Elitism in Barotseland independence struggle unacceptable


by Saleya Kwalombota

This article is purely an expression of my personal views and not a representation of any movement in Barotseland politics. Its purpose is to bring out issues smearing underneath to public domain so that the venom of deceitfulness is defeated and thwarted before it becomes a terminal illness. I further beg to differ with views of others within the fraternity of independence advocates on ideology not on principle.

It is of grave concern that we have witnessed unwarranted attacks against liberation organizations with divergent views by youth leaders affiliated to some organizations. I see this altitude as Zambian and uncivilized. The nature and culture of hate speech is against our Barotse culture and democratic system. While others work tirelessly towards effective realization of our independence struggle, a few idle youths are busy sawing seeds of discontent and confusion, departing from the ideals of the Barotse National Council  Resolutions of 2012 to focusing on personalities.

I note with sadness too that even the approach to the independence struggle has degenerated among the same youth movement, quickly departing from collective to arbitrary decisions. The intelligence wing of the occupying state has systematically played its high level intelligence operation by weakening the system that promoted cohesion, making unity of purpose unattainable among the youths.

Barotseland's infirmity towards unity of purpose emanates from its decades of illegal occupation by the state of Zambia.  To a certain extent, the youths are mostly affected by the long period of Zambian subjugation as most of the politically active youths were born in the period after the Barotseland Agreement 1964 (BA'64) was terminated in 1969 and as such schooled in the Zambian mannerisms. The insubordination, hate speech, untrustworthiness, cowardice, to mention but a few, cannot be divorced from Zambian deceitful nature that has left certain liberation movements in limbo and organizational crisis.

Furthermore, the partially existing movement of Linyungandambo is struggling to revive its former organizational support structures following the imprisonment of its visionary leader Hon. Afumba Mombotwa by the Zambian state, while the rest of movements have either gone into oblivion or lost influence and dignity exacerbated by lack of policy direction, inter alia: leadership crisis and lack of public participation. This has aggravated a belief that certain personage are anointed to head the struggle with the rest remaining as spectators and hope to live in a liberated Barotseland while doing nothing to achieve that goal. The spectators are the loudest at making uncivilized remarks as they fail to note the gains. Questions like: When? How far Barotseland independence issue has reached now? What is being done towards our resolve? Is independence of Barotseland possible? The list of questions is unendless.

In view of the aforementioned, the Barotse Monarchy should resist Zambia's silent restructuring of its status to the level of Zambian Royal Establishments. This silent degrading of the Barotse Monarchy could be attributed to lose of self-reliance whereby the Monarchy has lost all its revenue sources to the Zambian central government coupled with mismanagement of the little resources within their jurisdiction, rendering it poverty stricken with no capacity to carry out its mandate of infrastructure development of palaces, community and payment of salaries. This scenario requires urgent intervention measures so that the powers that be should neither hold our royals captive economically nor use them as agents of repression against their own people.

We must bear in mind that we are dealing with a regime (Zambian government) that is well familiar with the consequences of its unlawful termination of the BA'64. It is for this reason that the Zambian intelligence went a step ahead by knocking down influential persons in the ranks of our nationalists through unlawful arrests, detentions, imprisonments and misinformation, which is now the issue of concern spearheaded by the spirit of elitism among the youth independence advocates.

However, the existence of the alliance, the Barotse National Freedom Alliance, is of great hope in as far as issues of Barotseland's diplomacy and legal technicalities are concerned. Further, as an Alliance, it holds no partisan views. It is inclusive in formation and stands to coordinate, in a civilized way, activities of the people aimed at actualizing independence of Barotseland in pursuance of our unalterable belief, understanding and aspirations, as enshrined in the BNC resolutions of 2012, reflecting our collective decisions.

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