He said that the Zambian government already has a standing policy which treats Barotseland as a mere province of Zambia, whether under its current Zambian name, Western Province, or under the proposed name, Barotse Province.
However, by organizing this bogus dialogue process, the government merely wants to create an illegitimate Barotse platform that would endorse and legitimize their policy agenda towards Barotseland.
This way, Mr Mombotwa has said, the Zambian government will appear to have consulted the people of the region and, therefore, launder their tainted record of alleged ill-treatment of Barotseland in the eyes of the international community.
And when this is done, he says, the Barotse demands for Barotseland independence would then be deemed illegitimate, and the work of only a few ‘criminal’ elements who should be dealt with severely.
In this situation, therefore, Afumba Mombotwa warns that those who will participate in the bogus dialogue council are collectively going to be counted among those who have endorsed the renewed Zambian government agenda of perpetuating the ill-treatment of Barotseland as a mere province of Zambia!
Mr Mombotwa has further likened the proposed Barotse Dialogue Council (BDC) to the recently conducted National Dialogue Forum (NDF) in Zambia where all those who attended were merely used to rubber-stamp the Patriotic Front’s partisan agenda of changing the constitution while giving the process the semblance of national legitimacy.
Mr Mombotwa has, however, advised that the only sure way of stopping the government in their plan to perpetuate Barotseland subjugation is by boycotting their bogus dialogue council so that Barotse people and Barotse institutions will not similarly be used as a rubber-stamp to their deceitful agenda.
He has challenged that if the Zambian government wants genuine dialogue, they must firstly decriminalize the matter and stop arresting Barotse people who have contrary views on Barotseland and call for an all-inclusive process which will also respect the unanimous resolutions of the 2012 Barotse National Council.
Such dialogue, he says, should also allow for independent but authoritative arbiters and observers who could come from the Commonwealth, UN, SADC or AU.
“How do they expect our people to dialogue freely when Afumba, Likando and Inambao are still kept in jail over the matter which is still considered a crime in Zambia? And we know that our continued imprisonment is being used to scare Barotse people that should they oppose government policy on Barotseland, they too will end up in jail just like Afumba, Likando and Inambao!” bemoaned Afumba Mombotwa in his latest communiqué to members of his organization obtained by the Barotseland Post.
He has since paid glowing tribute to all organisations such as the Linyunnngandambo, BNFA and the Barotseland National Youth League (BNYL) for boycotting the government-financed Barotse Dialogue Council, declaring their boycott as the best move under the current circumstances.
Afumba Mombotwa (60), Inambao Kalima (59) and Likando Pelekelo (64) are currently serving Zambian State-imposed 15-year prison sentences with hard labour on treason felony charges for their respective roles in peacefully trying to implement the 2012 unanimous resolutions of the historic Barotse National Council (BNC) which declared Barotseland independence from Zambia.
The 2012 BNC was regularly summoned by the King of Barotseland, Imwiko II, with the support of the Zambian government, to decide the collective future of Barotseland. It was attended by over five thousand people from across Barotseland and beyond, among them Chiefs and several foreign dignitaries, Excellencies and Eminences, representatives of their foreign missions to Zambia as well as Zambian government officials and chief security officers from the various Zambian security agencies.
The 2012 BNC was widely covered by different national and international media such as the BBC, CNN and others.
However, since then, the Zambian government has been trying to invalidate the outcomes of that Barotse National Council by rubbishing its unanimous resolutions and arresting all those known to be actively pushing for the peaceful implementation of these resolutions.