Defendants have been clamouring for the creation of a new state called Barotseland in the west of the country
A court in Zambia has freed 54 separatists who were facing charges of treason for trying to create a new state called Barotseland in the west of the country.
The prosecution on Friday told magistrate Aridah Chulu that it had decided not to proceed with charges against the group, giving no further reason for its decision.
"I hereby discharge you but would like to warn you that you may be arrested for the same offence," Chulu told the activists.
A total of 84 defendants, mostly from the Lozi tribe, were rounded up in a recent crackdown on those campaigning for Barotseland, a state in the destitute west, to secede from the copper-rich southern African country.
Earlier this month the same court freed 30 separatists after the state again decided not to proceed with prosecution.
The release of the remaining 54 defendants was hailed by separatists as a victory for Barotseland.
"This is a victory for us the people of Barotseland and not for Zambia. It was all political and we are going back to our country," said Muleta Kalaluka.
The secessionist bid dates back decades.
In January 2012 police broke up a secessionist meeting with live fire, igniting riots that left two people dead in the province's largest town of Mongu. That incident rekindled secessionist energies, which had lain dormant since the 1990s.
President Michael Sata then ordered the military to deal with the movement.
Security forces arrested the 84 who were trying to hoist a Barotseland flag, and were chanting anti-government slogans.
Barotseland was originally a protectorate of Britain, but entered into a deal at the end of colonial rule in 1964 to become a province of Zambia.
Under the agreement signed with independent Zambia's first president, Kenneth Kaunda, the region was supposed to have limited self-rule, but the Lozi say that agreement was never respected
A Zambian civil society leader has claimed that the Zambian draft constitution has adequately tackled the Barotseland issue through devolution of power to the provinces.
Featuring on University of Zambia, UNZA, Radio’s Lusaka Star programme on Monday 3rd March 2014, Young African Leaders (YALE) leader Andrew Ntewewe claimed that the draft constitution guarantees power to the people through devolution of power and claimed that the people of ‘Western Province’ Barotseland have been calling for devolution and development.
The truth of the matter, however, is that the draft constitution has not made any attempt to remedy what led to the abrogation of the 1964 agreement but instead has some offensive clauses that are clearly targeting Barotseland.
One of these clauses says that ‘The Republic may enter into a union or other form of inter-state organization, which action shall not be construed as ceding the Republic,’
The Zambians have decided to ignore the 2012 BNC resolutions which resolved to accept Zambia’s abrogation of the 1964 agreement thereby freeing Barotseland from Zambia.
From the likes of Ntewewe, the people of Barotseland wish to know; where exactly were they when their wicked Zambian government were torturing seventh grade Barotse children charging them with treason? What did Ntewewe precisely do to help those youngsters? If he had nothing to say then he must just shut up now as he has no legitimacy over the people of Barotseland. Neither does he care at all.
Renowned and outspoken Zambian cleric Bishop John Mambo of Chikondi Foundation has advised Michael Sata’s Government not to ignore the Barotseland question as it has been topical for many years now, and cannot be merely wished away. Speaking on Lusaka based Muvi TV’s Assignment program monitored by Barotsepost this evening Bishop Mambo speaking both as a clergy and individual , citizen wished that the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 had been put in the Zambian constitution as he wondered why this long standing matter had been ignored for so long and left to escalate this far.
Bishop Mambo who expressed fear that this matter may come to haunt Zambia if unresolved properly also wondered why politicians were in the habit of promising things to people which they did not intend to fulfill once voted into office as if thinking that the people they promise were foolish enough to forget about these promises. He spoke this in apparent reference to Mr. Sata who clearly promised that he would restore the Barotseland Agreement 1964 within 90 days if voted as president in 2011.
Mr. Sata then in opposition said only crooks and dishonest people failed to honor their promises and wondered how Zambia could fail to honour an agreement that it had entered into at independence in 1964.
