A member of the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has charged that ‘President’ Edgar Lungu cheated the BRE and people of Barotseland that he was ready to dialogue on the Barotseland Agreement impasse.
The Induna who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation from the compromised Litunga lamented that from the time Lungu met the BRE delegation in Lusaka in July last year he is mute on the matter.
‘As you know last year just before the elections we sent a delegation to Lusaka and met Lungu at State House and during that consultative meeting he promised to engage in dialogue after elections but nothing has been done,’ the Induna lamented.
The Induna further doubted Lungu’s seriousness in resolving the matter because he was talking about dialogue yet Afumba Mombotwa and others are in Zambian prisons over the same matter.
Shortly before the 2016 presidential elections Lungu met the Barotse delegation at State House and pretended to commit himself to settling the Barotseland issue amicably through open dialogue.
‘’I do not want to make unrealistic pronouncements for political expedience, taking advantage of the current ongoing electioneering. I want this process to take its full course after next month’s elections,’’ Lungu said last year.
Lungu has made several pronouncements on the Barotseland issue in the past but has never acted on any of the pronouncements save for arrests of Barotse activists.
On 29th January 2015 shortly after he first bulldozed his way onto the presidency, Lungu announced to Zambians in Addis Ababa while attending the 24th African Union Summit in Ethiopia that he was going to travel to Western Province the moment he got back to Zambia to sort out the Barotseland matter.
‘’I will go to Western Province to meet the people of Barotseland next week when I get back to Zambia and I will ask them to show me the boundary so that I know who is involved and possibly hold a referendum on the issue in the area,’’ Lungu said at that time but never went to Western Province when he got back to Zambia.
Lungu had also ‘promised’ to release the Roger Chongwe Commission of Inquiry report on the 2011 Barotseland Agreement related Mongu riots that results in deaths of over 21 people but has not done so to date.