Barotseland’s premier water pageantry, Kuomboka, will not take place this year due to insufficient water in the vast Barotse plains.
Announcing the cancellation of the annual festival, the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, through its Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, said the poor rainfall and general drought sweeping across the region has adversely affected the water levels in the Barotse plains this year.
“Although the rains were generally poor in Western province, we had hoped for the usual surge of flood water from the big tributaries of The Zambezi, namely the Lungwebungu and Kabompo rivers from the high rainfall areas of Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo respectively. However, this has not been forthcoming!” stated Mukela Manyando in a press statement delivered to the media yesterday, Saturday, 23rd March 2019.
Britain never got any territory from Barotseland by conquest, domination or outright purchase because Barotseland was merely Britain’s protectorate and not a colony in its strict sense! And because whatever territory Britain got from Barotseland was by treaties, concessions or agreements, in the event that any of these concessions, treaties or agreements were violated, either party would reserve their respective right to return to their pre-treaty, pre-concession and pre-agreement status! Barotseland would retain full control over its original territory as it was before the collapsed covenants!
While some Zambians, and even some Barotse people, still doubt the validity and legitimacy of Barotseland’s claim for independence and its quest for international recognition as an independent state, many will be surprised to learn that some countries in the world are already seriously educating their learners about Barotseland’s legitimate claim for independence from Zambia.
This was the case in Britain’s favorite quiz competition University Challenge which features contestants in a BBC televised academic quiz show where teams of students from UK universities answer questions on all manner of subjects.
The contestants are chosen from multiple disciplines ranging from undergraduate to postgraduate levels.
In Episode 29 of Season 48, first televised this week on Monday, 25th February of 2019 at 8:30 pm, the show featured Durham University and Edinburgh University, in which one of the questions was about Barotseland and its quest for recognition as an independent state.
Often times, human nature inclines towards worrying about what is yet to be achieved and makes us neglect what has so far been attained! Celebrating our successes, no matter how small, encourages us to persevere in whatever undertaking we are involved in.
Specifically, in the struggle for Barotseland’s self-determination, we have often been mocked by those who think Barotseland is fighting a losing battle, and that very little or no tangible progress is being achieved at all!
Well, that is not quite true, as the following report will show exactly what has been achieved in as far as highlighting the cause of Barotseland to the whole world!
It is not a mere coincidence that Barotseland has sometimes been featured in international news media or international journals, with some international scholars and writers including current happenings in their works. Last year, for instance, we shared some clips from the world-renowned US crime investigative police drama, NCIS, Season 16, which featured BAROTSELAND in episode 6 of the highly rated crime series.
The other year we gave a report of one Nick Middleton, a geographer, writer and presenter of television documentaries, who teaches at Oxford University, where he is a Fellow of St Anne's College, a Royal Geographical Society award-winning author who was featured on VOA, BBC, The Guardian and other international media showcasing his latest works of countries currently seeking international recognition published by the world-renowned Macmillan Publishers, 2015, in which Barotseland is named among them.
Masiye Masiyaleti, the Sioma secondary school teacher, who was Accused number Four (4) in the 2016 Afumba Mombotwa and Others treason trial, has reportedly died after what sources have said was a bitter domestic fight with his wife.
The yet to be confirmed reports are that Masiye was badly injured by his wife on the head after she allegedly hit him with a bottle or something sharp.
Accordingly, Masiye was rushed to Mongu’s Liwanika Hospital where he was receiving emergency medical attention in the past three days but unfortunately died around mid-morning today from the critical head injuries allegedly inflicted on him by his wife in the violent domestic altercation.
Masiye Masiyaleti was the only one acquitted of the charge of treason by the Zambian High Court in the 2016 ' Afumba Mombotwa and Others' trial in which Afumba Mombotwa, Inambao Kalima and Likando Pelekelo were slapped with 10 years jail sentence each with hard labour, now increased to 15 years jail sentences by the Supreme Court of Zambia.
Barotseland has a new Ngambela (Prime Minister) installed by His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland, Lubosi Imwiko II, on Thursday, January 17, 2019.
And the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, has vowed that Barotseland will never vanish from the face of the earth until God Almighty returns.
Mukela Manyando’s installation as Barotseland’s new premier in the nation’s administrative capital, Lealui, followed the unceremonious resignation of Ngambela Nyambe Mwenda who resigned sometime in October last year citing personal family reasons.
Mr Mukela Manyando, who served as the last substantive Prime Minister of Barotseland under the reign of King Ilute Yeta IV and also as the first Ngambela for Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II in an acting capacity from 13th October 2000 to 16th October 2006, comes back to the BRE amidst wide expectations for the implementation of Barotseland self-determination.
