Cheke Cha Mbunda Cultural and Writers Association
District Executive Committee
C/o P.O. Box 940079
Tel: (+260) 976 392 274
1st July, 2014.
This serves to respond to Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD) president Charles Milupi’s warning to government over the Barotseland Pact reported in yesterday’s edition of the Daily Nation. What Mr. Milupi and many other proponents of the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement (B.A.) 1964 needed to know, is that, while the B.A. 1964 is designed to project Lozi tribal supremacy in Western Province/Barotseland in particular and in the Republic of Zambia in general, there exists alongside the Lozi tribal group other non-Lozi tribal groups in Western Province with an equal historical stake in the so-called Barotse territory. These are the Mbunda and Nkoya tribal groups whose history in that land dates back to the 17th Century. The nation and indeed the world at large must appreciate that, it is just one of the three ethnic groups – the Lozi, that is championing calls for the recognition of the B.A. 1964, failure to which secession must follow.
It is factual today to argue that the B.A. 1964 has gone stale due to the passing of time and therefore need has arisen to have its contents revised to suit the present democratic dispensation incorporating the interests and concerns of the other non-Lozi tribal groups – the Mbunda and Nkoya, who were excluded in the first place by the architects of the B.A. 1964. It must also be appreciated that the demographics for which the B.A. 1964 was designed have since drastically changed rendering the B.A. 1964 in its original form, irrelevant. Many Lozi families including Mr. Charles Milupi himself have migrated to the line of rail while many Tongas, Bembas, Nyanjas etc who went to work or do business in Western Province have settled there after their retirement from the public service. This position is aggravated by the fact that the non-Lozi population in Western Province is bigger than that of the Lozi in terms of numerical strength.
Therefore just like the civil societies and opposition political parties including president Milupi’s ADD are demanding that the final draft constitution be subjected to a referendum to legitimize its final enactment into law, the B.A. 1964 be subjected to a similar process in the jurisdiction purported to be the Barotse territory to validate it as there is now a different population composition in relation to what obtained at the time the B.A. 1964 was hatched.
District Secretary – Kaoma.