Thursday, February 29, 2024

Without The Barotseland Agreement,Zambia’s State Policy Amounts To Forced Assimilation

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By SIBETA MUNDIA
Barotseland Post

To establish post-colonial Zambia, two laws were enacted: the Northern Rhodesia Independence Act of 1964 and the Zambia Independence Act of 1964. These laws stipulated that two separate territories, i.e. the Protectorate of Barotseland and the Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia, signed The Barotseland Agreement of 1964 to become one independent sovereign republic. This agreement was the basis for the unitary nature of Zambia, and not the mere presence of 72 tribes or their intermarriage as is often deceitfully parroted by some State officials.

Although the two separate territories agreed to become one sovereign state under the above treaty, the Northern Rhodesia Independence Order 1964 and the Zambia Independence Act 1964 ensured Barotseland’s autonomous existence within the republic was preserved and promoted in line with the principles of the 1964 Barotseland Agreement. Barotseland was neither dismantled nor obliterated by Zambia’s independence.

The principle of oneness enshrined in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Preamble to the 1964 Barotseland Agreement was reflected in Article 125 (1) of the Northern Rhodesia Independence Order 1964, which promulgated the Independence Constitution, and Section 1 of the Zambian Independence Act of 1964.

This is a brief introduction to the constitution and history of the post-colonial state of Zambia, created through an agreement between two separate British protectorates, Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia! Anything to the contrary is mere conjecture!

If Barotseland did not vanish when the two separate territories agreed to exist as one sovereign republic, where is Barotseland and what are its borders?

Barotseland and its boundaries as defined in the Northern Rhodesia (Barotseland) Council Order of 1953, signed by the British Crown at Windsor Castle Court on 30th April that year, exist even today.

Although the Order in Council of 1953 granted Barotseland a separate British protectorate status, the British Crown maintained its administration with Northern Rhodesia, making Barotseland a protectorate within another protectorate. The Order in Council also determined the parameters of the boundaries of this Barotseland Protectorate. So, anything outside the 1953 Barotseland Protectorate boundary is either fictitious or at best aspirational and must be claimed under other circumstances.

Therefore, the current borders of Barotseland should exclude all areas in present-day Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, and Angola. Similarly, the 1953 delineation of Barotseland does not include the Copperbelt, North-Western, Central, and Southern Provinces of Zambia.

The territory that signed the 1964 Barotseland Agreement to join Zambia is the 1953 Barotseland Protectorate. Zambia has no legal CLAIM to any of this territory without the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.

Since Barotseland’s current claim is based on the 1964 Barotseland Agreement and its purported repeal, only the Barotseland that signed the 1964 Barotseland Agreement could revert to its pre-agreement status if the 1964 agreement is indeed dead.

Any other territory outside the 1953 Barotseland, must be CLAIMED or reclaimed under separate circumstances different from those related to the Barotseland Agreement 1964.

Some people have tried to undermine the 1953 designation of Barotseland as a protectorate. However, as with all Northern Rhodesian Orders in Council signed between 1924 and 1951, due process was taken in signing it. Therefore, invalidating it would consequently invalidate all other Orders before it, and Zambia would simply not exist.

“Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by virtue and in exercise of the powers in that behalf by the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1890, or otherwise in her Majesty vested, is pleased, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council, to order, and it is hereby ordered as follows:

“1. (1) This order may be cited as the Northern Rhodesia (Barotseland) Order in Council, 1953, and shall be read as one with the Northern Rhodesia Orders in Council, 1924 to 1951,

(2) this order shall come into operation on the second day of May 1953, and shall be published in the Gazette,

“2. That part of Northern Rhodesia the bounds of which are set out in the schedule to this order and which is known as Barotseland is hereby declared to be, and shall from the commencement of this order be styled, The Barotseland Protectorate.

“3. The Barotseland protectorate shall continue to be part of Northern Rhodesia and nothing in this order shall affect the operation of the Northern Rhodesia Orders in council, 1924 to 1951, or any other law.” – Ends the extract from the Northern Rhodesia (Barotseland) Order in Council, 1953.

With its new protectorate status, Barotseland required a British Resident Commissioner. In 1958, Gervas Clay, then the Provincial Commissioner for Southern Province in Livingstone, was appointed as Her Majesty’s Resident Commissioner of the Barotseland Protectorate.

Although evidence exists to show that Barotseland already enjoyed the special treatment of a British protectorate, it was only formally styled so in 1953.

