The Royal Barotseland Government (RBG), also known as the Barotseland Transitional Government (BTG), has scored enormous milestones through the official signing of some multilateral and bilateral treaties which have resulted into multi-billion dollar development support pledges.
Although some of these instruments signed cannot be publicized at this point in time, an official in the Department of Finance has confirmed that Barotseland was indeed headed to a very strong financial start, and that once some of this development cooperation begins, Barotseland will be the ‘talk’ of the ‘year’ around the world.
“As you may know, The Royal Barotseland Government’s plan was to make sure that we mobilized enough resources to finance our national development plan for the first 5 – 10 years; and here we are looking at critical sectors such as health, energy, water, education, agriculture and food production, construction, city planning, security and defense and many others.
“We can now proudly hint that we have achieved that goal, and that in fact we are very fortunate to have gotten some longer term financing commitments for Barotseland’s entire development agenda, with some pledges stretching up to 20 years,” the Department’s Official declared assuring that no Barotseland citizen will starve or suffer as a result of Barotseland’s exit from Zambia.
He further stated that the Government will even give 100% scholarships to at least 1,000 youths into University, and mainly in areas such as mining engineering, energy engineering, computer sciences and technological sciences.
Accordingly, some of the development areas that will immediately benefit from this cooperation are infrastructural and technical development support in the health sector, defense and security, agriculture and aquaculture, energy and mineral development, banking and financial sectors. Others are information and technology, trade and commerce.
On when some of this support will actually come to ‘life’, the department official said that some of these bilateral and multilateral instruments will begin immediately the political situation makes significant improvements in Barotseland, as the region is currently still under ‘contest’.
“We know that our people are very eager to be told everything their government is doing. However, they should also understand that Barotseland is currently undergoing very extraordinary and diplomatically delicate processes, and yes, it is also true that they expect to be told more defined time frames. But it is simply not possible for us to give such timelines at the moment because some of these processes are not entirely up to us. We must continue to diplomatically forge win-win negations, not only with our prospective bilateral and multilateral partners, but also with nations in the immediate region, including the Zambian government, who still must come to terms with our newly acclaimed sovereignty.
“And you know that some of these countries we are pursuing do already have longstanding bilateral and multilateral ties with Zambia. So it is quite complicated, and we must cooperate with them by publicizing only that which they allow us to.
“Perhaps, this also gives us the opportunity to explain to all Barotse nationals that they should not think that just because these processes are not going exactly the way they personally envisioned, then nothing is being done. In fact, we will continue to wish and ask that all our people rest assured that, with their fervent support for Barotseland independence, the Barotseland government will be very much on course.
“They should also know that their government, even in this transitional period, is very much legal and is currently enjoying growing global support, and the Lozi must have confidence that no one will suffer as a result of our exiting from Zambia. In fact, I dare say that Barotseland might overtake Zambia, in terms of visible development, within the short space of five to ten years, especially if Zambia does nothing about her dwindling economy.”
Forging of bilateral ties with other nations is a very complex, and many times a very lengthy process because every country on earth has its own unique foreign policy. Therefore, the Barotseland Government must approach these different countries with unique and varying strategies for progress to be made.
However, it may greatly interest our people to note that the Royal Barotseland Government has actually already signed some bilateral treaties with other countries of the world, through which some of the above pledged development support has come.
“Yes! We have actually received finalized ‘recognition’ and signed bilateral arrangements with some sovereign countries. This, however, is neither the right time nor platform for us to announce these agreements because some of these countries have actually requested that they be the ones to first ‘announce’ their relations with us at ‘auspicious’ times. Some of these countries have also undertaken to help us reach more countries for wider diplomatic recognition.
“Therefore, suffice to say that Barotseland is headed for some very interesting times, and hopefully we will soon see the establishment of Barotseland Mission offices abroad, not only in the African region but also on all the continents of the world. So please, help us tell the Barotse nationals that what Barotseland is going through right now is very serious, and it is irreversible.”
AFUMBA MOMBOTWA AND OTHER IMPRISONED BAROTSELAND LEADERS
On the continued imprisonment of the Barotseland Administrator General, Afumba Mombotwa, who is head of the Barotseland Government which was constituted and announced in August of 2013, the spokesperson had this to say:
“The Zambian Government has had enough time to do the right thing and set all Barotseland leaders free, but it sadly appears that our neighbors will not adhere to peaceful diplomatic logic and reason. Therefore, we can now officially say that our diplomatic patience has been and continue to be under severe testing.
“The Zambian Government should know that there is only so much temptation that we can handle as a people and one could never tell when a people’s patience has reached beyond its breaking point.”
Afumba Mombotwa and two of his government colleagues were tried in a Zambian court for constituting and heading a government in Barotseland pursuant to Barotse people’s 2012 unanimous resolve to govern Barotseland as a sovereign state, separate from Zambia, after the 1964 pre-independence treaty that brought Barotseland under Zambian government jurisdiction was irretrievably and unilaterally terminated by the latter in 1969.
Consequently, and at a regularly constituted Barotse National Council (BNC) of 2012 held under the auspices of the Zambian government and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), the people of Barotseland declared that Barotseland would immediately pursue separate sovereignty because the Zambian government had repeatedly refused to restore and honour the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, the treaty that did not only seek to unite the British protectorate of Barotseland and the Northern Rhodesian colony of Britain under shared sovereignty, but also guaranteed internal political autonomy to Barotseland within the new republic of Zambia.
However, since the agreements' termination in 1969 by the government at Lusaka, the Barotse see no legal, economic, social, and political or any other reason why Barotseland should continue to exist under Zambia’s heightened gross violations of their rights to self-determination, and a continued abuse of Barotseland citizens’ other human rights such as freedoms of expression and assembly.
The Barotse are now constantly abused, tortured, incarcerated and even killed by Zambian state agents, such as the police and military, for merely wishing to peacefully exercise and assert these rights.