The Neglected Aspects of Barotseland’s Political Rights - by Saleya Kwalombota

30 October 2014


International law did not begin with the United Nations, but the Organization has played an important role in consolidating and vastly expanding it. International law consists of a body of treaties, customary laws, judicial decisions and other relevant sources that play a central role in promoting economic and social development, as well as international peace and security among the nations of the world. It quickly becomes obvious that conflicts that have dominated the agenda of United Nations are those of political freedom in nature.

This pauses a challenge for UN to position the challenges of conflict resolutions. Barotseland issue, though, not relatively small in scale compared to many others, have consistently failed to attract attention, and has had less coverage from both international and Zambian media houses. Issues concerning Barotseland's right to freedom can be found more on the online publications than the traditional mainstream media outlets, but even then it is not as easy to find the information as the Zambian government keep on blocking internet websites viewed as publishing such information.

The popular notion among Zambian politicians that the Declaration of independence of Barotseland of 2012 was essentially an expression of ‘Enlightenment’ ideas is seriously mistaken. It totally ignores several Other United Nations conventions on right to self determination as being an inalienable right. All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It is God who instituted governments among Men, in order to secure these rights governments have to be instituted. Therefore, Barotseland territory has the same rights endowed by God, a right to legislate in her territory, deriving her just powers from the consent of the will of God. From time immemorial, Barotseland has had its own government (Kuta) and ‘ministers’ Indunas in charge of land, maintenance, livestock, etc.

Barotseland's quest for self government is a fact of natural Law. Our people stand on the platform of both common law and legal tradition to exercise their demand for total independence and this right is not bestowed on Barotseland by any human political power but by God. To continue calling our territory as Western Province and denying us our political freedom is in violation of both common Law and Natural law. Although natural law is often conflated with common law, the two are distinct in that natural law is a view that certain rights or values are inherent in or universally cognizable by virtue of human reason or human nature, while common law is the legal tradition whereby certain rights or values are legally cognizable by virtue of judicial recognition.

If Zambia continue giving deaf ear to our 2012 independence declaration, Barotseland shall have the right to pursue the other options that are available at this time to force Zambian authority out of the territory without shading innocent blood, however, peace is not guaranteed if attacked. In any case the international community must help separate Zambia and Barotseland before a catastrophe of high proportions erupts which will result in innocent deaths.

Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu,
By Saleya Kwalombota

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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.