After 11 Months of intense negotiations between the Litunga of Barotseland, Northern Rhodesia Prime Minister Kenneth Kaunda and the British government an agreement regarding the position of Barotseland within independent Northern Rhodesia was sealed. This was concluded at the Commonwealth Relations office in London on May 18, 1964 – barely five months before Zambia was reborn.
To those who have wrong information from Zambia, it is important to state that the Litunga did not sign for the royal family but for the Kingdom and nation of Barotseland just as Kaunda did not sign for himself but Northern Rhodesia. There was no Barotse Royal Establishment but Kaunda created it because he hated the Barotse government and the Katengo legislative Council (Parliament).
When the Litunga signed that agreement at 10 o’clock at night, it was merely formal and ceremonial ending the 11 months of “hard and extremely” useful negotiations. It gave the Litunga significant powers of governing Barotseland as a semi-autonomous state within Zambia on matters of land and other customary activities. Unfortunately, soon after becoming President of Zambia, Kaunda disregarded the Barotseland Agreement 1964, attracting discontent from the Lozis.
Successive governments in Zambia---widely regarded as a haven of peace in southern Africa---quietly suppressed and subjugated the people of Barotseland for decades. The submitted bundle of human rights violations in Barotseland by Zambia to the African Union speaks volumes why Zambia does not qualify to be called a peaceful nation. Sata the sitting President of Zambia, at the pass out of regional defense forces in 2012 in person declared that there is no longer peace in Zambia.
We shall continue to fight and step-up our peaceful campaigns for our freedom until we have driven Zambia out of Barotseland and we call upon the international community to declare Zambia an occupying force in Barotseland. With determination, focused vision and resolve we shall hoist the Barotseland national flag soon and forever.
Litunga Ni lyetu,
By Saleya Kwalombota