Information and Broadcasting Minister and Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya has today told parliament that information that government has decided not to recognise Barotseland was fake news peddled by politicians.
Siliya wondered how it was possible for government not to recognise Barotseland when it was a historical understanding of this country for a long time.
‘But the ruling was very clear, that it was not government saying that there is no Barotseland because it was an important historical integral part of Barotseland that resulted in Zambia and all historians know that,’ Siliya said.
She claimed that the ruling was that in terms of the nomenclature (name) in parliament in the yellow books there is Western Province.
‘How can someone leave this house and go and peddle lies out there that the government has stopped recognizing the people of Barotseland. At no time in the separation of powers did government make any statement on Barotseland, this was following a ruling in this house and not even a new ruling but a ruling that was done many years ago and all it referred to was nomenclature(name) in this house in terms of Western Province,’ Siliya said.
This prompted Monze Central Member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu to raise on a point of order asking whether the Information and Broadcasting Minister was in order to mislead the nation that the ruling pertaining to the issue of Barotseland was referring to the fact that there was no Barotseland in the yellow book when in actual fact the ruling was that there was no place called Barotseland in Zambia.
Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mwimba Malama ruled that Hon Dora Siliya was in order. Shortly after the ruling, Hon Jack Mwiimbu asked a question on whether the people of Barotseland will benefit from the budgetary allocation on information taking into account that the people have been complaining that there was no information in Barotseland. But Hon Mwiimbu’s question was not allowed by the Deputy Speaker on grounds that he had used the word’ Barotseland.’
‘Your question will not be allowed because you have decided to use the word Barotseland and I feel it is deliberate,’ Deputy Speaker Malama said.
First Deputy Speaker of parliament Catherine Namugala recently ruled that there was no place called Barotseland in Zambia and that the word must never be used in parliament. Her ruling prompted a sharp reaction from the Barotse Royal Establishment who referred to her as being dull and ignorant on the matter of Barotseland.