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CHEKE CHA MBUNDA CULTURAL AND WRITERS ASSOCIATION

 

BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964 AND THREATS ON MBUNDA SPEAKING PEOPLE

BY A GROUP CALLED 'LINYUNGANDAMBO - BLACK BULLS'

 

PRESS STATEMENT

11TH JANUARY 2011

 

 

Cheke Cha Mbunda Cultural and Writers Association is a  representative organ of the Mbunda Speaking People in Zambia, Angola, Congo and Namibia. It was formed in 1956 and registered in the Laws of The Republic of Zambia by the Registrar of Societies in 1982 as Cheke Cultural Writers Association and later renamed to what it is now and re-registered for change of name in 2008.

 

This change was necessitated by shift in the Association’s vision from just writing about the history to also revive, preserve, promote and protect the Culture and affairs of all the nine chiefs of the seven dialects of the Mbunda Speaking People Group.  This entails organising and holding cultural gatherings, to this end executing programmes relating to “Official Representation and Custodian of traditional music, makithi, oracles, myths, oral and written records of the Mbunda People Group.

 

Cheke Cha Mbunda Cultural and Writers Association is non political and non partisan, but support the Government of the day and in this case the Government of His Excellency, President Rupiah Bwezani Banda. 

 

These are historians who wrote ‘The History and Cultural Life of the Mbunda Speaking People’ book in English in1994 and translated it in Mbunda language in 1998.   

 

Mbundas are a distinct group comprising of seven dialects, and these are Mbunda Manthzi, Mbunda Shamuka, Mbunda Yauma, Mbunda Ndundu, Mbunda Nkangala, Mbunda Mbalango and Mbunda Sango.  These are under traditional and cultural leadership of nine chiefs in Zambia, namely Senior Chief (Mwene) Sikufele, Manyinga – Kabompo; Chief (Mwene) Chiyengele Josia Nyumbu, Nang’oko – Mongu; Chief (Mwene) Kandala, Mabumbu – Mongu; Chief (Mwene) Chiyengele Chingumbe, Kayombo – Kabompo; Chief (Mwene) Mundu, Liumba –Kalabo; Chief (Mwene) Kandombwe – Kauli, Lukulu; Chief (Mwene) Kasabi, Lukute – Kaoma; Chief (Mwene) Kasimba, Kalumwange – Kaoma; Chief (Mwene) Lindeho, Chamemba – Kalabo.

 

The Mbunda Speaking People came into Barotseland from Mbundaland in 1795, almost a Century before the white man divided and shared Africa into political boundaries in the year 1885   The first Mbunda Chief to enter Barotseland was Chief (Mwene) Mundu, followed by Chief (Mwene) Kandala and finally Chief (Mwene) Chiyengele,  The three Chiefs came to Barotseland not because they ran away from any war, but due to the warm friendship they enjoyed with the Litunga of Barotseland then, Mulambwa Santulu,  

 

The coming of Chief (Mwene) Chiyengele in Barotseland brought about great changes in the lives of the Aluyi and Mbundas in Barotseland.  First, the Mbunda fought the Luvales who troubled the Aluyi by getting their cattle and halted the Luvale incursions in Barotseland. This resulted in a strengthened friendship between Aluyi and Mbundas, causing Mulambwa to declare Chief Chiyengele as the Senior Chief of the Mbundas in Barotseland and decreed a ten point Mulambwa/Chiyengele Treaty with the Mbundas as given below:

 

1)        We give you this sharp-pointed pole to replace those poles with rounded tops for your royal palace. It is only your palace which will be built with sharp poles called milombwe.

 

2)        Your royal drum (Kenda na Vafwa) and royal xylophone (Kamuyongole) should be played in your palace, when you visit others and whenever you come to this capital.

 

3)        It is only you who will use a royal flyswitch of the eland.

 

4)        You are free to continue to teach your people your language and culture; you will not be forced to take our language and culture.

 

5)        There shall never be a Lozi person who enslaves a Mbunda and no Mbunda shall enslave a Lozi

 

6)        You are not forced to live on the Barotse plain but free to live in the forests.

