A scheme is brewing in which Zambia’s ruling Patriotic Front (PF), desperate to remain in power after 2021, now wishes to use the Litunga, King of Barotseland, and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) to compel UPND parliamentarians who hail from the Barotse region to vote for the controversial Bill 10 against their party caucus.
All this is on the pretext that the disgraced Bill 10 will facilitate for the restoration of the defunct 1964 Barotseland Agreement through the soon to be convened Barotse Dialogue Council
The disgraced Zambian Constitution Amendment Bill of 2019 (Bill 10) does not have the required two-thirds parliamentary majority support because the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) plans to vote as a caucus and reject it so that, together with their National Democratic Congress (NDC) counterparts and some Independent Parliamentarians, they would render the government Bill dead on its arrival.
However, should a handful of UPND members break away from the UPND party line, the bad bill can pass through to the Second Reading parliamentary stage with the required two-thirds majority vote.
It is this possibility, therefore, that has prompted the PF, through the Presidency, to trick the Litunga and BRE to immediately constitute the so-called Barotse Dialogue Council which will purportedly dialogue with the Zambian government on the stalemate over Barotseland and resolve all outstanding matters concerning the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964.
While the Litunga and BRE are excited at the renewed Zambian State willingness to dialogue over the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964, they are, however, not aware that the PF led Zambian Government merely wishes to use them as pawns in their (PF) battle for survival in the 2021 elections which the party fears it cannot win unless the current constitution amendment process succeeds to give the unpopular PF presidential candidate, with the anticipated minority national vote, the mandate to negotiate with another losing candidate into presidency through the proposed Coalition Clause in Bill 10.
A few days after concluding to engage the Zambian government through dialogue for the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964, the Privy Council is set to reconvene to possibly reconsider its earlier resolutions, a Limulunga source has reported.
The decision to reconvene the Privy Council came barely a day after the extended Privy Council had concluded its sitting with the conditional resolution to engage the Zambian government over the defunct 1964 agreement on Friday, 29th November.
“Yes! The Privy Council had concluded that the Zambian Government be engaged in a dialogue to restore the agreement on the condition that the current Zambian Bill 10 immediately includes a clause for the restoration of the defunct 1964 agreement, however, the Council may now have to reconvene, possibly on the 9th of December, to consider new matters that have arisen since the Council resolution,” the source revealed.
Reportedly, there was panic shortly after the resolutions of the Privy Council when information filtered through to them that the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) of Zambia had made a ruling in favour of embattled Webby Mulubisha contesting the Mwene Mutondo chieftaincy against the long-held cultural procedures of the Kingdom of Barotseland.
Mulubisha, a well-known rebel against the Litunga of Barotseland, using the recent 2016 amended Zambian Constitution, had petitioned the Attorney General of Zambia at the ConCourt asking whether he needed the recognition of the Zambian President to be a Chief.
This was in the matter of Article 1 and 165 of the constitution of Zambia and another related matter of the constitutionality of sections 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the Chiefs Act, Cap.287 of the Laws of Zambia.
However, in passing judgment on 27th November 2019, the ConCourt ruled and declared Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the named Chiefs Act to be inconsistent with the named Article 165 of the Zambian Constitution as amended in 2016, and are, therefore, unconstitutional and void.
The ConCourt further ordered that the sections in question be expunged from the statute book.
Leaked information indicates that the Privy Council is currently deadlocked on Namuso, particularly the Kutas representing the Ngambela and Iñete of Mongu, mooting the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 with the other Kutas opposing the proposal, insisting on honouring and implementing the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) unanimous resolutions that called for the total independence of Barotseland.
A source close to the events has revealed that the Ngambela’s Kuta and that of Iñete have proposed that a select committee of 125 be drawn from the Lilalo Kuta to convene and edit the 2012 BNC people resolutions so that the resolutions can line-up with the Zambian government proposed dialogue for the restoration of the defunct 1964 agreement rather than the total independence of Barotseland.
The other Kuta, however, have sharply objected to the ‘restoration’ proposal, demanding an explanation on why the people’s unanimous calls for independence can not be honoured.
His Majesty Imwiko II the Litunga, King of Barotseland, has summoned his Privy Council to possibly consider many outstanding issues affecting Barotseland.
The Privy Council meeting to take place in Limulunga royal village until Wednesday, 27th November 2019, is expected to come up with some policy direction concerning the many issues affecting the region, more especially the long outstanding matter of the now-defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964.
In March 2012, King Imwiko II had regularly constituted the supreme Barotse National Council (BNC) which unanimously resolved for Barotseland to peacefully negotiate for total independence from Zambia.
However, seven years later, the King and his Privy Council have not yet facilitated the implementation of the 2012 BNC unanimous resolutions causing a lot of anxiety in both Barotseland and Zambia.
The delay in a policy direction from both the Litunga and his privy council has given rise to a tumultuous relationship between the Litunga and his people on one hand and the Zambian state and the Kingdom on the other.
"I believe I am a free man who should be out of this prison and be with my loved ones, having been pardoned by the Zambian President on Monday!” Afumba Mombotwa.
In an exclusive recorded interview obtained by Barotseland Post earlier today, Mr Afumba Mombotwa (60) has bemoaned his continued incarceration more than two days after the President of Zambia had pardoned him.
And Afumba Mombotwa has urged those reportedly accusing the Litunga, King of Barotseland, of having a hand in his continued stay in prison after his presidential pardon to stop it because presidential pardons are the prerogative of the President.
Meanwhile, Mr Mombotwa believes he is a free man who should be out of the maximum prison facility by now to be with his loved ones, having been pardoned by the Zambian President on Monday, 11th November 2019.
He has, therefore, called his continued incarceration a very serious anomaly that the Zambian president, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, should immediately resolve.
In yet to be explained circumstances, the Barotseland independence leader’s name was expunged from the list of pardoned inmates publicized by both State House and the President on Monday.
When asked by a journalist why the number of names pardoned by the president had reduced from five (5) to four (4) in a subsequent press briefing on Monday, with the notable absence of Mr Afumba Mombotwa’s name, Minister of Home Affairs, Stephen Kampyongo, explained that the list he was presenting was the official list and that any other list circulated or publicised earlier was overruled.
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.