Almost all ordinary people with origins in Western Province and those living in outside the province are rejecting the recent Barotseland resolution. How did the royals arrive at such a resolution? 90 percent of people in western province opposing BRE resolution.
As person from the province; I did not hear any local consultation about decision. I visit my home village outside Mongu, and I talk to my relatives living in the province, no one was consulted. So, “is BRE secede resolution a reflection of the people of western province?
The firstly, there are other tribes in the province beyond the Lozi. We have Nkoyas, Luvales, Nyengo, Chokwe and Mbundas. These tribes are not supporting this resolution to secede from Zambia. Yes, the Nkoya Royal Establishment decision as reported, reject BRE resolution and it the view which majority of the people in Western Province support. Word of mouth poll has about 90 percent of people in western province opposing BRE resolution.
Instead of putting pressure on PF MPs and Government to deliver on the campaign promises to bring development to the province and create opportunities to all people in the province; now all the energy will spent on a cause which is not supported by majority of the people. If BRE resolution called for new colleges, better roads and more better equipped hospitals in the province; everyone in Zambia would be supporting them today.
Legally, after 47 years of sealed agreement, the Royal establishment cannot abandon that agreement which they signed and agreed to follow. The agreement was to form one country between Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland. Action to secede was not part of the original agreement, therefore for the Royal establishment to start calling for “secede” breaks the terms of the BRE agreement. The only option stated in the agreement if issues or concerns arise in the agreement is to approach the Highest Court of Republic of Zambia. This means that the BRE will actually be in default if it continues to call to secede.
BRE must honour the agreement, which it legally signed just before Independence Day in 1964. The bottom line is the BRE agreement is valid and legal, and must be honoured by all signatories which the Royal Establishment and Northern Rhodesia (Republic of Zambia).
Today, people in the Western province enjoy the right to vote for elected leaders in Government of Zambia. So far, Barotseland agreement wants to take away that right. If secede, people would not be allowed to vote for leaders because royal families are not elected and would assignment themselves government positions in the new government for life. This is about royal families, not ordinary people living in the province.
Third, charity begins at home. With all due respect to the BRE, which development project can the Royals point to as having built for the people in Western Province in the last 47 years? Who built clinics or schools in the province? With all due respect, it will be a difficult task for BRE to take the role to build the province. Where do all the millions of Kwacha raised from the Annual Kuomboka ceremony go? Who benefits from this ceremony?
BRE resolution is not about ordinary people. The same families who have benefited from deals with past government want to increase their riches by holding all powers in the province.
Western province has other challenging issues. We need more colleges, better hospitals and build roads to connect peoples and markets. This Barotseland resolution is a total and big distraction from real issues of development. There is an opportunity now especially with the new Government, which has shown great interest in developing the province.
The entire country of Zambia should not be dragged into royal family secession problems. Let the royal families deal with their own issues. The people of western province are Zambians and will continue to belong to Zambia. The province has produced Ministers and MPs who held strategic cabinet positions in education, health and Agriculture, even a highest position as Speaker of Parliament. But these people forgot the province once elected and continue to stay in Lusaka. So, let’s blame those people for failing the deliver development.
I am proud to be a Zambian Lozi, married to a beautiful Mabwe-Tonga woman, living and working in Lamba land.