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Barotse Breakaway Plan Hits Setback
10 April 2012 Tuesday 05:11 AM Views: 3332 times
The Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II with then-VP George Kunda during the 2011 Kuomboka ceremony

Five traditional groupings in eastern parts of Western Province have resolved to break away from Barotseland under the authority of the Litunga and remain within the unitary State of Zambia.

In their four-page resolutions signed by traditional leaders and stakeholders from the Kazanga and Nkoya royal establishments, the leadership said they had rejected the unilateral declaration of Western Province as an independent State.

Last week, the Barotse National Council (BNC) controversially resolved to break away from Zambia and form an independent State to be called Barotseland.

This was while Cabinet was preparing to discuss the Rodger Chongwe report on the Mongu fracas of January 14 last year.

The resolutions of the just-ended Nkoya National Council held at Chilombo ceremonial grounds in Mangongi charged that the decision to secede from Zambia was treasonable.

“We, the Nkoya-speaking people, declare that we are not part of the Barotse people and are free to pursue our own destiny in Zambia. We are committed to a peaceful unitary State called Zambia,” the resolutions read in part.

They said the Mbunda, Luvale and Luchazi-speaking people should work with Nkoyas to repudiate the Limulunga resolutions, especially the one about seceding from Zambia.

According to the resolutions, the Government should take steps to recognise and elevate deserving traditional leaders for the new independent traditional authority in the eastern parts of Western Province.

The latest turn of events puts the agitation for secession somewhat in jeopardy because the Nkoya grouping occupies vast parts of Mulobezi, Kaoma, Lukulu, parts of Mongu and parts of Senanga.

They also want a new province involving the three districts with other surrounding ones such as Mumbwa and Itezhi Tezhi.

“We now categorically inform our Zambian Government and the international community that we do not accept the unilateral declaration of the BNC at its meeting held in Limulunga from March 26-27, 2012,” they stated.

They also said they would not take kindly to any attempts to undermine their authority and traditional independence by ridiculing their resolutions.

They stated that they had been subjected to perpetual suppression, with land being administered by the Litunga who they said was not part of the Nkoya authority.

“We resolve that the Zambian Government should immediately take lawful measures to restrain the aggressors and saboteurs of the nation called Zambia and that no part of Zambia shall be allowed to break away,” they said.

They stated that all the land appropriated by the BRE through the representative of the Litunga, Chief Naliele in Kaoma and Namayula in Lukulu should be returned to the owners after this year’s harvest.

They urged the Government to appoint Nkoya-speaking people to positions of authority instead of the Lozis alone.

In their preamble, they argued that the BRE and their agents burnt the Nkoya school books and sent Nkoya chiefs in exile in 1969.

They said their claim for traditional independence was recognised under Article 127 of the country’s Constitution.

Some of the traditional leaders who signed the resolutions were Senior Chief Mwene Kahare, Mwene Mutondo, Chief Moomba, Chief Mwene Nyati, Chief Kabulwe, Chief Kang’ombe from North-Western Province and several headmen and sub-chiefs.

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