Barotse Secession Demand: HH Presidency Is Best Time To Resolve The Issue Authoritatively- Peter Sinkamba


By Peter Sinkamba


When the issue was hot between 2011 and 2015, I had an opportunity to hold several live phone-in radio programmes in Mongu. Probably, it was only the Green Party that had an election manifesto with issue inked in black and white for 2015 and 2016 elections. Perhaps, it was only we, the Greens who had the courage to confront this issue head-on right in Barotseland in an open manner.

Our policy position on the Barotseland secession was two directional. First, we stated that if we won the election, one of the priority programmes would be to run a referendum only in Barotseland inorder to determine whether more than 50% of persons eligible to vote support session. Second, we stated that if the no-vote got more than 50% vote, we would initiate a transition from unitary system of governance to a federal system.

Ironically, majority of the callers that participated in our phone-in radio programmes supported our two viewpoints. Unfortunately, we lost in the two elections and rest is history.

Neither the PF nor UPND had the Barotseland secession issue in their manifestos. Consequently, no policy has been formulated up to now aimed at resolving this issue.

But as the Greens, we knew it was a just matter of time, and this issue was going to resurface. And boom, it back on the menu!

In our view, at the moment, there are probably only two leaders better placed to resolve the Barotseland secession issue authoritatively: President HH and myself. Since this is the HH presidency, I think this is a golden opportunity for him to confront this issue head-on. He should not bury his head in the sand, as doing so would be doing a great disservice to mother Zambia.

I have seen posts suggesting that the referendum of 1963 suffices. I don’t agree with that view. I think there is need to garner the courage of Dr. Kaunda and his team. They authoritatively got overwhelming mandate for One Zambia, One Nation through that referendum. In view of the persistent secession demands from 2011 going forward, I think that renewal of the Kaundas mandate gotten 60 years ago is justified.

In this regard, I urge my brother President HH to garner courage and run a referendum in Barotseland only, to resolve secession question in an authoritative, democratic manner so as to put it rest this issue once again.

Over to you my brother President HH.


  1. This is the time to assess, evaluate and classify our apolitical leaders regarding their wisdom, patriotism, opportunity taking egos, unitary national building, destructive agendas, don’t care type, etc

  2. “Only two people can resolve this problem, HH and myself.” Then at end, ” Over to you my brother HH.”


  3. Run a National Referendum since Barotse has no boundaries currently. Most of Barotse is part of Zambia and if Barotse has to go, they need the blessings of the rest of Zambia to avoid future wars!
    Do the rest of Zambians agree with the idea? There are Barotse people scattered throughout Zambia. These are not registered to vote in Barotseland. They also need to have their say. Are they ready to risk forfeiting their investments because of Barotse?
    So let the Referendum be done nationally to accommodate everyone. If Barotse gets 50% plus 1 votes, we’ll let them go in peace. If they fail to get the required results, let’s bring in a Federal System as suggested!

  4. Let us confront and discuss the Barotseland issue with honesty and in good faith. Let us work out a method of coexistence with the Lozis. The trickery of UNIP was wrong and did not achieve anything.

  5. For the referendum to be binding and fair, it should be confined to Barotseland and any Lozis outside of it who feel they need to have a say, must be accorded the chance.

    The process must be transparent to avoid any disputes. Both parties must agree to respect the outcome and live in peace thereafter.

  6. @Chikubabe,
    I agree with you 100%. The referendum has to involve all people of Zambia because it is about what form Zambia would take after another referendum on the matter, what the situation of Lozi’s outside Western Province would be, what the situation of non-Lozis in Western Province would be and who would pay for the debt incurred in doing one of the most expensive projects in Western Province, that is, the Mongu-Kalabo bridge and road and many other projects like the Sioma bridge.


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