Friday, March 19, 2010


26th October 2007

The Rt. Hon Ngambela
Kuta ya Mboo,

Your honour,


This is a follow up to our letter dated the 15th September 2007 concerning the above matter.

After a serious reflection over the issues of land and the Barotseland Agreement 1964, we now wish to expand and give more insight analysis of the subject matter. In particular, we wish to reiterate what we had stated to the Kuta as explained hereunder:

Acceding to the government proposal to apportion land covered by a 32 km radius from the District administrative centers of Barotseland would have the following implications:


Lealui and Limulunga would be enclosed within the Mongu District Council thereby rendering the Litunga a “squatter.”


Nalolo and Muoyo would fall into the clutches of the Mongu Council periphery thereby rendering the Litunga la Mboela a “squatter”.


Libonda and Mulundumano would be ceded to Kalabo District Council thereby rendering the Mboanjikana a “squatter.”


Naliele would be ceded to the Kaoma District Council thereby rendering Mulena Amukena II a “squatter.”

Namayula would be ceded to the Lukulu District Council thereby rendering Mulena Anañanga a “squatter.”


Kaanja would be ceded to the Senanga District Council thereby rendering Mulena Lukama a “squatter.”

The only Resident Prince who would not be immediately affected by this dragnet is Mulena Inyambo whose muleneñi is situated about 64 kms from the Sesheke Boma.

The other fascinating aspect of this scenario is that since the distance from Mongu and Kalabo is 70 kms, only 6 kms between the two towns would be left for the local people for their agricultural pursuits and animal pasture after the apportionment as stated in our earlier letter.

A good example that shows government’s insensitivity over the land issue is exemplified by the issue of Albidon, a mining group that has been given rights in the Mazabuka district. Albidon was, recently, reported in the daily papers as having had filed papers of injunction in the High Court to stop activities of the local people in the Mukoto area because it is within the prescribed mining area. The helpless Tonga people will have no choice but to move to a horizon of unknown destination.

The Lozi people have been accused by many in Zambia for shunning or denying developmental initiatives within their land which of course is untrue.

It must be pointed out that the Lozi people are law abiding just like other people in Zambia except in circumstances where either the government or the investor has taken action that infringes on their cultural values and human rights.

We reproduce hereunder excepts of the discussion paper presented to the Lozi authorities over the issue of land by the Government of Zambia:-



“The Barotse Royal Establishment has special agreements with the Zambian
Government which grants them a high degree of autonomy in dealing with issues related to land and spatial planning. It is thus imperative that the consultations adopt a different approach from that applied elsewhere in Zambia. The following set of questions are designed to elicit specific responses from the BRE and to bring them on board the national spatial planning system”.

Copy of the document produced by the Government is herewith provided.

The issue of land management in Barotseland will continue to provide serious challenges to the Government of Zambia as long as it fails to appreciate that Barotseland is part of Zambia on the basis of the Barotseland Agreement 1964.

Appreciating the foregoing, any attempt to negate this fact puts the Government of Zambia in an awkward position as it loses legal anchorage or basis upon which it could administer Barotseland. Accordingly, whatever efforts it seeks to make is bound to fail as it is illegal because it lacks legitimacy and morality.

The proper framework for addressing the issue of land in Barotseland is the Barotseland Agreement 1964 as provided under Article 5 (1) (2) that:-

5. Land;

(1). “In relation to land in Barotseland, the arrangements set out in
the annex hereto shall have effect”,

(2). “In particular, the Litunga of Barotseland and his Council shall
continue to have power hitherto enjoyed by them in respect of land matters under customary law and practice”

We wish to make quick reference to the outcome of the PIZO that was conducted in Lealui on 3rd and 4th November 1995 under which, on land issues, it was resolved as follows:-

(b) THE LAND ACT NO.29 1995. .

(i) “That the people of Barotseland re-affirm their belief and
commitment to the Litungaship. The Litunga means land. Without land, there is no Litunga”.

(ii) “That, therefore, the people of Barotseland reject the Lands Act 1995 in total as it has taken away the powers of the Litunga, it is inconsistent with the provisions of the Agreement and has been passed without the consent of the people of Barotseland”.

