By Jonas Shakafuswa


Looks like this issue will never die. I laughed when the spokesman talked of Barotseland. Seriously speaking are they sure we are very foolish to let the resources of our lands in the Lenje Lamba land to be recorded as their resource. Are they sure they had control of our land or they just fraudulently claimed our lands. Have they got records which shows that we allowed them to control our resources?

For sure as a Senior Lenje Citizen, I enjoy a very good cordial relationship with my Cousins. But then they should not find a reason to stretch our patience.

For us we would love to put this issue to a debate amongst ourselves. This so called Lozi selfishness can’t just be ignored. Let them take us on before they take on the State. I have been approached by our Lamba brothers and prodded to respond. We are ready to meet our colleagues to hear their claim and give them a piece of our conviction. They are claiming £78m? Where was this money realised from. Were there any economic activities in the Loziland which realised these monies? Calm down my beloved Cousins. Calm down.

Our History as a people does not show any interaction with the Lozi Kingdom. Unless there is something I haven’t been taught by my heritage. Let us resolve this issue as a people of “Barotseland” before engaging the State.


  1. Barotse people during the colonial era were attending school and getting jobs in the rest of Northern Rhodesia. Records show that there were a number of them at Chipembi, Munali and Kafue secondary schools. Godwin Mbikusita-Lewanika was a school teacher in Kitwe and later leader of the Northern Rhodesia ANC in Kitwe. He was providing leadership to an independence-seeking movement for Northern Rhodesia. Colonial district governors in Northern Rhodesia were being transfered from Barotseland to the rest of Northern Rhodesia and vice versa without any problem. There’s therefore strong evidence that for all practical purposes, there was integration between the Barotse people and the rest of Northern Rhodesia.

  2. Barotseland was a Chiefdom in central Africa, just like the Lunda chiefdom of Mwata Kazembe, the Ushi Chiefdom , Lamba Chiefdom , Ngoni Chief dom, Bisa Chief, Luvale Chiefdom, and many other chiefdom in what is today known as Zambia.
    The white colonialists are the cause of the problem Zambia has. They in cohort with the barotse royal establishment didn’t want to let go of Northern Rhodesia…So they sneaked in some clauses to perpetuate their control of Zambia, after all the Lozis had adopted the Victorian British dressing…the so-called musisi for women and the Scottish dressing for men…and the chief of the Barotse, the Litunga dorned symbols of British Colonialism…They were British in African skins.
    May be there’s some unfinished business in Zambia. The total liberation of Zambia from British rule…Renogatiate the Lancaster agreement so that this Barotse issue is buried.

    • HH, why do you talk of chiefdoms and not kingdoms? Before the emergence of the modern state, the feudal political formations of present-day Europe were those of Empires, kingdoms and principalities. Historical and anthropological research today shows that pre-colonial Africa was also capable of creating centralized systems of rule.

      • @Dr Mulenga Kaoma. I totally agree with you. I know the origin of the classification of African Kingdoms as Chiefdoms historically. All those referred to in my comment all qualify to be kingdoms and were kingdoms. But there is a certain troublesome narrative , embedded in the thinking of those advocating secession, which regrettably has been adopted by government and the media…The Litunga is a King, others are chiefs.. something I can’t give credence to..for it is this erroneous thinking which gives rise to miscreants thinking there’s one Kingdom within Zambia..and that Kingdom is Barotse Land, with the Litunga as King.
        So from the Zambian contemporary context either all traditional leaders are Chiefs or all of them are Kings..
        Thats where am coming from, and it is the context presented in my comment.
        Appreciated Doc.

  3. All those ethnic groups over whose land the Lozi’s claim sovereignty need to raise the questions Hon Shakafuswa is raising. It is probably a better route to take for a start.

