Messages of condolence have continued to pour from all sectors of the Barotse community following the untimely death of Likando Pelekelo in Zambia’s maximum prison yesterday where he was serving a 15-year jail sentence for his peaceful campaign for Barotseland’s self-determination.
Likando Pelekelo, 69, a political prisoner, died in unclear circumstances but possibly connected to Zambian state neglect and deplorable prison conditions in Zambia’s Mukobeko maximum prison.
And a Barotseland transitional government (BTG) spokesperson, Mr Lubinda Kunangela, has commended the united solidarity that has ensued as the elephant Kingdom mourns what he called a ‘gallant soldier’ and a ‘strong pillar’ in the struggle for peace, justice and freedom of Barotseland.
Likando Pelekelo (65), one of the three Barotseland political leaders imprisoned for peacefully advocating the independence of Barotseland, has died in Zambia’s Mukobeko maximum prison in very unclear circumstances early Saturday morning.
And unconfirmed reports by the Zambian Watchdog indicate that Mukobeko state prison has been hit by COVID-19 while accusing prison authorities and the Zambian government of covering it up.
The Zambian Watchdog, in a social media post, was quoting a Zambian politician who bemoaned the COVID-19 unpreparedness at Mukobeko in the face of the looming pandemic with three deaths already suspected to be COVID-19 related.
However, an independent source at the state penitentiary has said that Likando suddenly took ill the past week or so, presenting body swelling and chest pains.
He collapsed and died after returning from some private infirmary this morning as the prison medical facility reportedly offered him no meaningful help.
CONIFA, the Confederation of Independent Football Associations, is the football federation for all associations outside FIFA, with members from all the continents of the world.
Among its North American members is the French-speaking Canadian region of Québec and Cascadia representing the Cascadia region of the US and Canada.
From Europe, CONIFA has members such as Monaco, Western Armenia and Northern Cyprus, among many others, while some of the members from Asia are Tibet, Kurdistan and Western Papua to name but a few.
Hawaii and some Australian first nations form part of the CONIFA membership from Oceania while Mapuche and Rapa Nui are among those drawn from South America.
CONIFA was founded on the 7th of June 2013 and organized its first World Football Cup in June 2014 in Ostersund, Sweden, to support representatives of international football teams from nations, de-facto nations, regions, minority peoples and sports isolated territories share in the joy of playing international football.
Although Barotseland is yet to have a national football squad that would participate in the continental and world tournaments under CONIFA, Barotseland gained its membership in July of 2017.
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority.
Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others.
Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
WHY? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Zambian born Canadian Lawyer, Elias Munshya, has taken a swipe at Chitimukulu Kanyanta-Manga II for proposing that the current Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 2019, Bill 10, includes a new clause that will create a Council for Paramount Chiefs in the Republican Constitution comprising the Litunga, King of Barotseland, Kalonga Gawa Undi, Nkosi yama Nkosi Mpezeni and Mwinelubemba Chitimukulu Kanyanta-Manga II of the Bemba.
To achieve his proposal, Kanyanta Sosala, the Chitimukulu (Paramount Chief of the Bemba) has challenged the opposition UPND parliamentarians who hail from Barotseland in the Western Province of Zambia to vote for the controversial and disgraced bill so that their King, the Litunga, would supposedly be accorded his venerated position in the constitution of the Republic along with his Zambian counterparts, the named Paramount Chiefs.
However, Elias Munshya has accused the Chitimukulu of deceitfully riding on the Lozi people and the emotive issue of Barotseland to create for himself a constitutional status never before accorded to any Chitimukulu in the entire history of Zambia.
We have warned before now that the so-called Barotse Dialogue Council (BDC) planned by the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) is nothing more than a sinister attempt to force UPND Members of Parliament to break their UPND party ranks and support the disgraced Zambia Constitutional Amendment Bill 2019 (Bill 10) instead.
