The Barotseland walk to Freedom

by Bulozi Nahayaluna
Compiled by Nyambe Namushi

“Barotseland had existed as an independent national entity long before the creation of Northern Rhodesia, and was legally and historically entitled to maintain or dissolve the attachment as its people wished.” Gerald Caplan: Elites of Barotseland.

The following is a chronology of selected events relating to the long search for self-determination by Bulozi since 1907.

1907 King Lewanika requested the British Government that Barotseland protectorate be removed from North Western Rhodesia and company rule and given the same status as Bechuanaland. (Botswana). Lord Selborne, the British High Commissioner in Cape Town, denied this request.

1911 Barotseland – North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia were amalgamated to create Northern Rhodesia. The amalgamation of these territories by Order-in-Council of 1911 upheld the rights of King Lewanika and his subjects over land comprised in former Barotseland-North-Western Rhodesia.

1912 African National Congress of South Africa appoints King Lewanika as honorary vice President of the African National Congress in recognition of his stance for Barotse self-determination.

1916 King Lewanika dies and he is succeeded by his son Litia as King Yeta III who continues to pressure the British to accord Barotseland full self governing status.

1918 Yeta III petitioned for direct Crown protection, “for cancellation of the BSAC’s concessions, for the restoration of the Caprivi Strip, for the extension of the reserve (Barotse Territory) north of the Kabompo to the Anglo-Portuguese frontier…”

1921 Yeta III was denied the right to be represented by European lawyer at his audience with the High Commissioner in March. The exposition of his case against the genuineness of the land concessions was for the first time marshalled in an orderly and convincing manner.

1921 King Yeta III presented Prince Arthur of Connaught, the new High Commissioner, a petition described as “the only coherent African view on the future government of Northern Rhodesia.” It contained five major points among them the following demands:-

(a) That direct rule of the Imperial Government as a protected native state over the entire territory known as “Barotseland North-Western Rhodesia”.

(b) That all concessions granted to and agreements concluded with the company should be cancelled.

(c) That the Barotse reserve be extended to include two further areas; caprivi strip and the land from the headwaters of the Dongwe river down to where the Anglo-Portuguese boundary cuts the Zambezi river. These areas were expropriated from the Lozi without even consulting let alone asking for the consent of the King and Kuta.

1923 King Yeta III appealed to the Privy Council in a long and well-documented letter, stressing that the company’s rights to land and minerals were extricably tied to its administrative obligations; once it surrendered the latter, it automatically lost the former. The colonial office responded by informing the King that the crown “was to take over the administration of Northern Rhodesia in 1924.”


1924 Direct crown rule came to Northern Rhodesia. On arrival of the 1st Governor of Northern Rhodesia, Sir Herbert Stanley, the Lozi continued to petition afresh, pointing out with great pride – “that it is not many native states which came under British protection which were neither conquered, subdued nor annexed as this our territory was brought under the protection of the British Crown by the free will on request of the Barotse Council.”


1924 King Yeta III, Ngambela Mataa and a large number of Indunas presented Governor Stanley an eleven point petition and a long six-page document “Explanations to petitions” setting out in detail the grievances and demands of the previous thirty-five years.

1924 Section 41 of the Northern Rhodesia Order-in-Council of 1924, confirmed the Litunga’s rights and stated as follows: -

“It shall not be lawful for any purpose whatsoever to alienate from the Litunga and people of the Barotse the territory reserved from prospecting by virtue of the concessions from Lewanika to the British South African Company dated the 17th October 1900 and the 11th August 1909.”

1932 Discussions with the Governor at the Colonial Office on making Barotseland into a separate Native State. This unfortunately, was enmeshed in the complexities of white politics on demand for white settler rule.

1936 Introduction of self – government by Africans on the lowly rungs of the native authority system and remained confined to cautious steps to improve and modernise the traditional government.

1938 The Pim Commission found Barotseland stagnant and far more backward than other parts of Northern Rhodesia.

1938-39 The Royal Commission in its report recalled and reaffirmed the crown’s treaty obligations to the King of Barotseland.

1945 King Yeta III abdicated the throne due to ill-health. He was succeeded by King Imwiko Lewanika, who was described as “a gentle and dignified African ruler of the type in danger of disappearing………”

1945 – 1950, The British government made assurances that “no constitutional changes affecting Barotseland, would be made without full consultations with, and the prior consent of the Litunga”.

