Friday, March 30, 2012

Government, Scott fuelling tension - Ngambela

Government, Scott fuelling tension - Ngambela
By Staff Reporters
Fri 30 Mar. 2012, 13:00 CAT

BAROTSELAND'S administrative head Ngambela prime minister Wainyae Sinyinda has accused the government and Vice-President Guy Scott of fuelling tension by calling its resolutions irresponsible and unacceptable. And Sinyinda says he is ready to die or go to jail in defence of his people's expressed desire to separate from Zambia.

Vice-President Guy Scott, however, says the Brotseland Agreement of 1964 was a document drawn to give comfort to the Lozi-speaking people, and not to advocate secession.

Meanwhile, Western Province police commissioner Fanwell Siandenge says no arrests or incidents of violence were recorded during the two-day sitting of the Barotse National Council in Limulunga.

Responding to Vice-President Guy Scott's statement in Parliament on Wednesday that the resolutions by the Barotse National Council (BNC) to break away from Zambia were irresponsible and unacceptable, Sinyinda said it was the government that was being irresponsible.

He said Barotseland had the most democratic system of governance involving all its citizens.

"I can assure you that all the people that attended the meeting werefor this thing we are talking about. In fact, I want to appeal to the Zambian government to be as realistic as possible so that we don't promote tension in the country and I don't want to be among the people promoting tension. I am an adult and I want peace. We are not going to use any other means apart from peaceful means. They are the ones that are irresponsible," Sinyinda said.

"I remember that they called me fake. You can't use such words when you are talking to another territory. I think it's being unfair and I call upon the Zambian government to be selective when it comes to words. Let them not be emotional because we will end up rising tempers of the whole country, which won't be good."

In a statement in Parliament on the situation in Western Province, Vice-President Scott said the resolutions made in Mongu were irresponsible and unacceptable.

He said the government won't abdicate its responsibility as custodians of the interests of its people living in Zambia.

But Sinyinda said the road to freedom was not easy.

"You don't expect in any country where people are fighting for freedom that everybody will agree with you. I have information that the majority of them (Nkoyas) are supportive of this cause. In every struggle, you get some resistance. Nowhere in this world, even Namibia, South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique when people were fighting for freedom at no time did they have 100 per cent (support) but the majority will prevail over the minority. When I talk about minority, I am not talking about a tribe here, I am talking about majority of people including everybody. I want to emphasise that the majority of our brothers and sisters in Kaoma are supportive, so I can only say it's a struggle and what's good is that the majority is going to prevail," he said.

Asked to categorically state the boundary of Barotseland, Sinyinda said there were people trying to divide Lozis and other tribes.

He said if they wanted to take parts of Botswana, Namibia and Angola, they would have invited people from those countries to attend the BNC.

"We are not claiming any other piece of land; ours is Kaoma, Lukulu, Kalabo, Shangombo, Senanga, Mongu, Sesheke. We are not making any claim of any territory. I want to make that one clear. I know where that propaganda is coming from. They want to divide us so that you people (Southerners) can get annoyed with us," he said.

And reacting to home affairs minister Kennedy Sakeni's assertions that those advocating the independence of Barotseland from Zambia should stop because it was an act of treason, Sinyinda said in an interview at the Litunga's palace in Limulunga on Wednesday that Barotseland was determined.

"I would like to thank the security forces for being so professional. They have been very professional. They handled the meeting very professionally and that is how it should be because we avoided any spilling of blood," he said.

"Regarding what Sakeni said, I would like to appeal to the Zambian government to handle the whole thing in a very sober manner, without threatening anybody. He should remember that we are not the ones at fault."

Sinyinda said the Barotse people had put up a battle over the Zambian government's abuse of the Barotseland Agreement but that at every stage of resistance, they were arrested.

"In 2011 people resisted and they were even killed; 19 people were killed. It is not us who abrogated the 1964 agreement, it is the Zambian government," Sinyinda said.

"The people of Barotseland have met to make resolutions. The people of Barotseland have met from all the seven districts and because of that the Kuta BRE, particularly the Ngambela, I am ready to defend the position of the people even if it means going to jail."

