By Saleya Kwalombota
The issue of Language in Barotseland has never been an issue saves for some instances when interlopers tried to introduce some strange language full of insults (like Bemba for example) and bordering on promotion moral fibre erosion. Language is very important because is a channel through which morals, character and identity are conveyed and further describe the type of society. No wander Barotse society which was well known for people with honest nature, hardworking, intellect and polity is today facing incidences of moral decay.
The foregoing is given in order to remove misconceptions of labelling my writing as being anti Bemba. What many are against is the agenda behind not the language or Bemba people. To start with, how many political parties exist in Zambia today and which one labelled tribal simply because the person who heads it does not hail from Luapula, Northern or Eastern provinces (I.e. North -Eastern Rhodesia)? Anyone in denial of this fact can tabulate for me statistics on how many ambassadors and high commissioners, parastatal heads, cabinet ministers, District commissioners, Daily mail board, Times of Zambia board, Electoral commission of Zambia by tribe or region? Obviously, the outcome will be shocking to uncorrupt minds.
Another example, is news item on ZNBC; in Bemba won’t be translated into English text and audibility is maintained high much to the disadvantage of majority viewers within and outside Zambia who doesn’t understand this native language tribe of Northern / Muchinga Provinces. There is no doubt in the minds of architecture of this language hegemony that there objective of archiving the universality of their language at all cost is secured. In their diaries, it is written in no ambiguity attesting to this fact, no wonder, ZNBC, is quick to mute sound of news item in other languages and quickly insert the transcript. Clearly confirms their agenda of archiving the “universality” of Bemba language and at the end declare it as zambia’s official language.
Furthermore, it was also seen in the so called “The Voice of Zambia Front”, a propagandist and Bemba centric pamphlet allegedly issued in the name of UNIP on the eve of the 1964 elections by an ANC propagandist and diversionist Dominic Mwansa appealing to the Bemba people to support the ascent of Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe as a means of entrenching Bemba ethnic superiority. Here is an extract from the article written by Eugene Makai, titled; *Rebuttal of Dickson Jere’s Mumba Yachi-A victim of the Lenshina Ghost” at 4th and 5th Par, has it all:
“All tribes shall be under one BIG TRIBE in our Zambia, that is Bemba tribe. We shall have one vernacular language in our Zambia. Bemba will be the MAIN LANGUAGE in our Zambia. All tribes shall be united and shall be called THE UNITED TRIBES OF ZAMBIA. Everyone shall speak Bemba. In every school of Zambia children Shall be taught in Bemba,white or black. The Bemba tribe shall be honored for their bravely for bringing freedom in Zambia. VOTE KAPWEPWE,OUR FIRST PRIME MINISTER…..” End of quote.
It is not surprising today when political appointments, government positions , music played on ZNBC, freedom fighters honored during national day celebrations, etc, go that way of Bemba dominated. It is not a coincidence, every step is systematically done to fulfill this evil scheme of ethnic superiority. Similarly, ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION slogan which had a humble beginning, promoting the formation of unitary Zambia as outlined in the BA64, is today used as a tool to entrench agenda of united Zambia to have one main language.
The aforementioned are irrefutable facts, the information is given in order to expose this 54 year old evil scheme of tribal centric superiority agenda! Everything starts small then gets larger. The architecture of this evil scheme, stated clearly at different fora without remorse that no Lozi,Tonga or Luvale will rule Zambia. Such remarks to date remained uncondemned by Bemba dominated government of Zambia! Barotseland will not succumb to this evil scheme of imposition of a foreign language (Bemba) from Zambia and as a territory that is in transition to sovereignty since declared independence in 2012 , will not tolerate any public addresser from Zambian delegation visiting Barotseland in alien language. Instructions at political rallies are no exception, English and Si Lozi (the territory’s lingua franca) are the accepted languages of instruction.
Bulozi fasi la bondata Luna!
-Barotseland Broadcasting Network