1948 King Imwiko suddenly died in June, creating a serious power vacuum in the Government of Barotseland. He was succeeded by his half-brother Mwanawina, then Chief of Mankoya district since 1937. Imwiko is credited with the revival of the Katengo. Within mouths of his accession, King Mwanawina caused a petition to be drawn setting out all the grievances which his father King Lewanika and Yeta III had frequently demanded, among others the recovery of Barotse territory on the Western frontier in 1905, Caprivi strip in 1909 and Balovale in 1941.


1948 The Barotse National Council met in Limulunga for the specific purpose, as Ngambela Wina told the assembly, to demand for full self-governing status for the Bartoseland protectorate such as King Lewanika always wanted.

1953 Barotseland was declared a protectorate when Northern Rhodesia was joining the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The constitution confirmed the existing agreements between Barotseland and Her Majesty’s government, further the Litunga’s sovereignty over the protectorate of Barotseland were reinforced by the provisions of sections 58, 59 and 112 of Constitution of Northern Rhodesia. Section 58 did not empower the legislature of Northern Rhodesia to enact any provisions of law that is inconsistent with any obligations imposed upon Her Majesty’s government……” and section 112 gave protection to the Litunga and the people of Barotseland against alienation of any part of Barotseland except with the consent of the Litunga and his council. It was on this basis that Litunga Sir Mwanawina III accepted the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland only after changes were made which appeared to further Barotseland’s status. All the treaty obligations were recognised in the federal Constitution.

1957 The Barotse Native Government appointed a Constitution Review Committee“Piho ya mukopano o n’o ketilwe ku nyaka za mutomo wa zamaiso ya mulonga wa Bulozi hamoho ni lipuisano za ba-likuta la sicaba ze amana ni piho ye” Mbuwana 1957. The Barotse National Council resolved that Barotseland should secede from the Federation and remain under the protection of Her Majesty’s Government in line with the 1900 Agreement should the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland be allowed to proceed to independence.

1959 Sir Evelyn Hone, Governor of Northern Rhodesia made a commitment that Her Majesty’s government will continue to safeguard and preserve its treaty obligations to the Barotse Nation.

1960 The Barotse National Council requested Britain to allow Barotseland to secede from Northern Rhodesia and the Federation and be proclaimed a protectorate directly under the British Government on the line of the High Commission territories.

Ngambela Imasiku stated accurately “that we do not consider ourselves a part of Northern Rhodesia or as a protectorate within a protectorate. We are a different country and a different people. We have our own government.”

1961 Litunga Sir Mwanawina III and Ngambela Imasiku flew to London to demand secession from Ian Macleod the Colonial Secretary.

The Barotse Democratic Party presented a petition to the British government demanding the Barotse self-determination. The petition was presented to Rt Hon. R.A. Butler, M.P, and Secretary of State for Home Department and Central African Affairs on the occasion of his visit to the Central African Federation and Barotseland. The petition was a follow-up to a memorandum and telegram and other documents submitted to the Colonial Secretary and to the Northern Rhodesia Government expressing Barotseland’s right to self-determination and independence. It called for a conference representing all the people and demanded the following:-

i) That a new constitution be granted to Barotseland immediately, which could provide for the Litunga as a Head of State and the Ngambela as Head of Cabinet.

ii) That the Northern Rhodesia Government ceases control of Barotseland and that the Resident Commissioner should be re-named the High Commissioner, with direct representation to the United Kingdom Government.

iii) That all Territorial Departments in Barotseland be transferred to the Barotse Native Government.

iv) That a complete and immediate takeover of the territorial civil service in Barotseland by the Barotse Native Government be implemented.

v) That all white civil servants in Barotseland be put on inducement scheme for a period to be agreed upon.

vi) That the Federal Departments in Barotseland remain Federal until dissolution of Federation, when all such Departments shall revert to Barotse Government control with all their assets.

vii) That a Regiment be recruited and equipped by the United Kingdom Government, which Government allowed the Northern Rhodesia Government to usurp military power from the Barotse Native Government.

viii) That the local Northern Rhodesia Police and Kapasus be integrated into one body called the Barotse Police.

ix) That with immediate effect, all situpas and tax receipt books be printed in Barotseland and controlled by the Barotse Government.

x) That the Federal Broadcasting Corporation should open a radio station at Mongu.

1962 Litunga Sir Mwanawina III, Ngambela Silumelume Siyuho and Natamoyo (Minister of Justice and Mercy) Mbikusita Lewanika, and lawyer Mr. L.K. Wilson met Mr. R.A. Butler to discuss the secession of Barotseland from Northern Rhodesia and the Federation. Butler told the Litunga that Britain could not afford to finance Barotseland if it were divorced from Northern Rhodesia. Thus the British betrayal of the Litunga and the people of Barotseland by reneging on earlier agreements with King Lewanika in favour of bowing to nationalist pressure championed by Lozi aristocrats.

