AKASHAMBATWA Mbikusita-Lewanika has said that UPND president Hakainde Hichilema should not use the Barotseland issue to canvass for votes ahead of the 2016 general elections.
In a statement released to the media yesterday in Lusaka, Mbikusita-Lewanika said that such promises were a forked hook for fishing Barotse votes.
He said it had become a trend by politicians seeking the highest office in the land to use the Barotseland agreement as a bait to win votes on the pretext that it would be recognised.
Below is the full statement
YES TO HH CAMPAIGN, BUT NO TO BAROTSELAND ISSUE AS ZAMBIAN ELECTION DOOR MAT
The reported response to statement on my facebook page neither addresses nor disagrees with the issue I raised. Instead, it restates the usual personal attacks and misrepresentation of what is said.
Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and UPND have my good wish in the Zambian election campaign. But let us restate the points I raised, whose message is simply that the Barotseland issue is too serious to continue being used as a Zambian election door mat.
1. I pray that we shall not continue to entertain campaigners for personal or partisan political offices to playing and cheating over Barotseland. Aka or no aka, someone has responded that “Barotseland should not be used as a doormat for entry into Zambia’s State House.”— This is my prayer; I do not purport to command how/whether it is answer. This is up to the Barotse people, authorities and organisations, who have their own representatives, and among whom I do not count myself.
2. During the run up to President Kaunda taking over as Zambia’s Prime Minister-cum-President and UNIP forming government, they signed the Barotseland Agreement 1964, only to abrogate and dishonestly condemn it. Aka or no Aka this is a statement of fact, and proof of it is available and it is condemnable! Therefore, is stand by it
3. During 1991 presidential and parliamentary election campaign President Kenneth Kaunda promised (in a formal letter to the Litunga Yeta the Fourth) to solve the Barotseland issue and even pay for Barotse Government lawyers, but only to continue criminalizing even speaking about the Agreement. Aka or no Aka this is a statement of fact, and proof of it is available and it is condemnable! Therefore, is stand by it
4. During the 2011 elections President Michael Sata promised (in public rally and mass media) to restore the Barotseland, Agreement, only to contemptuously renegade and turn Barotseland into an armed police state with never ending arrests and judicial terrorism against even children. Aka or no Aka this is a statement of fact, and proof of it is available and it is condemnable! Therefore, is stand by it
5. Now, during the already set electioneering and in the midst of chaos caused by taxi drivers offered free fuel by a campaigning presidential candidate and his political party, it is reported that there is campaign promise to solve the Barotseland issue!! Of this statement it was reported, subject to confirmation, that a presidential candidate and his political party, it is reported that there is campaign promise to solve the Barotseland issue. I did not in my statement name the presidential candidate or the political party – because there was a possibility that the reports may not have been accurate.
But, as it is said, “Impila ya Mushi…..!” (Unless one is the addressee, one does not answer to public address accusations!) Now, the Barotse Post has since posted that “Zambia’s United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema is reported to have … promised to find a lasting solution to the Barotseland question when UPND and forms government in 2016 if elected in the Zambian presidential and general election”
And the open letter addressed to me has stated that “there is nothing wrong with Mr. Hichilema stating that a long lasting solution should be found for the people of western province”
I agree, just as I agree with anyone stating that a long lasting solution should be found for the people of Palestine or for people living with cancer. My concern is with the reported statement that this lasting solution is for “when UNDP forms government in 2016 if elected in the Zambian presidential and general election.” On my part, the statement is alright if it is honestly not tied to anyone being voted to form government or winning election, and not a forked hook for fishing Barotse votes.
AKASHAMBATWA MBIKUSITA-LEWANIKA, Namishukwe House, Malo Maya Homestead, Liambai Road, Mongu-Lealui,