Barotseland boundary is well defined and documented


by Saleya Kwalombota

The issue of boundaries between eastern frontiers of Barotseland with Zambia will be entertained at a later stage when Barotseland has been fully liberated. It will be done on the basis of what is provided under the international law to which all states are accountable and not Zambian constitution. The purpose of this article is to help those who still have questions over the boundary between Zambia and Barotseland, since this issue has been subjected to deception by Zambian authorities in order to pervert the truth to be known by Zambians. Unfortunately, Barotse nationals living in Zambian towns are equally affected.

The position regarding the boundary of any African country that achieves independence was provided under the resolution of the summit of the Heads of States and Government of the Organization of African Unity No. AHG/16/1 of 15th July 1964. The resolution stipulated that any country that attains independence must state the extent of its boundaries, which must be supported by documentary evidence.

The Barotseland frontier have been submitted and clearly defined as evidenced by supportive documents. In this regard, the BNFA stated:

“that its Eastern boundaries shall stretch from Itezhi-Tezhi to the confluence of river Chiababi with Zambezi [longitude 26 degrees East] and Northern boundaries shall stretch from the confluence of Lufupa river with river Kafue, westwards to the Lungwebungu river, [longitude 22 degrees East]." Cf. 1900 and 1909 Concessions.

" Boundary on the west shall start from Lungwebungu river latitude 13 degrees 28 minutes south] then southward to Cuando river, down to the confluence of Cuonda with river Luiana extending to Katima Mulilo Rapids, running along the Zambezi, Eastward to its confluence with river Chiababi [longitude 26 degrees East]." Cf The Barotseland boundary case (Great Britain, Portugal, 1905).

The districts that will be affected by the Barotseland territory currently under claim are: Kalomo, Livingstone, Kazungula, Namwala, Itezhitezhi, Mumbwa, Kaoma, Kabompo, Zambezi, Chavuma, Lukulu, Kalabo, Mongu,  Senanga,Shangombo and Sesheke. Of course some of those on the Barotseland border with Zambia may be shared while those on the Barotseland borders with Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe will be maintained as they are currently.

Further, the boundaries of Barotseland are clearly defined in the publication of the document entitled International Boundary Study No. 123 of 3rd July 1973 by the Geographer, Directorate for Functional Research, Bureau of intelligence and research, Department of State, as published in accordance with the provisions of Bureau of the Budget Circular No. A-16 which stated at paragraph 4, page 4, that:

“The territory of the Barotse Kingdom was defined as that over which the King of Barotse was paramount ruler on 11th June 1891.”

The aforementioned just confirms every inch of Barotseland boundary is well documented and has been recognized by the international community through organs of the United Nations. Therefore, we have the right to undo any agenda aimed at giving away any inch of the Barotseland territory by the current embattled Litunga Edwin Lubosi Imwiko to a novice state of Zambia under a pretext of signing a NEW AGREEMENT or any attempts by the failed unitary state of Zambia to grab Barotseland territory. Nevertheless, this does not create problems because there is an international principal which states that:

“Nemodat non habet” meaning that “No one can give away that which does not belong to him.”

Barotseland nation belongs to the inhabitants who are the custodian of the monarchy, not to a person of the Litunga who does not hold authority by the mandate of the people. A person becomes Litunga not by himself but by the people (inhabitants). In this regard, those involved in destroying the affairs of Barotseland nation would soon be required to account for their misdeeds.

In conclusion, disputes arising from a confusion of sovereignty or boundaries are generally settled by an action at law. In view of this, Barotseland boundary with Zambia is well-documented as the two territories existed as separate entities 53 years ago with the former having a well-defined physical boundary. It is for this reason and through the BNFA that the people of Barotseland are demanding legal settlement of Barotseland statehood through the permanent court of arbitration as it was done in 1903 when Barotseland boundary between British and Portuguese spheres of influence was determined.

  Bulozi fasi la bo Ndata luna