1963 When the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was dissolved, the Litunga Sir Mwanawina III and his Council continued to press for the secession of Barotseland from Northern Rhodesia.


1963 Hon. Joun Vamieson Burnside, a member of the Northern Rhodesia Parliament made the following clarification in parliament.

“Barotseland has a special and particular place in the scheme of things in Northern Rhodesia. The Lozi are a people, they are a Nation, they are not one of many, many small groups that one reads in the appendices to government reports which involve tribes. The Barotse are a nation……


1964 The Barotseland Agreement 1964 was reached and signed in London as a prelude to Zambian independence. The Agreement transferred all the obligations and rights contained in treaties and concessions between the British government and Barotseland to the new State of Zambia. Section 8 of the Agreement did not empower the legislature of Zambia to legislate for Barotseland, laws which were inconsistent with the provisions of the Agreement.

August Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia later addressed the Barotse National Council on 6th August 1964 concerning the Barotseland Agreement which was to come into force on 24th October 1964.

(a) That it is the government’s full intention that the Barotseland Agreement will be honoured fully after independence.

(b) That the government has no wish to interfere with the day to day running of the internal affairs of Barotseland. This is the responsibility of the Barotse government and the intention of the Central Government will be no more than to give the Barotse Government its maximum assistance and co-operation.

(c) That the customary rights in Barotseland will remain with the Litunga, National Council and the District heads of Kutas. He added that “the government is satisfied that government requirements for land for development projects in Barotseland will receive the active co-operation of the Barotse government, this is all the Central Government is asking for…..”


Sept Kaunda wrote to the Litunga in which he stated his Government’s commitment to honour the Agreement saying that: “the 1964 Agreement was the result of careful discussion and consultation between Her Majesty’s government, the government of this country and yourself and that it would be inappropriate to re-open discussions after all the parties had signed the Agreement in acceptance. I think we should all now concentrate on the implementation of the Agreement in the spirit with which it was made.” It was never implemented.


October President Kaunda signed the order bringing into force the Local Government Act No. 69 of 1965. This Act had the effect of taking away the privileges and rights of the Litunga of Barotseland contrary to the provisions of the Barotseland Agreement 1964. Thus the beginning of an unlawful and spiteful orgy of legislating against his constitutional obligations under which Her Majesty’s Government had granted independence to Zambia.

November Sikota Wina, Minister of Local Government published a statutory instrument abolishing the Barotse National Council setting up the five-district councils in Barotseland and announced the names of the nominated members.


August President Kaunda unilaterally without consultation in his despotic style of governance announced that Barotseland would thereafter be called Western Province in a speech entitled “I wish to inform the nation”

October Government of Zambia introduced and passed the Constitution Amendment Act No 36 of 1969 in parliament to cancel the “Barotseland Agreement of 1964” and abolish all rights, obligation and liabilities attached to the agreement. It stated that the Agreement shall on and after the commencement of the constitution amendment Act No 5 of 1969 cease to have effect, and all rights (whether vested or otherwise), liabilities and obligations there under shall thereafter lapse.

October Ngambela Imwaka, Francis Suu, Messrs Lipalile and Muyangwa with the support of Litunga Mbikusita petitioned the President to drop the bill. This did not succeed. Instead the government of Zambia reacted by mass arrests of the activists who demanded the repeal of the 1969 Amendment Act. Among the activists who were detained were Messrs Lisulo Mucanza, Kuwabo Kaunda, Henry Mulopo and Crispin Mwendabai.

1969-1970 Government of Zambia passed the Western Province (Land and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No. 47 which had the effect of stripping the Litunga of his powers over land in the province. It vested all land in Barotseland in the President of Zambia as a Reserve within the meaning of and under the Zambia (State lands and Reserves) Orders 1928 -1964.

1978 Pro-UNIP Litunga Ilute Yeta IV accedes to the throne. The struggle for self-determination stalls.

1983 Litunga Ilute Yeta IV became a member of UNIP Central Committee to ensure control of the political affairs in the province, capitalising on the fact that the Lozi were more loyal to their King than political leaders.

1990 In the preceding year of 1990 Kaunda had opened secret

1991 talks with the Barotse Royal Establishment to try and find a common ground on the issue of his abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement. During the period 1990-1991, three meetings were held at State House between himself and a delegation comprising the Ngambela and some Senior Indunas. Nothing was achieved in these encounters save for a written undertaking from Kaunda, addressed to the Litunga, to continue dialogue after the 1991 presidential and general elections.


