PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is willing to dialogue with the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) over the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, Vice-President Inonge Wina disclosed in Parliament yesterday.
Vice-President Wina said as far as Government was concerned, Barotseland was part of the 10 Provinces of Zambia and that there was no State called Barotseland.
Ms Wina said this yesterday during the Vice-President’s Question Time after Sikongo UPND Member of Parliament Mundia Ndalamei wanted to find out when Government would honour the 1964 Barotseland Agreement.
Mr Ndalamei said when President Lungu was addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, he promised the people of Barotseland that the issue of the agreement would be resolved.
“Mr Speaker, may I find out from Her Honour, the Vice-President when you are going to give the people of Barotseland their promised Barotse Agreement?’’ Mr Ndalama asked.
In her response, Ms Wina urged the MP to realise that Barosteland (Western Province) was part and parcel of the 10 provinces of Zambia. If the Member of Parliament for Sikongo did, he could only be proved by looking at his National Registration Card (NRC) which stated which country he belonged to.”
Ms Wina said President Lungu had countless times publicly intimated that he was willing to dialogue over the matter of the Barotseland Agreement, adding that he (President) had always stood by his commitment.
She said President Lungu was going to resolve the issue of the Barotseland Agreement with the people of Western Province and Zambia as a whole.
And Ms Wina said the incidences of political violence which occurred in Namwala after the general elections had cast a dark shadow on Zambia’s economic development.
Responding to Kasama Central PF Member of Parliament Kelvin Sampa who wanted to find out the plans Government had put in place to resettle the Namwala post-election violence victims, Ms Wina said there were 30 households that were affected in Kawiko and that Government had done everything to alleviate their suffering.
She said during the post-elections violence, several houses were burnt down and the families lost all their properties apart from getting displaced.
Ms Wina said there were families in Choma, Sinazongwe and in Itezhi-Tezhi districts that were equally affected by the post-elections violence.
She said there was denial on the part of the UPND and some traditional leaders on the outcome of the August 11 general elections which had created tension in some parts of the country, resulting in violence.
Ms Wina thanked St Ignatius Priest Fr Charles Chilinda for the support he rendered to the Namwala post-election victims.
She said the Patriotic Front (PF) disaster management committee donated over 70 bicycles and various foodstuffs to the displaced families in Namwala.
Ms Wina said the victims were currently placed in different parts of the country and were surviving on donations because they lost all their property.
“They now depend on Government and donations from well-wishers and I hope that as we go forward we will not experience such a phenomenon ever again. Because when we differ as politicians, the grassroots voters are the ones who suffer most and if this country was put on fire, they have nowhere to run to but politicians can fly to countries of their choice,” Ms Wina said.