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20.07.2011    08:00

No West secession talk

THE Mbunda and Nkoya Royal Establishments of Western Province say they will not allow any opposition party to talk about the secession of the region as a campaign issue.

Representatives of the two royal establishments said in separate interviews yesterday that the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 is a complex issue, which can only be resolved with concerted efforts from both Government and the Barotse National Council.

National chairperson of the Cheke Cha Mbunda, Ndandula Libingi, said Government should be given time to resolve the matter in an amicable manner.

"Political parties trying to use this as a campaign issue are causing confusion, and our position is to side with President Banda and wait for him to resolve the matter at an appropriate time," he said.

Mr Libingi said opposition parties are deceiving the electorate that the Barotseland Agreement could be resolved within a short period of time.

"That issue has dragged through three governments, and now President Banda is making great strides by holding consultative meetings," he said.

And Vice-Chairperson of the Kazanga Cultural Association, Laiton Kaushiku, said the MMD has shown true care for the people of Western Province by paying attention to the needs of the people.

"There is no need to talk about secession because we have a caring government and a President who has shown great concern by meeting the BNC and the Barotse Royal Establishment and committing to resolve the issue," he said.

Mr Kaushiku said the presence of Vice-President George Kunda at the recent Kazanga cultural ceremony of the Nkoya-speaking people is a strong indication that Government has great respect for the culture and customs of all regions in the country.

"This was the first time a very high profile Government official officiated at our Kazanga cultural ceremony to show us that Government cares," he said.

He said parties hoping to sway the decision of the electorate in the province to vote for the MMD and President Banda will not succeed.

Meanwhile, CHARLES MUSONDA reports that a political activist from Western Province has called on the people in the area to support President Banda’s stance on the Barotseland Agreement and efforts to develop the region.

In an interview yesterday, David Moyowambuya said it is good that President Banda has briefed the nation on the progress his government has made on the Barotseland Agreement and the resolutions of the Barotse National Council.

Mr Moyowambuya said the people of Western Province should also support Mr Banda’s decision to appoint a high-level team of Government officials to study the resolutions.

"This development shows that the province is entering a new phase. I want to earnestly appeal to youths and the people of Western Province in general to give Government a chance and the BRE time to establish the facts on the Barotseland Agreement.

[Zambia Daily Mail]


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