Barotse resolution – How did the royals arrive at such a resolution?

By Lubasi


The Litunga


Almost all ordinary people with origins in Western Province and those living in outside the province are rejecting the recent Barotseland resolution. How did the royals arrive at such a resolution? 90 percent of people in western province opposing BRE resolution.

As person from the province; I did not hear any local consultation about decision. I visit my home village outside Mongu, and I talk to my relatives living in the province, no one was consulted. So, “is BRE secede resolution a reflection of the people of western province?

The firstly, there are other tribes in the province beyond the Lozi. We have Nkoyas, Luvales, Nyengo, Chokwe and Mbundas. These tribes are not supporting this resolution to secede from Zambia. Yes, the Nkoya Royal Establishment decision as reported, reject BRE resolution and it the view which majority of the people in Western Province support. Word of mouth poll has about 90 percent of people in western province opposing BRE resolution.

Instead of putting pressure on PF MPs and Government to deliver on the campaign promises to bring development to the province and create opportunities to all people in the province; now all the energy will spent on a cause which is not supported by majority of the people. If BRE resolution called for new colleges, better roads and more better equipped hospitals in the province; everyone in Zambia would be supporting them today.

Legally, after 47 years of sealed agreement, the Royal establishment cannot abandon that agreement which they signed and agreed to follow. The agreement was to form one country between Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland. Action to secede was not part of the original agreement, therefore for the Royal establishment to start calling for “secede” breaks the terms of the BRE agreement. The only option stated in the agreement if issues or concerns arise in the agreement is to approach the Highest Court of Republic of Zambia. This means that the BRE will actually be in default if it continues to call to secede.

BRE must honour the agreement, which it legally signed just before Independence Day in 1964. The bottom line is the BRE agreement is valid and legal, and must be honoured by all signatories which the Royal Establishment and Northern Rhodesia (Republic of Zambia).

Today, people in the Western province enjoy the right to vote for elected leaders in Government of Zambia. So far, Barotseland agreement wants to take away that right. If secede, people would not be allowed to vote for leaders because royal families are not elected and would assignment themselves government positions in the new government for life. This is about royal families, not ordinary people living in the province.

Third, charity begins at home. With all due respect to the BRE, which development project can the Royals point to as having built for the people in Western Province in the last 47 years? Who built clinics or schools in the province? With all due respect, it will be a difficult task for BRE to take the role to build the province. Where do all the millions of Kwacha raised from the Annual Kuomboka ceremony go? Who benefits from this ceremony?

BRE resolution is not about ordinary people. The same families who have benefited from deals with past government want to increase their riches by holding all powers in the province.

Western province has other challenging issues. We need more colleges, better hospitals and build roads to connect peoples and markets. This Barotseland resolution is a total and big distraction from real issues of development. There is an opportunity now especially with the new Government, which has shown great interest in developing the province.

The entire country of Zambia should not be dragged into royal family secession problems. Let the royal families deal with their own issues. The people of western province are Zambians and will continue to belong to Zambia. The province has produced Ministers and MPs who held strategic cabinet positions in education, health and Agriculture, even a highest position as Speaker of Parliament. But these people forgot the province once elected and continue to stay in Lusaka. So, let’s blame those people for failing the deliver development.

I am proud to be a Zambian Lozi, married to a beautiful Mabwe-Tonga woman, living and working in Lamba land.

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5 responses to “Barotse resolution – How did the royals arrive at such a resolution?”

  1. MRA says:

    Dear Mr Lubiso
    I would like to applause your effort to try and bridge a gap between Barotse Kingdom and Zambia.
    First of all I would like to point out that the call for an independent Barotse has been ongoing for nearly four decades stemming from the actions by the former President Kaunda. It has not been on the forefront in the press or in national discussions over this period of time because it had been suppressed by previous Governments, even today people fear speaking on the issue however people are now fed up of being fearful, have become aware of their rights and are thirsty for emancipation. I am a Barotse national and I have been calling for self-determination and so the notion that the BNC and BRE are acting alone for their self-interests only underscores how much miss- information has been absorbed. Let’s keep in mind that “Lozi” actually comes from our German missionary friends so we must look beyond the scope of “Britain” when we look at historical notes.
    Furthermore Barotse is a nation, that is to say it includes and embraces other tribes and races and therefore the call for an independent Barotse is not for the determination of “one” tribe but the peoples of this nation.
    There has been no benefit to Borotseland staying with Zambia. To continue on as it was prior to March 27 2012 would simply mean that the Zambian Government would have to plough extensive resources in the region at the expense of the Zambian people while trying to appease those who are determined to be self-Governed. Clearly this is counterproductive and if we are not careful in the way we discuss these issues and allow things to go out of control we will all lose and Zambia stands to lose the most by way investor confidence and the support of its current infrastructure and economy.
    As far as other areas of Zambia being underdeveloped Barostse is the least developed of them all and there is a direct correlation of the underdevelopment of Barotseland the abrogation of the BA1964 Agreement and this sets the other areas apart in the case of development. It is up to the Zambian Government to resolve those disparities in those areas as it is now up to the Barotse Nation to begin to solve its own problems.
    I really don’t see any reason for Zambia to use coercion on this issue. It will be in the interest of both Zambia and Baroste to work as two independent partners setting yet another historical benchmark in diplomacy and democracy within the continent and beyond.