1991 Kaunda President of Zambia held a meeting with the Ngambela of Barotseland and his delegation. Arising from this meeting Kaunda wrote to the Litunga that it was his desire and decision to discuss the Barotseland Agreement in detail “piece by piece and step by step until we shall have covered the whole area to the complete satisfaction of all sides”. Furthermore, Kaunda assured the Litunga that “I see no insurmountable obstacles at all in dealing with and resolving any and all anxieties over any aspects of the Barotse Agreement….”

1991-1992-The Barotse Royal Establishment retains RMA Chongwe and Company to commence legal proceedings over the Barotseland Agreement’s abrogation. The court action is lifted in April 1992 to allow for dialogue with the Zambian authorities.

1992 Push for restoration of the Barotseland Agreement and birth of the Barotse Cultural Association.

Lozi technocrats regrouped under the “TUKUBAKEBO” to spearhead the call for the restoration of the Agreement in Liaison with the Barotse Royal Establishment. “Tukubakebo” organising Committee held a symposium in December, 1992 in Lusaka to Chart a new course on the future of Barotseland and the Barotseland Agreement 1964. The Tukubakebo grouping reconstituted itself into a registered body under the name “Barotse Cultural Association”.

BCA organises information open day for Barotseland at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Lusaka. Calls for the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 are intensified.


1993 The Sambi of Nalolo (Mutompehi I. M. Nasilibane) issues a circular letter to appeal for contributions towards legal costs for lawyers Messrs Richard Nawa Ngenda, Kafuba Mboma and Edward Howlingworth (English from England) to take over from Dr. Roger Chongwe Sc

(target – K 6,000,000.00).

1993 By August 1993 pressure had begun to mount within the ranks of the BCA and the general population in Barotseland for Governments’ response on demands to restore the Agreement. Government bowed to pressure and hurriedly arranged for a third round of talks at state House. The Chiluba government was not prepared to give in on the substantive issues; instead it offered to discuss other political and social matters affecting members of the Royal Establishment.


1993 Government of Zambia describes the Barotseland Agreement as “statutory stale due to passage of time” in a letter to the Ngambela from Brig General Godfrey Miyanda then Minister without Portfolio. This statement curtailed internal dialogue between the Government of Zambia and the Barotse authorities.

1994 Litunga Ilute Yeta IV wrote to President Chiluba and stated categorically that the purported abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 were of no effect and void. He continued that “even if the abrogating Acts were to be construed as amending the Zambia Independence Order, 1964, it was Barotseland’s considered view that such amendments were unconstitutional on the ground that the said amendments discriminated against the people of Barotseland in relation to other people to whom the President had similar obligations arising from section 20 of the Zambia Independence Order 1964.”

On Barotseland’s right to secede, the Litunga made the following assertion: -

“Secession is a matter of right and is inherent in the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 so that the parties to the said Agreement reserve the right to revert to their original status if the Agreement under which they intended to achieve unity can no longer work.”

He added that Zambia has no moral right to hold the people of Barotseland in perpetual enslavement on account of an Agreement, which was entered into voluntarily, “we cannot be expected to adhere to the terms of the Agreement, which the other party to it does not recognise.”


1995 Special Pizo held at Lealui from 3rd to 4th November 1995 resolves that:

“(a) Barotseland Agreement 1964.

(i) That the government must unequivocally recognise the Barotseland Agreement 1964 and accept that the rights and obligations therein are still binding upon the Government.

(ii) 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.”

1995 Mwanakatwe Constitution Review Commission recommends for talks to be held between the Zambian Government and the Barotse Authorities to renegotiate the Barotseland Agreement 1964. Government rejected this recommendation stating that “this is not accepted because this agreement was abrogated by the Constitution (Amendment) Act No. 33 of 1969”.

1996 The Barotse Royal Establishment sent representations to the Citizens’ Convention on the constitution held in March 1996 to present its position on this matter. In response to the representations made by the Indunas, the Citizen’s Convention, in its Green Paper, recommended for the continuation of dialogue on the Barotseland Agreement. However, this effort was in vain as the Government of Zambia ignored the Citizen’s views as contained in the Green Paper.


1997 Ngambela Maxwell M. Mututwa petitions the United Nations, Organisation of African Unity, Commonwealth Secretariats and SADC, to appeal for their intervention and highlighting the need for a pacific resolution concerning the unilateral abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement 1964. The Ngambela implored the Secretary-Generals of the UN, Commonwealth and OAU to take pre-emptive action to forestall the likely problems that could be generated as a result of this issue which has the effects of threatening international peace.


