President Sata says Barotseland was just another province of Northern Rhodesia before Independence.
And Sata says the Litunga was illegally giving parts of Tongaland and Copperbelt to Europeans before Independence.
Sata said this at State House when he met 12 people who claim to represent the Linyungandambo, Barotse Freedom Movement and the Movement for the Restoration of Barotseland.
Sata explained that misunderstandings on the matter were caused by Europeans who came to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and were illegally given parts of Tongaland and Copperbelt Province by the Litunga.
“When they met the King of Barotseland, because of ignorance about the administration of the country, the Litunga gave them concessions for land,” said President Sata.
He explained that in 1953 when the Federal government came into being, Barotseland was treated like any other province of Zambia, despite it being a protectorate within a protectorate.
When they went to negotiate for independence, the negotiators from the Barotse Royal Establishment wanted independence but the British wondered how they were going to survive because they were just like any other province in Northern Rhodesia, he said.
He said the British told the negotiators from the BRE that they were going to plead with the new President of Zambia to give Barotseland some autonomy, which was in the Barotseland Agreement.
“We are going to publish the Barotse Agreement. We will buy space in The Post, Times of Zambia and the Daily Mail so that people can see what was contained in the agreement,” President Sata said.
He said Government will soon start exploring for oil in the plains of Barotseland, saying there is no way there could be oil in Angola and none in Zambia.
He said the people of Western Province are complaining because their children have no jobs even after completing their education.
He said the problem of lack of development faced by the people of Western Province is the same problem the rest of the country is experiencing.
President Sata praised the three groups for their courage to speak on the matter, saying it would have been too late for them to speak later.
He said Government will have to look into the cashew nut industry started by first President Kenneth Kaunda.
He said Government will create greater market for rice from the region to reduce tension.