By Daimone Siulapwa
IN DEFENCE OF PRESIDENT HAKAINDE HICHILEMA’S STANCE ON BAROTSELAND
The recent reaction to President Hakainde Hichilema’s statement on Barotseland underscores the deep-rooted emotions surrounding the historical grievances of the Lozi people.
However, it is essential to approach this matter with a focus on constructive dialogue, development, and the unity of Zambia as a whole.
President Hichilema’s assertion and rightly so that Barotseland is not a separate country but an integral part of Zambia is grounded in the historical context of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.
While emotions run high, it is also important to acknowledge the complexities of the issue and channel energy towards resolving the development disparities faced by Western Province as there no Barotseland province or country that exist anymore anywhere on earth.
The grievances outlined regarding the lack of infrastructure, educational institutions, government buildings, and industries in Barotseland resonate deeply.
These challenges are not to be ignored, and President Hichilema’s unintentional opening of a dialogue presents an opportunity to address these issues collectively
Interestingly, the UPND government has already put in motion these activities by the increased CDF and the decentralization of many services and responsibilities.
The call for unity and interdependence in resource distribution among provinces is a step towards rectifying historical neglect.
The emphasis on equal development across all regions is not an attempt to suppress Western Province but a recognition of the need for a united and prosperous Zambia.
President Hichilema’s acknowledgment of the historical injustices faced by Western Province is an opportunity for the people of western province to engage in a meaningful dialogue about their development needs.
It is a call for collaborative efforts to address the infrastructural gaps and disparities that have hindered progress in the region.
While the grievances expressed are valid, it is essential to distinguish between emotional reactions and a rational approach to problem-solving.
Instead of viewing the situation as a threat to the identity of Western Province, it can be seen as an opportunity to advocate for the Province’s development within the framework of a united Zambia.
Addressing the concerns raised about the recognition and support for the Chiefdoms in Western Province is a valid aspect of the discussion.
President Hichilema’s commitment to the rule of law should be a foundation for fostering cooperation and ensuring that all regions receive the attention they deserve.
Daimone Siulapwa is a political analyst, an advocate for tribal unity and Citizen Economic Empowerment. Send your comments to email@example.com*