In 1969, the Zambian state repealed the Zambian Independence Act of 1964 through the Constitution (Amendment) (Act. 5) Act, 1969. They specifically removed all sections of the constitution that guaranteed Barotseland’s autonomous existence within the Republic of Zambia and added that the Barotseland Agreement 1964 ceases to exist with all its rights and obligations.

Notwithstanding, CLAUSE 8 of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 prohibits the Zambian Government from enacting laws that contravene the agreement, cautioning further that all future national laws, must never conflict with the 1964 Barotseland Agreement.

Consequently, The Barotseland Agreement 1964 was ANNULLED unilaterally, with all rights vested to Barotseland under the 1964 agreement purportedly TERMINATED!

Legally, if Barotseland’s voluntary membership to Zambia’s sovereignty was terminated by the cited 1969 Act, Barotseland should immediately attain independence as the termination of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 would free Barotseland from the AGREEMENT to be a part of Zambia.

Instead, the Zambian government implemented policies that forced Barotseland (now renamed Western Province) to become an integral part of Zambia without consent or agreement. Therefore, whether one agrees or not, Barotseland is now part of Zambia, under the mere slogan of “One Zambia, One Nation”, as all laws relating to Barotseland’s autonomous existence have been abolished since the repeal of the Zambia Independence Act 1964.

Legal and administrative assimilation is defined as imposing one’s own legal and administrative system on a foreign territory, eg a colony or an occupied territory, and this is what Zambia has done to Barotseland. It is an infringement of Barotseland’s human rights, among them the right to self-determination.

However, this Zambian state policy on Barotseland is not only a travesty of justice but also amounts to forced assimilation, as any person of Barotse descent who disagrees with or peacefully protests what the state did in 1969 is now considered a secessionist deserving arrest, jail, or silencing by any means necessary, including extrajudicial killing.

The State impunity in Barotseland has only succeeded because they possess military guns and presently control the courts and all military and security wings.

Unsurprisingly, only disgraced lawyers like Winter Kabimba can publicly align themselves with this repressive Zambian policy on Barotseland in the manner he has so far done, and as he is likely to promulgate this Sunday, 4th February 2024, on national television to be broadcast by ZNBC, if the attached advertisement by the national broadcaster is anything to go by.

37 COMMENTS

  1. “Unsurprisingly, only disgraced lawyers like Winter Kabimba can publicly align themselves with this.”
    This takes away even the little credit the article would have scored.
    If I had the power I would grant these people their ” independence ” according to the current provincial borders.

    • Am not sure Lozis have souls to even understand the article.
      Lozis joined UNIP, they voted for Kaunda as president in 1964, celebrates independence. For which country do they do all that?

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    • Winter Kabimba is right.The Barotseland was abolished by the constitution amendment Act of 1969.There is evidence to show that a certain Litunga accepted the Act and even accepted his title to that t of Paramount Chief Inyambo Yeta.He even joined as a member of UNIP and accepted a job as Member of the Central Committee of UNIP (MCC)
      .Barotseland was also a forced assimilation of other ethnicities or tribes in Western Province. Furthermore,the Litunga owes some refund of monies paid to him for offering to stand and protect the mineral resources acquired by the BSA from Copperbelt chiefs as part of British indirect rule

  2. We are in 2024 and that’s exactly 60 years after independence….can we just continue living as one Zambia one Nation….lets develop Zambia as Zambians please….No Barotse…no kumawa….no bena Lubemba …just Zambians

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    • So exhausting…this intellectual jerking off. Zambia has enough problems without this separation nonsense. Who will benefit from this and will allow them? Driven by greed and ignorance masquerading as intellectual argument.

    • That is the problem, when you in power, you are only developing Luapula, Northern, Muchinga and Eastern Province. All the money is coming from the side that is being neglected. If you want to avoid talk of secession, address this issue. Better still, support HH who is trying to solve the issue by the equal distribution of CDFs… It the fault of all of you have voted for and supported tribal parties. If BaLozi land, whatever size and shape it takes, decides to secede, what makes you think that Southern, Northwestern, the Lenje-Soli areas of Central and Lusaka Province will want to remain with you?

    • In fact the quote here say The Barotseland protectorate will remain part of Northern Rhodesia not a separate part.