 

7)        You are free to cultivate cassava, yams and millet in the multitude that you wish.

 

8)        In military and political matters you should be allied with the Aluyi

 

9)        Never fight among one another, but love one another.

 

10)      Finally, respect chieftainship and the elders.

 

 

This and other factors earned Mbundas to be represented on the Barotse Royal Establishment Council.

 

Secondly, the Mbundas fought alongside Aluyi in the Aluyi/Makololo war in 1830, which ousted the Makololo rule on Aluyi.

 

Thirdly, the Mbunda war machinery of Bows and Arrows, fought alongside the Aluyi to conquer the Tongas, which resulted in the Aluyi/Mbunda cousinship with Tongas.

 

All this proved the fighting supremacy of  the Mbunda Speaking People in fighting alongside the Aluyi as opposed to the war they lost to the Kaondes without the Mbundas.

 

Barotse Agreement 1964

 

The Barotse Agreement 1964 is an agreement that ushered in Zambia on 24th October 1964.  Therefore Barotse Agreement 1964 is a ‘Parent Legal Document’ to the Republic of Zambia.  This agreement cannot therefore be annulled by an Act of Parliament because, item 8 under Implementation says ‘The Government of the Republic of Zambia shall take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that the laws for the time, being in force in the Republic are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement’, meaning that the Government of Zambia shall not make any laws inconsistent with this Agreement.  Any attempts to do so was inconsistent with the Agreement and may have been done out of malice, ill intent and sheer prejudice.

 

Therefore in reference to the summarized Mbunda history referred to earlier, it is without doubt that the Mbunda Speaking People are part of the ‘Barotse Agreement’ 1964

 

However, when we refer to Barotseland which was Barotse Protectorate and Barotse Agreement 1964, it should be understood that it is beyond Western Province as may be taken today. It goes beyond the line of rail, North Western Province and Copperbelt Province, involving five Provinces of Zambia today. And so the Barotse Agreement 1964 should be understood in its right context. There are a lot of stakeholders who should be involved.  Barotse Agreement 1964 was not only mean’t for a few Aluyi in the plains of Zambezi River and Mongu.

 

We believe the Barotse Agreement 1964 is real and valid. but climbing to tree tops and making a lot of noise and endangering lives of ordinary citizens is a very demining approach for the perpetrators.

 

We are happy with the steps that the Government of the Republic of Zambia is taking and we are confident that the matter will be resolved amicably and soon. It is our expectation that the matters should be dealt with in a manner befitting dignity respect and due honour to both parties. We are however saddened by one of the parties to the agreement namely our dear beloved former President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda who has kept quite despite the agitation that is ongoing. We request him to make a statement. The issues can be resolved only if the parties are honest with each other.

 

Threats on the Mbunda Speaking People

 

We received disturbing reports and fliers from Mongu, authored by a group of Barotseland Activists calling themselves ‘Linyungandambo”.  In these fliers, they are warning the Mbunda Speaking People to start packing and leave Barotseland before 14th January 2011 when they succeed from Zambia. They claim to have observed that, this period around when they have been fighting for this cause, Mbundas have not been supportive and they feel it is high time they went back to Angola where they came from, failure to comply would lead in loss of lives.

 

We would like to state categorically here that:

1)    The Barotseland Agreement 1964 does not call for cessation and therefore urge the Government of the Republic of Zambia to arrest the perpetrators of this cause for treason. They are known to Government.

2)    The Barotseland Agreement 1964 states clearly of the one part namely that ‘Sir Mwanawina Lewanika the third, K.B.E, Litunga of Barotseland, acting on behalf of himself, his heirs and successors, his Council, and the chiefs and people of Barotseland.’

 

It should be noted with reference to the Mbunda history in Barotseland that, ‘the chiefs and people of Barotseland’ given in the preamble of the Barotse Agreement 1964 include the Mbunda Speaking People and others tribes in Barotseland as before even 1964, the archives are there to prove.

 

3)    One of the provisions on Item 2 entitled The Constitution of Zambia in the Barotse Agreement 1964 state that ‘The Constitution of the Republic of Zambia shall include the provisions agreed upon for inclusion therein at the Constitutional Conference held in London in May, 1964 relating to (a) the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the individual, and those provisions shall have full force and effect in Barotseland’.

