Politics

Lozis Enlist 3,000 “Rebels” to Defend Barotseland

More than 3, 000 Lozis are enlisting for what is turning out to be a rebel group to defend Barotseland in pursuit of their independence in Zambia’s Western Province.

The region resolved to secede in March 2012 based on the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 which they nullified and its youths have since given President Michael Sata’s government 21 days to withdrawal his administration from the province.

But so far 17 people have been arrested for shredding draft copies of the Zambian constitution and stand charged with malicious damage.

Sources in Mongu report Lozis are determined to breakaway from Zambia more especially that they have the support of the Litunga and his entire leadership.

The sources report that of the 3, 000 enlisted in the Barotseland Liberation Army , majority are ex-servicemen who have pledged to defend their region from Lusaka and President Sata’s troops.

President Sata, who had promised to honour the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 within 90 days of assuming power but has failed, has opted assign a huge number of soldiers and commandos to the region to quell a simmering volatile situation.

“There is no turning back. We have told the BRE [Barotseland Royal Establishment] to stay out of this just in case they say  this is criminal and target the Litunga.

“Already, we have almost 3, 000 men in all corners of Barotseland to fight back and we  will do so without hesitation,” the source said.

The activists warned that Barotseland was ready to strike key Zambian points such as State House, Bank of Zambia, Manda Hill and the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, among other targets.

Some secessionist are drawing strength from the fact that men and women in the Zambia Police, Zambia Army and the intelligence system hail from their region and are feeding them with vital information on how to strike or defend themselves.

Instead of engaging in dialogue with Barotseland leaders such as the Litungu and the Ngambela (Prime Minister), President Sata has publicly derided them.

The Head of State recently referred to the Litunga as an ordinary chief with no more powers than others while calling the Ngambela a fake Prime Minister.

These derogatory references have angered Lozis who voted President Sata by giving his party two seats in the province based on the deceitful message he gave them about restoring the Barotseland Agreement.

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