I note Mutompehi Saleya Kwalombota's response to my article titled Shuwanga on Moreba--A case of siwawayi, which was in turn a response to Shuwanga’s article. I wish to make the following observations:
1. Creation of Provisional or Transitional Government
Mutompehi Kwalombota has made great effort in defining the spheres of government, though in the context of Barotseland Kingdom he forgot to mention the Monarch. While his effort is appreciated, it was not the matter of contention. Further, there is nowhere in my article where I demanded that the start-up government should be elected and neither did the question of legitimacy arise. Indeed, the issue of legitimizing any governmental set-up should be one of the key ingredients of the process of establishing sovereignty, but it is not necessarily a starting point.
The point I raised was that of visibility of the Afumba government or whatever it calls itself in terms of tangible performance in areas such as the ones Mutompehi Kwalombota outlined—Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. A government, whether provisional or substantive, should be felt by the people it is serving through tangible outcomes, otherwise it is nothing but mandwani (child play). With substantial performance being churned out, there will be no need to beg uninterested people to join, support or recognize it as they will simply be sucked-in by its whirlwind. On the issue of who was mandated to run governmental affairs by the Barotse National Council resolutions of March 27, 2012, Mutompehi Kwalombota should pinpoint which one supports his provisional government.
2. Co-operation with others
Mutompehi Kwalombota is suggesting that Moreba and/or BNFA members are uncooperative and arrogant in not wanting to work with other organizations. He forgets that Shuwanga’s theme, as reflected in the title and the rest of his article, was that BNFA should DISBAND and WORK WITH the so called transitional government. Who created this illusive Provisional government? I pointed out that BNFA was a creation of the efforts of Linyungandambo and the other organizations that are now comprised in it while the said Linyungandambo has stood aloof after assisting that creation. Mutompehi Kwalombota has not disputed these facts. So who is uncooperative and arrogant? What does the phrase ‘disband and work with entail? We should learn to understand the words we choose to use.
3. Interpretation and application of the BNC resolutions
The BNFA has not held itself as a government and does not wish to prevent formation of government. The BNFA’s main objective is to facilitate implementation of the BNC resolutions as correctly interpreted, including assisting the Barotse Government, as it existed at the time of the BNC meeting and supporting the modernization of its institutions as laid out in the resolutions. Resolutions 8 and 10 are very clear in that regard and they do not mandate any one of the participating groups to unilaterally form a parallel government or structures. Has Mutompehi Kwalobota forgotten that BRE was Kaunda’s creation and mockery? We have always had the Barotse Government, despite the onslaught by successive Zambian regimes.
The BNFA’s activities which are in the public domain include:
1) Barotseland membership to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). It is Barotseland as a nation that has been admitted as a member not an individual activist group. No individual activist group has been registered or de-registered;
2) Prosecution of the matter laid by the Ngambela of Barotseland and Others before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR), which is an organ of the African Union based in The Gambian capital of Banjul. The Commission is in session right now and I trust that it will be considered as per our plea—it is common knowledge that the Zambian government failed to provide counter evidence;
3) The matter of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague where the immediate past Zambian president ran-away from the process by refusing to append his signature and thereby admitting guilty. We have since challenged the new president to rise to the occasion and do the needful—Already, he is also showing symptoms of running away;
4) Engaging SADC to support Barotseland statehood as clearly demonstrated by Zambia’s admission of guilty by failing to append its signature to the PCA process as in (3) above; and
5) The reconstitution of the Barotse government via the establishment of an all embracing Barotseland Transitional Authority (BTA)—Transitional Katengo Legislative Council.
In what sense are these activities contradicting the BNC resolutions? Going forward, it will be very useful for anyone claiming to be acting on the basis of the BNC resolutions, or accusing others of violating them, to cite the specific resolution/action that is being violated or implemented in contradiction thereof by such a party. Wild claims or accusations do not help the attainment of Barotseland statehood.