Barotse Movement vows to withdraw from Zambia

BAROTSELAND FREEDOM MOVEMENT

PRESS RELEASE

The Barotseland Freedom Movement refutes and asseverates with all the vehemence at its command that the reasons given by Police in Mongu for their wanton and uncalled for attack on the BFM/LINYUNGANDAMBO organised rally as false and blatant lies.

Facts are that a fortnight ago, BFM/Linyungandambo had notified the Police that they intended to hold a public meeting on the theme “Barotseland Agreement and Constitution Making in Zambia”.  This was in conformity with the Public Order (Amendment) Act No.1 of 1996, which requires citizens to notify the Police Office in their area of their intentions to hold meetings, rallies or processions at least seven days prior to the event.  This requirement was met by the organisers and there was no response from the Police to contrary. We wish to add that this is the third time we have informed the Police but they wilfully denied us to hold our meetings. Our National Co-ordinator Mrs. Muyangana has been a target of Police harassment.

It is surprising that Police in Mongu decided to provoke an otherwise peaceful rally by tear gassing and shooting AT THE CROWD! Clearly the Police had ulterior motives hence the lies they peddle that another organisation was to hold a meeting in the same place.

The draconian force employed by the Government of Zambia against the peaceful people of Barotseland is further testimony of the denial of our human rights.  We are denied the right to express ourselves and to be heard freely. We are denied the right to speak about the felt and pressing issues of our nation – Barotseland. We are suppressed from publicly commenting on the Barotseland Agreement 1964 which they have no criminalised. We have no choice but to defy bad regulations and laws which suppress our right to freedom of expression and freedom to be in-charge of our political, economic and social affairs.

BFM shall not halt or be deterred in its campaign to sensitise the Barotse masses to resist and reject the illegal hold and occupation of the Barotseland by Zambia; following the abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement 1964.  BFM will not be intimidated either by the AK47 rifles that the police and army commandos from Luena Barracks, disguised as paramilitary police, were wielding and used to shoot at innocent and unarmed Barotse citizens. We shall continue to campaign for the withdrawal of our territory which we had contributed to the so-called unitary state which has failed due to the intransigence of the Zambian government.

BFM has begun the road towards full Barotse freedom and independence. We cannot and reject the notion that Barotseland should be expected to continue in a marriage that has failed; more so that it has been rejected by the other party.  No amount of force or and intimidation will halt the programme we have set to achieve towards Barotse self-rule.  With determination, focussed vision and resolve we shall hoist the Barotse national flag soon and forever.

 While we feel sorry for the dead policeman and those who were injured in the fracas; the blame falls squarely on the myopic and unprofessional command of the Police in Mongu.  We convey our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.  That death was uncalled for had the Police restrained themselves from itching to shoot at a peaceful rally.

Barotseland Freedom Movement is cognisant of the demands of a freedom struggle; that the road is neither rosy nor easy.  We are prepared for the endurance.  What happened in Mongu is testimony of a repressive Government which denies a section of its community its rights to information and freedoms.  We shall continue to fight and step-up our peaceful campaigns for our freedom until we have driven Zambia out of Barotseland.

We call upon the international community not to fold their arms in the face of hostility by Zambia against the peaceful Barotse people; but to ostracise and declare Zambia an occupying force in Barotseland.  As Lord Dennings in the case of Kosovo said:  “courts do not order estranged spouses to continue in their marriage” it is so with Barotseland and Zambia.  The international Community must help separate us before a catastrophe of high proportions erupts which will result in more needless and innocent deaths.

BFM call on the people of Barotseland to remain calm as we prepare serious talks to withdraw our territory from the so-called unitary state.  Victory is in sight and soon our Majesty the Litunga shall be truly in-charge of Barotseland as a constitutional monarchy. LONG LIVE THE GALLANT FIGHTERS AND PROTECTORS OF BAROTSELAND. LONG LIVE BFM. LONG LIVE LINYUNGANDAMBO, LONG LIVE HIS MAJESTY THE LITUNGA, LONG LIVE BAROTSELAND.

MUFA NA SA YE NI MUTEEBA.

Issued by:

BAROTSELAND FREEDOM MOVEMENT

PUBLICITY AND INFORMATION DIVISION

MONGU.

24th October, 2010

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