1997 Church of Barotseland and the Methodist church formally break the union with the United Church of Zambia.

2000 Pro-MMD Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II is installed amid controversy. Stalemate in Barotseland.

2001 Forum for Restoration of Barotseland petitions the African Union Assembly of Heads of State which gathered in Lusaka in July 2001. It solicited the AU to intervene, citing provisions of Article 33 of the Charter of the United Nations and Article IV (4) of the Charter of the OAU which adopts the spirit of Article 33 which provides as follows: -

“The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security shall, first of all seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements or other peaceful means of their choice.”

2003 Amani (Zambia Chapter), Peace Mission for the Great Lakes Region, appoints NAPRODE Consult Ltd to research the Barotseland conflict with Zambia. The Barotse Royal Establishment who neither refused nor assented to allow the project to be undertaken frustrates this effort.

2005 Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission recommends that 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 to the Agreement.


Kaunda’s UNIP government initially tried to control Barotse affairs through its majority numbers in the Barotse National Council. When it became apparent that UNIP Councillors would support the Litunga on motions critical to the semi-autonomous status of Barotseland, UNIP’s Central Committee dismissed these Councillors from party membership, thereby nullifying their seats on the Council. This manoeuvre led to the dissolution of the Barotse National Council.

The UNIP Government then began to disembowel the Barotse instruments of power between 1965 and 1969. During this period a number of legislations, albeit unconstitutional, aimed at reducing the Litunga’s control were enacted by the National assembly. The civil service personnel in Barotseland, mostly Lozi, were uprooted and transferred to other parts of Zambia outside Barosteland.

They were replaced by non-lozi personnel. Pockets of residence that emerged were put down by mass arrests using the dreaded powers of the State of Emergency Regulations. Finally, the Barotse Treasury was uprooted and forcefully incorporated into the national treasury while salaries and allowances payable to members of the Barotse government, headed by the Ngambela, were withdrawn.

Which way forward for Barotseland, the nation without a state?

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

The above quotation gives us hope for the people of Barotseland to attack the quest for self-determination. Hope is not lost for Barotseland. We must unite and rally behind a united organisation to restore Barotseland to statehood.

“Choice not chance determines destiny.”

Indeed the people of Barotseland have never been given choice to determine their destiny. Evidence from the chronology of events reveals that negotiation for Barotse self-determination has never involved the general population. Thus the people are ignorant of their rights and expectations. Meanwhile, the Barotse Royal Establishment has distanced itself from the people by not informing and mobilising them politically to pressure for political emancipation and determination. Let the people choose their destiny in unison with the leadership, and not leave it to fate.

“A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do” – Walter Gagehot.

Because of the absence, poor or uncoordinated political sensitisation, there exists those who firmly believe that it is impossible for Bulozi to attain self-determination or even to restore the abrogated Barotse Agreement. There is no shortage of such people from among the elite and non-elite; traditional and political leadership; academia and the businessmen; youth and the old. This attitude explains the failure of most Barotse based organisations such as the Barotse Cultural Association, Barotse Patriotic Front, and Agenda for Zambia etc to attract support from the general public let alone the Barotse Royal Establishment.

We challenge the Litunga of Barotseland and his Council to take pleasure in leading the case for self-determination, which ironically was started by his grand father King Lubosi Lewanika in 1907.

The people should rally behind the Litunga, capitalising on their loyalty to the Litungaship; but he must also pursue the wishes of the people. More important they should rally behind a political organisation with the professional mission to attain self-determination and self-rule. We also challenge the people of Barotseland to remove defeatist attitudes from their minds, and take pleasure in fighting to attain what some people think is impossible to attain.

However we are mindful of the fact that nowhere in history has a kingdom led a fight for freedom and self-determination; it is usually the people themselves who must take the lead.

“A brave man is not he who says he does not feel afraid but he who has conquered fear.” Nelson Mandela;

Here is the challenge for the Litunga and his Minyolui. Barotseland requires the courage of the Litunga, Minyolui, the KUTA and the people that have conquered fear dedicated to advance the political will of the people of Barotseland to attain self-determination and self rule.

The irony of the Barotse tranquil struggle for self-determination is that this once vibrant, powerful and proud people are today unable to fight for the restoration of its nationhood despite the opportunity availing itself following the abrogation of their agreement by the Zambian authorities.

Their identified weakness lies in their reluctance to participate in regional politics whose professional mission is self-determination. The Lozi are conservative in nature and tend to be more loyal to their traditional and cultural leaders rather than their political leaders. More conspicuous is their failure to modernise their traditional government structures.