  3. It’s like the slave that worked as housemaid claiming special rights over those that worked the fields. The housemaid wants to continue to enjoy privileges like getting leftovers even when the master is gone and shall never come back. The housemaid had begged the master to be the Lord and overseer while the field slave fought and resisted domination. The housemaid has ignored the Native Authorities Act that defined or chiefdoms and in which his status is properly defined together with others. He’s not talking about a Barotse Kingdom but a protectorate, so how does Litunga become a King? Wishful thinking and good luck

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  4. If there were two separate territories — that is, the Protectorate of Barotseland and the Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia — by 1964, which tribes and chiefs were in each of the two Protectorates? Have all the chiefs and tribes in what was the Protectorate of Barotseland, and have all the chiefs and tribes in today’s Western Province, unanimously agreed to secede from the Republic of Zambia? And are members of tribes that lived in the Protectorate of Barotseland who have since intermarried across what was then the Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia willing participants in the secessionist movement?

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    • My comment has been moderated but it seems ordinary people have no say. When Scotland joined the union with England in 1707,ordinary Scots had no say. Now it’s ordinary Scots who have to decide if Scotland leaves or stays in the union.

  5. The Barotseland Agreement clearly provides for recourse to the High Court of Zambia in the event of dissatisfaction by either party and not separation or secession by Barotseland from Zambia or ejection of Barotseland from Zambia by Zambia. Why was this route not taken by the Barotse Royal Establishment? This question also applies to the Zambian government. There’s clearly an issue requiring attention in Western province but it’s not urgent given the challenges facing the country now. After all, the Barotse people are enjoying full rights of citizenship without hindrance.

    • The issue is that the main character that is dissatisfied by the entity of Zambia hides behind misinformed youth that are used as pawns. This problem could have been heard by the courts! There is nothing forbidding the highest courts in the land to hear this case. If you look at the case for Barotse, all the agreements made by the BSAC were meant to serve the interests of Cecil Rhodes. The legitimacy of these agreements are questionable. It is sad to see that we have Zambians that ere not happy about independence because they lost some privileges. Is that not the reason feudalism globally has been replaced by democracies? Why go back to Egypt? Today as Zambians we should be talking about how we can benefit from our minerals, which Botswana has manged to do. Not this bullsh@t!

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  6. If people want to undo Zambia then why should we stop at Barotseland? Let’s also undo Northern Rhodesia because that thief Cecil had no rights to our land. These chaps need to think logically, rather than making divisive noises, one would opt for devolution but that will mean every province asking for the same. Someone needs to educate these activists that you cannot repeat what Cecil’s ancestors did to our chiefs to redesign boundaries without fighting. How does one suddenly wake up and decides to separate their 3rd bedroom from the main house based on a document that lacked credibility due to circumstances involving colonisation? Was colonisation legal?

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    • The BRE has been calling for dialogue with the Zambian government but they do not think that there’s need for dialogue with Nkoyas and Mbundas. They forget that ordinary people with the right to vote cannot be ignored anymore because feudal society is a thing of the past.

    • Dialogue for what? this is done and dusted. Our independence was conditional at the time. Surely, are these people in the right frame of mind to start reversing history? The government should pounce on these noise makers hard because they have a secret agenda of dividing us in the same way they sided with Britain to aid colonisation in the olden days. Anyone looking to break one Zambia one nation should garout!

  7. What is the value of cessation? Look at south Sudan, Somaliand, Djibouti etc such divisions bring only unnecessary conflicts and more suffering and divisions among humans. Take a look: UK= >union of England, Welsh, Scotland and N. Ireland, USA => combination of 50 states, EU 27 states, India 28 states. Pattern is clear. Focus on development. I call on the youth: to focus on learning valuable skills such as building, mechanical engineering, IT, Agriculture etc. Raise your level ie look at what other countries are doing eg Rwanda, Kenya etc. Be curious. Prepare for opportunities before hand. Invest in learning. Live healthy lives.

  8. The BRE subjects have no consensus on what they really want from BA64. Is it development; self rule; federalism; a
    government representation; a unique local government; a monarchy, kingship; or devolution? Make us understand without being militant about it. The Litunga is just as antagonistic as the republican president when approaching such sensitive matters, contributing to the rift in solutuons. In my view, the UPND must not squander this golden chance to resolve this 70 year old challenge. Lozzies are so expectant from their cousin H-H for a closure.

  9. No problem ever vanishes without attention. No finger pointing will sort out anything. It requires concertedness and diligence from both the POLITICAL prefect and the TRADITIONAL monitor.

