Monday, May 20, 2024

Renaming Western Province to Barotseland Province: A Step Towards Resolving the Barotseland Dispute

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In addressing the ongoing Barotseland dispute in Zambia, proposing the renaming of Western Province to Barotseland Province emerges as a potential step towards reconciliation and fostering a sense of inclusivity and respect for the region’s historical and cultural significance. This initiative not only acknowledges the grievances of those advocating for greater autonomy but also reflects a commitment to honoring past agreements and promoting unity within the nation.

However, before separatist groups, such as Linyungandambo, pursue their aspirations for secession, it is imperative to address certain inconsistencies and challenges. One such challenge is the obligation of all Zambians to pay the TV levy, which supports essential services including healthcare, security, social services, and education. It is essential for all citizens, regardless of their affiliations or grievances, to contribute to the nation’s development and well-being. Therefore, I challenge Linyungandambo to lead by example and cease payment of the TV levy before advancing discussions on the Barotseland Agreement. It is hypocritical to advocate for a cause while benefiting from the services provided by the Zambian government.

Central to the proposed renaming is the recognition that we are one Zambia, one nation. The Litunga, revered as the king of the Lozi or Luyi people, symbolizes unity and represents all Zambians. The prospect of a divided nation, with Barotseland breaking away, raises significant concerns about the preservation of our shared heritage and identity. The cultural richness embodied in events like the Kuomboka transcends regional boundaries and unites us as a nation. Any attempt to sever ties would diminish the collective pride we share in such cultural celebrations.

For those unfamiliar with the context, Linyungandambo’s pursuit of independence stems from perceived grievances regarding the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. This agreement, intended to grant the region significant autonomy within Zambia, has been marred by allegations of non-compliance and neglect. Consequently, tensions have escalated, prompting calls for secession. However, it is essential to approach these grievances with a spirit of dialogue and compromise rather than resorting to drastic measures that threaten the nation’s unity and stability.

Amidst the discord, we must prioritize the cultivation of unity and understanding. I challenge Linyungandambo to demonstrate their commitment to their cause by refraining from utilizing government-provided services, including healthcare facilities, during times of need. This gesture would underscore their sincerity and dedication to their ideals. As advocates for change, it is incumbent upon them to lead by example and pursue constructive avenues for dialogue and resolution.

All in all, renaming Western Province to Barotseland Province represents a symbolic gesture of reconciliation and acknowledgment of the region’s unique heritage. However, true progress can only be achieved through genuine dialogue, mutual respect, and a commitment to upholding the principles of unity and inclusivity. Let us embrace our shared identity as Zambians and work together towards a brighter and more harmonious future for all.

Chaliafya Katungula
Advocate General

21 COMMENTS

  1. The Lozi are a small minority even in Western Province. The Nkoya, Luvale, Subiya, Lunda, Chokwe, Mbunda etc, outnumber them collectively. If they secede, they can only take the part of Western Province they actually control and occupy. They cannot take the whole province because the other tribes in it do not want to go with them. If the province is called Barotseland, whoever the baRotse are, given that the Lozi language, that I speak fluently, does not have the letter “r” in it, can we call Southern, Lusaka and the Bantu Botatwe half of Central Province Tongaland???

    • Chaliafya Katungula ngati vakuvuta vintu just shut up. Any flimsy riff raff suggestion such as yours wont be entertained by any serious government.

    • Another misinformed one… the Lozis are the very same people you are referring to, “Nkoya, Luvale, Subiya, Lunda, Chokwe, Mbunda etc”. You can add Nyengos, Makomas, Mwenyis, Mathis, etc to that list. Lozi is just a language, not tribe. Lozi is spoken in Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, etc.
      Please don’t confuse the original ‘Luyanas’ with ‘Lozis’. ‘Barotse’ is an area given by the very original European explorers… to mean ‘land of the Lozis’… Lozi has no “r” in it but others call them “rosis”.

