Imikendu and others litigation—a lot more than Edwin dethronement
by L. Likapai
Imekendu and others litigation for dethronement of the embattled Litunga Edwin Lubosi Imwiko II for gross incompetence in the High Court of Zambia is a lot more than the old adage of history repeating itself as it puts Edgar Lungu’s new municipal constitution of Zambia v Barotseland overboard. People should understand that the new constitution is a final nail on the coffin of the Litungaship and Barotseland, the very basis of the once unitary state of Zambia, which is no more. It neither recognises the office of the Litunga nor the territory of Barotseland thereby formerly annexing the entire territory of Barotseland and with the same stroke of the pen, makes the President of Zambia owner of the land in Barotseland—in other words, a coup d’etat on the Litungaship and removing all the residuals powers and authority vested in the Litunga. This is not only coup d’etat on the Litunga but on Barotseland as a whole, a territory over which the Zambian regime have no authority by virtue of their unilateral abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement 1964.
If there is any Barotse who is still sleeping or in doubt, including Inonge Wina, Chrisptopher Mundia and Sakwiba Sikota, wake up and fight for your land otherwise posterity shall relegate you to the list of Barotseland traitors. This is the same Edgar who lied with the aid of Edwin before the African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights by pleading for an opportunity to restore the long dead and buried Agreement. After the coup d’etat Edwin still had the audacity to seek shelter, food and protection in the lion’s den—barricading himself therein and Imikendu went into the lions den to flush him out, thereby throwing both the lions and their prey in confusion. What does this mean?
- If the High Court proceeds with the case and recognises that Edwin is the Litunga of Western Province thereby agreeing with both the plaintiff and Senior Counsel for the defendant who even went as far as quoting a government gazette notice, which has been overtaken by events, that makes the provision (or lack thereof) of the new municipal constitution of Zambia null and void as it pertains to the Litunga of Barotseland.
- If the High Court proceeds with the case and throws it out for what ever other reason save for not having jurisdiction over Barotseland Litungaship, cultural and traditional matters, that again makes the provision (or lack thereof) of the new municipal constitution of Zambia null and void as it pertains to the Litunga of Barotseland.
- If the High Court proceeds with the case but throws it out on account of having no jurisdiction over Barotseland Litungaship, cultural and traditional matters, that again makes the provision (or lack thereof) of the new municipal constitution of Zambia null and void as it pertains to the Litunga of Barotseland. Further, the High Court would throw away the whole intent of Zambia’s new municipal constitution in that regard overboard.
It is, therefore, no wonder that the Judge took to his/her heals, despite the adequate time he/she had to consult. For how long are the people of Barotseland going to stand and watch the Zambians profit from this confusion while they continue suffering in their own land? Putting Zambia’s lawlessness aside, the fact that Edwin still occupies the position of Litunga despite the court case proves beyond any reasonable doubt his gross incompetence and disrespect for Barotse culture, tradition and norms for etiquette requires a Litunga to stand down when censured. You don’t need any further evidence in this regard.
In any case, calling the Litunga of Barotseland, the Litunga of Western Province is in effect a mockery as it dismembers his authority and territorial integrity. The oppressive Zambian regime has been caught in its own web of deception. Kudos to Imikendu and group. What ever the Zambian regime does next is nothing but an academic exercise. The court action has served its purpose as far as Barotseland is concerned. Enough is enough. It is time for the next step. It is time to actualize Barotseland statehood, let us all rally behind the Barotse National Freedom Alliance and chase these lawless easterners back to their own country.
- If the High Court proceeds with the case but does not recognize the authority and position of the Litunga in line with the new municipal constitution of Zambia and the judge will have hammered the final nail not on the coffin of the Litungaship and Barotseland as the oppressive Zambian regime would want to pretend but on the demise of the unitary state of Zambia.