GOVERNMENT should not entertain any secession documentation by the Barotseland National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) because it does not represent all the people in the province.
Mbunda Royal Establishment (MRE) spokesperson Kennedy Mubanga said the Government should not be forced to sign the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) agreement over the independence of Barotseland because the issue at hand is only giving credence to one group of people.
He said the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) which was presenting the Barotseland issue should not rush into challenging the Government to sign the arbitration agreement because the matter regarding the Barotse Agreement of 1964 only represented the views of the Lozis and not all the ethnic groups.
Mr Mubanga said it was unfair to push for things that were favourable to only one grouping of people, at the expense of the majority.
“The Government should not be forced to sign a document that is supporting the secession of the Lozis because it is not the position of all the citizens hailing from Western Province, but it is only those few selfish individuals who want to achieve their own personal agenda,” he said.
Mr Mubanga said the Mbundas and other tribes in Western Province were not part of the secession and that the Barotse Agreement of 1964, which the Lozi people were spearheading was not acceptable.
He said the recognition of Barotse Agreement of 1964 was not favorable to everyone in the region, and that it would not be supported by all who meant well for the peace and unity of Zambia.
Mr Mubanga’s comment followed request by the lawyers representing the Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) Dugue & Kirtley AARPI with Co-counsel Ms Sylvana Sinha, that President Edgar Lungu should sign the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) agreement. The Permanent Court of Arbitration allowed for an Independent and Impartial international arbitral tribunal to settle the disagreement pertaining to Barotseland Statehood in accordance with the international law.
Mr Mubanga alleged that the Mbunda people had made an effort by engaging the Government to resolve their misunderstanding with the Lozi but had their meeting interrupted by the police.
“This is the reason why we as the Mbundas are requesting for a meeting with the President so that this issue can be resolved because the secession issues are baseless as we are not part of it, but our meeting was interrupted by the police,” he said. Mr Mubanga said it was unfortunate that the same Lozis who were advocating secession were the ones who were favored by the Government.
Lawyers representing the BNFA, Dugue and Kirtley AARPI of New York have requested the Government to sign an Arbitration Agreement to participate in the establishment of an impartial and independent tribunal, in order to maintain domestic and international legal credibility and peacefully resolve all of Barotseland’s outstanding disputes with Zambia.
This means that should the Government sign the Arbitration, then it would confirm the freeing of Barotseland from Zambia.
The resolution would entail that ‘The people of Barotseland shall exercise their right to revert Barotseland to its original status as a sovereign nation.
The status would also mean that the people of Barotseland would have to determine their political, cultural, social and economic development with their full legal effect.
In 2014, President Michael Sata turned down a request from lawyers representing the BNFA and the people of Barotseland to sign a Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) submission agreement.
It was against that background that the people 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.