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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Luapula Manganese, 6th Edition

"We have a lot of battles going on over land; people's right to land is being violated by manganese miners, time and again...we are handling about 20 complaints per week on average, and so far we have had more than 500 people evicted [since 2009] in various parts of Mansa as a result of manganese mining"
Zambia Land Alliance's Ignatius Musenge on how manganese mining prospectors in Luapula Province are forcing small-scale farmers from their land at gun point, according to villagers. The manganese companies continue to come under significant scrutiny including their alleged evasion of taxes

9 comments:

  1. The Land Alliance must help tackle the issue by assisting chiefdoms to establish land trusts in which land is vested. These trusts can then deal with the issue. It is the only way to deal with open-access pillaging of the traditional and community commons. Vuga iwe!

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  2. The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) touched on the issue of traditional land rights in its submissions to the National Constitutional Conference (NCC)unfortunately all it got was a torrent of abusive and name calling from bloggers on Lusaka Times and Zambian Watchdog. To most of the bloggers the BRE was simply calling for secession. It seems it is difficult to have a progressive and rational discussion in Zambia because of preset minds.

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  3. Anonymous,

    Please take a look at this map, which is on their own website.

    You will notice that it does not only include Western Province, Northwestern Province, Southern Province, and parts of the countries of Zimbabwee, Botswana, Namibia and Angola.

    Now I know for a fact that the Tonga people aren't Lozis. So what gives? How is Southern Province part of Barotseland?

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  4. Secession is the word we don't want to hear. But protection of land - be it traditional or communal, etc., from invasive businessmen or miners, is what we want. Apparently our government seems to be interested only in attracting investors but don't care really what happens to our people. Land reforms in Zambia are way too careless. And if we are not careful, we'll lose all land to foreigners - especially those from China. I do hope the young people of today will stand up for their land.

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  5. MrK,
    Nice try! The link to the map was not helpful in relation to what the BRE submitted to the NCC neither is it relevant to the fight over land in manganese rich Luapula.

    Please can you explain what you mean by:"Please take a look at this MAP which is on THEIR OWN website"? Who are they? Are THEY the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE). Does it mean ANY person of Lozi ethnicity? Do you speak for your ethnic group MrK?

    MrK stop misleading people. There is nowhere on that website that suggests that it belongs to the BRE. Neither does the MAP you are referring to make any claims whatsoever on the Tonga lands. The Map simply indicates 'probable' boundaries of 'Lozi influence' as far back as 1900. It is statement of history not a land grab nor claim!

    That website also indicates that it belongs to a non-governmental oraginsation based at NAPSA house in Lusaka constituted to promote development in Western Province. The conspiraces you want to raise are a figment of your seemingly very fertile imagination!

    Zambia is a developing country with evolving law over land issues. It is not a settled matter and we should avoid malicious and defamatory accusations against each other as we grapple with this issue. As land is been parcelled out to multi nationals for both resource extraction and Agribusiness projects we are bound to see unease amongst local people on these lands especially in the developing countries. We have already seen the destruction in the Niger Delta and the unrest it has brought. Recently the Indian govt put a stop to Vedanta's Bauxite mine and Aluminium smelter on tribal lands in the State of Orissa. The people of the kingdom of Bunyoro Kitare in Uganda is up in arms with the Ugandan govt over the oil which will soon start flowing from lake Albert. They are scared their fishing grounds and lands will be destroyed!

    Finally if the BRE and or their subjects are what you have portrayed them to be why would they bother to even make submissions to the NCC? Your argument is very spurious!

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  6. Anonymous,

    Nice try! The link to the map was not helpful in relation to what the BRE submitted to the NCC neither is it relevant to the fight over land in manganese rich Luapula.

    MrK stop misleading people. There is nowhere on that website that suggests that it belongs to the BRE. Neither does the MAP you are referring to make any claims whatsoever on the Tonga lands. The Map simply indicates 'probable' boundaries of 'Lozi influence' as far back as 1900. It is statement of history not a land grab nor claim!

    Maybe so, but I like to know who I am supporting. Can you explain the map, and which people who would support these borders, if they are not BRE?

    Rather than throw around accusations, could you explain why anyone would include Southern and Northwestern Provinces in this enterprise?

    You can understand that I would not want to support anyone who has expansionist plans.

    Here by the way is a link to the article we are talking about.

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  7. kaela said...

    Secession is the word we don't want to hear. But protection of land - be it traditional or communal, etc., from invasive businessmen or miners, is what we want. Apparently our government seems to be interested only in attracting investors but don't care really what happens to our people. Land reforms in Zambia are way too careless. And if we are not careful, we'll lose all land to foreigners - especially those from China. I do hope the young people of today will stand up for their land.

    The map in question even goes beyond secession, and claims other provinces as it's territory.

    The reason I am in favour of decentralisation to local government, is precisely to prevent simply shifting power from a national elite to local elites. There is no dispute about local council boundaries, but there seem to be plenty of boundary disputes and succession disputes among traditional authorities, especially when people think there is money to be had.

    I completely agree that there can be no giveawy or selling of land into foreign ownership - this raises questions of not only economic sovereignty, but national sovereignty - and China has a much bigger army than Zambia does, which is potentially very dangerous. Given the right incentives (like massive crop failure, drying up of mountain glacier fed rivers in India and China, in effect eliminating their national water supply because of global warming), I think that extreme caution has to be exercised when it comes to giving these huge countries (over a billion people in each) rights to Zambian land or resources.

    One of the reasons colonisation of Africa failed is because the West could never muster enough immigrants to replace Africans. China, population 1.3 billion, would not have that problem.

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  8. MrK,
    Support the borders in what way? What enterprise are you exactly talking about? No one on that website advocated the reintroduction of the so called 'boundaries of influence'on that site. Nor has anyone claimed Northwestern or Southern Province for Barotseland. The BRE also made submissions to the NCC. It would be best if you showed me the quotes in which they claimed what you are alleging. That website has simply given a historical account of the various changes the Lozi Kingdom went through! It is a short history of Barotseland for God's sake. Should people stop writing their history simply because the MrK's of this world will read sinister motives from it? That Map just shows the extent of the Barotse Kindgom's influence at its height. It is not a territorial claim! That is just a statement of fact. For your own information at one time in the mid 19th century the seat of the Litunga was neither in Lealui nor Limulunga but in Linyanti in present day Caprivi Strip, Namibia. A statement of this fact is not a territorial claim. It's just part of a very rich history! The subjects of Mwata Yamvo in DRC can also come up with websites on which they can narrate their history. It would be disingenous to claim that their Map showing the Lunda spheres of influence in North Eastern Angola, Northewestern Zambia and Luapula Province Zambia was a territorial claim. That is just baloony!

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  9. Anonymous,

    You should show some awareness and sensitivity to the forces that could be awakened through redrawing boundaries, and the new elites that are being created, as well as their (potential) enemies.

    Address the issue, and don't throw around accusations.

    Are you really that sure that in the future, no ambitious politician is going to say - let's restore the 'traditional' Lozi sphere of influence?

    ReplyDelete

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