BNFA public statement on BRE-GRZ Scheme to frustrate Barotseland independence


by BNFA Chairperson for Youth Sinonge Lutangu

Dear Compatriots,

I appeal to you not to be part of the scheme by the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the Zambian government (GRZ) to derail the progress towards actualization of Barotseland independence. The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) is making steady progress to achieve this. BRE and GRZ are working on a scheme to put in place a Bulozi Negotiating Team (BNT) in their continued efforts of deceiving the people and international community to negotiate the restoration of a non-existent Barotseland Agreement 1964 (BA'64). The Zambian people rejected the BA'64 in 1968, the Zambian government unilaterally abrogated it in 1969 and the people of Barotseland accepted that unilateral abrogation in 2012, after 52 years of futile attempts to restore it. Further, President Sata and President Lungu rejected to appear before the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The Zambia government rejected our calls to include the BA'64 in the Zambian constitution. The people of Barotseland have already charted the way forward through the Barotse National Council  Resolutions of 2012. Our case is now before the United Nations Humans Rights Committee and the onus is on each one of us to work together in running our own affairs.

Following our submission before the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, GRZ committed itself to re-dress the violations of our human rights, including respecting our right to self-determination. However, the Lungu regime responded by enacting a new municipal constitution, which failed to recognize the BA'64 but even went further not to recognize our existence as well as removing all our remaining rights. The Zambian government does not allow us the basic freedoms—freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, protection from torture and denial of employment as well as freedom of choice to determine our own destiny. To date, our people continue languishing in Zambian jails, including Likando Plekelo, Kalima and Afumba Mombotwa. We demand complete stoppage of these violations and immediate release of our people.

I am saddened to note that on Saturday November 4, 2017 the following: Prof. Geoffrey Lungwangwa (MP for Nalikwanda), M Ndalamei (MP for Sikongo), Frank Kufakwandi (MP for Sesheke), Gen Sitwala (MP for Kaoma), Mulonda Kundoti (MP for Luena), Nyambe Mwenda (Acting Ngambela), Mowa Zambwe (Acting Imandi), Aketata Batunda (Acting Katema), Nyambe Namushi (Acting Imangambwa) Dominic Lisulo (Acting Namuyamba), Lubasi Nalishuwa (Acting Kalonga) and Mutungulu Wanga (Moreba) met to cement this deception. These MPs are among the members of Zambian parliament who voted against the inclusion of the BA'64 in the Zambian Constitution in 2015, later enacted by Lungu in January 5, 2016. Clearly the MPs from Barotseland are working against the will and aspirations of the people they claim to represent as enshrined in the BNC Resolutions of 2012. This scheme is being funded by GRZ. Next week Mileneńi and puppet activists will be summoned to Limulunga, after which they will put together the so called negotiating team. We have nothing to negotiate—the BA'64 remains unilaterally abrogated by the Zambian regime and we accepted that abrogation. For all intents and purposes, we cannot be seen to negotiate with a regime that does not recognize our rights to self-determination on a matter that we have taken for international arbitration after exhausting both domestic and African remedies. We ask you not to be members of this scheme. The time is not yet ripe for us to negotiate with our Zambian neighbors, for we shall do so as government to government.