The Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) has challenged Edgar Lungu to tell Zambians and the international community that the unitary arrangement between Zambia and Barotseland no longer exists.
In an open letter signed by BNFA Publicity Secretary Sinonge Lutangu addressed to Lungu and dated 16th March 2018, the BNFA stressed that as a lawyer, Lungu was better placed to explain to Zambians that the unilateral abrogation of the 1964 Barotseland Agreement by the Zambian government in 1969 reverted the two parties to the agreement to their previous status.
The BNFA has also challenged Lungu to sign the arbitration forms from the Hague based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), for the matter to be resolved. Late president Sata refused to sign the PCA forms which were also handed to Lungu but he also refused to sign.
Lungu has been avoiding visiting Western Province, (Barotseland) and has never been to the region since April last year when he attended the Kuomboka ceremony.
Read the full letter below :
March 16, 2018 OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT LUNGU
Mr. EC Lungu
Dear Mr. President,
BNFA AND THE PEOPLE OF BAROTSELAND NOT PART OF BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964 RESTORATION DECEPTION
Sir, it is now time for you to be courageous and honest enough to officially inform the Zambian people and the international community of the failed unitary state of Zambia. All avenues to dialogue between Barotseland and Zambia are officially closed save for the disengagement process at a neutral venue and with an independent arbitrator. Neither you nor the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) have the mandate and legitimacy over Barotseland affairs.
As a lawyer, you are best placed to explain to the people that your unilateral abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 in 1969 reverted the constitutive parties Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia to their previous status, which should have been followed by the dissolution of the unitary state of Zambia. This process was delayed by the futile attempts of the people of Barotseland to restore the agreement for the past 47 years. Following the action of your government, you responded to the legitimate demands of the Barotse with a heavy hand annexing the territory of Barotseland and denying them all their human rights, inclusive of the right to self-determination.
On March 27, 2012, the people of Barotseland accepted the unilateral abrogation of the BA64 and declared their right to self-determination. This action Mr. President officially brought any negotiations on the BA64 to a close. By abrogating the BA64 your government automatically stripped itself of its obligations over Barotseland. From that time, all the activities that Zambia carried out in Barotseland have been illegal. BRE, a creature of the Zambian government, too, has no authority in Barotseland, especially after the Barotse National Council of 2012. Currently there is a leadership vacuum in Barotseland, which needs to be filled by legitimate Barotseland government as a matter of urgency. Neither you nor BRE have mandate over the affairs of Barotseland. The BNFA as legitimate representatives of the people of Barotseland cannot be part of the restoration deception.
I also take cognizant of your clandestine activities in Barotseland. These include your continued attempts to destroy the Barotse governance system as demonstrated by Nachimwenda report and current connivance with BRE to deceive the international community on BA64 restoration against the wishes and aspirations of the people of Barotseland. These activities date back to all your predecessors. I remind you of their dire consequences, together with your continued occupation of Barotseland. I further remind you that the Barotseland governance system is premised on governance of the people by the people for the people. Therefore, what you are doing with BRE does not have the blessing of the people of Barotseland, hence null and void.
If you still have any doubts about your government cessation of obligations towards Barotseland we challenge you, once again, to sign the Permanent Court Arbitration agreement submission process.
CHAIRPERSON YOUTH AND PUBLICITY SECRETARY
Cc : All Resident Princes and Princesses
All Lilalo Indunas