The proposed BDC has nothing to do with the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964, but everything to do with using the institution of the Litunga, King of Barotseland, and the unsuspecting BRE to pressure the ten United Party for National Development (UPND) members of the Zambian Parliament to vote in favour of Bill 10 on the pretext that the disgraced Bill would allegedly restore the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 or that it will prescribe the Litunga’s venerated position in the Republic of Zambia.
The Zambian President’s remarks on arrival in Mongu on Monday have not gone well with many Barotseland independence advocates who are now warning Mr Lungu to desist from deliberately provoking the peaceful people of Barotseland through such remarks they consider reckless and insensitive.
President Edgar Lungu, who was in the region on Monday and Tuesday for electioneering and party mobilization, veiled as an official working visit, declared on arrival that he had come to the territory to show and prove that the region, whether called Western Province or Barotseland, would forever be a part of Zambia, in apparent challenge to all those advocating either the change of name for the region to Barotseland or the total independence of the territory.
The political prisoner, imprisoned by the Zambian State for his political views on Barotseland, Afumba Mombotwa, has commended all Barotseland independence advocates for their firm decision to boycott the Barotse Dialogue Council set up by the Government of Zambia, in conjunction with their operatives in the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), which he said was only aimed at reversing the unanimous Barotseland independence declaration of the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC).
And Mr Mombotwa has warned that the Zambian government merely wants to create a false impression that the people of Barotseland no longer want independence by creating a deceitful platform which will rubber-stamp a predetermined outcome that will contradict the 2012 Barotse National Council resolutions which unanimously decided for the total independence of Barotseland from Zambia.
He has warned that those who think attending the bogus Barotse Dialogue Council would provide them with the opportunity to speak in favour of Barotseland independence are mistaken because the so-called Barotse Dialogue Council has already concluded its agenda for the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 instead of promoting the 2012 Barotse National Council resolutions for Barotseland independence.
The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) have rejected the Barotse Dialogue Council (BDC) proposed to dialogue with the Government of the Republic of Zambia on the possible restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 which the Zambian state unilaterally abrogated in 1969.
The BNFA, like their Linyungandambo counterparts, have argued that the proposed dialogue council has no mandate from the Barotse National Council (BNC) of 2012 which unanimously resolved that Barotseland should revert to her pre-treaty sovereign status because all repeated appeals to have the abrogated 1964 agreement implemented by successive Zambian governments had proved futile for nearly five decades.
Restoring the defunct agreement, they said, would be a disregard of what was unanimously resolved through the 2012 BNC which overwhelmingly voted for the Kingdom of Barotseland’s sovereign independence from the Republic of Zambia.
A BNFA press statement on the proposed Barotse Dialogue Council categorically stated that they cannot and will not take part in the Barotseland Agreement 1964 negotiations proposed by the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) because there is nothing to negotiate about the 1964 Agreement as insinuated by the BRE press statement of April 16th, 2018.
According to the BNFA, the negotiations were done and concluded before the co-signing of the pre-independence Agreement in 1964 and what should have followed was implementation, but the Zambian regime defaulted and legislated against its obligations.
Barotseland’s main independence movement, the Linyungandambo and the Barotseland National Youth League (BNYL) have refused to be a part of the so-called Barotse Dialogue Council (BDC) which will soon be constituted to dialogue with the Zambian government over the possible restoration of defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964.
And some unconfirmed reports have indicated that both the Mwandi/Sesheke and Kaoma/Naliele Kuta have also resolved not to take part in the illegitimately proposed Dialogue Council because it does not derive its mandate from the people of Barotseland.
In their letter delivered to the Ngambela (Prime Minister of Barotseland) this morning, the Linyungandambo have questioned who had mandated the Saa-Sikalo (Limulunga) Kuta to pursue the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 when the people’s PIZO, the Barotse National Council (BNC), of 2012 had specifically declared the independence of Barotseland and not the perpetuation of Barotseland’s subjugation within Zambia.
