Publish Barotse report and don’t re-align districts unilaterally, EFZ tells PF

The Zambian government has been urged to make public the report produced by the Roger Chongwe led Barotseland Commission of Inquiry.

Government has also been urged to initiate dialogue with the Barotseland Royal Establishment and other stakeholders and make its position and to ensure that the matter is conclusively and peacefully resolved.

In a pastoral letter issued in Lusaka on Sunday , Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) Executive Director Reverend Pukuta Mwanza and Board chairman Bishop Joe Imakando state that the fellowship is concerned that the report has not yet been made public from the time it was submitted to government.

EFZ says it is important that the commissioners’ report be placed into the public arena for study so that the Zambian people can be aware as to the outcome of the findings and the suggested recommendations.

The Fellowship says this way, transparency can be ensured in dealing with the issue that has threatened Zambia’s sovereignty and unitary status.

EFZ notes that the territorial boundaries of the original map of Barotseland goes beyond the current Western province and therefore restoration of Barotseland Agreement needs to be viewed in the context of its complexity and political implications.

On the re-allignment of districts and creation of additional Province, EFZ has counseled government to carry out wider consultations with all stakeholders including traditional leaders in order to ensure transparency and consensus.

It says the re-allignment should not be done unilaterally and in haste because this may have far reaching implications on traditional leaders and their subjects who would be affected by such decisions.

On the rising Gender Based Violence cases in the country EFZ urges government through its assigned law enforcement agencies to tighten the law on the vice to ensure that there is justice for women.

On the on-going constitution making process, EFZ has welcomed the published roadmap towards the realization of a people driven constitution, which includes 10 planned provincial conventions to last 12 days each and one sector group and National Constitution Convention.

It has however urged the technical committee to hasten the release of necessary guidelines for public participation in the said convention.

EFZ further notes that the lack of a legal framework to back the work that has been assigned to the technical committee on the drafting of the new constitution is a concern as it now subjects the whole process to the whims of executive powers, which it prays will faithfully honor and respect the compilation of the wishes of the people by the committee.

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