It is like only yesterday when, exactly 1 year ago today, that we decided to embark on an endeavor that we believed would add value to Barotseland’s quest for Self Determination, which we were convinced as much as we still are, is a Human Right for any human being on earth, therefore, the people of Barotseland’s right given the historical context that they found themselves as a geo political nation engulfed and almost completely swallowed under the patronage of another country, Zambia, having been deceived into signing the Barotseland Agreement 1964 with people who had no intention of honoring it but fully intended to abrogate it no sooner had it been signed.
At the core of our undertaking at Barotsepost this past year was the realization that no Zambian media platform would have the commitment to truthfully report and represent the views of the Barotse people, seeing that most of the Zambian people regarded and still regard any one, let alone any Barotse, who dared to express any views that exposed Zambia and her government’s treacherous treatment of Barotseland as enemy number of their so called peaceful existence under the falsified slogan of ‘One Zambia One Nation’ when in fact most Zambians are ignorant of the genesis of that base slogan and how it really became the bedrock of untold misery to many Barotse people as Zambia sought to repress any one that tried to highlight the deceitfulness of the Kaunda regime and subsequently the successive Zambian regimes.
To this day many of us are still regarded as enemies of both state and society, only because we have chosen to point out a historical injustice that the people of Barotseland are still faced with and are striving to make every effort and sometimes at great personal and family sacrifice to get out of. Why should we all remain silent knowing what we do now, is a question that every Lozi and Zambian should ask themselves. Does our silence now guarantee that posterity will live freely in a Zambia that has refused to acknowledge even the very historical facts that brought Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland to what the world now know as Zambia? To the contrary, we at Barotsepost believe that our silence today is just a postponement of the inevitable in as far as this whole Barotseland question is concerned. We strongly believe that, whether we like it or not, this question will not vanish away , neither can it be wished away, except we courageously confront it head on or posterity will deem us cowards and irresponsible generation that did nothing to correct historical errors but chose to leave their problems for their offspring to solve. What we must also bear in mind is that a problem not solved today has the potential to grow and become monstrous for future generations.
As such we hoped, one year ago, that we could help in the sensitization and dissemination of views of the many Barotse people home and abroad who lacked any platform in Zambia for expressing their views without being misunderstood or harassed. We have endeavored to do this without fear or favor, amid many challenges from within and without. Within because the Barotse voices are quite diverse and varied, as we found out. Others to this day have not seen the need and even the basis of this ‘struggle’ due to the deliberate blackout that the Zambian government have over the years put over the Barotseland Agreement 1964 . Simply put many Zambians including Barotse people, especially those living and raised outside of Barotseland are completely ignorant. Although thankfully that is now changing. On the other hand few Barotses have seen it as an opportunity to make money as they aligned themselves with the Lusaka administration and therefore, served as informers or traitors of the Barotseland quest for independence, therefore, we needed to carefully make discernment between who were patriotic to the cause and those that were in it for personal enrichment.
Challenges from without were mostly the constant threats and harassment from those that had apportioned themselves as masters over Barotseland and claimed that Barotseland could not possibly survive on her own and therefore must constantly maintain the status quo and continue ‘begging’ for development and that any one that expressed the view of a free and independent Barotseland is committing treason and must be put in prison without trial and possibly have the keys thrown away in the vast oceans and never to be found.
Overall the one year journey has been exciting and adventurous. Friends, as foes, have been many making our work a lot more bearably achievable. Here we are talking about the support of our gallant men and women in the liberation movement, some of whom have enriched and deepened our understanding of the real issues surrounding the Barotseland struggle. These constantly gave us news and trusted us to report and relay it to the masses hungry for news about Barotseland, without misrepresentations, or using that news entrusted to us against them with the Lusaka administration and their police. To these men and women, too numerous to mention, we are eternally grateful. Suffice to say that the following deserve special mention in no particular order; Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and his team in the Linyungandambo, Rt. Hon. Nyambe Namushi and his team in the Barotseland Freedom Movement, Rt. Hon. Mutungulu Wanga with his team at MOREBA, Pastor Kaluwe of the Barotse Peace Foundation. Kumina bashemi baluna luti lwitumezi ahulu, shangwe. Others are the Barotseland National Youth League team and their counterpart at Barotse National Youth League.
Special thanks also must rightly go to the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), particularly, Rt. Hon Clement W Sinyinda, in his capacity then as The Ngambela of Barotseland for most part of the year and also in his personal capacity after his BRE assignment. Others are Induna Mukuluwakashiko, Induna Inete and the present BRE leadership of Acting Ngambela Induna Kalonga
Personal mention also go to contributors at Barotsepost, again in no particular order, such as Mungandi wa Mungandi, Shuwanga Shuwanga, Nayoto Mwenda, Martin N Makweti, Mushoke Walusiku, Mulope Mutumba, Kalaluka Mwiya Jr, Maurice Pelekelo, Muyunda Makala and many others as they contributed either in their personal capacity or as representatives of their organizations. Yela mina haiba kuli lumisile fa mizo, shangwe baluswalele mukwa wakuba batu, fokumwi lwalibalanga.
Our list of appreciation will not be complete without the mention of the friends on the social networks such as Bulozi Nahayaluna, Barotseland Broadcast Network, Federation of Free States of Africa, Free State of Barotseland, UNFS, Barotseland Transitional Government, Zambian Watchdog, Post online, Lusakatimes, Zambia Daily Mail as well as those bloggers and commentators on either Barotsepost or our face book platforms, supporters and critics alike, too many to mention, who either supplied vital Intel, stories,news or videos. Studio Sakata, Skwizi, Lubasi (King Jah) and several other artists we say thank you for your gallantry and artistic works. Lindwalume kaufela, friends and comrades who have suffered arrests and persecution, you are dearly remembered and appreciated. You made most of our stories through your unfortunate sufferings at the hands of Zambian security forces. You are too many to mention. Soldier on as we are nearer to our deliverance now more than before.
Finally, appreciation go to the Barotseland Government and the Barotseland Nationals home and abroad for your support and readership and audience. We can only hope we have served you well this year and hopefully we will serve you better going forward. Barotsepost rose from a few hits a month to now about 2million hits a month!! We, therefore, wish to commit ourselves to continue being that platform you can rely on for authenticated and un-sensationalized developing stories around Barotseland and beyond.
Coincidentally our second year starts with an addition of the internet Radio Barotseland (www.radiobarotseland.com) whose usefulness is yet to be realized as we officially inaugurate our first Live Chat Forum this Friday the 28th of June 2013 at 19:00hrs (CAT) / 05.00PM (GMT) which we hope to stream around the world through interaction with you our audience and readers via Phoneline (number to be unveiled on Friday), Skype (radio.barotseland), Facebook (www.facebook.com/BPnewspaper) and Twitter (@BarotsePost)
Tukongote, Litunga Ni Lyetu, Muyoyange Malozi Kaufela - Barotsepost Team