The ideals of modern democracies find their highest fulfilment and justification in the citizen’s right to participation in governance (government of the people). This means representative government through elected deputies by universal suffrage. In Barotseland, the system still practices the ancient and antiquated method of nomination of Induas from hereditary families. This system favours the royalty and the aristocrats who are in the minority against majority commoners.

The ruling class is highly conservative and protective. It shuns politics, it is possessive, it is opposed to progressive ideas to modernise it and thus it has frustrated Barotse liberation politics before and after 1964. Political parties such as the Barotse Democratic Party, Sicaba Party, Barotse Patriotic Front, Agenda for Zambia and the Barotse Cultural Association found the Namuso to be the main stumbling block because of its lukewarm or outright opposition to political organisations.

The Namuso is an institution that suppresses the opinion of the masses in return for maintaining a living museum. We advocate complete and serious reforms to this ancient system of government to bring it in line with modern democratic practices; otherwise Barotseland shall forever remain a political and economic backwater never to rise above waters whether within or without Zambia.


1. Political Organisation

As already stated elsewhere in this paper, we propose the formation of a political organisation, which will sensitise and prepare the people of Barotseland to revolt against the continuation of illegal occupation by the government of Zambia. The organisation should be supported by Litunga and the entire Mulonga wa Bulozi.

The proposed political organisation must be a mass movement which should enlist the already existing Bulozi administrative structure – Viz:- Munzi, Silalanda, Silalo and Sikiliti. We shall be respected only if we are feared or reckoned as a political force.

2. Bulozi Reforms

The Bulozi system of government needs urgent reforms to make it attractive to the general population. This is necessary because ancient methods of government are out-dated. There is need to usher in a democratic system, which should blend with the traditional system. We propose a Westminster parliamentary system that will subject all Induna positions to elections at all levels. We should stimulate competition in the governance of our affairs. The notion that Indunaship is for retirees and the aged must be removed and done away with. They must also be remunerated adequately.

2.1 Constitution

There should be a constitution for Bulozi, which must provide for a constitutional monarch, and Westminister type of parliament, as follows: -

(a) The Monarch

The Litunga, District Malena, and Area Chiefs. Royal matters to be handled by the Induna Ingangwana, who shall be in-charge and assume the title of Minister for Royal Affairs. This ministry will look after the welfare of the Litunga, District Malena, and other Area Chiefs such as the Mwenes Kandala, Chiengele, Mutondo and Kahare. Induna Ingangwana shall continue to be the head of the Lyangamba or BRE. The Litunga shall be the ceremonial head of state.

(b) The Executive

To consist of the Minyolui (Ngambela) as head of government, and Indunas in-charge of Ministries and deputies. These must be elective and appointed from among members of the Katengo (Parliament). The Ngambela and Indunas should be divorced from performing judicial functions and royal matters.

(c) The National Council

To consist of the Ngambela as its president, all District and Area Chiefs and Indunas(Ministers) Members of Parliament (Katengo), Silalo Indunas and other nominated personalities.

(d) The Legislature

To consist of two bodies:-

(i) Sikalo: (Senate) to be composed of 20 or so elected and nominated members to perform legislative functions referred to it by the Katengo (Parliament).

(ii) Katengo: (Parliament) to be composed of elected and nominated members to perform legislative functions. Speaker of the Katengo to be elected from outside elected members of Parliament, while the Deputy Speaker shall come from among elected members.

(e) The Judiciary

(i) The Saa: The Highest Court of Appeal or Privy Council and Constitutional Court, to be headed by a Chief Justice appointed by the Litunga and confirmed by the Sikalo

(ii) The High Court: -to perform Civil and criminal jurisdiction

(iii) Magistrates Court – to perform Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction and shall be the originating court in case criminal proceedings.

(iv) District Kuta – to perform Civil and customary jurisdiction.

(v) Silalo Kuta - to perform Civil and customary jurisdiction and shall be the originating court.

(f) Pizo ya sicaba:

Highest decision making body to be composed of members of the legislature, the executive, national council and the judiciary. This body shall be summoned by the Minyolui /Ngambela to discuss matters of grave importance to the nation.

(g) Nationality: Mulozi

Citizenship: Mulozi

(h) National Flag: Red/with diagonal white from left to right. (See 1890 flag)

(i) Court of Arms: To consist of two elephants holding the lindañala in the middle with the mighty waters of the Zambezi in the background.

(j) Royal Symbols: Elephant

(k) National Anthem: Bulozi fasi la bo Ndata’ luna


In 2001 the Forum for the Restoration of Barotseland mooted the idea to form diplomatic and legal wings to support the political action. There is merit in this strategy. However, achievement can only be assured if the Barotse Royal Establishment is re-transformed into a government.