He further vowed that he would defend what the people of Barotseland had aspired for even to the point of being killed.

Sinyinda reminded the government that threats of treason cannot and have never worked over the Barotseland issue.

"People are alive to the fact that their children, brothers and sisters were killed on 19th January, 2011, barely a year later they have arrived at the position which they have directed that the BRE must follow," Sinyinda said.

He said the advocates for Barotseland's self-determination were fully aware of the strength of the Zambian security forces but that they were just exercising their human rights.

"The Zambian government must own up for the mistakes committed against the people of Barotseland for the past 47 years," he said.

"Under normal circumstances, the people that have committed crimes against humanity must be indicted to the International Court of Justice, instead they continue to threaten the innocent because they have the backing of the security forces, which they want to misuse against our people."

Sinyinda reminded Sakeni that if might was right, South Africa would not have managed to shake itself from the brutal apartheid system and Southern Rhodesia's Ian Smith's statement that there would be no black rule in Zimbabwe for a thousand years would have been realised.

"South Africa had even reached a stage of having nuclear weapons but they never succeeded in suppressing what the people wanted, but we are determined," Sinyinda said with a tinge of emotion.

"Ian Smith where is he? We are determined even if the Zambian government continues to kill a number of us. We are determined to ensure that what belongs to us must be given to us."

He said henceforth, any statement from the government would be rebutted and that no more will the BRE be quiet against malicious and demeaning statements.

"I will be answering back even if I am in prison because I have been given the mandate of the people of Barotseland," he said.

"We believe in peace. We have always been standing for peace and my prayer is that the government must not take advantage of us."

And Siandenge told journalists in Mongu on Wednesday that although there were celebrations in certain areas after the Barotse National Council read out its final resolution, the delegates went back to their homes peacefully.

"The current situation is very normal," Siandenge said. "You can't even know that there was a BNC meeting. It hasn't changed the mood .The people that went for the BNC, their conduct was exemplary."

He said after the final resolutions, the state security profile expected a lot of commotion but that things proceeded smoothly.

"It was like people coming from a football match," Siandenge said."The same spirit should continue. People shouldn't be excited over anything because there is nothing that has changed at the moment."

Close to 2,000 delegates attended the BNC meeting in Limulunga held on March 26 and 27, 2012 at St Lawrence Catholic Church grounds where it was resolved that Barotseland should secede from Zambia following the nullification of the Barotseland Agreement.

Three foreign missions in Zambia, among them the US and Angolan embassies, were represented at the convocation.

And in an interview during BBC's Africa Network yesterday morning, Sinyinda said the move made by Western Province to break-away from the rest of the country does not amount to treason because it is provided for under International Law.

Sinyinda said the Barotse Agreement signed between the Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland in 1964, gave right to either party to revert to its original state if the other party abrogated it's terms.

"We know that under International Law, it cannot be treason because weentered into a treaty and if one of the parties that are involved inan agreement violates that agreement, it means the party has got aright to revert to the original status," Sinyinda said.

When further asked if he knew he was breaking the law by calling on the people of Western Province to secede, Sinyinda said: "I am not calling on my people to secede. It is the people that have actually mandated me to implement their resolutions."

The following is the verbatim report of Vice-President Scott's address to Parliament on Wednesday and the debate by members of parliament that accompanied it:

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, I rise to address the nation through this August House on the resolutions of the 2012 Barotse National Council held at Limulunga from 26th to 27th March, 2012, that were announced in Mongu on matters which have a profound bearing on the integrity and harmony of our peaceful country. Those resolutions have severe consequences and ramifications.

Sir, as a country made of several ethnic groups, we are fused and have established strong bonds of fraternity and a unique fellowship built on a
foundation of "One Zambia One Nation" ever since the attainment of independence.

This has sustained us making our country an oasis of peace, stability and harmony. In diversity, we have held together, without free occupation and obsession with regard to colour, creed or language.

People who visit our country are touched and impressed to see a place where people have endless smiles and extend a hand of friendship to foreigners.