“After carefully analysing the invitation, Linyungandambo wishes to make the following observations regarding the proposed Barotse Dialogue Council.
“Firstly, the Barotse Dialogue Council reneges from the spirit of the March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) resolutions.
“The BNC 2012 resolutions do not give an option for the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964, but instead, they call for the total independence of Barotseland.
“BNC Resolution 6 specifically states: ‘The people of Barotseland shall exercise their right to revert Barotseland to her original status as a sovereign nation so that the people of Barotseland shall determine their political, cultural, social and economic development.’ ” read part of the Linyungandambo’s letter to the Ngambela, Mukela Manyando.
A scheme is brewing in which Zambia’s ruling Patriotic Front (PF), desperate to remain in power after 2021, now wishes to use the Litunga, King of Barotseland, and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) to compel UPND parliamentarians who hail from the Barotse region to vote for the controversial Bill 10 against their party caucus.
All this is on the pretext that the disgraced Bill 10 will facilitate for the restoration of the defunct 1964 Barotseland Agreement through the soon to be convened Barotse Dialogue Council
The disgraced Zambian Constitution Amendment Bill of 2019 (Bill 10) does not have the required two-thirds parliamentary majority support because the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) plans to vote as a caucus and reject it so that, together with their National Democratic Congress (NDC) counterparts and some Independent Parliamentarians, they would render the government Bill dead on its arrival.
However, should a handful of UPND members break away from the UPND party line, the bad bill can pass through to the Second Reading parliamentary stage with the required two-thirds majority vote.
It is this possibility, therefore, that has prompted the PF, through the Presidency, to trick the Litunga and BRE to immediately constitute the so-called Barotse Dialogue Council which will purportedly dialogue with the Zambian government on the stalemate over Barotseland and resolve all outstanding matters concerning the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964.
While the Litunga and BRE are excited at the renewed Zambian State willingness to dialogue over the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964, they are, however, not aware that the PF led Zambian Government merely wishes to use them as pawns in their (PF) battle for survival in the 2021 elections which the party fears it cannot win unless the current constitution amendment process succeeds to give the unpopular PF presidential candidate, with the anticipated minority national vote, the mandate to negotiate with another losing candidate into presidency through the proposed Coalition Clause in Bill 10.
A few days after concluding to engage the Zambian government through dialogue for the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964, the Privy Council is set to reconvene to possibly reconsider its earlier resolutions, a Limulunga source has reported.
The decision to reconvene the Privy Council came barely a day after the extended Privy Council had concluded its sitting with the conditional resolution to engage the Zambian government over the defunct 1964 agreement on Friday, 29th November.
“Yes! The Privy Council had concluded that the Zambian Government be engaged in a dialogue to restore the agreement on the condition that the current Zambian Bill 10 immediately includes a clause for the restoration of the defunct 1964 agreement, however, the Council may now have to reconvene, possibly on the 9th of December, to consider new matters that have arisen since the Council resolution,” the source revealed.
Reportedly, there was panic shortly after the resolutions of the Privy Council when information filtered through to them that the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) of Zambia had made a ruling in favour of embattled Webby Mulubisha contesting the Mwene Mutondo chieftaincy against the long-held cultural procedures of the Kingdom of Barotseland.
Mulubisha, a well-known rebel against the Litunga of Barotseland, using the recent 2016 amended Zambian Constitution, had petitioned the Attorney General of Zambia at the ConCourt asking whether he needed the recognition of the Zambian President to be a Chief.
This was in the matter of Article 1 and 165 of the constitution of Zambia and another related matter of the constitutionality of sections 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the Chiefs Act, Cap.287 of the Laws of Zambia.
However, in passing judgment on 27th November 2019, the ConCourt ruled and declared Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the named Chiefs Act to be inconsistent with the named Article 165 of the Zambian Constitution as amended in 2016, and are, therefore, unconstitutional and void.
The ConCourt further ordered that the sections in question be expunged from the statute book.