Mobilizing for self-rule our top priority now, the dead 1964 agreement no longer an option – Linyungandambo

15 March 2018
King of Barotseland, Sir Mwanawina III (KBE) with First Republican President, Kenneth Kaunda soon after Zambia’s independence


Barotseland’s main independence movement, Linyungandambo, has warned that those pre-occupied with discussing the impossible restoration of the dead 1964 Barotseland Agreement risked rendering themselves irrelevant because the 2012 unanimous declaration for Barotseland independence was resolute and final.

Linyungandambo National Coordinator, who likened the current situation to the Jewish nation under Moses, stated that it was understandable that some Barotse may now entertain feelings of uncertainty.

"Even then, some among them desired to return to Egypt after God had delivered them because of doubts and fears about what their newly found freedom entailed, but the further we go away from Zambia, the more real our independence will appear. So, what we need now is for our people to focus on Barotseland independence.”

The Linyungandambo official was responding to a press query about some social media reports suggesting that the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) were engaged in some clandestine ‘dialogue’ with the Zambian government, intended to either restore the defunct 1964 agreement or drawing a new watered-down agreement which would perpetuate Barotseland’s existence in Zambia.

“At the risk of repeating ourselves like a broken record, let me assure the people that the 1964 dead agreement is no longer an option because Barotseland had already declared independence in 2012. Therefore, mobilizing for self-rule and self-governance is now the only option and priority."

The Linyungandambo coordinator further scoffed at the idea that the Litunga and BRE could engage the Zambian government without the people.

“Such rumors are not new, especially during the annual Kuomboka season or during Zambia’s periodic elections, and only those ignorant of Barotseland governance and cultural systems would entertain those fears or rumors! Therefore, Barotse should not be deceived by foreigners, ka kuli Lungu ba tundamezi yo-o ki muñete (Lungu, whom they fraternize with, is a foreigner) who does not understand our age-old culture or how Barotseland is governed!

“We also know that some despicable BRE clique and their cohorts have discovered that the only way to continue siphoning huge amounts of money from the desperate Lungu (Zambian President) and his government is by lying to them that they (BRE) can overrule the people and stop Barotseland independence – but let me warn that their greed will land them in very serious trouble one day soon.

“Anyway, let me put it this way; Barotseland is a Kingdom and not a Republic like Zambia - this is one of the fundamental reasons why the two cannot co-exist!

“In Barotseland, the Litunga is not an absolute monarch who must rule by decree. The King of Barotseland does not make political decisions on behalf of the nation but rather the nation makes such decisions, which His Majesty must assent to regardless of his own personal views.

“Secondly, our King is APOLITICAL – meaning he is above politics and cannot be seen to take a political side in any matter. This protects him from any public ridicule as Ka-o-ngolo ka Nyambe, the innocent creature of God!

“The BRE, on the other hand, are induna or manduna. Induna in Barotseland are not ‘governors’ but mere ministers, senior among them being the Ngambela, who must facilitate and carry-out the express will of the Lozi nation. Although they must be honored as parents, in functionality they serve and carry out the tasks assigned to them by the people or the Litunga – not as governors but as mere ministers.

“The people may wish to know that the status of ‘Governor’ in Barotseland is actually reposted in their Royal Highnesses the Regiment Royals, Reigning Princes and Princesses, who have dominion over principalities such as Mwandi (Sesheke), Naliele, Nalolo and the rest of them – these are the ones who ‘reign’ not the BRE induna who are mere ministers!

“So, national and political decisions are really made by us, the people, through the Barotse National Council, BNC, which is the Supreme organ in Barotseland governance. The BNC involves all the people, and when a fundamental decision must be made, the King sanctions the BNC - the people’s Pizo! When the BNC has deliberated and passed a resolution, the King must endorse it, and the Mulonga, to which the BRE belong, must execute or facilitate the execution of that decision.

“Therefore, there is no way the BRE would carry out any decision which has not been sanctioned by the people. If they did so, they would be putting themselves on a dangerous collision course with the entire nation, including the ancestors! Remember, the Kingdom of Barotseland is not like the Republic of Zambia where apparently their ministers are masters over the people who elected them!

“And since the only course of action sanctioned by the March 2012 BNC is Barotseland self-rule, anything else would not be acceptable to the Barotse! Our laws are deeply entrenched in our culture, and must be followed by all - including the BRE and the Litungaship!

“In fact, even Zambians themselves have repeatedly stated that they cannot accord Barotseland any status different from their provinces, and the King of Barotseland cannot be given any status different from their own chiefs, making the restoration issue impossible on both sides!

“We should instead be busy mobilizing for self-rule. We should not lose focus, and should not fear the Zambian police state which still insists on occupying Barotseland illegally. In fact, we should now be seeking to use any means necessary to free ourselves from them because they are a foreign occupying power! That way, we can freely pursue our own economic and political agenda!” concluded the Linyungandambo National Coordinator.

In August of 2013, Afumba Mombotwa, the Linyungandambo leader, took an official oath of office as head of the transitional government, to spearhead the restitution of all governance institutions once outlawed by Zambia in Barotseland, and lead the Lozi nation to its first popular election to elect Barotseland’s first post-independence civil government, which would share power with the monarch under a democratic constitutional monarchy type of government.

The procession was video-recorded and distributed to international institutions and media houses around the world, and also posted to popular video sharing websites YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.

However, Mombotwa and two other officials of the named transitional government were arrested in December of 2014, tried and sentenced to ten years imprisonment under Zambian laws on charges of treason felony for supposedly ‘usurping executive powers of the Zambian state’, a sentence they still serve to this day.

Their arrest and eventual imprisonment were in spite of the Zambian state having been an official sponsor and attendant at the historic March 2012 BNC which unanimously resolved and declared Barotseland independence!

The 2012 BNC was dully sanctioned by the King of Barotseland, Lubosi Imwiko II, and was held under the auspices of the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ).

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The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.