This is a country where there is no xenophobia or ingrained ill feelings towards those who are not our clan, colour or religious persuasion, and I can particularly testify to that.

Government members: Hear, hear!

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, we have various challenges, as a country, principally a large number of our people living in poverty. This is morally unacceptable and undesirable.

Our agenda and thrust, in unison, should be to address this challenge. Our policy as the Patriotic Front (PF) government is for devolution as an approach to decentralisation driven by poverty reduction and elimination and is anchored on the issue of getting development to the grassroots across the country as the most effective way of tackling the poverty that we are in.

This was stressed by His Excellency the President in the official opening speech to this august House.

Mr Speaker, in the 2013 Budget, the government will start the process ofrevenue sharing with the local authorities and it will be significant revenue sharing in order to enhance development in all the parts of the country.

In addition, the government has many programmes and projects, some of which will take off in the next two to three months, which will have a big impact, especially in terms of reducing unemployment.

The route we will take, for instance, to construct roads in all our towns in both urban and rural areas will be labour intensive while maintaining quality, sustainability and durability.

Sir, let me now address the grave issue of secession of the Western Province from Zambia. These resolutions have been taken by a group of people who arrogated to themselves an exclusive preserve to speak for all the people of the Western Province.

The resolutions from the districts were a stage-managed and orchestrated affair, with no proof of adequate consultation. We insist, as a government, that the resolutions by the Barotse National Council to break away from the rest of Zambia would have to be considered by all the people of Zambia through a process that involves elaborate and credible consultation.

The resolutions announced in Mongu, yesterday, are irresponsible and unacceptable. The government will not abdicate its responsibility as custodian of the interest of all our people who live in the territorial space called Zambia.

Government members: Hear, hear!

Up to now, the government security and law enforcement wings have maintained a low profile and visibility. Level headedness and circumspection will continue to be our guideline.

Mr Speaker, as a government, we will rise to the challenge of protecting the lives of people and property. It is our inescapable duty, obligation and responsibility to do so. I want to counsel our people to desist from pointing fingers at each other. We must all guard against explosive statements which can only compound the situation.

Sir, various edifices and structures ranging from schools, hospitals and related facilities to offices in the Western Province have been provided, courtesy of Zambian tax payers, of all persuasions, tribes, races and creeds. The government will protect all the properties.

The Western Province is inhibited by a number of ethnic groupings who may be as numerous as the Lozis and who are averse to breaking away from Zambia. Most likely more Lozis live in the rest of Zambia than those who live in the Western Province. They have families and a chain of properties.

They have fused with fellow Zambians through marriages and other forms of social interaction. Generally, all of us Zambians, wherever we may live in our large country, have an ultimate attachment to each other and our country. Any separation entails anguish and rupture in our sentimental connections. It would be a big emotional upheaval.

My advice to the country, Mr Speaker, is that we stay calm and take note of the pronouncements in Mongu and continue to dialogue with the Barotse Royal Establishment. Zambia's harmony will continue to be premised on democratic principles and values and benchmarks of tolerance, accommodation and fellowship.

Finally, it is my hope that the House will unite in safeguarding our peace, unity and the integrity of our country through our purposeful togetherness and response conduct.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

National Assembly Speaker Dr Patrick Matibini: Hon members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by His Honour the Vice-President.

Michael Kaingu (Mwandi MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, is the Vice-President aware that the Barotse Agreement is a document that unites the two territories and in its absence, there is no relationship?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker that is the legal situation taken to extremes and twisted. In practice, the Western Province has been part of Zambia and has been governed as part of Zambia since well before 1964.

I have friends who came out here in the colonial times to be colonial officers and they moved into the Western Province and the other provinces without any distinction as to where they were. In practice, the Western Province or the so-called Barotseland has been part of Zambia for a very long time or over 100 years.

I thank you, Sir.

Jack Mwiimbu (Monze UPND member of parliament): Mr Speaker, arising from the ministerial statement given by His Honour the Vice-President in which he has indicated that the Western Province was part of Zambia prior to 1964, what is the genesis of the 1964 Barotse Agreement?

Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think the intimate connection that exists in some people's minds between the Barotseland Agreement on the one hand and the possibilities of secession on the other is misconceived.

The Barotseland Agreement was a document drawn up to give comfort to the Barotse Royal Establishment that it would not be disadvantaged by being a part of Zambia having gone from being a protectorate within a protectorate. It has nothing to do with this secession resolutions that have been made in Mongu this week.

I thank you, Sir.

Gabriel Namulambe (Mpongwe MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, issues like the resolutions that have been passed by the Barotse National Council can cause conflicts in the nation.

Has the Government taken steps to investigate the real matters that have exhumed the issue of the Barotseland Agreement?

Vice-President: Mr Speaker, yes, we are taking steps to examine both the immediate and deep causes of this set of resolutions.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Eustakio Kazonga (Vubwi MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, in his ministerial statement, His Honour the Vice- President referred to decentralisation by devolution as one of the ways in which the PF government plans to reduce poverty.

I would like to know what else the government plans to do for the people of Zambia in general and the Western Province, in particular, to reduce the level of poverty.

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, we are getting too off track for me to give a convincing answer. I can talk on that subject for an hour, but it is not relevant to the immediate issue that this statement was about.
I thank you, Sir.

Greyford Monde (Itezhi-tezhi UPND member of parliament): Mr Speaker, in 1991, when Dr Kaunda realised that he had not done well as regards the welfare of the people of the Western Province, he campaigned on the line of restoring the Barotseland Agreement. Unfortunately, he could not win that election.

In 2011, last year, the PF mentioned that it would restore the Barotse Agreement. Could His Honour the Vice-President explain to the House what the PF was going to restore and what it meant when it said that it would restore the Barotseland Agreement?

Sports minister Chishimba Kambwili: Mukapange chalo chenu (Create your own country).

Speaker Matibini: Order! Let us have order.

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, senior members of the PF, as I recall, were never so careless as to say they would restore the Barotseland Agreement.

I remember several campaign speeches that I and His Excellency the President made, for example, where we discussed the concept of decentralisation and heavier involvement of traditional rulers and traditional establishments in the management of the country and we used a sound analogy for this principle of indirect rule.

In the Eastern Province, when a translator is translating what I am talking about into Ngoni, he says indirectly rule because the concept is known. In the Western Province, the Barotseland Agreement or the royal establishment's powers as guaranteed by that were used as examples. So, the literal promise was never made and the promise was for decentralisation and that will be kept.

I thank you, Sir.

Charles Kakoma (Zambezi West UPND member of parliament): Mr Speaker, in my layman understanding, Barotseland came together with the Northern Rhodesia to form one unitary State called Zambia.

Along the way, that agreement was abrogated by the United National Independence Party (UNIP) government.

Therefore, that agreement fell apart. What would be the meaning of restoring it? Would that mean that we will unite the two nations into one unitary State of Zambia or restoring it means that there will be secession?

Vice-President Scott: As I said earlier, my layman understanding also is that the Barotseland Agreement was put in place to give comfort and reassurance to the Lozi people and the Barotse Royal Establishment, in particular, that they would not be disadvantaged by the coming fusion with the rest of Zambia.

So, I do not think it is the Barotseland Agreement that makes the Western Province part of Zambia. The Western Province is the Western Province of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Kapembwa Simbao (Senga Hill MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, every community has a right of association. If they want to associate, they make that decision. The Lozis have decided not to associate with the rest of
Zambia. Suppose they stand their ground, what will the government do about it?

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, I would take issue with the statement that the Lozis have decided not to associate with the rest of Zambia. Some individuals,

in the Western Province, politicians, in fact, of the Movement for
Restoration of Barotseland in particular who signed those resolutions, have engineered that these resolutions be produced.

I made it very clear in the statement that there is no evidence whatsoever of adequate consultation of some sort of referendum or anything having taken place even among the Lozi tribe let alone the Western Province and Zambia as a whole.

As regards the question of freedom of association, tell that to the people of Western Sahara, Biafra, South Sudan, Eritrea and so on and so forth. This is very dangerous territory, Mr Simbao. It really is. I think we should steer clear of it and be unified as one nation in this House.