  4. The Barotseland Agreement will keep on chocking us as long as we leave it un attended to. Presidents have come and gone and none of the six past presidents, including Dr. Kenneth Kaunda who signed the Agreement have not dared to look at it seriously so that it can be resolved once and for all. This matter started as soon as BA was signed in 1964 and has been there since then, but I won’t go into history now. When Sata was still campaigning as an opposition Leader, he promised to deal with the issue if he was voted into power, but upon being in power, he never did anything about the BA itself. The only thing he did was to appoint the Chongwe Commission of Inquiry to look at the killings and other crimes against humanity which took place against the Barotseland activists or secessionists although they prefer to be called Separatists. The findings of the Chongwe Commission, to date, have not been disclosed. After the death of Sata, PF did nothing in the whole of the seven years it remained ruling until it was out of power in 2021. I still remember at one time in July, 2012, the late veteran politician Sikota Wina wanted to have a press briefing on the Barotseland Agreement but the press briefing was called off at the last minute and never took place. But a day earlier, Sikota Wina had a meeting with Induna Batuke Imenda and other Barotseland prominent people but no details of the meeting were given. Maybe the discussions should have been allowed to go on and by now, we could have been somewhere with this issue. I don’t know how the current and 7th President will handle it but in my opinion, the people to handle this issue should be the Republican President and the Litunga of Barotseland because they are the ones who signed the Agreement through their predecessors, Dr. Kaunda and Sir Mwanawina Lewanika the third. That being the case, the government should not entertain or listen to any individual group but to the Litunga only, he is the one who signed the agreement between the Zambian government and the Barotseland. The matter can only be official if His Majesty the Litunga can come in the open and tell the Zambian Government that Barotseland wants to separate or secede from the rest of Zambia. That way the matter can be discussed and eventually be resolved amicably probably through a referendum. Otherwise, any group which agitates for the separation of Barotseland without the blessings of the Litunga is illegal and has no mandate to write the President, the President can only be written to by his fellow signatory to the Agreement, the Litunga and that is the only person he can respond. Moreover, apart from the Litunga, there is no one group which can claim to represent the whole of Barotseland. We don’t want Northern Ireland to shift to Zambia where one group wants Northern Ireland to remain under the Crown, the other group wants it separate from UK and be on its own while the third group wants it to be part of the united Ireland.

    However, I have one or two questions which I want to be schooled or someone can help me to answer them. Ever since we were young, then went to school, we were being told and taught that the country Zambia came into being after the annexation of the two countries namely; Northeastern Rhodesia and Northwestern Rhodesia without the mentioning of Barotseland, so my questions are;

    1. Was it deliberate not to mention the Barotseland so that history could be distorted, destroyed or could remain hidden from us?

    2. Was Northwestern Rhodesia the same country which was known as Barotseland?

    3. If that was not the case, was Barotseland an autonomous territory within the country of Northwestern Rhodesia, as we have Lesotho and Eswatini within South Africa?

    4. If Barotseland was an autonomous territory within Northwestern Rhodesia, kindly help me to understand why and how the Litunga had to sign for the annexation Agreement of the whole Northwestern Rhodesia instead of just signing for the Barotseland?

    5. How did the people of Barotseland, Northwestern Rhodesia and Northeastern Rhodesia find themselves working and fighting for Independence together even before the BA was signed? How did they come together as Northern Rhodesia citizens prior to the signing of the BA? It’s like the idea of annexing the two countries was already there because even under the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the Federation covered the whole territory of the present day Zambia. Also when the freedom movements started, the first black person who formed or the founder of the first black freedom movement was Godwin Mbikusita Lewanika who later became the Litunga of Barotseland in 1968 and was on the throne until 1977 when he passed on. And being one of the few well educated Africans that time, Godwin Mbikusita Lewanika did a lot to bring about our Independence in Zambia, he also did a lot to coordinate with other African freedom fighters like Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Ngwazi Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula who later took over from him as leader of Northern Rhodesia African Nation Congress. We want all this history to be well documented so that we are well informed.

  5. HH, I agree 100% with your explanation. But you could also have gone ahead to classify those ethnic groups with kingdoms like the Lubas, the Chewas, Ngonis, Lundas etc. These have been characterised by centralized systems of rule.

    • The Barotse are essentially saying they have got a raw deal from Zambia. I see a situation where more tribes are going to come out and say ” We have also got a raw deal from Zambia”.


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