President Lungu wants the Litunga to rule Barotseland like a brutal dictator – BRE insider

20 August 2018
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FILE: Lubosi Imwiko II, King of Barotseland with his Counterpart, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia.

 

A Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) insider in the ongoing dialogue preparations has revealed that President Lungu wants the Litunga to use arbitrary powers to enforce the government agenda over Barotseland, promising him increased military protection against any possible uprising!

According to the BRE insider, Lungu is very frustrated that it is not easy to carry out his unpopular plans over the region because of its style of governance which places a lot of powers in the people!

“The president insists that the Litunga, as King, should be able to simply issue decrees and the people must be made to obey his decrees,” said the insider close to the on-going preparations for the proposed dialogue now slated for September.

“The president keeps saying that the Litunga is the only government recognized authority in Barotseland and no one else should matter in this case!”

However, this is in direct contravention of the age-old democratic Barotse governance structures which even the now-defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 respected by upholding the fact that the Litunga, as the principal authority in Barotseland, could only act after consultations with his Council.

Article 4 of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 on THE LITUNGA AND HIS COUNCIL, sections (2) and (3), and elsewhere in the 1964 document, stands very clear in its emphasis on involving the people in Barotse governance through the Council as can be seen below:

(2) “The Litunga of Barotseland, ACTING AFTER CONSULTATION with his COUNCIL as constituted for the time being under the Customary Law of Barotseland, shall be the PRINCIPAL local AUTHORITY for the GOVERNMENT and ADMINISTRATION of Barotseland.”

(3) “The Litunga of Barotseland, ACTING AFTER CONSULTATION with his COUNCIL, shall be AUTHORIZED and EMPOWERED to make laws for Barotseland…” END.

These clauses, and others in the 1964 agreement stressed the importance of the people through the Council in line with the spirit of the known age-old governance of Barotseland, in which the Litunga must always act only after consultations with his Council.

These limitations in the 1964 agreement are a clear testament that the Litunga of Barotseland is a ‘limited type’ monarch like the British monarchy where the Queen does not excise arbitral powers but acts only after consultations with British citizens through institutionalized structures.

But according to the insider, the President is frustrated by this fundamental tenet of Barotse governance which places a premium on the people as it entails that the Litunga of Barotseland cannot make decisions on behalf of Barotseland, but must always act only after consulting the people through the Council!

“This is frustrating because they can’t just deal with the Litunga but also have to deal with the people, and they know that the people of Barotseland currently want total independence as unanimously decided at the last 2012 Barotse National Council, and not this government plan to keep Barotseland enslaved to Zambia,” stressed the insider.

So, accordingly, the plan is to change this concept of government in order to make the Litunga as the only authority in Barotseland, and that he should rule the territory by decree as a totalitarian King, like Mswati of Swaziland (now eSwatini) and that the government forces will help deal ruthlessly with anyone who will dare to oppose the Litunga’s decrees.

“In fact they want the Litunga to sign the proposed agreement without any regard for what the popular will of the people is, and they, in return, will give him State protection through the police and army, making sure that whoever will talk of Barotseland independence thereafter is dealt with severely!”

It is further planned that for now, money and lucrative promises be used to lure indunas at all kutas, with the usual promises of permanent salaries so that they can endorse the proposed agreements which will be rubber-stamped by the hand-picked members of the so-called Dialogue Council!

The proposed dialogue failed to take place in June as the majority of the people continue to resist the process.

However, after the agreements have been signed successfully, the only authority which will matter to Zambia is that of the Litunga and the Ngambela. The rest of the promises will not be honored as the government has no money to pay salaries to all Indunas (ministers) at National, Sikiliti (District), Silalo (County) and Village kutas (courts) of Barotseland!

“The plan is that as soon as that meeting is done and the signing is also done in Lusaka this September, with Lubosi having been given those extra powers; at that time he will demand that some targeted people be arrested immediately and those who will rise against the agreements, which President Lungu will also make public as they shake hands, saying that the issue (Barotseland issue) is now settled and no more talking about it!”

“So, today, as Lubosi heads to Lialui (Lealui) for Kufuluhele (return voyage after Kuomboka), he will have a meeting or soon to be called by Ngambela Mwenda, and just after that they will head to Lusaka and finish their program there” warned the BRE insider, advising further that if the Barotse people wished to save their country from the coming dictatorship, never before experienced in Barotseland, time was now or never as the President of Zambia has promised to assign his army to protect the Litunga from any opposition.

“The government grand plan is to make Lozi people regret ever calling for the restoration of the Barotseland agreement because now the government will use their own Litunga to ruthlessly deal with them!”

The people of Barotseland (Western Province) where the Litunga has a direct rule, will be made to see that they were better-off ruled directly from Lusaka by a ‘President’ and not a ruthless ‘King’!

Meanwhile, hired Barotse elites like Mutungulu Wanga of MOREBA, Nyambe Namushi and Chazele Mulasikwanda of BFM, have continued to lobby support for the dialogue among the Barotse activist movements, with Chazele last week calling on the government to deal with those activists who are still opposed to the forthcoming dialogue.

Chazele Mulasikwanda is quoted by the Daily Nation News Paper on 17th August, urging the government to ban people from talking about the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 in a manner that will jeopardize the formation of the so-called Dialogue Council.

Mr. Mulasikwanda also pledged his Barotse Freedom Movement (BFM) support for the processes spearheaded by the BRE and the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

However, what Mulaskwanda does not know is that they too will be abandoned after using them to achieve the Zambian agenda.

“Like Nalumino Mundia and the Wina brothers of UNIP, who were used to support the 1964 agreement and its abrogation in 1969, the BFM and their MOREBA counterparts are simply being used to show that Barotse activists have been consulted in this process and thereafter dumped when Zambia has achieved its real agenda!” cautioned the insider.

The Linyungandambo Movement and their aligned youth/Women’s Leagues and the Barotseland National Youth League (BNYL); The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) and their youth aligned Barotse Imilema (BI) and the general population have continued to reject any dialogue on the defunct 1964 agreement, preferring instead to stick to the resolution of the last supreme Barotse National Council of 2012 which unanimously voted for Barotseland’s total independence from Zambia.

However, with the participation of Mutungulu Wanga of MOREBA, Nyambe Namushi and Chazele of BFM, and a few other co-opted individual activists and Zambian parliamentarians, the process will be declared consultative enough.

The Afumba Mombotwa constituted Barotseland transitional government has, however, warned that any outcomes of any processes not mandated by the people through the 2012 BNC will be ignored as inconsequential because in Barotseland sovereignty belonged to the people!

Responding to a media query, the RGB/BTG said that time for Zambia’s administration in Barotseland had long expired as Barotseland had already declared its independence from Zambia in 2012, and Barotseland would now use any means necessary to actualize its independence from Zambia.

They warned that even if the Zambian government signed any agreements with the Litunga, they would be ignored as long as they were not sanctioned by the Barotse National Council.

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