However, to many, especially of Barotse decent, this matter is of great importance because it is the basis of their national integration and participation! As one renowned International Human Rights and Constitutional Lawyer, Dr. Rodger Chongwe, once said that Zambians who come from the other provinces must understand that the ‘Western Province’ has a legitimate claim to be part of Zambia on a DIFFERENT BASIS to the rest, and cannot in good conscience try to gloss over and arrogantly dismiss this fact, as has been the practice in the past.
“We, as the rest of Zambia, made a deal with the Barotse Kingdom. We must now in all good faith acknowledge that we did not keep the agreement. Our partners in the broken agreement have clearly not been happy with our behavior for a long while. Let's come together and put it right in our time.”
This simply means that Barotse people are Zambians only on the basis of the Barotseland Agreement 1964, without which they can no longer be logically deemed Zambian!
We must, therefore, emphasize this undeniable and indisputable fact that the Barotse people in Zambia became Zambians in 1964 only on the basis of the international instrument of the Barotseland Agreement 1964, which was sadly unilaterally abrogated without implementation! This means, therefore, that the Barotse who do not wish to be Zambians today are merely so by cohesion!
This is unacceptable to many! What is even more unacceptable is that the Barotse people are not allowed to freely express their frustrations over their predicament without being cited for crimes of sedition and or Treason!
The Zambian state has repeatedly and simply paid lip service to this matter, promising for decades now to resolve the Barotse people’s frustrations. Government leaders, from Kenneth Kaunda in 1991 to Edgar Lungu in 2018, have all made their share of unfulfilled promises to seriously look at this matter!
For how long must Barotse people wait for their so-called Zambian leaders to pay attention to their grievances and for how long must they suffer systematic state repression and suppression through arrests and imprisonments while the rest of the Zambian nation looks on in utter indifference?
If Barotseland and Barotse people indeed became part of Zambia on the conditions and terms of the pre-independence Barotseland Agreement 1964, which was annulled before implementation, why does the Zambian government preside over Barotseland now that the legal instrument where the state should have derived power from no longer exists!
AND if the Barotse people decided that they will no longer be a part of the Zambian state that does not think their right of self-determination as envisioned and promised in the defunct 1964 agreement is equally an important issue deserving attention, would any law or statute stand against them?
So, it is hoped that this ‘Tweet for Freedom’ campaign initiative will prompt world influential leaders to mediate in this impasse since Zambian leaders can no longer be trusted to handle this matter with the impartiality it deserves!
HOW WILL THE ‘TWEET FOR FREEDOM’ CAMPAIGN BE DONE
The campaign initiative will use the global Twitter platform, using three hashtags; #IStandWithBarotseland , #FreeBarotselandLeaders and #FreeBarotseland
It is hoped that the three Twitter hashtags cover all the aspirations and frustrations of Barotse people currently!
#IStandWithBarotseland will give an opportunity for Barotse and Non Barotse alike to state clearly that they believe Barotse people have a legitimate CLAIM to be heard, and that the Barotseland Saga cannot just be wished away, but must be resolved!
#FreeBarotselandLeaders is a demand for the Zambian state to act responsibly by setting free all Barotseland leaders and activists currently in jail over issues related to the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964. As stated above, the major culprit over this matter is the Zambian state and it does not make any logical or legal sense for the state to arrest people who merely remind the Zambian state of its obligations to Barotseland and its people!
The fifteen year imprisonment sentences recently slapped on Barotseland leaders Afumba Mumbotwa (60) , Inambao Kalima (57) and Likando Pelekelo (64) is here roundly condemned as we demand their immediate unconditional release
#FreeBarotseland gives the people who believe that Barotseland is an illegally occupied territory the opportunity to state so!
TWEET FOR FREEDOM CAMPAIGN STRATEGY
It is important to note that ONLY those who have active TWITTER accounts can participate in this campaign! One could also use Facebook and other social media for the purposes of mobilizing participation in the campaign, but the IMPACT hoped to be achieved can only be done so through TWITTER!
Therefore, every Barotzish, Barotse national or Lozi, and all Zambians and other supporters who wish to see Barotse people’s CLAIMS heard are all hereby requested to SIGN-UP for a FREE Twitter account!
Twitter is FREE and the SIGN-UP process, found here https://twitter.com/i/flow/signup is as simple as Facebook.
When this is done, and on a date to be declared, all will be called upon to TWEET FOR FREEDOM on that entire day using those three hashtags to produce a considerable Twitter-Storm that will bring to the attention of the Global World Barotseland related matters!
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE TWEET FOR FREEDOM CAMPAIGN?
Everyone can participate in this campaign, young or old, male or female or other, as long as one has an active Twitter account. Everyone is also expected to participate in the mobilization leading up to the ACTUAL day of Tweeting for Freedom!
Tweet for Freedom campaign initiative is a non partisan campaign! One does not even need to be a politician or involved in the day to day struggle for Barotseland independence or those advocating for the implementation of the defunct Barotseland agreement 1964.
The campaign is not for Linyungandambo, BNFA, BTG, BNYL, BI, BRE, etc but it is for all who care and want the important matter of Barotseland resolved now!
All media organizations, groups and media people or persons on social media can FREELY participate!
Tweet for Freedom campaign initiative is a FREE and Voluntary campaign! No campaign coordinator must ask for money or any form of rewards!
IS THE TWEET FOR FREEDOM CAMPAIGN LEGAL?
Yes! It is a peaceful, non-violent and LEGAL campaign initiative, and no one must be arrested for using their inalienable right of self expression!
Twitter promotes and encourages freedom of expression!
There is nothing criminal even under Zambian laws that restrict the use of twitter for social or political engagement!
The three hashtags have carefully been chosen to ensure that they do not break any existing Zambian or international laws! Rather, they are in conformity with many acclaimed international human rights!
Create a Twitter account today, and on a day to be announced soon, you will tweet alongside thousand others the following hashtags:
The ‘Tweet for Freedom’ Campaign Initiative is endorsed and supported by the following, among many other Barotse Media/ Communities:
Barotseland Broadcasting Network (BBN)
Barotseland National Youth League (BNYL)
BI (Barotse Imilema)
BNFA (Barotse National Freedom Alliance)
BRE (Barotse Royal Establishment)
BTG (Barotseland Transitional Government)
Capital Hill Limulunga Post
Linyungandambo Women’s League (LWL)
Linyungandambo Youth League (LYL)
Sepo Ya Bulozi