Sadly he himself like his predecessors, has since refused to honour the Barotseland Agreement 1964, causing the people of Barotseland to acknowledge and equally “dump” the agreement, and have since decided to revert back to their political status before the said Agreement of 1964, now that neither Zambia nor Barotseland was interested in it, through the Barotse National Council of 27th March 2012, and immediately initiated formal steps to re-establish their own statehood outside of Zambia, a move that has culminated in the swearing of an Administrator General Afumba Mombotwa.
Bishop Mambo advised that since Kenneth Kaunda, who signed this agreement on behalf of Zambia, was still alive, the issue needed to be addressed and put in the constitution rather than ignored.
Muvi TV broadcasts to Africa through its sister network Africa Unite via satellite, and has been following the Barotseland story in the past week since the swearing in of Royal Barotseland Administrator General Afumba Mobotwa with regular follow up updates.
Editor’s Note: However, Bishop Mambo’s observation may have come too late as Barotseland’s Administrator General Afumba Mombotwa has now even appointed a provisional government for the new and separate state of Royal Barotseland.
The Zambia army commander Lieutenant General Mihova and Zambian minister of defence Mr. Bwalya G. Mwamba and his counter-part home affairs minister Mr. Edgar Lungu arrived in Barotseland to witness firsthand the happenings in Barotseland this morning.
However, according to inside sources the real motive is to meet the Litunga and try to persuade him to see if he can possibly prevail over the liberation movements' latest independence 'stunt.'
There first order of business was to confer with the Zambian permanent secretary in charge of 'Western Province', Emmanuel Mwamba and his officers, and then later proceed to meet the Litunga.
Meanwhile the number of arrests in Mongu, the capital of Barotseland has risen to more than 45 as the Zambian forces have continued to arrest any person suspected to be a member of the Linyungandambo liberation movement that has sponsored the leadership of Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa who took Oath as Administrator General of Barotseland on the 14th of August 2013, a move that has unsettled the Lusaka Zambian administration.
“They're just arresting any youth or Man, whoever they think can be part of the Linyungandambo. They then detain them at Mongu prison where they are being tortured in their efforts to extract information about the whereabouts of Rt. Hon. Mombotwa and his leadership”
And following these arrests, the Zambian government has instructed the Police to charge these political detainees with treason, and transfer them to some detention camp in Chilubi Island of Luapula Province in the far northern part of Zambia
The arrest figures we have received so far are as follows:
- One or possibly Two people, are feared to have been shot dead by a named Zambian police officer in Senanga with 7 people arrested there
- 34 people arrested in Kalabo
- 45 people arrested in Mongu
- 4 people arrested in Limulunga Royal village.
Zambian President Michael Sata has died in London, where he had been receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness, three private Zambian media outlets said on Wednesday.
Reuters reports that the private Muzi television station and the Zambia Reports and Zambian Watchdog websites said the southern African nation's cabinet was about to meet.
Government officials gave no immediate comment.
Michael Chilufya Sata was born in 1937 in Mpika, in the Northern Province of Zambia.
He came to power in September 2011 and became Zambia’s fifth President after the country gained independence in 1964.
Before independence he was a police officer, railway man and trade unionist.
Under the leadership of Zambia’s first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda, Sata became the governor of the capital city, Lusaka.
During the campaign for the return to multi-party elections in 1991, he left the ruling Party UNIP to join the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD under the leadership of Frederick Chiluba.
When the MMD won the 1991 elections, he served in the ministries of local government, labour and health.
He was later appointed minister without portfolio.
In 2001, Sata left the MMD when the then President Chiluba opted to appoint Levy Mwanawasa as the Party’s flag-bearer as opposed to himself.
He then formed the Patriotic Front, which contested and lost elections in 2001, 2006 and in 2008.
Sata then ran for the Presidency for a fourth time in September 2011 and won forty three percent of the vote.
Throughout his political life he was viewed as a controversial politician.
The Zambian government and its largely ignorant media have been trying to reduce the fight for Barotseland’s independence to individuals.