3.1 Diplomatic Wing

This wing shall have the responsibility to lobby the international community through the United Nations, African Union and other relevant organs. Key countries such as the United Kingdom, the USA and South Africa should be lobbied intensively for support to allow for the re-establishment of Barotseland as an independent State.

3.2 Legal Wing.

The legal wing of experts should step up the fight to resolve the matter legally at the International Court of Justice and the Zambian Courts. The legal wing should fight to legalise Barotseland as an Independent State following the abrogation of the Barotse Agreement.


The fact that Barotseland under the Zambian administration has been relegated to severe poverty levels is no longer considered secret. The Barotse authorities must re-organise the economy by taking control and optimum usage of their own resources such as timber, rice and livestock. There lies immense economic potential in these areas.

They must be tapped and co-ordinated by forming economic organisations, which will empower the locals so that they exploit the resources for the benefit of the Barotse nation. Unless the people are empowered economically will there be meaningful involvement in the struggle to make Bulozi a self-governing state, in which they will be the major beneficiaries. Only an independent and self- governing Bulozi can organise and plan its economy for the benefit of its impoverished people.


An uneducated society is a danger to itself. The majority of the people of Bulozi have lapsed back into a state of illiteracy because of the Zambian policy of disempowering them of educational attainment. The once proud and educated society of Bulozi is now the least educated under Zambia. The Barotse authorities must evolve a policy which will step-up educational programmes, which should in-turn support the economic vision mentioned above. People should be educated and trained to take up positions in government, commerce and industry to make Barotseland a better alternative.


Before 1964, Barotseland (Bulozi) was governed as a protectorate under the Government of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain. This protection was taken of over by the Government of Zambia through the Barotseland Agreement 1964 whose objective was to replace all the treaties and agreements, which subsisted, between Barotseland and Her Majesty’s government. Bulozi did not benefit from the agreement because the Government of Zambia unilaterally abrogated it before it was even implemented.

With the war raging on her western frontier, thousands of refugees poured into Zambia. These were resettled in refugee camps at Mayukwayukwa, Mangango and Nangweshi. Some of these refugees have refused to return and opted to remain on Barotse soil. Others have been aided illegally by some original refugees with political connections to settle in local villages.

These former refugees do not owe allegiance to Bulozi and the Litunga, but to the government of Zambia! Without key security departments such as the police, the army and immigration, Bulozi has been rendered incapable of ability to check, detect and control illegal settlers. Neither has the Zambian government been able to control them. Their integration in the local communities has brought a new breed of economic, political and civic leaders of alien origin.

The threat on Barotseland cannot be overemphasised, as it is real and not imagined. We recommend for consideration by Namuso the establishment of security bodies to give protection and defence services as a matter of urgency before the transitional period to self-rule. Unless this is done to safeguard our territory, come 50 years from today, Bulozi will be claimed by other people just as the Mankoya speaking people are claiming that they received the Lozi!


Barotseland’s weakness is found in her people’s non-involvement in commercial and financial business activities. The Barotse people must organise themselves to invest in financial services such as establishment of commercial banks and related commercial services. The development of financial markets will stimulate businesses, as financial credit facilities will be made available to empower local businessmen so as to create wealth and employment.


The irony of Barotse underdevelopment as regards news and information is that the first newspaper to be published in 1899 was in Lozi {Mafube a Barotse}. Yet today, this remains undeveloped. We suggest that as a first step, a radio and television station be established in Bulozi, to disseminate news and information for and about Bulozi. This is cardinal because our society is uninformed about Barotse issues.


Bulozi and her peoples became an integral part of the Zambian nation, on

the basis of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 that has been dishonoured by the Government of Zambia and followed by mistreatment, marginalisation, discrimination and domination, without being conquered:-

(a) The people of Bulozi have a just cause and right to freely and fearlessly, decide how they shall be ruled and or rule themselves, on the basis of the universal human and people’s rights of self-determination.

(b) The people of Bulozi have a right, like everyone else in the world, to decide freely for themselves whether or not they wish to continue under the exploitative, unequal, unjust and dishonest Zambian marriage union, with a cancelled marriage certificate.

(c) The people of Bulozi have a right to governance by self-rule, economic development by self-organisation and social progress based on the principles of freedom, justice and equality, if it is the wish and in the self-determined interest of the majority.

(d) The people of Bulozi shall never receive respect and fair treatment, from a position of bended begging knees in political parties in which they do not have a controlling influence.

