PARLIAMENT heard yesterday that the Patriotic Front (PF) in its campaigns in the run up to the September 20, 2011 did not promise to secede Western Province from the rest of Zambia but advocated the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement.
In his maiden speech to the House, Western Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu told the House that the PF promised to restore the Barotseland Agreement so that justice could be accorded to it that was why a commission of inquiry has been set up.
“In our campaign promises, we didn’t promise secession of Western Province; as PF, we are alive to our election campaigns to the Zambian people which include the Barotseland Agreement which the MMD government mishandled,” Mr Mubukwanu said.
The minister said the PF has since delivered on some of its promises it made over Western Province such as the release of the prisoners arrested during the Mongu riots; a commission of inquiry had too been set up in that regard and action was also being taken to fight corruption. “Up to now people of Mongu are still waiting for former Vice-President George Kunda who justified the shooting of a defenseless person to go there and demonstrate how a person could be carrying a burning tire,” Mr Mubukwanu noted.
He said the high poverty levels obtaining in Western Province and lack of development in general warranted the calls to have the Barotseland Agreement restored. “Poverty levels in Western Province have deteriorated and let me state here that politics of marginalization also caused calls for the restoration of the Barotseland agreement of 1964.
“People of Western want equal distribution resources; Western Province is the only of the nine that does not have a girls high school,” Mr Mubukwanu told Parliament. He appealed to the civil society and donors to join hands with the PF Government to transform Western Province for better.
Times of Zambia