In addition, the people had resolved, in relation to the Barotseland Agreement 1964, that:-


(i) “That the Government must, unequivocally, recognize the Barotseland
Agreement 1964 and accept that the rights and obligations enshrined
therein are still binding upon the Government”

(ii) “That the recognition must be incorporated in the Constitution of Zambia
as has been the case hitherto as with all other honourable agreements”

(iii) “That if the Government continues to be obstinate, the people of
Barotseland shall have the right to self-determination by reverting to the
original status before 1964”.

These resolutions stand binding on the Lozi people as they have not been changed or repudiated.

As regards the current Constitution making process, the Lozi people must use the National Constitutional Conference to state clearly that they will not be party to a Constitution that in ambiguous on the matter of the Barotseland Agreement 1964. In the preamble of the Draft Constitution it is stated thus:

We, the people of Zambia in exercise of our constitution………
“Resolve that Zambia shall remain a free, unitary, indivisible,
multi-ethnic, multi-racial multi-religious, multi-party democratic
sovereign State”

The word “unitary” is used to acknowledge the coming together of the former territories of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia to form Zambia as was provided for in the Northern Rhodesia Independence Order 1964 and the Zambia Independence Act 1964 which state as follows:

The Northern Rhodesia Independence Order of 1964:

Interpretation 125 – 1. “In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires”,
“ Barotseland means the territory that on the 23rd October, 1964 was comprised in the former Barotseland Protectorate.”

“The former Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia means the territory that on 23rd of October, 1964 was comprised in theProtectorate of Northern Rhodeasia.”

The Zambia Independence Act 1964:

Establishment of the
Republic of Zambia 1. “On the 24th October 1964 (in this Act referred to as the
appointed day) the territory which immediately before the
appointed day are comprised in Northern Rhodesia shall
cease to be a Protectorate and shall, together, become an independent
Republic under the name of Zambia and on and after that day,Her
Majesty shall have no jurisdiction over those territories”.

The 1973 Constitution, which repealed the Northern Rhodesia Independence Order, took on board the constitutive status of Zambia out of the two territories mentioned above, by adopting the term “unitary” State and this has been repeated by successive amendments of 1991 and 1996. This trend has been repeated in the Mungomba Constitution to be tabled before the National Constitution Conference (NCC).

In our view, the maintenance and upholding of Zambia as a “unitary” State is an acknowledgement of the Zambian people through the government that Zambia comprised of two constituent parts.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the government, in drafting the Constitutions that replaced the Independence Constitution, has intentionally, omitted to define what constitutes the “unitary” State of Zambia. This is intended to conceal the fact that the “unitary” State of Zambia, in fact , arises out of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 which made it possible for the two constituent parts to for the Republic of Zambia as provided for at paragraph 3 of the preamble of the Agreement, which says:

“Whereas it is the wish of the Government of Northern Rhodesia and the Litunga of Barotseland, his Council, chiefs and the people of Barotseland that Northern Rhodesia should proceed to independence as one country and that all its peoples should be one nation”.

It is under this scenario, that the government has taken a public stance that portrays the picture that the Barotseland Agreement 1964 is no longer valid.

To this extent, the government has, on a number of occasions, taken administrative and legislative actions which tend to undermine the Barotseland Agreement 1964.

The foregoing scenario should not be allowed to continue. It is therefore imperative for SOPE to put into place a mechanism that will enable Barotseland to present its case on the need for an unequivocal acknowledgement of the status of Barotseland in the Constitution.

Our proposal is that such mechanism shall culminate itself in a PIZO at which specific resolutions will be adopted in order to guide those who will be mandated to speak for Barotseland at the NCC.

We wish to further remind SOPE that during the collection of information and submissions to the Mung’omba Constitutional Review Commission, one hundred and twenty-six (126) Lozi nationals had petitioned for the Agreement to be honoured.

In its preliminary report of June 2005, at pages 509-511, the Commission had acknowledged that:-

“The unilateral abrogation of the Agreement has given rise to frustrations and a sense of betrayal of the people of Barotseland by the Zambian Government hence their demand for the restoration of the Agreement.