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  10. Point of correction
    The Litunga who accepted the title of Paramount Chief of the Lozi and was a member of UNIP was Ilute Yeta

  11. You have to admire an intelligent, articulate piece of writing. The not so clever can’t put together a coherent argument as a rebuttal to the facts highlighted. Simply put Zambia has no international legal basis to claim her sovereignty without Barotseland Agreement of 1964. You cannot recognize the country that is Zambia today while at the same time stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the basis of which she was formed. No you just can’t double dip and try to have your cake and eat it at the same time… that’s called conflicts of interest. It may not be what you want but be honest with yourself and your conscience! Facts are facts!

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    • This is a badly written article because it has the writer is hidding behind legal jargon. Before you write an article you need to assess whom you are writting for. You are not writting to another lawyer as is the case here. Anyway, Barotseland is not the only region wanting to secede. Even the Western Cape Province in SA wants that. Whenever some greedy politicians see that they can not engage with existing rules they seek to get power through the back door. These elements also pose serious state security and are a threat to the economy as well. People like tourists will think we are having civil war. Govt should ensure these chancers abide to the laws of Zambia

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  12. The issue of Barotseland the way I see it is not about land. Its about an entity that has failed to intergrate into a new system or post independence Zambia. Kaunda became prime minister after winning elections in 1962 of Northern Rhodesia under a coalition govt. According to the the Barotse separatists in 1964 he formed another country inside Northern Rhodesia! Someone is twisting facts. Barotseand was a protectorate and not a state. Such regions are common in Southern Africa. Mashonaland and Matebeleland in Zim. SA had many, Venda, Bophutoswana, Umtata and so on. These were native govts and not states! Some type of indirect rule by Britain. The people of Barotseland voted in the 1962 elections. Kaunda also accomodated the Litunga by signing the Barotse Agreement. It was never a state.

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    • The Lozi were cowards and still remain so. Litunga is the only Chief that used to receive a salary from the mzungu. While other tribes fought against white rule, the Lozi embraced it. Maybe they think that the British will give him back his salary and offer scholarships to his children like before. They’re dreaming and dreaming is free

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    • The trouble is that your theory is based on deception from the imperialists whose only interest was to neutralise the natives and steal their resources. Why do you focus on historical facts which were designed to disadvantage you? If you really want to go back to the good old days then let’s reverse all the way back to before the imperialist settlers arrived. We need to start loving ourselves more instead waiting for a Muzungu to tell you what to do.

  13. It bothers me in this time and age that a Zambian can claim to be oppressed by the govt when many Zambians had opportunities after independence. We also had to go through the hardship of fighting for freedom and justice for neighboring countries. The Litunga actually colluded with foreign powers to subdue African people! While he enjoyed western trappings (food, education, etc) other chiefs like Mpezeni who resisted were subdued by force. Some chiefs were forced into exile. In Namibia there was actually a genocide that nobody talks about by Germans. Also the most educated people in Zambia were from Barotse and they articulated the Barotseland Agreement to try to preserve the privileges of a few individuals. It was never about two states coming together.

  14. It is totally wrong to impose leadership on others without their consent. Their is need to find out more on what the litunga did to tribes like the illas, the Bundas, and others. Even prosecution from slavery is pssiuble.
    It is true that the BUndas were forced to be Lozis by Litunga to avoid prosecution for being involved in slave trade.

  15. Boring subject, most Zambians can not comprehend this past history. Its solution if ever any, is as impossible as raising to life those who discussed it. Let it lie in a grave for historical reasons only.

  16. These BRE people are a bunch of drama queens! After enjoying the fruits of independence, today they want to say they are not Zambians? In fact the current laws allow people to denounce citizenship and they are free to do so.. There is also nothing to stop them from making a political party and get enough power eventually to break the country up to pieces if they can get support from voters. They can do all that legally. But to wake up one day, over sixty years after Zambia was created is pure lunacy. We have such a nice peaceful country and do not take our peace for granted. Obey the laws of the land and learn to live with others that you do not share your language.

    • Yes, they can not accept that Zambia is an independent country now and they miss the bones that the British Monarch were throwing at them. We are all equal before the law and the constitution of Zambia is the overarching law of the land. No peacocks allowed

  17. In view of the Constitution (Amendment) Act of 1969 referred to in this write-up, can the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 still claim any legitimacy?

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