By Godwin M Kaluwe
The recent protest in Western Province on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, resulting in very serious injuries and one death was something that should never have happened. But the government’s reckless behavior by ignoring Western province submissions to the new constitution has outraged the people of Barotseland. This is a good example of how civil wars are born. One little spark is capable of igniting a huge and destructive fire.
All this came about in August 2010, following the release of the final draft of the constitution. It was discovered then that all the submissions from western province were not included. Someone essentially thought they were not that important, and that Zambia can do just fine without them. Turned out to be a big mistake and recipe for disaster. Prior to this incident, when asked if he would ever thank the people of WP for tilting the presidential election results in his favor; president Banda is believed to have said; ” I did not ask for their votes.” As if that was not enough, the Vice President of the Republic of Zambia went to Western province and made a very troubling statement at the Ku-fuluhela gathering, which is reverse of Ku-omboka 2010. He publicly told the people; ” A Mulozi will never be president of Zambia.” People were so shocked that the Induna who was translating for him collapsed and passed out. Without an apology, he further demanded for another translator. The final nail on the unitary state coffin came when the constitution submissions from western province were thrown out of the draft. People who were in denial of government agenda can now smell the coffee. Hence the events of that fateful Saturday, after three requests to legally acquire public permit to hold a public meeting were denied by the pro Barotseland freedom advocates, not secessionists,
Barotse Agreement 1964
What many people do not understand is that the WP submission included a review of the Barotse Agreement 1964, which was the vehicle for the unitary state of the Republic of Zambia, without which the boundary between Zambia and Barotseland would have been the line of rail from Copper belt to Victoria falls. When King Lewanika signed successive treaties back in 1890, that claimed a vast area of Northern Rhodesia, he protected North-Western province from the Portuguese, Copper belt and Luapula from the French and Belgians, Northern and Eastern provinces from the Germans, and the whole Nation of Zambia was preserved as we know it today. This is the reason Zambia is known as King Lewanika’s country or Kingdom. Lewanika is a nickname, his real name was Lubosi. He acquired Liwanika name as people remembered his ability to unite tribes and Nations. Of the 73 plus Zambian languages, 31 are from Barotseland. In truth there is no tribe called Lozi. Bulozi or Barotseland is a Nation or Kingdom consisting of different tribes and peoples who have come to be known as Malozi today. There is no Lozi versus Nkoya, Mbunda, Luvale, Nyengo, Toka, Leya, Mbukushu, Mboela, Cokwe, Mweenyi, Kwangwa, Simaa, Subia, etc. Lozi is citizenship not a tribe. But those who want to devide and rule erroneously or purposely designate Lozi versus all of the above.
The following are implications of not including Western Province submissions:
* Technically and by default Barotseland ceases to be part of Zambia. Barotse Agreement 1964 was the glue of the union of the two nations
* Zambia cannot hold Barotseland accountable for stay, to an agreement Zambia no longer respects or considers abrogated.
* The Zambian Government will create a peaceful political atmosphere to help Barotseland resort to her original status, by referendum or other, if necessary.
* All Barotseans residing in the main-stream Zambia will be free to have dual citizenship or choose to stay wherever they want.
* The rest of the Zambians residing in Barotseland will choose to stay or have dual citizenship and live wherever they want.
* The Royal establishment resumes the role of reorganizing their government with the Litunga as King of Barotseland.
* The two governments will discuss boundary modalities without a fight, under AU and UN supervision
* The natural boundary being Kafue river running west side of Itezhi-tezhi passing through Namwala and Mulobezi area to Livingstone.
* Zambia takes Copper belt and the predominantly Lozi speaking people of Livingstone continue to be in Barotseland
* Kabompo and Zambezi will choose to stay in Zambia or be free with Barotseland
* The government of Barotseland will not seek to retrieve original parts of Barotseland now occupied by other countries like Kwando area in Angola, Caprivi Strip in
Namibia, Kasane area in Botswana, and Victoria falls town to the border with Hwange, in Zimbabwe.
* Barotseland will be a good neighbor of Zambia and the surrounding nations.
* Barotseland will join Common wealth nations, UN, AU, SADC and other.
* There is no treasonable charge against freedom of speech and expression of self-determination
* The Republic of Zambia under the surveillance eye of the International community will be a benchmark of a peaceful transition in Africa.
One of the objectives of Barotseland Peace Foundation, as a non profit and an apolitical organization, is to advocate for peace and facilitate for peaceful and transparent deliberations regarding conflict resolutions. Therefore, Both Zambia and Barotseland will benefit greatly by working with BAPF. We invite all other peace loving and peace making entities to join us in this matter, so we can resolve this matter without bloodshed. Self-Determination is imbedded in human rights, a privilege for all people everywhere in the world. There is a distress call from the people of Barotseland. The International community should not wait until it turns into Rwanda, Sudan, or Bosnia. Now is the time to respond and prevent war! Ki naako!