President Edgar Lungu directed that the 1964 Barotseland Agreement be published in newspapers so that ordinary Zambians would read.
Apart from opposition politicians campaigning to succeed the incumbent president, the Barotse community is also overtly involved in determining who would be Zambia’s next President (Daily Nation, May 14, 2016).
Hardly three months before the eagerly awaited polls in August 2016 that will elect the next president, one major issue that has strongly emerged, and which will have a big impact on the elections, is that of the 1964 Barotseland Agreement.
While the fear of the militant Barotse secessionists has forced politicians to tone down on political rhetoric and incitement, a curse in previous Zambian election campaigns, the 1964 Barotseland Agreement has become propaganda for some opposition political leaders.
When President Edgar Lungu and his deputy Inonge Wina each appeared before the Barotse Royal Establishment and the Litunga in particular, of the Lozi-speaking people of Western Province, promised and confirmed to amicably settle the 1964 Barotseland Agreement matter, It was as if their political epitaphs had been written.
Yet, today both the PF President Edgar Lungu and his Vice President Inonge Wina have managed to not only make the 1964 Barotseland Agreement an election campaign tool, but also swayed the majority of the Barotse public to their side.
The two PF top leaders have turned the 1964 Barotseland Agreement into a blessing-in-disguise and reinvented their political careers.
They have used every available opportunity to score political points and effectively turn the long-standing 1964 Barotseland Agreement-debacle into an empathy-seeking platform.
Previously, in the 20 January 2015 polls, President Edgar Lungu and Vice President Inonge Wina’s support bases were seen as shaky even in their own backyards of Copperbelt and Western provinces respectively. But today, both of them are totally different persons.
Lest we forget, it may still be too early to predict who will be
Zambia’s next president, but the Barotse Royal Establishment and its subjects are playing an active role in the country’s elections.