In 1965, Kenneth Kaunda’s Zambian government disbanded the Church of Barotseland, seized its entire church infrastructure, land and all other assets, reallocating them to the newly formed United Church Zambia, UCZ, which Kaunda formed in the guise of ‘unity’ as propagated in Zambia’s motto of ‘One Zambia One Nation’!
Kaunda’s argument then was that, with the political liberation of Zambia, there was an urgent need to unite the Church of Barotseland with the Church of Central Africa in Rhodesia (mission work of the Church of Scotland), the Union Church of Copperbelt, the Copperbelt Free Church Council and the Methodist Church in line with the newly coined ‘One Zambia One nation’ motto!
An inside report received from Zambia’s Mukobeko Maximum Prison has indicated that Afumba Mombotwa (60), Pelekelo Likando (64) and Sylvester Inambao Kalima (57) face sustained psychological abuse and torture inflicted by some named Zambian prison warders assigned to torment the imprisoned Barotseland independence leaders.
Specifically named in the report is one state agent, named only as Mwangala, a warden of Lozi descent like the three political prisoners, deliberately assigned by the State to constantly torture and hurl verbal abuses on the trio, mocking them about their ‘misguided’ dream for Barotseland independence which will never materialise.
Prison Officer Mwangala reportedly uses unpalatable, nasty and abusive words towards the Barotseland leaders serving 15 years jail sentence in Zambian prison, threatening that instead of freedom, they should expect to die in Kabwe’s Mukobeko Maximum Prison!
Barotseland’s premier water pageantry, Kuomboka, will not take place this year due to insufficient water in the vast Barotse plains.
Announcing the cancellation of the annual festival, the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, through its Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, said the poor rainfall and general drought sweeping across the region has adversely affected the water levels in the Barotse plains this year.
“Although the rains were generally poor in Western province, we had hoped for the usual surge of flood water from the big tributaries of The Zambezi, namely the Lungwebungu and Kabompo rivers from the high rainfall areas of Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo respectively. However, this has not been forthcoming!” stated Mukela Manyando in a press statement delivered to the media yesterday, Saturday, 23rd March 2019.
Britain never got any territory from Barotseland by conquest, domination or outright purchase because Barotseland was merely Britain’s protectorate and not a colony in its strict sense! And because whatever territory Britain got from Barotseland was by treaties, concessions or agreements, in the event that any of these concessions, treaties or agreements were violated, either party would reserve their respective right to return to their pre-treaty, pre-concession and pre-agreement status! Barotseland would retain full control over its original territory as it was before the collapsed covenants!
While some Zambians, and even some Barotse people, still doubt the validity and legitimacy of Barotseland’s claim for independence and its quest for international recognition as an independent state, many will be surprised to learn that some countries in the world are already seriously educating their learners about Barotseland’s legitimate claim for independence from Zambia.
This was the case in Britain’s favorite quiz competition University Challenge which features contestants in a BBC televised academic quiz show where teams of students from UK universities answer questions on all manner of subjects.
The contestants are chosen from multiple disciplines ranging from undergraduate to postgraduate levels.
In Episode 29 of Season 48, first televised this week on Monday, 25th February of 2019 at 8:30 pm, the show featured Durham University and Edinburgh University, in which one of the questions was about Barotseland and its quest for recognition as an independent state.
Often times, human nature inclines towards worrying about what is yet to be achieved and makes us neglect what has so far been attained! Celebrating our successes, no matter how small, encourages us to persevere in whatever undertaking we are involved in.
Specifically, in the struggle for Barotseland’s self-determination, we have often been mocked by those who think Barotseland is fighting a losing battle, and that very little or no tangible progress is being achieved at all!
Well, that is not quite true, as the following report will show exactly what has been achieved in as far as highlighting the cause of Barotseland to the whole world!
It is not a mere coincidence that Barotseland has sometimes been featured in international news media or international journals, with some international scholars and writers including current happenings in their works. Last year, for instance, we shared some clips from the world-renowned US crime investigative police drama, NCIS, Season 16, which featured BAROTSELAND in episode 6 of the highly rated crime series.
The other year we gave a report of one Nick Middleton, a geographer, writer and presenter of television documentaries, who teaches at Oxford University, where he is a Fellow of St Anne's College, a Royal Geographical Society award-winning author who was featured on VOA, BBC, The Guardian and other international media showcasing his latest works of countries currently seeking international recognition published by the world-renowned Macmillan Publishers, 2015, in which Barotseland is named among them.
Masiye Masiyaleti, the Sioma secondary school teacher, who was Accused number Four (4) in the 2016 Afumba Mombotwa and Others treason trial, has reportedly died after what sources have said was a bitter domestic fight with his wife.
