‘Actualise Barotse agreement’

FORMER Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) Ngambela Clement Sinyinda has written to President Edgar Lungu asking him to actualise Barotseland statehood.

Mr Sinyinda who is now chairperson general for Barotse National Freedom Alliance, said he was hopeful that the new President would not run away from issues regarding the Barotse Agreement of 1964, like his predecessors. He said the people of Barotseland have watched with great dismay how successive Zambian regimes violated the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, despite engaging them in the transition process of actualizing the Barotseland statehood in a pacific manner.

“We write to you regarding the above subject and welcome you to the reality of assuming the Presidency of a failed unitary state of Zambia. We trust and hope that you will not run away from this reality as did your predecessors but engage us in the transition process of actualizing Barotseland statehood in a pacific manner,” the letter read in part.

Mr Sinyinda said the road to independence in 1964 and the role Barotseland played in that process was known and documented.

He accused the first President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda of suppressing and prevailing on his successors to continue oppressing the people of Barotseland.

“We do not understand why the rest of the Zambian people, politicians, Zambian Government, and Dr. Kenneth Kaunda and his successors fail to understand that without the Barotseland Agreement 1964, there is no unitary state called Zambia, as it were,” the letter read. Mr Sinyinda said Barotseland had taken steps to engage the leaders of Zambia with a view to working out transitional arrangements towards self-determination and self-rule of Barotseland.

He said it was sad that previous Governments had been responding with more human rights abuses against the peoples of Barotseland while running away from international arbitration.

It was against that background that the peoples of Barotseland, through the March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC), resolved to accept the repudiation of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and, thereby, set in motion the process of separating the territories of Barotseland and the rest of Zambia.

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