Zambia: Politicians urged not to politicise the Barotse Agreement

The Bishops Council of Zambia has cautioned opposition politicians not to aggravate the Barotse agreement by politicizing the issue.
In a statement released to ZANIS in Mufulira recently, Council President Bishop Peter Chinyama said the Barotse agreement is a serious matter that can bring serious political tension and division in the country if not well handled.

Bishop Chinyama observed that some opposition politicians are trying to gain cheap political mileage over the Barotse agreement a situation he said would aggravate the whole matter.
He urged the opposition politicians to try and promote national unit instead of dividing the country by peddling their selfish political agenda.He advised the opposition politicians to realize that first President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda was not unwise when he worked towards uniting the entire country including the Barotseland through the motto One Zambia One Nation that held the country together since independence.Bishop Chinyama further urged politicians who were claiming to speak on behalf of the people of Western Province to also realize that Western Province had highly educated people and successful politicians who fully understand the documents and implications of the agreement.
He said the elite from the Western Province would have done something if harmonizing the agreement could be helpful to the province and the nation at large.
He however commended government for the way it handled the matter.
Recently PF Leader Michael Sata was quoted in some section of the media as saying that he was ready to help the people of Barotseland gain independence from the rest of Zambia.
MEANWHILE, THERE was pandemonium in Mongu town recently when a fight ensued between sympathisers of the Barotse Freedom Movement (BFM) and the police who went to disperse a crowd attending a meeting to discuss the ‘independence’ of Barotseland from Zambia.
An eyewitness and officials from the BFM confirmed that the confusion started when a team of police officers went to Mongu’s Blue Gum grounds to disperse a crowd that went to attend the BFM-organised public rally.
A Mongu resident known as Mulasikwanda Chaze said the leaders of the movement went ahead to hold the meeting after police denied them a permit.
“What is happening is that there is a fight between Barotse Freedom Movement and the police,” said Chaze. “It started at Blue Gum Mongu because people asked for a permit on four occasions but police refused”.
As Chaze was speaking, teargas shots could be heard in the background and he cut the line abruptly.
BFM leader Grace Muyangana, who has since gone into hiding following the fracas, said there was no need for the people of Barotseland to celebrate Zambia’s independence because they were not free.
“Why should we celebrate independence when we are not free? They took me away from the scene and there were a lot of police officers,” said Muyangana. ”We will continue because what we want is our nation to be free.”
The BFM are annoyed that the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 has been left out of the National Constitutional Conference (NCC)’s draft constitution and also the rife underdevelopment in the Western Province.
Western Province police commanding officer Keithwell Mweemba said he could not give full details on the matter because the police were still on the ground.


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