Another Zambian Minister urges Speaker to declare ‘Barotseland’ un-parliamentary

09 October 2019
Vincent Mwale, Zambian Minister in charge of Housing & Infrastructure Development - CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE


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.

In the run-up to the 2011 presidential and general elections that ushered the PF-led government, its president Michael Chilufya Sata was on public record, both in the private and public media, in electronic as well as print media, to have told the people of Barotseland that if they voted him as president, he would make sure that his government would restore the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 within ninety days of his presidency.

However, he and his PF party shamelessly reneged from that electoral promise and have not only resorted to such shenanigans as the one by Vincent Mwale each time they are reminded about that promise but have also in some cases arrested the Barotse people who dared to bring up the matter.

Late last year, Hon. Ndalamei was again stopped from referring to ‘Barotseland’ by the Second Deputy Speaker Mwimba Malama who claimed that there was no Barotseland which can be referred to officially in parliament.

Sikongo Constituency Member of Parliament Mundia Ndalamei then observed that the 2016 amended Zambian constitution had brought confusion in Barotseland as it undermines the Litunga and contradicts the House of Chiefs guidelines on the recognition of Chiefs in Barotseland.

And Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament on the afternoon of Wednesday, 12th December 2018, attempted to stop parliamentarians from Western Province from mentioning the name ‘Barotseland.’

Contributing to the 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 there was tension in the region owing to article 165 of the Amended Constitution of Zambia which refers to recognition of chiefs.

The Article is directly targeted at the Litunga and states that “Parliament shall not enact legislation which’:

In (a) Confers on a person or authority the right to recognise or withdraw the recognition of a chief.”

Deputy Speaker Malama then interjected Mr Ndalamei and told him not to mention the name of Barotseland in Parliament.

‘We don’t have Barotseland which one can refer to officially here,’ Deputy Speaker Malama had said.

Mr Ndalamei explained that currently there are some chiefs in Barotseland who are not recognised by the Litunga and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) yet are recognised by the Zambian government but the Deputy Speaker again interjected him arguing that government was not involved.

Ndalamei stressed that for the first time there was fighting in Limulunga and if the government was taking the situation lightly they will soon realise.

He reminded the house that in 2011 the PF promised to restore the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, and again in 2016 the PF promised the BRE that if they campaigned for the PF in Western province the government would engage in dialogue on the Barotseland Agreement but now the government is arresting people who remind them of their promise adding that people have been arrested and killed.

The Deputy Speaker interjected Ndalamei again claiming that no one has been arrested or killed but Ndalamei responded angrily and produced a document with names of people arrested and killed in Western Province over the Barotseland matter.

‘I can lay it on the table here, this document was prepared by the Barotse National Freedom Alliance, Linyungandambo and Barotse Freedom Movement, I can lay it on the table for you go through,’ Mr Ndalamei said as he laid the document on the table.

Lukulu East lawmaker, Dr Christopher Kalila, then joined in the debate and pointed out that Western Province was very important to the history of Zambia because the country was created out of a marriage by Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia.

Dr Kalila went on to quote from a statement that was recently issued by the Acting Ngambela of Barotseland in which it was stated that the general feeling of the people in the region was that Barotseland had been sidelined by the Zambian government and developmental projects are deliberately stalled.

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