(e) The people of Bulozi cannot negotiate for freedom, justice and equality if they are represented by people who are dominated and under orders from political leaders outside their own community.

(f) The people of Bulozi have been so used –and – abused to get others into power for so long, and for so many times, that “to vote for slaves and dependants of other people is acceptance of slavery, which is unacceptable.”

(Courtesy Akashambatwa Mbikusita –Lewanika).


Imushotoki Litunga Ilute Yeta iv provided the answer to Barotseland’s right to self-determination in his letter to immediate past President of Zambia Frederick Chiluba on our right to secession:

“The Government should be aware of our interpretation of the right to secede.

In our humble view, secession is a matter of right and is inherent in the Barotseland agreement 1964; so that the parties to the said Agreement reserve the right to revert to their original status if the agreement under which they intended to achieve unity can no longer work. The rest of Zambia cannot hold us in perpetual enslavement on account of an agreement which we entered into voluntarily; in other words we cannot be expected to adhere to the terms of the agreement which the other party to the agreement does not recognise.

There is no treason, Mr. President, in anyone wishing to exercise his right over anything belonging to him particularly so in a situation where another party to the contract is no longer prepared to respect that contract”

Here lies the inspiration, motivation and hope which must be seized by every Barotse person to invoke courage and nationalism to fight for a free Bulozi. The government of Zambia took the initiative to breach the Barotseland agreement 1964. This was done with malice by legislating against its own contractual obligations; thus bringing the agreement to an end.

The Government of Zambia no longer has neither the power no the moral right to administer, control or rule Barotseland outside the provisions of the Barotseland Agreement 1964. It was the only legal instrument by which Bulozi became part of Zambia; accordingly the terms and conditions in the Agreement should have continued to have effect if Zambia continues to remain a unitary state with Barotseland as its constituent part. Bulozi no longer has any plausible reason to cling to Zambia like glue!

The union ended and she must take charge of her own affairs. We conclude by urging the Namuso to constitute a team of negotiators to the National Constitutional Conference to present only one agenda item viz: a constitutional provision providing for the dissolution of the unitary state of Zambia.

Arise, “ bana ba poho ye nsu,” mu sike mwa saba, ku lekiwa kapa ku pumiwa kuli mu lumele ku ba mapahamelo a babanwi; ku busiwa mwa naha yeo mu sina swanelo ya ku busa, ku nyandiswa, ku ketululwa ni ku hatelelwa ki ba mishobo yeminwi;. Hakainde Hichilema u ize Mulozi u ka shwa cwalo ku ba mueteleli (President) wa naha Zambia bakeni sa Tumelelano ya Bulozi ye mbwanjingezwi! Ki lona libaka la na tundaniselize Sakwiba Sikota!

Bulozi bu yemi kai? Kwa tumelelano a bu weli, kwa ku amuhelwa ki ba mishobo ye minwi a bu weli. Se ku fitile lilimo ze mwanda Bulozi inze bu lwanisa kuli bu ipuse sakata. Kanti ya palelwisa Bulozi ku ipusa ki silena nji kapa ki sitanga?

Yema, Bulozi bwa ku tokwa, kwaula lilumo le li benya le li fenyize lila ni ku punyusa Bulozi mwa bukoba bwa Makololo; Nako ya ku liulula Bulozi i atumezi.

Yema wena ndumbana ni kalibe u liulule lifasi la luna, ‘fasi la bo ndat’a luna. Leo lu filwe ki Nyamb’a Ngula. Ku zote naha ki yona ya pili. Li na ni masimu, mabala, mishitu ni linuka. Li na ni buswa, timber, diamond, copper, oil, litapi, rice ni mbonyi. Lifasi la luna, ‘fasi la Bulozi.




1. Caplan,Eric: Elites of Barotseland 1878-1969; Political History of Zambia’s western Province,London 1970.
2. Concerned People of Barotseland; Restoration of the Barotseland Government; a submission to the Mung’omba Constitution Commission, April 2004. Kaoma (unpublished)

3. Kashimani, Mabia E: National Integration versus the legacy of mistrust; The uneasy political relationship between the government of UNIP andLozi traditionalists……1964-1986. UNZA, 1987.(unpublished)
4. Mbikusita-Lewanika, Akashambatwa. Homeland or death in the Monitor, November,1999.
5. Stokes, Eric: Barotseland: Survival of an African State in Zambesian Past, Manchester U.P. 1965
6. Wanga, Mutungulu : Barotseland, governance, politics and economic development. (Unpublished manuscript).


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Kingdom of Barotseland, Central Austral Africa, Linyungandambo, Tukongote Litunga In Lyetu