Levy Ngoma (Sinda MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, can the Vice-President be very categorical on whether the PF government will restore the Barotseland Agreement.

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, the report that contains, as one of its recommendations, the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement is currently under consideration by Cabinet and there is no categorical answer until
Cabinet has decided.

Government members: Boma!

Vice-President Scott: The issue of secession is not restoration or failure to restore the Barotseland Agreement. Secession is a much more serious business and one which should not be connected because logically, it is not connected to the Barotseland Agreement.

I thank you, Sir.

Request Muntanga (Kalomo UPND member of parliament): Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President has said that the Barotseland Agreement was basically meant to provide comfort to the Barotse Royal Establishment. The Republican President said he would find it difficult to restore the Barotseland Agreement. What is so difficult in the Barotseland Agreement?

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, the topic is the passage of various unconstitutional resolutions by a group of secessionists in Western Province. That is what we are making a Statement about. The Barotseland Agreement and what our President thinks about it, personally, and what remarks he might have made off-the-cuff and so forth, I cannot expand on.

It is under the active consideration of this Government. The House will be advised in due course.

I thank you, Sir.

Stephen Kampyongo (Shiwang'andu PF member of parliament): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the government is considering engaging people's representatives from Western Province, especially the honourable members of parliament who were in this House before, and those who were in Cabinet and are in this House today, to find out what role they played then and now, to guide our people of Western Province.

This is because they cannot be here comfortably debating with us whilst people there are making different decisions.

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, let me be very clear that the questioner wants to know whether we are considering engaging hon. Members of Parliament andothers. We will engage with anyone who is serious and has good intentions.
We have an open-door policy.

The mere fact that this council was allowed to take place peacefully without any interruptions for two days, is evidence of our attitude towards freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of association. There were other Governments in the not-so-distant past who could have stopped that council very quickly. In fact, it would never have been able to convene.

Government members: Hear, hear!

Vice-President Scott: So, we are prepared to talk to anybody and engage them. I implore honourable Members of Parliament, especially those from Western Province who see this as an opportunity to embarrass the Government, to desist from doing so. It is a very serious matter and we should take a constructive and humble attitude towards it.

Mwendaweli Imenda (Luena ADD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, the Vice-President says that he only has a layman's understanding of the issues. May I know from his layman's understanding what happens if a marriage certificate is torn by one of the parties. Can he tell me the meaning of that?

Speaker Matibini: Hon Members, let us maintain calm. I know that this is a very emotive and sensitive issue, but we must remain calm. We should deliberate with utmost calm.

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, from a layman's perspective, the tearing up of a marriage certificate merely results in the necessity to obtain a duplicate.

Government members: Hear, hear! Boma!

Vice-President Scott: Sir, to actually obtain a divorce requires decree nisi, decree absolute and all those fancy things that lawyers know about. If I was making a public statement about marriage and divorce, I would answer at greater length, but I am not prepared.

I thank you, Sir.

Government members: Hear, hear!

Allan Mbewe (Chadiza MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, in 1964, Western Province had the highest number of the educated ones in Zambia, if my statistics are correct.
Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Misheck Mutelo (Lukulu West MMD member of parliament): Today, Western Province is the poorest in Zambia. Could this be the reason they would be arriving at such resolutions?


Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, we have, on this side of the House, …

Speaker Matibini: Order!

Vice-President Scott: … considerable sympathy with the sufferings of the people in Western Province.

Government members: Hear, hear!

Vice-President Scott: We are not blind to that. We also have considerable sympathy with the other nine provinces that also suffer from poverty and all kinds of unpleasant things.

Government members: Hear, hear!

Vice-President Scott: If one wanted to know why Western Province is coming out as the poorest, on the basis of the statistics, I suggest that the questioner or anybody else who is curious to know asks the previous Government, …
Government members: Hear, hear!