When President Sata visited Barotseland in one of his propaganda stunts, he made a dull accusation that the former Prime Minister Hon Clement Sinyinda was behind what he (Sata) called ‘Linyungandambo secession.’
Sometime last year when Sata ordered his defence chiefs to go to Lukulu and crash what he called the Barotseland Liberation Army, his defence Minister rushed to Mungu the following day and when he was shown on their propaganda TV, ZNBC, Mwamba said there was a clique of disgruntled youths who were behind the moves to break away from Zambia.
Following the swearing in of Hon Afumba Mombotwa last month, and the subsequent announcement of the transitional government, we were told that this was the work of a disgruntled and violent man bent on disturbing the peace that Zambia continues to enjoy. How dare one talks of enjoying peace when our brothers, sisters, fathers and children are being arrested on a daily basis?
We are not surprised at the kind of propaganda being applied by the interlopers in their attempt to confuse both the international community and their ill informed citizenry as this kind of talk was used against liberation movements and their leaders in the past.
Without going far, here in Zambia in the then Northern Rhodesia, the freedom fighters in UNIP, their leader Kenneth Kaunda, (the abrogator of the defunct BA 64) and his comrades were described by some fellow Africans who were benefiting from the colonialists, as a small clique of uneducated and selfish disgruntled elements who had nothing to do in life.
Today whenever the Barotse debate popes up, you hear people reducing the whole issue to the so called few selfish individuals, you hear accusations of tribalism while others come up with theories that the push for freedom stems from a selfish desire to explore some ‘newly discovered mineral wealth’, you will never hear one accepting that Zambia abrogated the agreement that attempted to cement two distinct countries together.
You have to bear with most Zambians as expecting them to know such facts will be expecting too much from a people that was educated and conditioned by Kaunda’s manipulated education system to believe in a fake history of their nation.
It is only a matter of time before some people who are today insulting our political formations and freedom movements will be full of apologies on account of having been ignorant of the facts. Remember Mkondo Lungu who told the Roger Chongwe Commission of inquiry that his action over the events of January 14 2011 was due to his ignorance on the legality of the matter.
Today the world is full of praise for Nelson Mandela to the point of almost worshiping him, but go back to the days of the struggle and see the propaganda that was leveled against him and the ANC.
During the trial for Nelson Mandela, the (Rivonia Trial), a member of the prosecution, Mr Percy Yutar in his closing remarks charged that the accused only represented 1 percent of the of the African population, in reference to the evidence that the ANC had 100,000 members. He went on to accuse Mandela of inciting his followers to acts of sabotage and open rebellion.
“The deceit of the accused is amazing. Although they represented scarcely more than 1 percent of the African population, they took it upon themselves to tell the world that the Africans in South Africa are suppressed, oppressed, and depressed.It is tragic to think that the accused, who between themselves did not have the courage to commit a single act of sabotage should nevertheless have incited their followers to acts of sabotage and guerrilla warfare, armed insurrection and open rebellion and ultimately civil war,” charged Yutar.
“Having done that, they would then from the safety and comfort of their hideouts at Rivonia and Mountainview, have surveyed the savage scene of slaughter on both sides of the opposing forces,” said Yutar.
Yutar claimed that the majority of the Bantu people in the country were peaceful, law abiding, faithful and loyal but were being duped by false promises of free bread and free transport.
This is all familiar language to the propaganda we are being bombarded with from characters with surprisingly short memories.
In our case, the Zambian government has been deliberately misleading their people that the push for total independence of Barotseland is the work of a clique of rogue elements bent on misleading the ‘peaceful people of the so called Western Province.’
There is absolutely no mention of the fact that there was a Barotse National Council (BNC) from 26th to 27th March 2012 that resolved to accept Zambia’s abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. There is no mention that this decision was arrived at following wide consultation of sichaba sa Bulozi.
Did the so called clique come up with the historic and progressive March 2012 resolutions alone in some dark corner? Was it Hon Afumba Momtotwa, Hon Clement Sinyinda, Hon Mutungulu Wanga or Hon Nyambe Namushi who made these resolutions in their individual capacities?
