Barotse Breakaway Plan Hits Setback
|The Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II with
then-VP George Kunda during the 2011 Kuomboka
Five traditional groupings in eastern parts of Western
Province have resolved to break away from Barotseland under the authority of the
Litunga and remain within the unitary State of Zambia.
In their four-page
resolutions signed by traditional leaders and stakeholders from the Kazanga and
Nkoya royal establishments, the leadership said they had rejected the unilateral
declaration of Western Province as an independent State.
week, the Barotse National Council (BNC) controversially
resolved to break away from Zambia and form an independent State to be
This was while Cabinet was preparing to discuss the
Rodger Chongwe report on the Mongu fracas of January 14 last year.
resolutions of the just-ended Nkoya National Council held at Chilombo ceremonial
grounds in Mangongi charged that the decision to secede from Zambia was
“We, the Nkoya-speaking people, declare that we are not part
of the Barotse people and are free to pursue our own destiny in Zambia. We are
committed to a peaceful unitary State called Zambia,” the resolutions read in
They said the Mbunda, Luvale and Luchazi-speaking people should
work with Nkoyas to repudiate the Limulunga resolutions, especially the one
about seceding from Zambia.
According to the resolutions, the Government
should take steps to recognise and elevate deserving traditional leaders for the
new independent traditional authority in the eastern parts of Western
The latest turn of events puts the agitation for secession
somewhat in jeopardy because the Nkoya grouping occupies vast parts of Mulobezi,
Kaoma, Lukulu, parts of Mongu and parts of Senanga.
They also want a new
province involving the three districts with other surrounding ones such as
Mumbwa and Itezhi Tezhi.
“We now categorically inform our Zambian
Government and the international community that we do not accept the unilateral
declaration of the BNC at its meeting held in Limulunga from March 26-27, 2012,”
They also said they would not take kindly to any attempts to
undermine their authority and traditional independence by ridiculing their
They stated that they had been subjected to perpetual
suppression, with land being administered by the Litunga who they said was not
part of the Nkoya authority.
“We resolve that the Zambian Government
should immediately take lawful measures to restrain the aggressors and saboteurs
of the nation called Zambia and that no part of Zambia shall be allowed to break
away,” they said.
They stated that all the land appropriated by the BRE
through the representative of the Litunga, Chief Naliele in Kaoma and Namayula
in Lukulu should be returned to the owners after this year’s
They urged the Government to appoint Nkoya-speaking people to
positions of authority instead of the Lozis alone.
In their preamble,
they argued that the BRE and their agents burnt the Nkoya school books and sent
Nkoya chiefs in exile in 1969.
They said their claim for traditional
independence was recognised under Article 127 of the country’s
Some of the traditional leaders who signed the resolutions
were Senior Chief Mwene Kahare, Mwene Mutondo, Chief Moomba, Chief Mwene Nyati,
Chief Kabulwe, Chief Kang’ombe from North-Western Province and several headmen