    • This is where we go wrong. We seen to base everything to the time of the colonialists. If you really want to go back in time then reverse all the way back instead of stopping where explorers made it convenient for you because you struck deals with them to exploit others. Let’s all go back to the Congo because the majority of our tribes originate from there. All Zambian tribes are settled, if this issue is about land then this is a different story.

    • FutureZed, according to yoyr reasoning so why do we have “Zambia” and it’s borders? The vert borders created by the very Europeans colonialists you despise? Double standard much?
      Like it or not everything we do, speak (English), learn, identify with has some kind of Genesis to the Colonialists. Zambia itself was formed by the Colonialists through the unification of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia through the BA’64.

    • @Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa: No cousin. I love the Lozi to death. On this issue, the Lozi are not correct, especially if you are saying that the Mbunda, Chokwe, Lunda, Nkoya, Subiya, Mbukushu etc are “BaRotse”. The Lozi are the only ones who say they are “BaRotse”, the others are happy as they are. The intimation that these other people are “BaRotse” is because the Lozi claim that these tribes are servile to the Litunga. This is not true. The Litunga has authority only on the Lozi. If Western Province is to secede, everyone in the province has to vote, and any tribe that refuses to secede, cannot be forced to secede. We do not care what that foreign, looting, Europeans said. We rejected their rule, and they cannot force one tribe to be under another.

    • @Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa: Now lets talk about the issues. Do I support the grievancces of the Lozi? I absolutely 150% do. This, together with Northwestern Province, is an area of Zambia that needs preferencial treatment for the next 10 years. You look at what the tribalists did for Luapula, Northwestern, Muchinga and Eastern Province. It is time to build a railway line the goes from Lusaka to Mungu and Solwezi, and from there to Angola, and from there, straight to Benguela without going through Congo. It is time to build universities in those provinces and Southern Province. Look at that palace they built as the border post between Malawi and Eastern Province. Cousin I am prepared to fight side by side with you for the development of Western Zambia, without any secession

  2. I have a question for the Linyungandambo chaps: if they want to annex Barotseland Province, do they have a map of it from the Angola, Namibia, and Botswana sides? Will they annex parts of Angola, Namibia, and Botswana?

    • The areas you are referring to predates the BA’64 when powerful Kingdom went deeper that far. The area that was prt of BA’64 is the current Western Province boundary. Hope that helps… and why would you want them claim other parts that have nothing to do with the ‘marriage’ with Zambia?

    • I sense these chaps are being influenced by the original architects who designed our borders to get to the oil and gas in the area. They want to create the same situation like the Niger delta in Nigeria. This has similarities with Biafra in Nigeria. Let’s educate our chiefs and our people. We are stronger together and if divided we fall.

    • @Deja Vu, there’s a reason why those that were in charge before even some of these chaps making were born decided to change those names. What’s in a name? If you call Northwestern province as Balovale or Mufumbwe as Kizela you’ll revive old wounds, just like Western province will provoke conflict from the Nkoya, Mbunda and Luchazi. Educate these people that they’re playing dangerous games. They can’t be wiser than those that came before them

    • @Ayatollah. Actually I am just being sarcastic.. I very much aware of the reasons behind the renaming these places like it (the district) belongs only to Luvale for example.

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  3. Article jumping all over the shop. Renaming; reconciliation; stoppage of TV levy; stoppage of services… man what are you talking about?
    I bet Linyungandambo are taxpayers and thus entitled to govt services, and as things stand they are still Zambians. The Barotseland Agreement of 1964 is way above most people’s understanding, comprehension and articulation. Legally and technically speaking, Zambia exists only in a legal limbo or vacuum as the foundation of the country was based on this very agreement. This is a fact that does not care about one’s political, social, tribal or emotional bias/partiality.

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    • This is the lie that we are being fed, that BA 64 created Zambia. Lie from Hell. Zambia was formed when Northern Rhodesia was terminated. Period. People are in a habit of rewriting history to suit their agenda

  4. Ok , going by this trend we too want our province to be renamed Tumbuka Province. That’s fair ,right?

  5. This is the beauty about freedom of expression , we all have a day and In so doing we are educating one another

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