Are these Zambians who are now panic struck like little children not the same uncultured characters who, for over 4 decades repeatedly closed their ears and refused to dialogue over the abortive BA64?
Today some people tell us that Hon Afumba is on the run, is in hiding, is a violent man bent on destroying the decades long ’one Zambia one nation’( a product of Kaunda’s school of misinformation.)
The question that burgs for answers from our friends with short memories are, who made the resolutions and approved them? Are these people on the run or in hiding and if not, why has Zambia failed to arrest these people and charge them with the so called treason?
I will not wait for answers as I know the kind of people we are unfortunately dealing with. The very fact that today they pretend not to know who constituted and approved the resolutions from the BNC meeting is proof that when these characters meet in their meetings, they are fully convinced and rightly so that the Barotseland case is a legitimate one.
Unfortunately we are no longer interested in make believe, mandwani, manyengwe or va bana in chinyanja any more, the earlier Zambians realize this the better for their country. Kaunda’s diabolic scheme to destroy Barotseland is coming to a crushing end before his treacherous eyes.
Tukongote Litunga Nilyetu
Editor's Note: The foregoing is an opinion by a Zambian Journalist who believes in the total freedom of Barotseland.
NEW YORK — Sep 25, 2014, 6:17 PM ET
Police said Thursday that Zambia's president was treated in his hotel room by doctors but has not been hospitalized.
New York Deputy Police Chief Kim Royster told The Associated Press earlier that President Michael Sata was treated by U.S. State Department doctors on Thursday and then taken to a hospital.
But police spokesman Carlos Nieves said later that Sata was treated but not hospitalized.
Sata had flown to New York from Lusaka to attend the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly. He did not deliver a scheduled address to the 193-member world body Wednesday.
Sata went to Israel for medical treatment in June - ABC News
Michael Sata has not been seen in public since June
Zambia's leader has sacked his justice minister, who is seen as a potential successor, amid rumours the president is gravely ill.
President Michael Sata, 77, has not been seen in public since June and has missed several recent summits.
A presidential statement did not give any reasons for dismissing Wynter Kabimba as both minister and secretary general of the governing party.
Officials insist the president is in good health.
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, who is also Mr Sata's uncle and is seen as another potential successor, this week said that a faction in the governing Patriotic Front was trying to take power.
If the president were to die in office, there would elections within 90 days.
Vice-President Guy Scott, of British descent, is not eligible to succeed him because both of his parents were not born in Zambia - BBC, 28th August 2014
We the BarotseLAND National Youth League would like to inform the people of the Royal Kingdom of Barotseland both at home and abroad that the resignation of the former Lord chancellor (Minyolui) does not and will not affect the state of affairs of the Royal Kingdom of Barotseland as far as the announcement and subsequent inauguration of the care taker government in any way because the Head of state is there who is Ngocana Molyetu (the Litunga) who shall forever be the head of state.
Additionally, the government in waiting where the head of government for the royal kingdom of Barotseland shall come from is also there, meaning the nation is intact and on course to total independence.
The only remaining assignment is the announcement and inauguration of the care taker government for royal kingdom of Barotseland which shall be done soon.
In addition it must also be noted that the government in waiting is mandated by the international law to carry out the following duties, among others;
1. Solicit for recognition from the international community – this is taking place right now
2. Create bilateral relations with the international community – this is already taking place
3. Appoint diplomats such as High commissioners, Ambassadors, consuls etc. – this is already taking place
4. Appoint defense chiefs, permanent secretaries, Central bank governor and many more functions too numerous to be listed here – all taking place right now
Furthermore, we wish to take this opportunity to advise those who take the name of the Litunga into ridicule and threatening to dethrone him that doing so is tantamount to treason and, therefore, they should stop doing so immediately.
