The matter between Mweene Mutondo and senior Chief Amukena both of Kaoma today (Thursday 26th) heard evidence from the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE’s Induna Imandi as the last witness from the defendant's side.
Induna Imandi introduced himself as the Induna in charge of education and Customs in the BRE structure. Like the other four witnesses who had given their evidence in court before, he was required to outline how the Lozi culture and customs work, which he explained clearly, citing on how a chief is appointed and how the installation process is done. He also explained the governance structure from the Litunga, who he described as the supreme ruler of the Barotse Kingdom, followed by the Ngambela, who himself is assisted by Indunas in terms of day to day administration of the Kingdom. These all report to the Litunga accordingly. Then comes the level of the Resident Prince and Princesses assisted by their own Indunas at that level. These report to the Ngambela on administrative issues. Thereafter, comes the Chief area, headed by the chief, to which level Mweene Mutondo and Mweene Kahale belong. These chiefs at that level preside over a Silalo headed by sub-chief. Then comes the Lilalanda Indunas and finally village indunas and village headmen who are assisted by elders in the villages.
This governance structure is replicated across the Barotse kingdom and is not applicable to the Nkoya ethnic only.
He further stated that the current Mweene Mutondo is not a recognized Chief according to Lozi custom and tradition because he did not go through the normal installation process that every chief go through, this is despite other Mweenes who ruled before him having gone through the same process.
Apparently Induna Imandi had no kind words to former Zambian presidents Kenneth Kaunda and FTJ Chiluba, first and second republican presidents respectively. When asked by the defense lawyer as to whether both presidents were wrong to gazette the chief as a recognized chief without going through the process he had described as the legal one.
“My lady Chiluba was a master dribbler who wanted votes from the Nkoyas,” the visibly emotional Induna answered.
He added that it is the Zambian politics which has caused problems in Barotseland,
"My Lady, I am disappointed with Zambian leaders; they preach one Zambia one nation, but on the other side they promote division.
“We in Barotseland have managed to rule ourselves with 38 ethnic tribes in unity, although diverse, for over 400 years without these problems, but the last 50 years of our union with Zambia has been full of problems because of political interference in the governance of traditional affairs.
“Leave these issues to us; we can solve them without problems at all. If the Nkoyas had come to us their parents, we could have listened to them because they are our children. But they did not do that.
“ Instead they chose to be influenced by politicians to cause problems.“
The lawyer representing the Nkoyas asked Induna Imanda if he knew what Kaunda had said in his public press in 1969 entitled "I wish to inform the nation", to which he responded that in fact Kaunda had violated a number of laws like the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which was signed in good faith by the Barotse people, as well as the Zambian constitution.
“My lady I do not know how to describe Kaunda. I do not have any good word to say, but what I am trying to say is that he is a person who says something but on the other side does something opposite. Hypocrite! Both Kaunda and Chiluba should have been impeached for gazetting a chief against the law which they swore to protect.
“Therefore, I ask this honorable court, My Lady, to consider their actions ULTRA VIRES, and declare their actions NULL and VOID” prayed Induna Imenda.
When asked if he, too, agrees with Induna Mutwaileti who said yesterday (Wednesday 25th) that if Nkoyas are not ready to be ruled by Lozis they should go where they came from, he answered;
“Yes, My Lady. They should go back. It is like, My Lady for example, you adopt a child and later on the child wants to be at the same level like you? You chase him. Nkoyas, My lady, if they want to create their own Kingdom, it is not possible. The creation of the Kingdoms was not by mistake. How can they claim to be at the same level like the Litunga? That is not possible in Barotseland. Maybe, somewhere else.”
The induna also refuted and dismissed claims of oppression of the Nkoya, the banning of their music and teaching of the Nkoya language from schools as the BRE was not government, and he could therefore, not answer on the behalf of the Zambian government. He was quick to mention though that Nkoya music was lovely;
"My lady we enjoy Nkoya music. Even up to now during Kuomboka its played as an intergral part of the ceremony. It is nice and lovely. So the claim is false.
Asked as to how the 'Lozi' minority in Kaoma could rule over the majority Nkoyas, the Induna said that was not true that the Nkoya were the majority as there other many tribes in the district who together make up one tribe called Lozi.
"My lady, Lozi is merely a 'Lingua franca' in Barotseland and it encompasses all tribes,"said the emphatic Induna.
To this effect the Induna submitted a government document dated 1962, which showed the composition of languages in Kaoma at the time, and it revealed that there were more than 43,000 people in Kaoma, and only 7080 were Nkoyas, much to the surprise of everyone in the court.
The Nkoyas will now have to wait for another five months before they could hear their long awaited judgment. This is because the matter has been adjourned to Monday 27th July, 2015 at 10:00 hrs as the state's key witnesses were not ready to testify in the matter.
Meanwhile, this particular court session was not without drama when one Nkoya man’s mobile phone rung during the court proceedings, despite the court having informed everyone that they needed to switch off their mobile cell phones; forcing the court to get it from him as they declared it state asset.
Judgement set for July 27th, 2015.