What is not clear though is whether the BRE and the Independence activists are indeed seeking the same type of self-determination for Barotseland, as it would appear that while the BRE seek self-determination within the confines of the unitary state of Zambia, the people aspire for self-determination outside of Zambia - total independence.
His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland, Lubosi Imwiko II, was yesterday reluctant to accept his usual Zambian security escort in preference to his own Royal Security guards, the Barotse Imilema, as he retreated to his winter palace of Lealui, a move that has further excited the Barotse community that perhaps the Litunga now wishes to exercise his own authority without interference from the Zambian state.
And addressing scores of Kapulanga Market traders who wanted to take a glance at His Majesty, acting Ngambela, Mowa Zambwe, told the traders that the Litunga was retreating to Lealui temporarily on a mission to sort out some issues affecting the people of Barotseland. "Your King will be in Lealui for a few days and once he is done with his mission, he will return to Limulunga," Ngambela Zambwe said.
Indigenous languages matter for development, peacebuilding and reconciliation. So is Barotseland’s siLozi, which we must continue to promote not only as a unifying commonality but also a tool of development for the entire nation of Barotseland!
Languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool of communication, education, social integration and development, but also as a repository for each person’s unique identity, cultural history, traditions and memory. But despite their immense value, languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate as they get ‘swallowed’ by dominant or “metropolitan” ones that receive an unfair promotion at the expense of these indigenous languages.
With this in mind, the United Nations declared 2019 The International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) in order to raise awareness of them, not only to benefit the people who speak these languages but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to our world’s rich cultural diversity.
Additionally, the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages was so declared in defence of those fighting for their identity!
Indigenous languages are an invaluable heritage that must be protected alongside the rights of native peoples.
A language can become “extinct” just like animal and plants species. This occurs when the last person who can speak it dies.
The people of Barotseland must unite in their call for total independence as only through a unity of purpose would the nation actualize the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) Barotseland independence declaration!
Thus far, the Zambian government has managed to slow Barotseland’s quest for self-determination by mounting a calculated divisive strategy that has seen Barotseland divided, mainly through the spread of rumours and fake intelligence reports that independence activists plan to abolish the monarchy soon after they achieve total independence!
It was, in fact, these false rumours that tended to make the King and the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, reluctant to join Barotse nationals pushing for Barotseland independence, having been deceived by the Zambian government that independence would spell the end of the monarchy!
However, to put it on record one more time, there is no single individual or organization in Barotseland who is advocating the abolishment of the monarchy or plotting to usurp the authority of the Litunga, King of Barotseland because the nation and the Litunga are forever one.
In fact, the very term ‘Litunga’ means ‘land’ or ‘nation’ in Barotseland.
Wishing you peace, joy, and all the best this wonderful holiday has to offer, and may this incredible time of giving and spending time with family bring you the joy that lasts throughout the coming year.
May each day of the New Year bring you pleasant surprises like the curled petals of a flower that spread sweet fragrance slowly as it unfolds layer by layer.
No Year can be a bed of roses. But we wish you the courage and confidence to turn each obstacle into opportunity during the coming New Year.
Genuine success comes only to those who are prepared for it!
Therefore, never step back and always have the courage to accept new challenges in this coming year.
Sikongo Constituency Member of Parliament Mundia Ndalamei has observed that the amended Zambian constitution has brought confusion in Barotseland as it undermines the Litunga and contradicts the House of Chiefs guidelines on recognition of Chiefs in Barotseland.
And Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Wednesday afternoon attempted to stop parliamentarians from Western Province from mentioning the name ‘Barotseland.’
Contributing to debate on estimates of expenditure for 2019 under the Office of the President (Western Province) Mr Ndalamei explained that for one to be a chief in Barotseland such a one must be recognised by the Litunga of Barotseland adding that Barotseland was a Kingdom and not a chiefdom.
He pointed out that currently there is tension in the region owing to article 165 of the Amended constitution of Zambia which refers to recognition of chiefs.
Barotse people at home and abroad have united to launch a ‘Tweet for Freedom’ campaign initiative aimed at rallying all their supporters to utilize the social media giant Twitter, on a specific date to be announced, to highlight the anguish of the Barotse people regarding the long-standing and unresolved pre-independence Barotseland Agreement 1964, demanding that it be resolved now!
The campaign has so far solicited and united the support and endorsement of all the major Barotse communities and Barotse social media groups and networks home and abroad!
The ‘Tweet for Freedom’ campaign initiative is simply aimed at bringing to the attention of those who occupy positions of influence issues that the larger Baroste society holds dear but have been neglected by Zambian government policy makers because they are supposedly not of national importance or priority!
Most specifically, in this regard, is the all important matter of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which some Zambians not directly affected by it believe is no longer an issue! One Zambian High Commissioner even called it a non-issue on an international television platform recently!