Consequent to these frustrations, the Barotse Royal Establishment has continued to ignore the abrogation and has, in some instances, continued to discharge its functions as provided for in the Agreement, thereby resulting in conflict between the Barotse Royal Establishment and the Local authority in the Province. From the foregoing, it is clear that the need to find a solution to this problem can not be over emphasized”,

“The Commission notes that the submissions made to both the Mvunga and Mwanakatwe Commissions are similar to those made to this Commission. The two Commissions concluded that the issue of the Barotseland Agreement be settled by negotiations between the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the Barotse Royal Establishment.”

“The Commission, further, observes that in spite of those recommendations, negotiations have not been effected on account of lack of political will on part of the Government. The Commission is of the view that the country should utilize the current Constitution Review Process as a legitimate political device to address the social and political issues confronting it, including the Barotseland Agreement 1964.”

“In this regard, the intent, evolution and the arbitrary abrogation of the
Barotseland Agreement should be addressed through appropriate legislation in the context of the structures of the devolved system of Local Government now being proposed by this Commission.”

“The Commission recommends that:”

“The Barotseland Agreement should be addressed through the devolved and decentralisation system of local government as recommended in this Report; and “The Government and the Barotse Royal Establishment must show political will to finally resolve the outstanding issue of the Barotseland Agreement by initiating negotiations between the two parties.”

In our view, the Commission’s recommendation to resolve the issue of the Agreement, through devolution and decentralization, is ambiguous, evasive and intended to fall in line with government policy of deceit. This is confirmed by the Commission’s final report sub-titled “Summary of Public Comments of the Interim Report and Draft Constitution and Reactions of the Constitution Review Commission” dated 29th December, 2005 where-in at page 205, in reaction to the public comments on the un-workability of its recommendations, the Commission chose an escapist route by pleading that the matter of Barotseland Agreement did not form part of its terms of reference. This argument is invalid because, in our view, terms of reference Nos.1, 19 and 30 adequately empowered the Commission to deal with the matter.

We take this view because the Commission’s recommendations on local government, as reflected at pages 502-504 of the interim report, are based on the existing structure of local government with select powers of the central government being devolved thereto.

The Commission has not shown, under these recommendations, how the Litunga and his Council would gain any measure of control over the administration of Barotseland as envisaged by the Barotseland Agreement 1964.

Our general observation, over the years and from record, is that the statements by the Government of Zambia that the Barotseland Agreement 1964 has ceased to have effect is mere political posturing intended to condition the minds of the Lozi people and other Zambians to accept the government’s failure to fully implement the treaty.

This observation arises from the contradictory administrative actions by government which, tend to conform with the spirit and provisions of the Agreement such as those relating to land administration in Barotseland and remittance of funds through the “Barotse Treaty Obligations”.
Therefore, the latest proposals by government to discuss land alienation and special planning in relation to Barotseland, is yet another manifestation of government’s recognition of the Agreement.

We trust that as current Minyolui, you will emulate your visionary predecessors in office such as Mataa in 1864, Akapelwa (Silumbu) in 1885, Njekwa Mukamba in 1890 and Imenda Sibandi in 1964 who had risen to the occasion when it mattered most.

This proposal is put forward in appreciation of the fact that a decision to convene the PIZO has been accepted and endorsed by the Saa-Sikalo Kuta on the 12th September 2007.

On our part we undertake to provide assistance, within our means, in order to ensure the successful implementation of the PIZO.

Copy of this letter is availed to Lozi nationals as a way of alerting them about the forthcoming PIZO.

Yours in the common struggle,

Muyawa Liuwa

Muyoba Macwañi

Mutungulu Wanga.

c.c. The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Lusaka.

The Minister of Justice, Lusaka.

The Sambi of Nalolo Kuta, Senanga.

The Muleta of Libonda Kuta, Kalabo

The Liashimba of Mwandi Kuta, Sesheke

The Imangambwa of Naliele Kuta, Kaoma.

The Yutanga of Namayula Kuta, Lukulu.

The Mutundwalo of Kaanja Kuta, Shangombo.

The Inete of the Mongu-Lealui District.

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