THE Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has reportedly withdrawn from the case in which Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) petitioned the Government of Zambia against alleged human rights violations in Western Province.
In 2013, the BNFA wrote to the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) pleading to have Western Province secede from Zambia because of alleged ill-treatment of the Lozi people over the Barotse Agreement of 1964.
The African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights adopted the matter where the Ngambela, as head of the BRE, and others sued the Government of Zambia for alleged abrogation of human rights of the people of Barotseland.
The ACHPR through its secretary, Dr Mary Maboreke, said the decision of the commission over the matter would be transmitted to the people of Barotseland after the assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union authorized the publication of the commission’s activity report.
But information reaching the Daily Nation yesterday indicated that the Litunga and the Kuta would not support the BNFA case and have therefore been accused of complicity in the alleged continued suppression of the region.
And BRE spokesperson Induna Katema explained that the Kuta was not part of the BNFA’s petition against the Government because they were not informed of any procedures regarding the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) petition.
Induna Katema said the Kuta also rejected the hoisting of the flag at the BRE ground because at no time did the Barotse nationalists brief the Kuta on any development.
“We have never been informed about any development and how can we take part as the Kuta? We have been saying that it is important to inform the Kuta on every development because the issue of Barotseland needed patience.
“We just saw these people coming to the Kuta and wanting to hoist the flag here at the grounds and we could not allow them because we have not been briefed, and we have been telling these people, but it seems they do not want to hear us,” Induna Katema said.
The BNFA, headed by former Ngambela Clement Sinyinda, submitted a 258-page petition of alleged “forensic evidence” detailing human rights ‘‘violations’’ against its people following the Barotse National Council (BNC) resolutions of March 27, 2012.
And some Barotse activists in the area are reported to be up in arms and have demanded that all the indunas should leave or face closure.
Lozi loyalist Prince Ngalama claimed that the BNC was called by the Litunga himself, saying it was shocking that the BRE were distancing themselves from an important meeting which could decide the future of the region..
“It will not be surprising to see all the indunas leaving the Kuta because of failure to run the institution. And if the BRE withdraw from the case regarding the will of the people, there is nothing good because he (the Litunga) is the one who gave the Ngambela the mandate to go ahead with the resolutions,” he said.
Prince Ngalama said the Litunga should abide by the will of the people because he was the one who had called for the BNC and he was aware of its resolutions.
BNFA secretary general Mungandi-wa-Mungandi said his organization was steadfast in undertaking the task because they were representing the people.
Mr Mungandi said he was aware of the BRE withdrawal from the case but that the alliance had not been communicated to.
“What we know is that the BRE is also waiting for a full report from the heads of state as you are aware that the decision of the (human rights) commission would be made known to the people of Barotseland after the assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.
“The BNFA will on Friday hold a public rally in line with their outreach programme to provide correct and accurate information on the actualization of Barotseland statehood in order to counteract a flurry of misinformation that is going round, most of which was coming from the occupying powers with the intent to confuse people and incite them to erupt into lawlessness,’’ he said.