Vice-President Scott: … which spent 20 years struggling or pretended to be struggling with various issues, such as animal disease, that were a curseto Western Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Lucky Mulusa (Solwezi Central MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, thecurrent grouping that has come up with the decision that we secedeconsists of seven districts. Now, Barotseland included Southern Province,Western Province, parts of Lusaka Province, the Copperbelt and North Western Province …
Government members: Awe! (no!)


Mulusa: Hon Members, I am actually right. May I know from …
Speaker Matibini: Order!

Hon Members, we will not progress smoothly and efficiently if we constantly interject. This is a serious issue and we must demonstrate the seriousness by maintaining discipline. The discipline should be manifested by hon. Members of the House. This business is not limited to theprecincts of the National Assembly. It goes beyond.

So, we need to reflect the discipline of the House and let each hon. Member debate and give His Honour the Vice-President an opportunity to respond. There is no point in proceeding with the debate if we cannot conduct ourselves in a disciplined manner. There is really no point.

Namulambe: Send Kambwili out!

Speaker Matibini: May the honourable member for Solwezi Central continue.
Mulusa: Mr Speaker, if they will have an engagement with this grouping, would they also include us, who are legally and technically part of Barotseland so that we do not start another secession discussion after agreeing with only seven districts?

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, if there is going to be a dialogue that is serious, one can include much, but one cannot, from this recent batch of resolutions passesd yesterday, be very clear what is meant by Barotseland.

Sir, the questioner said that seven districts were represented. I think one has dissociated itself and it is dubious how any of them is actually representative of the people in that district. It is open to question.

The honourable member of parliament, when he says, "Include us', presumably means the honourable members of parliament. My response is that honourable members of parliament always have an open door in this Government and with this State House. They have never had anything else under the PF dispensation.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Christopher Kalila (Lukulu East MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add my voice on this very important issue.

Mr Speaker, one of the reasons cited for secession by our people in
Western Province is the abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 by successive Governments which therefore, means that to avoid secession is to restore the Barotseland Agreement. Why then are you not considering this path to avoid all this?

Speaker Matibini: Order! Before His Honour the Vice-President responds, please, bear in mind that earlier on, he said that the Government hasreceived a report.

They are studying it and there is a recommendation to that effect. Cabinet will deliberate and the position will be taken. You are free to ask questions of all sorts but certainly not repetition.

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, I am absorbed from having to give it to myself.

I thank you, Sir.

Harry Kalaba (Bahati PF member of parliament): Mr Speaker, arising fromthat very unifying statement that His Honour the Vice-President has givento this House, what is the position of the three major opposition political parties such as the United Party for National Development (UPND), the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) as well as United Liberal Party (ULP)? In today's paper, the leaders of these opposition parties have been quoted as declining to comment on this issue.

Are the three leaders helping Government in looking at this issue from a positiveperspective?

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, it is PF that is in the whole seat because we are in Government. It is up to us to do a good job or to make mistakes in theprocess. If the other parties want to watch the final games, that is their prerogative.

We have not consulted. I think it would be actually at some point, we may not do this in future. A good idea is that if all the main parties, the ones at least in Western Province which I think are about four where to say yes, we are on the same page and we are standing on the same ground.

We are playing with fire here and we do not want anything to happen to our country that comes and cannot be got rid of in decades.

I thank you, Sir.

Chinga Miyutu (Kalabo Central member of parliament): Mr Speaker, sometime back I said in this House that once beaten twice shine and there was laughter in this House.


Miyutu: Mr Speaker, we do not see fire when it just starts. We only see fire sticks. We have a government in place and it received a report of the Barotseland Commission of Inquiry about four weeks ago but nothing has been done. The difference makes what it is.


Speaker Matibini: I hope you will now proceed to the question.

Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the House that a question behaves like a house because it has a cornerstone.

Now that the Cabinet or the Government has not yet come up with the answer to the resolutions of the Barotseland Commission of Inquiry and now that there is a resolution from Western Province, what immediate action has the Government put in place for the current situation?

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, the immediate action includes monitoring and analysing but in terms of more proactive things or more active things than those, I do not think the House could reasonably expect me to preannounce any actions that may be coming to contain the situation.