To substantiate our case that threatening to dethrone the Litunga amounts to treason, here is the definition of treason according to the international law;
“Treason. Conduct comprising a breach of allegiance owed to the sovereign or the state. Under the Treason Act 1351, high treason included violating the king's wife, eldest unmarried daughter, or wife of the king's eldest son; openly attempting to prevent the heir to the throne from succeeding; killing the chancellor or any judge while performing their duties. Treason was redefined by the Treason Act 1795 and the principal forms now include;
1. compassing the death or serious injury of the sovereign or his (or her) spouse or eldest son;
2. levying war against the sovereign in his (or her) realm, which includes insurrection against the authority of the sovereign or of the government that goes beyond riot or violent disorder,
3. giving aid or comfort to the sovereign's enemies in wartime. The penalty for treason (fixed by law) was death sentence but is now life imprisonment”.
As we have seen from the definition of treason it simply means when any one levies war against the sovereign in his (or her) realm, which include insurrection.
It must be noted that the Litunga (king) is now the sovereign of the royal kingdom of Barotseland since now the transitional constitution of the royal kingdom of Barotseland which describes the Litunga and gives him power and authority to be the Head of state has been endorsed by over 6000 Barotzish therefore, whoever fights or threatens to overthrow the Litunga commits an offense amounting to treason. Therefore, the office of the Ngocana Molyetu must at all times be protected from disrepute.
We, the BarotseLAND National Youth League (BNYL) want to categorically state here that, as one of the liberation movements of the royal kingdom of Barotseland, we base our struggle for total independence and statehood of the Royal Kingdom of Barotseland on the principle of international law which deals with the doctrine of postliminium (reversion to original status) and we do not rely on the principle of dynastic legitimacy
In addition we draw our authority and power to fight for the liberation of the Royal Kingdom of Barotseland from the international law (UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY resolution 1514(xv)) which mandates us to exist and perform our duties which lead to the total independence of the Royal Kingdom of Barotseland, without any interferences either internally or externally.
Therefore, no one either in Barotseland or outside Barotseland has any power to question us where we got the power to give Mr. Sata 21 days ultimatum in the letter we wrote to him dated 7th September 2012, for instance.
We want to clarify this because some sections in the Royal kingdom of Barotseland have been questioning us where we got authority to give Mr. Sata 21 days ultimatum. So let it be known that whatever we do is within the confinement of the international law. It is not our own making.
We want to wish the former Minyolui (Lord Chancellor) all the best in his future endeavors. May God bless him abundantly we appreciate the role he played towards the total independence of the Royal Kingdom of Barotseland while in the office of the Lord chancellor which is second position from the Litunga who is the head of state.
Mean while we wish to sternly warn Mr. Sata and his Zambian government that should they send those rotten fighter jets to Royal Kingdom of Barotseland this time around, it is tantamount to violation of foreign air space, and they will have themselves to blame whatever will happen to their jets or as a results of these jets.
Let Mr. Sata and his government know that he still has a case to answer before the UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL on grave issues we raised on 18th September 2012 in a letter we addressed to His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki Moon the secretary-General of the UNITED NATIONS where we petitioned the UN security Council to impose sanctions on the Zambian government because it has and still continues to occupy the royal kingdom of Barotseland contrary to the UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL resolution 276 (1970).
Therefore, Mr. Sata's government should just wait patiently for their fate from UN security council and not push their luck too far, because very soon Zambia will be joining the list of failed states.
Barotseland National Youth League:
- Ikacana Muyunda - chairman-general
- Boris Muziba Muziba - Deputy chairman-general
- Masiyaleti Masiyaleti - Deputy Secretary-general
- Brian Mubita - Deputy Vice secretary-general
- Derrick Itwi - International relations/communications officer
- Sikwibele Wasilota - National coordinator/Deputy international relations officer
- Etambuyu Nyambe - Deputy National coordinator/communications officer
- Nawa Luyanga - International relations secretary
- Likando Likando - operations and mobilization officer
- Jacob M. Mashwelo - finance controller
- Mulonda Akatumwa - communications secretary
- Nayoto Mwenda - Secretary General
- Mulonda Akatumwa - Secretary Communications
- Paul Aongola - committee member
- Liywali Mukela - committee member
- Mubiana Simasiku - committee member
- Sibeso Katete - Trustee
- Inonge Wakumelo - Trustee
- Legal Advisor – (Name withheld)
The accused say government failed to honor an agreement to grant the Lozi people autonomy and tensions are rising.