  2. ZOZI-A-ZOZI says:

    There was clearly accelerated development programs in Western Province, “Barotseland” before independence than after e.g. Barotse National School (BNS) which is now kambule Secondary School was built in 1907, many prominent lozi figures from across all tribes in Barotse went through this school and also the Lewanika General Hospital built in 1923. These are just some of examples of iniatives that took place in Barotseland that time. It is interesting to note that the late Abe Galaun developed his trade of cattle ranching from Barotseland when he worked with Susman brothers. In fact Galuan called himself a Lozi.

    Another example is when Central African Airways paved way for the formation of Zambia Airways in 1967 Barotse province had the highest number of flight frequencies/airports/stops e.g. Kaoma, Lukulu, Sesheke, Kalabo, Senanga and Mongu all where routed an indication there was a lot of activity in the province.

    I believe the issue of divide and rule since the KK days led to some of the problems we are all facing now. KK belived taking care of a few vocal or prominent Lozis would solve the discontent. KK’s successors also followed same system/path, locals feel they have not benefitted in anyway following independence. It is a sad situation when you move deeper in the province as quite often people concern themselves with just Mongu, Kaoma or Senanga, the province is vast running all way to the border with Angola where people have been surving on wild fruits. It is even strange in some parts of Western Province to see a car.

    It would be good however if an amicable solution is found, cos other remote areas in Zambia are equally in dire-straits so perhaps what is required is empowerement of the local communities. This was the campaign promise by MCS that it should not be necessary for everthing to be done from Lusaka implying decentralisation is the way to go.

  3. Think education is expensive, try ignorance says:

    The author of this article has embarrassed himself by exposing his ignorance on the subject matter. you seem to be driven by jealousy and triberism. How quickly do you forget that Sata lied and KK lied to the same people about the BA64.

    When Barotseland joined Northern Rhodesia to form Zambia, KK consulted the BNC, and today in reversing the action only the BNC could do it, as it represents your village. Members of the BNC are democratically elected. Barotseland will be a constitutional monarchy. They had a democratically elected Legislative Council long before Zambia was formed.

    The most serious error in your article is your failure to know that when Zambia abrogated the BA64 in 1969 without consulting the other signatory, Litunga, that became the first default on this contract. When the contract is broken by one, the other is free to walk away, and this is what Barotseland is doing instead of giving incompetent and nepotistic PF leadership any form of pressure. This was a vote of no confidence.

    The new government of Barotseland will create new opportunities for all 73 tribes living in Barotseland. In less than 5 years there will be new colleges and universities, better roads, better hospital equipment, and other infrastructure which your successive government failed to bring in 47 years. If I were you I would not even talk and try to support the government on something like this. Like you we thought PF was going bring this to a dialogue in parliament. But after wasting money on the commission of inquiry the president openly stated he was reluctant to recommend the recommendation of the commission of inquiry to the parliament. You sound like you don’t live in Zambia, or you have not been listening to news. Too late now, there will be no more Western province. The new nation of Barotseland will be a model of transparency and good governance in the region. Wait and see.

  4. PUZZLED says:

    Am puzzled at your shallow thinking. First how did you come up with your 90% analysis? How do fail to acknowledge the fact that this agreement was abrogated by the government? Who told you that the cry to honor the agreement was only about development? Are you so ignorant that there has been calls to honor this agreement before? Which tradition event in Zambia channels the produce of such events in developing their areas for you to question the produce of the kuomboka? Whilst not urging you to support this cause based on your tribe,I wonder what type of a Lozi you are who has such warped and shallow understanding of where you come from. Please do a detailed research by reading other related issues and a bit of legal knowledge before you mislead others.

  5. Scared Zambian says:

    Lubasi, this is an interesting article. It would carry more weight if you identified yourself in full. I was thinking of recommending it to the Zambia Daily Mail or Times of Zambia for publication was an opinion piece. Are you UK based? It is not clear from the article.

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