The Linyungandambo have also stated that the planned Barotse Dialogue Council cannot possibly be a substitute for the Barotse National Council (BNC) because it does not exist in Barotseland’s governance structures, and as such, it could not nullify or overturn the resolutions of a regularly constituted BNC.
The independence movement, whose founder and leader, Afumba Mombotwa, is currently serving a 15–year jail sentence in Zambia for treason felony charges related to the Barotseland saga, has castigated the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) for trying to renege from the old-age Barotseland governance system built purely on the democratic bottom-up approach in all national decision making.
“We worry that the legitimacy and authority given to the would-be BDC at this time may be questionable as it does not derive its powers from the 2012 BNC; it should have been invoked immediately after the 2012 BNC to map out the strategies on how to govern ourselves and not to take us back to discussing the restoration of the now null and void Barotseland Agreement 1964.”
Meanwhile, the Linyungandambo have revealed that they have done and continue to do a lot to actualize the 2012 BNC unanimous independence resolutions and would rather dialogue with the Zambian government as a transitional Barotseland government on the transfer of state power from the Zambian state to His Majesty’s Royal Barotseland Government.
“As Linyungandambo, we have done a lot of work in actualising Barotseland’s self-determination through total independence and, thus far, we are at the stage of statehood recognition and would rather dialogue with Zambia as Barotseland Transitional Government (BTG) and not as a Barotse Dialogue Council. Then our negotiations with the Zambian government would have been regarding the handover and transfer of power from the colonizing state to the Barotseland State headed by His Majesty, The Ngocana, Litunga Imwiko II, rather than the mere BRE take-over of Local Government under the same colonizing Zambian state.
“We are [also] not comfortable that the ‘originating authority’ has nomination power to add members to the BDC who will speak for their opinion which has been made clear - the resurrection of the null and void BA’64 or a new Barotseland Agreement. This makes the BDC's mandate to be that of ratifying what the originating authority has already agreed on with Zambia.
“Thus, rendering all other participants as mere rubberstamps.
“This act proves the speculations that the Saa-Sikalo Kuta has had intentions to change or renege from the 2012 BNC resolutions as, right from the objectives, the originating authority has already determined the outcome of the activities of the BDC - which is, to work out modalities of resurrecting the null and void BA'64 or enact a new one!
“This being the ultimate purpose of the BDC, we find that our inclusion in this process is like mudslinging as we are vehemently opposed to Zambia’s administration of Barotseland - whether it is legal or illegal after over 50 years of being a subjugated peoples."
In rejecting the Barotse Dialogue Council, the BNYL has backed the Linyungandambo sponsored Barotseland Independence agenda as it is the only program that respects the will of the people of Barotseland as declared at the 2012 BNC.
“Barotseland National Youth League (BNYL) is composed of upright minded youths, consistent in the activities of liberating Barotseland. We are mentally liberated youths who cannot be lured by the mere financial remunerations the Barotse Dialogue Council promises to offer to all attendees, as we esteem the national interest above our personal aggrandizement.
“We, therefore, regrettably inform the Barotse Royal Establishment that BNYL shall not be part of any Dialogue Council whose main objective is to circumvent the March 2012 BNC unanimous resolutions of the people of Barotseland for a totally independent Barotseland.
“As such, we shall continue to give support to the Linyungandambo sponsored Barotseland Indepdpence program which we are confident is aimed at actualizing the mandate of the people as declared at the March 2012 Barotse National Council.” stated part of the BNYL letter to the BRE through the Ngambela of Barotseland.
The Barotse Dialogue Council is expected to start their sittings soon, and its publicized composition includes the Barotse UPND members of the Zambian Parliament from the region, with strict instructions to put Council interests above those of their political parties.
However, this directive in the rules and guidelines of the Dialogue Council has raised speculations that the Dialogue Council may be used to compel the opposition UPND members to vote in favour of the deferred controversial Zambian Constitution Amendment Bill of 2019 (Bill 10) on the pretext that the disgraced bill will include a clause on the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 should it pass Second Reading Parliament stage with a two-third majority vote in the Zambian parliament.
The Zambian opposition UPND plans to reject the bill by voting against it as a party caucus, but here the UPND members of parliament from the Barotse region are strictly directed to break their party line and vote for the rejected bill so that the restoration of the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 may be realised.
Many have condemned the Zambian government-financed Barotse Dialogue Council as a mere trick to aid Zambia’s ruling Patriotic Front to succeed with the bad Bill 10 and as an electioneering gesture to woo Barotse votes!
Copies of the entire letters are here below reproduced and linked for record purposes only: