Barotseland is a region between Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola, and is the homeland of the Lozi people or Barotse, or Malozi as they call themselves who are a unified group of over 20 individual formerly diverse tribes related through kinship, whose original branch are the Luyi (Maluyi), and also assimilated northern Sotho of South Africa who they called Kololo. The Barotse speak a complex language, Silozi, derived from several languages but primarily Sesotho. Barotseland covers an area of 126,386 square kilometers, but is estimated to have been twice as large at certain points in its history. Once an empire, the kingdom stretched into Namibia and Angola and including other parts of Zambia, including its central copper belt province, south-west of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Katanga province. Under the British colonial administration, Barotseland enjoyed relative autonomy from the late 19th-cencury. The Litunga, the Lozi word for the king of Barotseland, had negotiated agreements, first with the British South Africa Company (BSAC), and then with the British government that ensured the kingdom maintained much of its traditional authority. Barotseland was essentially a nation-state, a protectorate within the larger protectorate of Northern Rhodesia. In return for this protectorate status, the Litunga gave the BSAC mineral exploration rights in Barotseland. This traditional constitutional monarchy has Nilotic origins with the kingdom originally divided into north and south. The North being ruled by a man, the king, called the Litunga meaning `keeper or guardian of the earth’, and the south is ruled by a woman, Litunga la mboela, Queen of the south who are directly descended from the ancient Litunga Lewanika who ruled from 1878-1916, with one break in 1884-5, who restored the traditions of the Lozi political economy in the arena of the invasion by the Makololo, internal competition, external threats such as that posed by the Matabele and the spread of European colonialism. The Government of Barotseland is the kuta, presided over by the Ngambela (Prime Minister).
Barotseland continued lobby to be treated as a separate state and was given substantial autonomy within the later states, Northern Rhodesia and independent Zambia. At the pre-independence talks, the Barotse simply asked for a continuation of Queen Victoria`s protection. A desire to secede was expressed from time to time, causing some friction with the government of Kenneth Kaunda, reflected in Kaunda changing the name from Barotseland province to Western province, and subsequently tearing up the 1964 agreement. According to Barotse views, the government in Lusaka also starved Barotseland of development-it has only one tarred road into the centre, from Lusaka to the provincial capital of Mongu, and lacks the kind of state infrastructure projects found in other provinces. Electricity supplies are erratic, relying on an ageing connection to the hydroelectric plant at Kariba. Consequently, secessionist views are still aired from time to time. In 2012, a Barotseland National Council accept Zambia`s abrogation of the Barotseland agreement 1964, alleging to terminate the treaty by which Barotseland initially joined Zambia`s abrogation of the UNPO, the unrepresented Nations and peoples Organization, joining Tibet and Taiwan at this international organization dedicated to giving a voice to peoples who are currently unrepresented at the United Nations. Many modern states, including Estonia, Latvia, Armenia and East Timor. Were former members of the UNPO. Due to continuing human rights violations on the part of Zambia, in2013 the Barotseland National Freedom Alliance also petitioned the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights in Banjul to examined by the Commission. In an effort to solve the Barotseland issue within the legal framework the Republic of Zambia, His Majesty King IluteYeta 111, took the matter to the High Court of Zambia, in which he sought for an interpretation of Article 4 and 8 of the Barotseland Agreement. On behalf of the Republic of Zambia, then the Attorney General, Mwelwa Chibesakunda, in the High Court clearly stated that the Barotseland Agreement was abrogated and terminated. On 4th December 1991, in a landmark Ruling, the High Court of Zambia ruled21 that the Barotseland Agreement 1964 was abrogated, and no longer exists. The judgment22 shows vividly how the Zambian Government violated and rendered the Barotseland Agreement null and void. This clearly meant that there is no relationship between the two nations and there is nothing people can do to mend the broken relationship between Zambia and Barotseland, because the High Court had clearly stated that the Barotseland Agreement was terminated by introducing amendments to the laws. What remains now is an act of illegal occupation; Zambia has terminated the agreement the and yet continues to enjoy the privileges and rights contained in the Barotseland Agreement. In Barotseland, dis-satisfaction grows daily.
Shaping the Society Christianity and Culture: Special Reference to the African Culture of Buganda, Author House, 2012, p. 94
William Govan Robertson: “Kasembe and the Bemba (Awemba) Nation.” Journal of the Royal African Society, Vol. 3, No. 10 (Jan., 1904), 183-193.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition.The Northern Rhodesia Journal online, Volume. V. No. 1 (1962) p43. Accessed 21st March 2007. Baxter, T.W.; .E.E. Burke (1970). Guide to the Historical Manuscripts in the National Archives of Rhodesia. p. 67.Burnham, Fredrick Russell (1926). Counting on Two Continents. Doubleday, page & company.pp. 2; Chapters 3 & 4.OCLC 407686.There were only eight indigenous Graduates in the country at Independence
“Elections in Zambia”. African Elections Database. Retrieved 2006-10-11.”Zambia Daily Mail”. 21st April 1971. Missing or empty |title.