In recent times, the readership of your esteemed newspaper has been incessantly bombarded with publications of the Barotseland Agreement (BA) 1964 as ordered by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
From the outset, it must be stated that the current publications of the BA are not a new phenomenon.
It is vividly recalled that our late President Michael Chilufya Sata (MHSRP) did also order the publication of the historic BA a few months after assuming office.
That publication did nothing to resolve the long-standing impasse over Barotseland’s quest for return to nationhood and statehood following the abrogation or repudiation of the BA in 1969 by the government of the day.
Mere publication of the BA even a thousand times will not resolve the issue of Barotseland. It is important for the media to highlight the other side of the coin, so to speak.
Allow me to take advantage of this communication to put some issues into their proper and true perspective.
Firstly, it is not correct for President Lungu to insinuate that Barotseland, nicknamed Western Province, wants to “secede” from the rest of Zambia and that the BA does not provide for “secession”.
Our President needs to understand and recognise that secession cannot and indeed must not apply to Barotseland.
Unlike all the other provinces, Barotseland was a nation State prior to 1964 when the Litunga, the King of Barotseland, in good faith, appended his signature on behalf of his people that Barotseland becomes part of Zambia as one country and one nation BUT ONLY UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS as highlighted in the BA.
President Lungu has also stated that the BA does not provide for so-called “secession” but interestingly, he fails to recognise the fact that the BA does also not provide for abrogation or repudiation of the Agreement as happened in 1969.
It is an open secret that in 1969, the government of the day unilaterally enacted legislation without consulting the other party to the Agreement, the Litunga and his people.
This action effectively broke, abrogated or repudiated the BA and took away the powers of the Litunga that he held in Barotseland prior to 1964 when Barotseland was a self-governing Protectorate. The Litunga and his people were effectively “dribbled”.
I am appealing that you favourably consider giving the same prominence to publication of the Barotse National Council (BNC) resolutions of 14th March 2014 so that your readers and the general public can be enabled to make a more balanced and enlightened opinion on the current impasse on the issue of Barotseland’s peaceful and non-violent quest for reversion to nationhood.
What option does a husband or wife has when either one refuses to restore a broken marriage but to revert to their original status?
William HARRINGTON – 1st Trustee – Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA).