(A PAPER TO THE ACCOUNTANTS FORUM ORGANIZED BY THE ZICA AT 18.000 HOURS ON FRIDAY 30 MARCH, 2012 AT ACCOUNTANTS PARK, LUSAKA)
BY: Dr. Mbita Chitala, Executive Director, Zambia Research Foundation
I was invited to offer my insight into this question which I think is quite topical now. A few weeks ago I caused to be published an article in the Post Newspaper which attracted some review from many people. The Zambian Economist also published it on their website and sent it to many policy makers. I also posted it on my blog www.mbitachitala.blogspot.com . I suspect Mr. Kabeta must have read the article as he inundated me with telephone calls in which I reluctantly agreed to come and give this talk. I truly believe that there are other people more knowledgeable of this topic than me who can really help us understand the BA 1964. I have in mind people like H.E Dr. Kenneth Kaunda who signed the agreement, Mr. Sikota Wina who was a member of cabinet then. Others such as Dr. Mutumba Bull have published extensively on this. I am steeled however by the words of the old philosopher Pericles of Athens who died in 429 BC who said “ we hold as useless , a man who does not participate in public affairs. This, I think, cannot be me.
The organization of my presentation will therefore focus on the following:
2. Bantu Occupation of Zambia
3. Creation of Barotseland
4. The Barotse Question
5. What should be done? Secession, Status Quo or Devolution
6. Proposal for Devolution of Power in Zambia
Bantu Occupation of Zambia
There is generally little debate on the colonial history of Zambia. Between 1600-1800 when Bantu speaking peoples from the citadel of Bantu civilization in the Congo occupied Southern/Central and Eastern Africa displacing pre-historical peoples such as the Bushmen, Twa, and Hottentots. They came to Zambia in three different directions, namely, from Congo and Angola; from Congo through Uganda along lake Tanganyika in the 15th century and from Southern Africa escaping from Shaka’s Mfecane wars. The latter is true for the Ngoni’s who crossed the Zambezi into Zambia in 1838 and the Kololo of Sebetwani who settled in the Barotse plains around the same time. As there was no writing then, the people were scantly scattered and one could not reasonably define the boundaries that different Bantu nationalities occupied. This only became possible with European colonization which was completed during the late 1800s as major European powers claimed territories of influence. This scramble for Africa culminated in the Berlin Conference of 1884-6, when the whole of Africa was formally divided and shared by the colonial powers. The territory we started calling Zambia in 1964, was part of Land in Central Africa ceded to the British on 19th September, 1893 in a Land and Mineral Concession Certificate of claim signed by Henry Hamilton Johnson - the Commissioner and Consul General for the territories under British influence on behalf of British Government and witnessed by James Francis Cunningham - Manager of the African Lakes Company Limited and Lord Monteith Fortherington - the Manager of the African Lakes Company Limited. The whole Region was then known as British Central Africa.
The name Barotseland was formulated by the British to distinguish the land where the Litunga Lubosi Lewanika I, rather than go to war like they did with other Bantu ethnicities/tribes to defend his area of influence, chose to sign an agreement with the British in which he ceded the land rights of his nationality peacefully.
Creation of Barotseland
The creation of the entity which came to be known as Barotseland has its origin with the Lochner Concession of 1887 and later the signing of the treaty in June 1890 when Frank Elliot Lochner as the representative of the British South Africa company (BSA co) signed a treaty with the Litunga of the Barotse people for protection against slave traders and in turn gave mineral exploration and mining rights in the land he claimed to control to the BSA company. These were the rights which the BSA company kept enjoying and extending at their will until they were revoked by the new Zambian government after independence.
The land of the Litunga where the Barotse – the Luyana people had sovereighnty was first defined in 1878 by Litunga Lewanika (who ruled from 1878-1916 with one break in 1884-5). In describing the Barotse Nation, he described true Barotseland as the Land in the Zambezi River Flood plain and about 40km East of Limulunga and Senanga (Gann, Rotberg). The capital of their territory was first at Naliele and later at Lealui.This characterization is historically correct as it agrees with the fact which affirms that from 1864 when the Basotho led by Sebitwane and who spoke kololo and had ruled Baroseland since 1838 were defeated and expelled by the Barotse (who now spoke a lingua franca known as Lozi and in some quarters came to be referred to as the Lozi people), the Boundary of the Lozi Nationality was restricted to the Zambezi valley. It was an enclave on the Barotse plains.
In subsequent years, the boundary of what the British Colonialists named as Barotseland kept shifting and was extended unilaterally by conquest or request for protection as other Bantu tribes were brought and made subject peoples of the Barotse Nationality.
Other references from where the boundary of Barotseland could be infered includes such documentation as the 11 June 1891 Treaty between Britain and Portugal, the Anglo – Portuguese Protocol of 1893, other records made by Major Goold Adams who in 1896 attempted to define the boundaries on behalf of the British,and Major Robert Coryndon who was appointed in 1897 as the first BSA representative in Barotseland.
More profoundly, the boundary of Barotseland is clearly described by the Litunga himself. On 25thJune, 1898 at a meeting held at Victoria Falls, the Litunga Lawenika together with 7 of his Counselors and witnessed by 5 other people on behalf of the Barotse Nationality, signed with R.T Coryndon - representing the British South Africa Company - a concession in which he ceded Land to the BSA Company that included “the whole territory of the Nation or any future extension there of including all subject and dependent territory.” (Rotberg, Gann) . The boundary of Barotseland defined as follows:
a) Northern Boundary – from the Headwaters of the Dongwe along Kabompo Rivers to the junction of the Kabompo and Zambezi rivers.
b) Western Boundary – from the junction of the Kabompo and Zambezi Rivers along the Zambezi River to its Junction with the Majili River.
c) Eastern Boundaries – from the Junction of Zambezi and Majili Rivers along the Majili River to its head water hence Northward along the line of the watershed at the Headwaters of the Dongwe River.
On the basis of the above description of Barotseland, in 1899, the British colonialists through an Order in Council created a new territory with new boundaries and called it “Barotseland-North Western Rhodesia”. At the same time in May, 1900, through the North Eastern Order in Council created a new territory known as North Eastern Rhodesia under the North Chartereland Company made of lands of the Ushi, Ngumbo, Mukulu, Chishinga, Bwile, Tabwa, Eastern Lunda, Bemba, Lungu, Mambwe, Bisa,. Namwanga, Tumbuka, Chewa, Nsenga, and Ngoni. The control of these areas was achieved by forcing Bantu Chiefs to sign concessions or by force of arms as happened to the Ngoni of Mpezeni, the Lunda of Kazambe and the Bembas. This territory was administered from Fort Jameson , now Chipata, up to 1911.
On the other hand, the British North Western Rhodesia comprised of the lands of the lands of the Lunda, Kaonde, Mushukulumbwe, Toka, Lamba, Lenje, Swaka, Lala, Soli. The territory was first administered from Lealui by Robert Coryndon but shifted later to Kalomo in 1902 and to Livingstone in 1907.
In 1900, Lewanika signed a concession with the BSA co. which gave him certain powers over Barotseland. According to Katenekwa, Lewanika “retained Barotseland proper (excluding the Portuguese claim) whose boundaries ran from the junction of the Machili and Zambezi rivers northwards along the Machili river to its headwaters hence north ward along the line of the waterhead at the headwaters of the Dongwe river onwards to the headwaters of the Kabompo river, then along the Kabompo river, then along the Kabompo river to its junction with the Zambezi river river thence along the Zambezi river to its junction with the Machili river – for the exclusive use of the Lozi and to be reserved from prospecting and white settlement.” At the same time according to Katanekwa, Lewanika “ceded the rest which had earlier been claimed as part of Barotseland in the East from the Machili river to the Kafue river in the lands of the Kaonde, Mashukulumbwe, and Toka to the Queen and Her Majesty’s government through the BSA company.” In other words, in 1900, Britain formally annexed Barotseland and governed it as part of North Western Rhodersia. The people of Barotseland enjoyed equal rights as all other peoples of the territory as the British declined to give any special status to Barotseland.
The issue of the exact boundary of Barotseland continued to be controversial and appeared unsettled even after the 1900 claims by Lewanika.In a letter of complaint by Lewanika to Coryndon dated 23 January, 1906 Lewanika reiterated what he had conceded to the BSA Company in the concession of 1900. In defining the territory where he had jurisdiction, that is to say, the boundaries of his Nationality “Baroseland”, he noted that his nationality comprised of “Barotse Valley and round Sesheke”. The letter acknowledging this fact was signed by Lewanika and witnessed by his Ngambela – Masika and Ford Aitkens.
Later in another concession dated 11th Angust, 1909, Lewanika extended his anthority to include
a) The Country on the West lying between the Zambezi River and the Anglo Portuguese Boundary
b) The Boundaries of Barotseland as defined in 1900
c) North Western Rhodesia as defined by the BSA Company particulary the areas of Batoka and Mushukulumbwe countries in which according to Art 3 of the concession , Lewanika retained right to graze Cattle in unoccupied Lands.
It should be noted that Lewanika as ruler of the Luyana people, was the most powerful traditional ruler in what came to be known as Barotseland. Over the years, particulary after the defeat of the Kololo, the Barotse people as the Luyana became known overwhelmed by conquest or domination, many surrounding nationalities/tribes such as the Kuanga, Kuandi, Nkoya, Totela, Shanjo, Subiya, Toka, Leya Lumbu, Mashi, Kwandi, Nkoya, Totela, Subiya, Simaa, Ndundulu, Mbunda Nyengo, Mwenji, Makoma, Mbewe, Lovale, Lukolwe, Lushange. It would be interesting to know whether these tribes or nationalities would today want to revert to the rule of the Luyana Kings whose method of rule was quasi feudal or choose other more modern forms of government such as liberal democracy.
What is historically factual is that Lewanika and the Barotse people in general, having defeated the Kololo and who were now enjoying British protection, were concerned with keeping their original home as described in the 1900 concession inviolate. The Litunga and his people realized that with the advance of colonialism, they would no longer be able to retain any influence outside those initial boundaries. They wanted to protect the Barotse Reserve from European settlement. And this, they succeeded as, unlike the other areas under British rule, no European or Indian settlement was allowed and no private ownership of Land was ever permitted.
Whereas (a) and (b) in Lewanika’s letter is factual, the claim by Lewanika in his letter dated 11th August, 1909 that his authority included North Western Rhodesia , is not borne by historical evidence. At the time Lockner signed a concession with Lewanika in 1900, other Chiefs of other tribes of the British Central African Protectorate also signed concessions with another envoy of the BSA Company named Joseph Tomson. The concessions were so numerous that the British Government decided to issue to the BSA Company “Certificate of claim” for each area where Tomson had signed concessions with chiefs who could not be identified . The areas were identified as A,B,C,D etc and the Company built forts in those areas such as Fort Rosebury and Fort Abercon representing present day Mansa and Mbala respectively.
As for the area covered by certificate of claim ‘’A’’ which included present day Copperbelt, Central and parts of Eastern, Southern Provinces, the BSA Company decided to transfer for administrative reasons, to the “suvereinty of Lewanika as the Land was inaccessible from Fort Jameson. The Administrative move effected on 30th March, 1905 by the BSA Company enabled Lewanika to benefit as he was now entitled to the share of the Tax Money that other Tribes people paid to the BSA Company. Lewanika never claimed ownership of the Copperbelt or any other Lands outside Baroseland.
In 1911, the two territories (Barotseland-North Western Rhodesia and North Eastern Rhodesia) merged into the Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia. The name “Barotseland” was not featured in the new entity. The 1911 Order in Council defined the new amalgamated entity of Northern Rhodesia as land:
“ WHOSE LIMITS WERE DEFINED AS “THE PARTS OF AFRICA BOUNDED BY SOUTHERN RHODESIA(ZIMBABWE),GERMAN SOUTH WEST AFRICA(NAMIBIA),PORTUGUESE WEST AFRICA(ANGOLA),THE CONGO FREE STATE(CONGO DR),GERMAN EAST AFRICA(TANZANIA),NYASALAND(MALAWI) AND PORTUGUESE EAST AFRICA(MOZAMBIQUE). THIS ORDER VESTED POWER IN THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR NORTHERN RHODESIA WHO WAS BASED IN SOUTH AFRICA TO MAKE LAWS FOR THE PEACE, ORDER AND GOOD GOVERNMENT OF THE COUNTRY..” Katanekwa.
In 1942, the boundary of Barotseland was further altered when the Luvale and the Lunda to the north were excluded from being part of Barotseland by the colonial government as a settlement of the dispute between the Luvale/Lunda chiefs and the Barotse NativeGovernment.
It should be noted that during colonial rule and up to this day, Barotseland comprised comprised of many tribes/nationalities and was always ruled as part of Northern Rhodesia. Even during the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1853 – 1963), Barotseland was governed as a Province within the Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia. Barotseland comprised of five districts, namely, Kalabo, Mongu, Mankoya, Senanga and Sesheke. It excluded Balovale, Kabompo, Kasempa, Mumbwa, Namwala and Kalomo. The Litunga enjoyed the same rights and priveleges that all other chief enjoyed. The Litunga did not have those rights and powers as were expressed in the BA 1964 agreement. All chiefs of the territory were equal. This was the state of affairs up to 1964.
However, during the period of colonial rule, Barotseland had features of a charter colony although the Treaty and the Charter gave the territory protectorate status but not as an official protectorate of the United Kingdom government. Britain granted Barotseland semi autonomous status and made it a Protectorate within a Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia and administered it as part of Northern Rhodesia. Other ethnic groups in the country such as the Bembas, Ngonis or Chewas did not ask for this status from the British. Barotseland was also denied recognition as an independent Kingdom in contrast to Lesotho and Swaziland which were recognized as such. This fate is shared by Zululand and the Baganda . The British refused to recognize the Litunga as a King. The British designated them as simply Paramount Chiefs. The British recognized only one King in their Empire- King George then and later Queen Victoria.
What is evident is that the Barotse Nationality had influences in adjacent areas of its Borders. “From the Tribes which the Barotse subjugated, they exerted tribute in kind but in exchange, their vassals received gifts , loans of Cattle and protection from their enemies and the region remained relatively safe from the Slave Trade. Subject Tribes participated in the system as many had specialized products for exchanges.” ( Ghan ) These Tribes, as was the case with the Barotse, also enjoyed relative autonomy and practiced different Governance systems.
The Barotse Question
As the wind of change which began with the independence from colonialism of Ghana in 1957, it was evident that this wind of change would come to Northern Rhodesia too. The African Welfare Societies first formed by Dauti Yamba in 1920’s at Mwenzo in Nakonde grew in stead and culminated in the formation of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1948 where one Mbikusita Lewanika who was later to become the Litunga of Barotseland was elected as the first President of the nationalist movement.
The Barotseland question, namely, that Barotseland should have relative autonomy as was the case with the British High Commission territories of Bechuanaland, Basutholand and Swaziland has always been the demand of the Litunga and the BREbut was always refused by the British colonialists. They preferred that Barotseland was administered by the Commissioner of North Western Rhodesia at Kalomo and later Livingstone, the Governor of Northern Rhodesia at Lusaka and later the Prime Minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in Salisbury. This demand by the Litunga/BRE for autonomy was rejected by the British and this had merit. Martin Meredith (2006) has observed that in Africa, there were over 10,000 African polities which the European colonialist amalgamated into 40 European colonies and protectorates. Zambia alone had more than 73 ethno linguistic groups. The British were correct in merging Barotseland into Northern Rhodesia to create a viable modern state.
However, in spite of use value of this unity of the people of Northern Rhodesia, the Litunga and the BRE continued to demand for autonomy of Barotseland. This demand became a side event at the independence talks at Lancaster House in London. Ealier in 1963, the Litunga had hired a lawyer named L.K Wilson to prepare the Barotse case for secession. Three records were prepared.
a. A record of quarantees of Barotseland‘s status as set out in various concessions signed and affirmed by constitutions of 1911, 1924 and 1953 .
b. The Barotse case for secession presented along the lines of the High Commission territories of Swaziland, Basutholand and Lesotholand;
c. Barotseland’s existence as a nation prior to the creation of Northern Rhodesia; failure of the colonial government to develop Barotseland;unsuitability for Western democracy for African conditions; and advantages of becoming an independent state of Barotseland.
The British government rejected the Barotse case. The UNIP delegation also refused to entrench rights, privileges and status that the Barotse demanded in the Zambian Constitution. Instead the three parties (UK, Northern Rhodesia and the Litunga representing Barotseland) opted for a separate agreement as an annex to the Independent Constitution. The three parties signed the agreement on 18th May, 1964. The Cabinet of the new Zambian government reaffirmed the agreement at its 63rd meeting on 30th October, 1964 to formally bind it to the Republic of Zambia.
However, despite there being an agreement which provided among others for the Litunga of Barotseland to continue to have power to make laws for Barotseland in relation to the 19 items, namely, Litungaship, Barotse Native Government, Barotse Native Authority, Barotse Native Courts, the Litunga’s Council, local government, Land, Forests, traditional and customary matters of Barotseland, Fishing, control of hunting, game preservation, Control of bush fires, native treasury, supply of beer, reservation of trees for canoes, local taxation, and Barotse local festivals, the agreement was not implemented by the UNIP government.
The UNIP delegation and later its cabinet did not sign the agreement and affirm it in good faith. As soon as Independence was granted and the new leaders were confident of their power, they quickly moved to abrogate the agreement by introducing the Local Government Act of 1965 which abolished the Barotse Government, the Barotse Native Authorities, the Barotse Native Courts, the Barotse Native Treasury and provided that Barotseland would from then on be administered through a uniform local government system applied in all districts and provinces of the country. Barotseland was renamed Western Province. The Barotse National Council was abolished by statutory instrument and five district councils were established.
The Litunga and the Barotse opposed this unilateral move and showed ttheir disapproval in the elections of 1968 when UNIP lost all seats to the ANC in Western Province. In the Referendum of 1969 which removed all entrenched provisions that gave the Litunga rights on land, the people of Western Province gave a 75% NO verdict to allow the UNIP government to wrestle land from the Litunga. To this day, the Commissioner of Lands of Zambia has been prevented from giving titles to land in Western Province with the resultant lack of investment by the private sector in the province. Furthermore, before the one party state was declared by UNIP in 1973, the Litunga and the BRE continued to promote the Sichaba(National) Party or the Barotse National Party (BNP) whose political aims were to lobby for secession.
In July, 1991, just as the MMD was coming into power, in order to entice the votes of the Barotse, the BRE met President Kaunda and demanded that if he won the multi-party elections and formed government, he would accede to their demands to restore the Barotse Agreement and refund UK Sterling 400,000 which Finance Minister Arthur Wina had taken from the Barotse Native Teasury in 1964. President Kaunda agreed and undertook to meet all the demands. (Sichone and Simutanyi, 1996:188). Unfortunately, President Kaunda lost, but the demands of the Litunga and the BRE did not end.
The new government of President Frederick Chiluba viewed the demands of the BRE as unimportant and irrerevant. The Minister Without Portfolio Brig. General Godfrey Miyanda now leader of the Heritage Party, was appointed to negotiate with the BRE. The effort failed and in 1993, President Chiluba threatened that anyone making demands for the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 would be charged with the high crime of treason.
In the successive governments of President Levy Mwanawasa and President Banda, the National Constitutional Conference which had been set up unilaterally by President Mwanawasa (it was boycotted by the Catholic Church and the PF among others) ignored the submissions of the BRE. The draft Constitution that was made excluded principles of regional autonomy or devolution of power. President Banda’s government had absolutely no time to consider the BA 1964 question. The NCC contemptuously ignored the BRE demands and chose instead to continue with the divisive doctrine of unitary state.
What Should Be Done? Devolution, status quo or secession.
President Michael Chilufya Sata and the PF government have the opportunity to resolve this question of Barotseland. The demands of the Litunga and the BRE cannot be casually dismissed or ignored or wished away as has happened since 1964. However, in trying to resolve the impulse, the following questions must be addressed.
1. Was the Barotseland Agreement ever repealed or revoked? Could the Parliament of Zambia repeal the BA 1964 annexure to the Independent Constitution? Was its abrogation supported by law? If the agreement is alive as observed by the Chongwe Commission, how can it be implemented without destabilizing the country?
2. Is the Litunga and the BRE justified in demanding for the restoration of the BA 1964? If relative autonomy or secession as demanded is granted, what political institution will be in place – multi party democracy or a return to monarchical hegemony? What will be the response of other nationalities in Western Province such as the Nkoya, Mbunda, Nyengo, Luvale and others who are not Barotse/Luyana? What will be the view of other nationalities like the Chewa, Bemba, Tonga, Ngoni, and so on that constitute the totality of the peoples of the Republic of Zambia?
3. What is the consensual view of the BA 1964 in Western Province? Are present demands of the BRE/ Barotse National Council representational of all the people of Western Province including the Nkoya, Luvale, Mbunda Nyengo , non indigenous peoples who have settled there and so on.
4. Should the dispute be taken up by the High Court of Zambia as provided by Art. 9 of the BA 1964 in resolving any disputes on the agreement? What is the dispute and how does it impact the wider Zambia?
5. To what extent should the Right to Self Determination including secession as provided in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights relevant to the BA 1964? Are the Barotse nationality an oppressed people in Zambia?
For sure, valuable lessons can be learnt from the experience of other countries. Some examples include the case of Serbia and Kosovo which ended up with Kosovo declaring UDI in 2009; Sudan in which South Sudan emerged as an independent state after such a long and terrible civil war; Canada and Quebec in which Quebec has been recognized as a nation within a United Canada; Tanzania and Zanzibar in which Zanzibar is relatively autonomous; the example of South Africa where local government has been integrated within federated structures, and so on.
For many observers and analysts, there are three possibilities in resolving the Barotse Question.
1. To dissolve the state of Zambia and allow Barotseland to secede from the former Northern Rhodesia and divide the Zambian people into two or several balkanized separate entities. To divide the people of Zambia who since 1911 have lived and inter-married and created a unique Zambian national character? This is the demand of some separatist elements in Barotseland. This will require, among others, the determination of the boundaries of Barotseland, the holding of referenda in both Barotseland and other previously subject peoples like the Nkoya, Nyengo, Mbunda, Luvale to determine whether they would want to revert to be ruled by the Litunga again and so on. Such an option is obviously retrogressive and will tend to revise a backward and oppressive governance system of feudalism. This option does not support the development project and is inherently reactionary.
2. To uphold the status quo holding Zambia as a unitary state with power concentrated in Lusaka. To continue giving lip service of support to decentralization and devolution demands of the people. To ignore the demands of the BRE and the Litunga and treat advocates of the restoration of the BA 1964 as treasonous. This option is not only reactionary and divisive, but will make Zambia forever poor. This plays in the hands of Zambia’s enemies who celebrate at our inability to manage our country efficiently and effectively. Only despots who want to continue stealing peoples resources in Lusaka and abusing their powers unfettered support the maintenance of a unitary state.
3. To re-negotiate the Barotse Agreement so as to ensure more regional autonomy of all the regions of Zambia anchored on liberal democratic values and federalism. This will require that the PF government provides for Zambia a new constitution that entrenches federated structures in our governance. The Technical Committee appointed by President Sata can be requested to negotiate with the Litunga and the BRE and other Royal Establishments together with all civil society on the historical necessity of devolution and recommend in the new draft constitution the federated way in which Zambia would be governed. It is a notorious fact that no country has ever developed under the so called unitary state structures. In fact, this is a colonial legacy that suited despots. All serious countries only developed when they federated. This is true for the UK, Germany, Japan, India, RSA, Brazil. USA, France, Russia, India even small countries like South Korea, Switzerland and so on.
For sure, President Sata and the PF government can and should resolve the BA 1964 problem. Option three is not only historically necessary, but is also a historical inevitability as it is borne and steeled by history.
Proposals for Devolution of Power in Zambia
In simple language, devolution of power in our context means the delegation of power by the Central Goovernment to local or regional administration. It is the transfer of some political authority on which it is held accountable. This is different from decentralization where the center still remains in control. For catholics such as our President, they may be happy to know that devolution is characterized by subsidiarity which was a concept first enunciated by Pope Leo XIII but later recalled in a Papal encyclical “Quadragesimo Anno” in 1941. It holds that “it is injustice, a grave evil and a disturbance of right order for a large and higher organization to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower bodies.”
The benefits of devolution of power includes among others that the evolution of a community-owned government, the spread of state authority making politics less threatening and encouraging joint problem solving, and prevention of state despotism that may tend to encourage unnecessary tensions, secessions, violence and even corruption.
Devolution of power is also a strategic response to unnecessary conflicts and underdevelopment. Country experiences include those of such counties as Canada/Quebec; UK /Wales/Scotland /Northern Ireland; Australia’s 6 states and two territories; Switzerlands 26 cantons; RSA’s nine provinces; Nigeria’s federalism and so on attest to this need for devolution.
Our proposal is therefore that Zambia should change the out dated system of governance of African Presidentialism. The Technical Committee that has been drafting the Republican Constitution must take advantage of this and recommend to a devolved structure of government.
As a condition for this, it would be advisable that the government first appointed a boundary delimitation commission to determine the cost effective boundaries for both districts and provinces and legalize this process through an Act of Parliament.
Our recommendation is a three-tier governance system with Lusaka as a special case, as follows:
At District Level:
The District should be the basic governance unit with a District Assembly headed by an elected Mayor/Chairman. There should also be established Constituency Councils, and Village Councils/ Suburb councils in urban areas.
Capital City - Lusaka :
Special legislation should be enacted along the lines of London or Washington DC and establish the Capital City council with an elected Mayor.
At Provincial Level
Establish elected Provincial headed by elected Provincial Governor. Election of Provincial Assembly by direct suffrage (2 per constituency). Provincial Assembly to have executive and legislative power. Establish Provincial High Court, Provincial Attorney General, Provincial Ombudsman, Provincial Public Service Commission. Provincial government to be in charge of education, health, land matters and so on that were the main demands in the BA 1964.
At National Level
The Judiciary to comprise the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Judicial Service Commission: Parliament to be one chamber Assembly elected by proportional representation; Executive to comprise of a President as Head of State, deputized by a running mate and; the Prime Minister as Head of Government deputized by two deputies.
It is clear from our proposals for devolution of power that Zambia can use the Barotse Agreement 1964 as a framework for advancing good governance. In fact, devolution of power to the provinces of our country should be seen as the only sure way of enhancing our nationhood.