Fifty-four people will appear in a Zambian court on Friday accused of treason. They say the government has failed to honour one of the country's founding documents.
They're referring to a 1964 treaty with the Barotse monarchy, which had a strong influence over a large part of what is now Zambia. The area became the Western Province after the king signed the Barotseland Agreement, joining the rest of the region in the new independent Zambia.
Tania Page reports from the provincial capital of Mongu, where there are many who say the treaty's promise of autonomy was never honoured.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE LINYUNGANDAMBO
Tukongote Litunga Ni Lyetu
Southern Austral Africa
27th May, 2013
We have received credible information from our intelligence wing that the Zambian Government intends to impose a curfew in Barotseland so that they find ways to easily arrest Barotseland Nationals especially the leaders of Linyungandambo and the Government in Waiting under a 'state of emergency'
We, therefore, wish to state that a 'state of emergence' is not welcome in Barotseland and if it has to be there, then it must be introduced by Barotseland Nationals and not senseless foreigners, Zambians. The curfew nonsense does not work and it will never work this time, or we have a bloody war. Our silence should not be taken as cowardice, and browbeat actions will not work anymore.
In Barotseland, we recognize the Barotseland Government in Waiting as a legitimate Government with absolute powers to control and administer Barotseland; and we do not recognize the Zambian Government to retain control over Barotseland. We are united with one purpose to have absolute control over our nation Barotseland.
However, the Zambian Government has no right of whatsoever to impose a state of emergence in another foreign nation, and these are issues that seem so simple and small but their implications have far reaching effects with the ability to bring avoidable wars and loss of life.
Since Zambia has a new habit of doing things now “act then plan later (chimbwi no plan)”, and at this point in time, it is not good to disengage from each other Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia after bloodshed; we came into this bogus union voluntarily and also voluntarily we must depart and separate peacefully. So if Mr. Sata wants to declare a state of emergency, let him think over that issue so critically over and over so that he is able to defend himself in the International Court of Justice after the war; at this time we would advise Mr Sata to adopt the usual approach of “think before you act” otherwise, his myopic decisions will lead him into serious trouble from which he will never escape.
Therefore, all the well-meaning Malozi should condemn Mr. Sata’s state of emergency and stand in support of the Barotseland Government in Waiting as the only legitimate Government in Barotseland; let us stand ready to take the bull by its horns. So if the Zambia Police Force (PF) will start harassing people, they are welcome, but let them know that this time we shall respond with equal force, and that war will be brought by Mr Sata and his Police.
Tukongote wa mwana nongolo!
Mr. Kunangela Lubinda
Linyungandambo Mutomena Branch
Mr. Kushandoka Limbwalu
Linyungandambo Mutomena Branch
Miss Priscar Neseho Sipangule
Branch Publicity Secretary
Linyungandambo Mutomena Branch
Sibolile Robert Mazebe
Linyungandambo Mutomena Branch
Three Barotseland activists charged with the offence of publication of false news with intent to alarm and cause fear to the public appeared for commencement of trial in Kaoma Magistrate Court yesterday.
Zambia News & Information Services, ZANIS, reports that Nayoto Mwenda, 32, Boris Muziba, 36 and Sikwibele Wasilota, 33, appeared before Magistrate Julius Malata for commencement of trial but the matter could not proceed as the state was not ready and applied for an adjournment.
And the suspects, who did not object to the state’s application, requested the court to transfer their case to the commonwealth court saying they were not Zambian citizens adding that the commonwealth was a signatory to the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
They contended that Zambia cannot be a complainant and a judge at the same time as it was against the rules of natural justice.
Magistrate Malata adjourned the matter to March 11, 2014 and the accused remain remanded in custody at Kaoma State Prison