First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala ruled Thursday afternoon that the word Barotseland should never be used in all Parliamentary debates.
On Tuesday 8th October 2019, Chipangali Member of Parliament and Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Vincent Mwale had raised a point of order to stop Sikongo constituency lawmaker Mundia Ndalamei from referring to Western Province as ‘Barotseland’ and argued that the word was unparliamentary. Second Deputy Speaker Mwimba Malama had reserved ruling to allow him research on past rulings on the matter.
And making her ruling on Thursday 17th October 2019, First Deputy Speaker Catherine Namugala said Hon Mundia Ndalamei was not in order to refer to Western Province as Barotseland and further explained that Barotseland was a former British protectorate which no longer exists and hence should never be used in parliament as there was no place called Barotseland in Zambia.
She pointed out that the Provincial and Districts Boundaries Act Chapter 286 of the Laws Zambia has no place and does not recognize any place called Barotseland.
She further guided that presiding officers have in the past rendered the same ruling in the house and Members of Parliament must desist from using the name.
The development is believed to have angered some Indunas in Limulunga though the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has not yet issued any official reaction on the matter.
In the run up to the 2011 general elections which the Patriotic Front (PF) party won, the PF leader at the time, late Michael Sata had said at a rally in Mongu that only a dishonest person could dispute the existence of Barotseland and further promised to restore the 1964 Barotseland Agreement which brought Barotseland into Zambia. Once in power, Sata rejected a report from the Roger Chongwe Commission of Inquiry which had recommended that the name of Western Province be replaced with Barotseland and that necessary legislation be amended to grant semi autonomy to the territory of Barotseland. Sata’s government went on to arrest over 54 Barotseland activists among them former Barotseland Prime Minister (Ngambela) Clement Sinyinda but all the 54 were later released as the state claimed it had no evidence against them.