The yet to be confirmed reports are that Masiye was badly injured by his wife on the head after she allegedly hit him with a bottle or something sharp.
Accordingly, Masiye was rushed to Mongu’s Liwanika Hospital where he was receiving emergency medical attention in the past three days but unfortunately died around mid-morning today from the critical head injuries allegedly inflicted on him by his wife in the violent domestic altercation.
Masiye Masiyaleti was the only one acquitted of the charge of treason by the Zambian High Court in the 2016 ' Afumba Mombotwa and Others' trial in which Afumba Mombotwa, Inambao Kalima and Likando Pelekelo were slapped with 10 years jail sentence each with hard labour, now increased to 15 years jail sentences by the Supreme Court of Zambia.
Barotseland has a new Ngambela (Prime Minister) installed by His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland, Lubosi Imwiko II, on Thursday, January 17, 2019.
And the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, has vowed that Barotseland will never vanish from the face of the earth until God Almighty returns.
Mukela Manyando’s installation as Barotseland’s new premier in the nation’s administrative capital, Lealui, followed the unceremonious resignation of Ngambela Nyambe Mwenda who resigned sometime in October last year citing personal family reasons.
Mr Mukela Manyando, who served as the last substantive Prime Minister of Barotseland under the reign of King Ilute Yeta IV and also as the first Ngambela for Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II in an acting capacity from 13th October 2000 to 16th October 2006, comes back to the BRE amidst wide expectations for the implementation of Barotseland self-determination.
What is not clear though is whether the BRE and the Independence activists are indeed seeking the same type of self-determination for Barotseland, as it would appear that while the BRE seek self-determination within the confines of the unitary state of Zambia, the people aspire for self-determination outside of Zambia - total independence.
His Majesty the Litunga, King of Barotseland, Lubosi Imwiko II, was yesterday reluctant to accept his usual Zambian security escort in preference to his own Royal Security guards, the Barotse Imilema, as he retreated to his winter palace of Lealui, a move that has further excited the Barotse community that perhaps the Litunga now wishes to exercise his own authority without interference from the Zambian state.
And addressing scores of Kapulanga Market traders who wanted to take a glance at His Majesty, acting Ngambela, Mowa Zambwe, told the traders that the Litunga was retreating to Lealui temporarily on a mission to sort out some issues affecting the people of Barotseland. "Your King will be in Lealui for a few days and once he is done with his mission, he will return to Limulunga," Ngambela Zambwe said.
Indigenous languages matter for development, peacebuilding and reconciliation. So is Barotseland’s siLozi, which we must continue to promote not only as a unifying commonality but also a tool of development for the entire nation of Barotseland!
Languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool of communication, education, social integration and development, but also as a repository for each person’s unique identity, cultural history, traditions and memory. But despite their immense value, languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate as they get ‘swallowed’ by dominant or “metropolitan” ones that receive an unfair promotion at the expense of these indigenous languages.
With this in mind, the United Nations declared 2019 The International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) in order to raise awareness of them, not only to benefit the people who speak these languages but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to our world’s rich cultural diversity.
Additionally, the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages was so declared in defence of those fighting for their identity!
Indigenous languages are an invaluable heritage that must be protected alongside the rights of native peoples.
A language can become “extinct” just like animal and plants species. This occurs when the last person who can speak it dies.
The people of Barotseland must unite in their call for total independence as only through a unity of purpose would the nation actualize the 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) Barotseland independence declaration!
Thus far, the Zambian government has managed to slow Barotseland’s quest for self-determination by mounting a calculated divisive strategy that has seen Barotseland divided, mainly through the spread of rumours and fake intelligence reports that independence activists plan to abolish the monarchy soon after they achieve total independence!
It was, in fact, these false rumours that tended to make the King and the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, reluctant to join Barotse nationals pushing for Barotseland independence, having been deceived by the Zambian government that independence would spell the end of the monarchy!
However, to put it on record one more time, there is no single individual or organization in Barotseland who is advocating the abolishment of the monarchy or plotting to usurp the authority of the Litunga, King of Barotseland because the nation and the Litunga are forever one.
In fact, the very term ‘Litunga’ means ‘land’ or ‘nation’ in Barotseland.
Wishing you peace, joy, and all the best this wonderful holiday has to offer, and may this incredible time of giving and spending time with family bring you the joy that lasts throughout the coming year.
May each day of the New Year bring you pleasant surprises like the curled petals of a flower that spread sweet fragrance slowly as it unfolds layer by layer.
No Year can be a bed of roses. But we wish you the courage and confidence to turn each obstacle into opportunity during the coming New Year.
Genuine success comes only to those who are prepared for it!
Therefore, never step back and always have the courage to accept new challenges in this coming year.