom Barotseland.
This happened on Friday morning, 9th August, 2019 at the Litunga’s winter palace, in the royal capital of Limulunga after the African-Americans had arrived to a thunderous welcome in Mongu on Thursday night, at about 23:00 hrs local time, where thousands had waited all day to give them a befitting welcome never before witnessed in the Kingdom.
And Mr Eric Anthony Sheppard, leader and founder of DRS, was given a rare honour when His Majesty the Litunga gave him a new name, Mubita, while Prof. Zoe has taken the name Sibeso!
The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has rejected the Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2019, indicating that some proposed articles are not consistent with the traditional system of Barotseland.
Addressing the press in Limulunga on Tuesday 6th August, 2019 afternoon, Ngambela Mukela Manyando, the Litunga’s Prime Minister, stated that the Kuta had observed with grave concern that some of the proposed articles would derogate the authority and stature of the Litunga of Barotseland and, therefore, he questioned the motive of passing such legislation whose effect was the destruction of traditions and customs of one section of the same country!
And Zambia’s Prime Television News has reported in their mid-morning news on Friday, 9th 2019, that the BRE feels that some articles if passed would have the potential to create anarchy in the region because others will have powers of declaring themselves chiefs.
Prime Television’s Lloyd Kapusa reported that in a meeting held on July 30th - 31st 2019 by the District Palace Kutas which convened in Limulunga, the Winter Capital of the Litunga (King) Lubosi Imwiko II, the BRE sat to analyze the constitutional Amendment Bill of 2019 and resolved not to support the National Dialogue Forum, NDF, resolutions.
“The BRE observed with grave concern that some of the proposals in the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2019 will if passed, derogate the authority and stature of the Litungaship - the very foundation of our tradition and identity.
“We, therefore, question the motive of passing such legislation, whose effect is the destruction of traditions and customs of one section of the same country!” Ngambela Mukela Manyando was quoted reading out the Kuta’s resolutions opposing the controversial NDF resolutions.
Through a program called The Home Coming Project, which helps African-Americans trace their original roots, some who reportedly traced their roots back to Barotseland are scheduled to arrive home today for a two-week-long pilgrimage to commemorate 400 years since the first slaves arrived in English America.
The team of ten African-Americans led by Eric Antony Sheppard, the President and Founder of The Diversity Restoration Solutions (DRS) Inc. (USA), arrived in Lusaka, Zambia on Tuesday 6th August en route to Barotseland, where they will be received by the King of Barotseland, Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II, the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and their brothers and sisters in Barotseland for two-week-long festivities that will be organized in many districts across the Kingdom.
The first documented Africans to arrive in the English-speaking colony of what would become the state of Virginia in America, arrived in August 1619 on the “White Lion,” a Dutch man-of-war ship carrying enslaved cargo from the West Coast of Africa, and this August 2019 will be exactly 400 years since.
And to commemorate this special event, many African-Americans, and some from the Caribbean, are travelling back to Africa to reconnect with their ancestral homeland, with many deciding to relocate there permanently!