Thursday, May 05, 2011

BRE’s non-partisan stance cheers Milupi

BRE’s non-partisan stance cheers Milupi
By Mwala Kalaluka
Thu 05 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

IT is pleasing that the Barotse Royal Establishment has clarified that it is a neutral and non-partisan institution which does not support any political party, says Charles Milupi.

And dialogue between the MMD government and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) over the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 controversy has commenced with the government asking for more time.

Milupi, who is Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) leader and Luena parliamentarian, said it was pleasing that the BRE clarified that the statement that was attributed to the acting Ngambela in the public media was not correct.

“That should bring shame to those that were claiming that they were supporting them when in fact not,” Milupi said.

“That is the stance that all of us as politicians and those of us who are subjects of BRE, that is the stance that we expected and in fact it is a parental stance.”

Milupi said any politician regardless of their political inclination should feel comfortable to approach and discuss with the BRE.

“With regard to the statement made earlier, yes it raised concern,” he said.
Milupi said the major concern was how the MMD government was trying to abuse the chiefs using the public media to incorrectly reflect and sensationalise issues relating to traditional leaders.

“I know the BRE very well. It is a renowned institution and I didn't believe for one minute that that was the correct position of the BRE,” Milupi said. “We have seen the same in Southern Province.”

Milupi said the MMD government was desperately and corruptly trying to reduce the status of chiefs because it had realised that it was losing ground.

And highly-placed government sources told The Post on Tuesday that the government finally responded to a petition presented to President Rupiah Banda by the Barotse National Council (BNC) at State House early this year.

Recently, the BRE's acting Ngambela Litia Walubita said the traditional establishment was concerned with the delay by the government to respond to the suggestions of the BNC on how to resolve the problems arising from the Barotseland Agreement.

“Dialogue has started but the government has asked for some time to study the petition. They are saying if they rush it dialogue, the issue might not be addressed completely. They want to find a permanent solution,” the source said.

“Some reply came from the government to say ‘we are looking at that issue, give us a bit of time’. The government replied and the BRE agreed to give them a bit of time, although the government did not specify the time frame.”

The sources said senior chief Inyambo Yeta of Sesheke, senior chief Anang'anga Imwiko of Lukulu, senior chief Amukena Isiteketo of Kaoma and the Litunga of the South, met in Mongu recently to assure the people that the process of dialogue with the government over the Barotseland Agreement had not been abandoned.

But 92-year-old Maxwell Mututwa says the dialogue over the Barotseland Agreement should be finalised before the general elections and should also include the ordinary people of Western Province.

Mututwa, said on Tuesday that the people of Western Province were still in deep sorrow following the death of 70-year-old former treason accused Mwiya Sihope and 16-year-old Mumbwa Barotse detainee, Kabayo Kabayo.

“These children did not fight anyone. They were arrested and it seems the government was fighting with ghosts because the police was getting people from their homes. So who caused the violence?” Mututwa asked. “The police shot and killed people but none has been arrested.”

Mututwa said the people that died over the Barotseland Agreement issue should be honoured.

“That is why we are asking Rupiah Banda to release all the detainees because whatever the police are saying against them are all lies. They arrested people from their homes not on the roads. No one was caught rioting. This government is just troubling these people,” Mututwa said.

Mututwa further complained over the continued police presence in the province, saying such numbers of security agents went to places where there was a war.

“We are asking the Barotse National Council to look at all these issues so that the BRE and the people work together,” Mututwa said. “People of Western Province don't want MMD because MMD has killed innocent people. The people have rejected the MMD.”

Mututwa said only an all-inclusive dialogue strategy could chart the way forward over the issue.

“The people want dialogue before the elections are held and Rupiah Banda should release all the detainees because they are innocent,” Mututwa said.

He said the government should allow the people to hold public meetings over the Barotseland Agreement without instructing the police to arrest or shoot anyone, as this was the only way the government could get the people's true feelings.

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