 

It is without doubt Mbundas are one of the individuals that enjoy this ‘human rights and fundamental freedoms’ as enshrined in the Barotse Agreement 1964 of Barotseland. It is clear that the Mbunda/Aluyi relationship is so interwoven that in certain cases it is not possible to distinguish a Mbundas from Aluyi.  The Nalikwanda used in the famous Kuomboka Ceremony was made initially by Mbundas. Most of the songs and utilities used in Kuomboka are for Mbundas and other tribes in Barotseland such the Nkoyas, Mbukushu, etc.  In short the Mbundas and any other tribe in Barotseland are free to stay and by this we are going nowhere, we are here to stay and protect the interests of the King Litunga Imwiko.

 

On 8th January 2011 one of the Mbunda entrepreneurs had windows to his shop broken by a group of the ‘Linyungandambo’ boys who ran way after the incident at the harbor.

 

In June 2005 there was another call by Mr. and Mrs. Mukamba and Mulele Mwindisho when they were interviewed by Akatata Batunda on Radio Liseli, insinuating that Mbundas are finishing forests in Western Province and that they must go back to Angola, warning that one day you will be ruled by a Mukanda initiate (a circumcised). This disturbed Mbundas, thanks to interventions by the Barotse Royal Establishment, the situation was calmed down.

 

Above being the case, we can only say enough is enough, we call upon all Mbunda Speaking People in Barotseland to be on ‘Red Alert’ and check ‘Linyungandambo’ who have declared war on them and should be prepared for the following:

1)    Under Barotseland Customary Law and the Mulambwa/Chiyengele Treaty we have the right to defend Mulambwa’s heir and successor on the throne today, unless he decided to die or leave the throne. Therefore an attack on the Litunga will be met with resistance from the Mbunda Speaking People.

2)    To guard and defend the Palaces of all our Mbunda Chiefs in Barotseland with our customary bows and arrows.

3)     Work hand in hand with the Government security to ensure that the commendable negotiations initiated by the Government to put the Barotse Agreement 1964 back on track are successful, and we are ready to assist wherever called upon.

4)    This being an election year we urge the Mbunda Speaking People who vote, to turn out in numbers and vote for candidates of their choice as they always do without intimidation from ‘Linyungandambo’ and its sponsors whom we have come to know by way of our independent investigations.

 

We refuse to be subjugated by another tribe and we don’t believe in subjugating anyone despite the weaknesses. We were only defeated by the Portuguese in Mbundaland before it was joined to Angola. This was following the abduction of His Majesty King Mbandu Kapova I.  The war lasted for 5 years from 1914 to 1929  when Mbundas ran out of gun powder due to lack of knowledge as to its manufacture.

 

In this regard, we are warning ‘Linyungandambo’ that any attack on any Mbunda as threatened, will be met with a full scale response but urge them to enjoin themselves to the discussions that the Government has initiated and express their grievances there.  We shall not be cowed by threats from anyone on this planet and repeat that the Mbundas will not be forced out of Barotseland without due and appropriate resistance. We are here to stay and protect the interests of the Litunga.

 

We therefore humbly ask the Government of His Excellency, President Rupiah Bwezani Banda to be sincere in the initiative to solve the challenge of the Barotse Agreement 1964 which was abrogated by the first Zambian Government led by our beloved former President Kenneth Kaunda, so that the matter is brought to its conclusion and we know that this will be a landmark step in history for this country and the continent as a whole. We are confident that His Excellency, President Rupiah Bwezani Banda will rise to the occasion as he has shown the desire to settle the matter once and for all. We however, urge him to invite all the necessary stakeholders to the Agreement and not a selected few. It is our hope this document will assist in the development of the Great Republic of Zambia

 

The Barotse Agreement 1964 is a legal document and we strongly urge citizens and especially the chiefs of the land of this country to read it and understand it for it is the parent to Zambia by law.

 

 

Ndandula Libingi

National Chairman

 

 

 

 

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