I am not saying they are coming and not coming at the same time. That is a prerogative of Government to allow various arms of Government to do their job.
I thank you, Sir.

Patrick Mucheleka (Lubasenshi Independent member of parliament): Mr Speaker, given that in Western Province, there is no consensus with regards to the succession that is being claimed and given that some ethnic groupings such as the Nkoyas in Kaoma District have seriously and consistently disassociated themselves from the secession that is being talked about, will the Government, perhaps even as they study the report consider providing a mechanism for carrying out a referendum for the people in Western Province so that they can indicate in terms of whether or not they would like to secede?

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, if we were minded that way, we would be minded to have a referendum of the whole of Zambia and that is a constitutional issue.

If you break a country into half, you are effectively changing the constitution of the very fundamental level. I take the point about various ethnic groups having different views in Western Province but I am not even sure what the majority those are.

How do we know? Are we to take the movement for the restoration of Barotseland as being the yardstick of Lozi political fight? We do not know. That is why I made the point very forcibly in the statement that the process of consultation that had gone on behind these resolutions is not clear at all.

I thank you, Sir.

Moses Chishimba (Kanfinsa PF member of parliament): Mr Speaker, would it be far-fetched to think that this agenda is being driven by people who either have failed to achieve political power through normal means…

Government members: Hear, hear!

Chishimba:…and are working behind the remote control and were part of the fallen MMD Government? May the Vice-President clarify that.

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, that is feeling in the dark. We have police forces and other investigative wings who will in due course can may be come to some conclusion but otherwise, it is simply speculation.

I thank you, Sir.


Mtolo Phiri (Chipata Central MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, would the Vice-President indicate what immediate measures the government is putting in place so that current investors and would be investors are not scared because of this impasse?

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, first of all, there is no impasse. There is a bunch of resolutions from some sort of organisation that maybe has legitimacy but not necessarily representativity. Even if there were, we would be explaining it.

In fact, we are explaining it to our co-operating partners, diplomatic members and to the investors themselves. I have had several phone calls about what is going on and I have reassured the people calling that everything is well.
I thank you, Sir.

Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane (Liuwa MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, …


Speaker Matibini: Order!

Dr Musokotwane: … His Excellency the President made an off-the-cuff remark on the date of receiving the commission of inquiry report to the extent that he would not honour the Barotseland Agreement. Right now, Sir, in the press, there is a report coming out of Botswana that the Government is being urged there to ask for an apology because of some of off-the-cuff remarks made by the President while he was in Botswana. One of which was that Botswana only had five shops …

MMD Members: Aah!

Dr Musokotwane: … and therefore, there it did not need people in the field of accountancy.


Dr Musokotwane: Would you agree that for the sake of the security and honour of our country, the President must be dissuaded very strongly from making off-the-cuff remarks because they are embarrassing this country?

Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mbewe: Zoona!

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, I think we are well off the track now. In general, the President's off-the-cuff remarks have nothing to do with this debate whatsoever.

Government members: Hear, hear!

Vice-President Scott: I must say that I am also having problems stopping some of my officers from making off-the-cuff remarks. In English, they say, "You cannot teach an old dog new tricks."


Vice-President Scott: So, may be Michael …

Opposition members: Oh, oh!


Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

Vice-President Scott: Maybe that is what I am also suffering from anyway.

I thank you, Sir.


Opposition members: Hear, hear! The VP!

Moses Muteteka (Chisamba MMD member of parliament): Mr Speaker, the matter which is on the Floor of the House has attracted a lot of political expressions. Taking into account the resolutions which have just been made by the Barotseland National Council, …


Muteteka: … is the Government willing to accommodate all the chiefs in Zambia if they asked for a conference to deliberate on this issue taking into account the fact that the matter affects a number of chiefs in Zambia who have not spoken to about it?

What will be your position as PF, if all the chiefs asked for a conference so that they can be allowed to deliberate on this issue in the interest of making peace?

Vice-President Scott: Mr Speaker, I think the only undertaking I could give at this point is that we will cross that bridge when we get to it. I cannot answer a question like that on the Floor without consultation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

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