Barotseland youths have reacted angrily to Zambian President Michael Sata’s derogatory remarks suggesting their traditional ruler – the Litunga – was a “no body” and “without powers” warning him they did not want to spill any blood.
In January 2011, some Barotseland activists demanding separation from Zambia died during demonstrations. President Sata, then opposition leader, politically capitalised on the Barotseland protests promising to restore the Agreement of 1964 within 90 of assuming office.
President Sata has failed to honour his Barotseland Agreement promise and yesterday took a swipe at the Litunga whose Ngambela (Prime Minister) led the region into deciding to secede three months ago.
During the Barotseland National Council, representatives of Western Province resolved to breakaway prompting a rift between Lusaka and the Litunga.
The latest show of public disgust was yesterday when President Sata attacked the Litunga during a swearing in ceremony at State House.
This has attracted reactions from Barotseland youths who described the diatribe by President Sata as disrespectful and unpresidential.
“President Sata has no powers in Barotseland at all. Mr Sata has to accept the fact that Barotseland has accepted the repudiation of [the] BA1964 as its shown in the letter of dispute which was given to him and all embassies and the United Nations including the resolutions of 26th and 27th of March,” Barotse National Youth League (BNYL) chairperson Alfred Litiba Nkhomesha.
“One of the resolution reads; Barotseland is free to pursue its own destiny.”
Nkhomesha said the Zambian constitution did not have any effect on Barotseland.
He said the BNYL would stand with the Ngambela for his stance in wishing the people of Zambia well in the constitution making process.
“We are not part of the law and we are in the process of making our own. We appeal to the UN to quickly push the Zambian government to start the transition process now. We are tired of these attacks and we don’t want to spill any blood any more,” Nkhomesha said.