BRE accuses Zambian govt of fuelling tribal division in Barotseland

President Lungu (r) with Litunga Lubosi Imwiko ii

The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has accused the Zambian government of fuelling tribal division in Barotseland and undermining the authority of the Litunga.
And irate Barotse activists who attended the Wednesday press briefing by the BRE at Limulunga locked BRE Indunas in the Kuta for close to an hour after BRE failed to address the challenges that people expected to hear.
Acting Prime Minister (Ngambela) Mowa Zambwe said the emerging division in Barotseland’s traditional governance system is being fuelled by the Zambian government.
He explained that in Barotseland, unlike elsewhere in Zambia, Chiefs are installed by His Majesty the Litunga from time immemorial and they hold office by strictly following the diverse traditions and customs of all the 38 ethnic groups in the region.
Mr Zambwe further noted that the BRE was not happy with article 165 of the laws of Zambia in the new constitution as it contradicts the Chiefs Act which recognises the Litunga’s authority over Chieftaincy.
He further stated that the general feeling of the people in Barotseland is that the Zambian government has sidelined Barotseland in terms of development since 2011 adding that the stalling of development projects in Barotseland was deliberate as confirmed by utterances by some government officials.
‘BRE is aware of some people fuelling ethnic tension especially in Mongu, Kaoma and Lukulu with some calling for the subdivision of Barotseland. We call upon such misguided people to desist from such acts,’ the acting Ngambela warned.
He warned that BRE’s silence should not be taken for granted and urged the Zambian government to address the issues raised in order to foster peace.
Last week Vice President Inonge Wina and President Lungu paid separate courtesy visits to Chief Mwene Mutondo in Kaoma, one of the Chiefs who is not recognised by the BRE and during both visits, Chief Mwene Mutondo was referred to as Senior Chief Mwene Mutondo of Kaoma by the government controlled ZNBC.
And irate Barotse activists who attended the Wednesday press briefing by the BRE at Limulunga locked BRE Indunas in the Kuta for close to an hour after BRE failed to address the challenges that people expected to hear.
The soft stance by the BRE on the Zambian government infuriated people who expected BRE to take a strong stance on supporting the implementation of the 2012 declaration of independence from Zambia following the Zambian governments failure to restore the 1964 Barotseland Agreement.
The Zambian government has been fuelling tribal division in Barotseland by creating tribal parallel structures in Kaoma, Mongu and Lukulu that are supporting chiefs that are not installed by the Litunga as per custom in Barotseland.
The plan by the Zambian government is to stall the push for Barotseland independence as per 2012 Barotseland National Council resolutions by fuelling tribal division and weakening the Litunga’s authority.

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