The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has rejected the Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2019, indicating that some proposed articles are not consistent with the traditional system of Barotseland.
Addressing the press in Limulunga on Tuesday 6th August, 2019 afternoon, Ngambela Mukela Manyando, the Litunga’s Prime Minister, stated that the Kuta had observed with grave concern that some of the proposed articles would derogate the authority and stature of the Litunga of Barotseland and, therefore, he questioned the motive of passing such legislation whose effect was the destruction of traditions and customs of one section of the same country!
The BRE feels that some articles if passed would have the potential to create anarchy in the region because others will have powers of declaring themselves chiefs.
Prime Television’s Lloyd Kapusa reported that in a meeting held on July 30th – 31st 2019 by the District Palace Kutas which convened in Limulunga, the Winter Capital of the Litunga (King) Lubosi Imwiko II, the BRE sat to analyze the constitutional Amendment Bill of 2019 and resolved not to support the National Dialogue Forum, NDF, resolutions.
“The BRE observed with grave concern that some of the proposals in the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2019 will if passed, derogate the authority and stature of the Litungaship – the very foundation of our tradition and identity.
“We, therefore, question the motive of passing such legislation, whose effect is the destruction of traditions and customs of one section of the same country!” Ngambela Mukela Manyando was quoted reading out the Kuta’s resolutions opposing the controversial NDF resolutions.
On the specific reasons why the BRE had resolved not to support the National Dialogue Forum resolutions, the King’s Prime Minister singled out ARTICLE 149 which gives unilateral powers to the president to create, divide or merge provinces without the approval of Parliament and the Traditional Authorities.
This, the Ngambela fears, will have a direct negative bearing on the Barotse traditional governance system because a Zambian President with such excessive powers might use it to the alienation of parts of Barotseland which could be merged with land outside the jurisdiction of His Majesty the Litunga.
“ARTICLE 149 – This article is being amended to give the President unilateral powers to create, divide or merge provinces without the approval of Parliament and the Traditional Authorities.
“This excessive power may be used to the alienation of parts of Barotseland and merge them with land outside the jurisdiction of His Majesty the Litunga!” stated the Ngambela.
The BRE has since encouraged the withdrawal of these proposals for the preservation of peace and order in the land.
The Constitutional Amendment Bill 2019 was the outcome of a controversial National Dialogue Forum (NDF) which excluded many stakeholders such as the church mother bodies, the main opposition political party and traditional authorities such as the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) among others!