In a meeting to conclude the proposed pre-dialogue process held at State House on 20th February 2018, the Ngambela told the president that although it was not an easy task, the BRE had finally managed to harness a good measure of public opinion in favor of engaging into dialogue with the government.
“Our consultations have covered very widely (and) sections of the Barotse community which have rallied to this call are key stakeholders such as Barotse activist organizations, the church, and Members of Parliament in the province,” shamelessly stated Ngambela Mwenda as he proceeded to introduce the delegation assigned to present the facilitation cash budget he hoped government would immediately approve leading to the formation of the Dialogue Council and before the Barotse people could discover what was really going on between the BRE and the government!
Meanwhile, Mr. Mutungulu Wanga, who the Ngambela introduced to the president as a Barotse Political activist/analyst based in the Zambian Diaspora, and Mr. Nyambe Namushi, another Barotse Political activist / Induna Imangambwa for Kaoma and Nkeyema districts, told the president that they needed the money to enable their twenty-six (26) member organizing committee to mobilize and rally the people of Barotseland for the planned dialogue with government.
Others in the Ngambela’s delegation were the now well-known members of the Limulunga BRE clique; Mr. Mowa Zambwe (Induna Imandi), Mr. Lubasi Nalishuwa (Induna Kalonga) and Mr. Aketata Batunda (Induna Katema).
The BRE delegation further told President Lungu that a Working Committee had been established to prepare the ground for the formation of a Dialogue Council whose function would be to aid the Baroste Royal Establishment in managing the dialogue process with his government.
This committee, Ngambela Mwenda said, had drawn up a work plan which would lead up to the installation of a Dialogue Council. It is this work plan which would require the requested budgetary support of the Zambian government treasury to the tune of K815, 900.00!
“Today’s meeting, Your Excellency, addresses this (budget) matter; the high level of consensus achieved in Barotseland as already alluded to has opened a window of opportunity for a peaceful resolution of this long-standing impasse.
“Therefore, our momentum should not slacken because there still exist(s) opposition to the current moves which can rise to overpower us if no tangible fruits arise out of this exercise.
“To this end, the Barotse Royal Establishment is determined to persist with its side of the dialogue process by escalating consultations which finally creates the Dialogue Council.
“Our hope and trust is that your government will quickly move in with Budgetary Support whose details are about to be presented,” concluded Mr. Mwenda before he called on Mutungulu Wanga to give an overview of the aim and objectives of the Organizing Committee to be followed by Induna Imangambwa (Nyambe Namushi) who would explain the budget line.
However, when asked for a comment whether they had indeed been consulted for the dialogue process, the main Barotse political stakeholders Linyungandambo and the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) both expressed ignorance about any such consultations with the BRE which resulted in them agreeing to dialogue with the government of Zambia as has been claimed by the BRE.
The BNFA, particularly revealed that Mr. Mutungulu Wanga and his counterpart Mr. Nyambe Namushi ceased to be members of their political organization after losing the BNFA elections in 2016 while the Linyungandambo vehemently denied ever meeting with the BRE or their agents, at any level of their political organization, for any such dialogue with government, stating further that their position as an organization was clearly that Barotseland had already unanimously voted to proceed to independence at the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) at which the Zambian government was in attendance!
“Why would we talk of non-issues like restoring the dead 1964 agreement when we have a more current mandate of the 2012 Barotse National Council for Barotseland independence?” scoffed Mr. Lubinda Kunangela, National Spokesperson of the Linyungandambo Independence Movement!
On Mutungulu and Nyambe’s alleged BNFA membership, a high ranking BNFA official stated that both Mutungulu Wanga and Namushi Nyambe ceased to be members of the organization on July 8, 2016, when the alliance transformed itself into a mass organization, at which the two lost their elective offices.
REQUESTED BUDGET AS LEAKED TO THE BAROTSE MEDIA AND AS INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED IN SUMMARY
Of the proposed K815, 900.00 budgets; K60, 000 would be allocated to the Palace and the office of the Ngambela to the values of K40, 000.00 and K20, 000.00 respectively, explained as ‘Hosting’ Expenses.
On the eleven (11) member Main Organizing Working Committee, a total of K146,040.00 will be spent, broken down as K34, 000.00 for non-Mongu based travel, K5, 040.00 for Mongu based travel; K68,000.00 lodging and K39,000.00 as sitting allowances.
Meanwhile, the fifteen (15) member sub-committee will be allocated a total of K201,960.00, broken down as K47, 000.00 for non-Mongu based travel, K6, 960.00 for Mongu based travel; K94,000.00 lodging and K54,000.00 as sitting allowances.
AND the remaining Total of K769, 000.00 will be allocated towards “Overhead Costs” classified as Printing and Stationery (K60, 000.00); Publicity and Public Relations (K120,000.00); Building maintenance (K150,000.00); Fuel and Lubricants (K24,000.00); Office Running Expense (K5,000.00) and Cleaning Materials (K2,000.00).
With a 10% CONTINGENCY of K76, 000.00, the TOTAL CASH BUDGET request comes to K815, 900.00.
Other non-cash support requested and to be provided by the government to kick start the operations of the Secretariat are:
1. Legal Consultancy (Maximum of three lawyers)
2. Utility vehicle
3. Office Equipment; 2 Desktop Computers, 3 Laptop Computers, and 1 Photocopier machine
*The above budget was presented to the President as a ‘working’ budget leading up to the dialogue only, and not for the dialogue itself! Although we believe that any activity of such magnitude would require some financing, this shameless conduct is here exposed to show that while genuine Barotseland activists like Afumba Mombotwa are paying with their lives fighting for Barotse people’s legitimate rights to self-determination, others like Muntungulu Wanga and his BRE friends have periodically used the matter of Barotseland as a money-raising venture!
With such huge cash rewards from the Zambian State, how would the BRE demand justice on behalf of the poor people of Barotseland from the same state?