The demand that Western Province should be delimited into two provinces to provide for the Lozis and the Nkoyas is a non-starter because the two tribes are one under the Litunga, says the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE).
But Nkoya Royal Council (NRC) chairperson David Tamboka has maintained that creating an eleventh province by dividing Western province was the only way to finding a lasting solution to the problem that had rendered the Nkoya as a subservient group whose sovereignty had not been recognized.
Mr. Tamboka said the Nkoyas were a distinct group and had Makoya as their headquarters during the colonial era to which political and social arrangement they wished to return.
BRE spokesperson Induna Katema said Lozi was a unifying language for all ethnic groups in Western Province.
He said calling for the 11th province by the Nkoyas because they were allegedly undermined by the Lozis was untrue because all tribes in Western Province were under the auspices of the Litunga.
He said delimiting Western Province was aimed at dividing the tribes and that if anything the Nkoyas carried about 14 percent of population in the region.
But Mr. Tamboka said Nkoyas want to separate themselves from people who were agitating for trouble. “All these issues can die if another province is created. If your friend is a trouble maker there is no way you can continue living with them. You just have to leave them and forge ahead instead of talking about one thing every day,” he said.
Induna Katema however said “This cannot work because we are all one and the Litunga is our parent.
We are just wondering why some people are making statements of divisions in the area,” Induna Katema said.
He said the Nkoya people could not demand to be separated from the Lozis as such a move was retrogressive and was aimed at dividing the people of the same area.
Induna Katema cautioned the Nkoyas to be wary of people trying to divide them on political ground.
He said no one in Western Province was above others because the region was a kingdom on its own and that no one could deny that.
“It is important that people ask and try to find out what was happening instead of misleading people because they have their own agenda for their personal interest, and these are some of the things that can bring divisions which is not good,” Induna Katema said.
And Induna Imandi said individual Nkoyas should not spearhead an agenda which they knew would not come to pass.
“Such demands are more like a prodigal son who leaves his parents and want to settle elsewhere, when he knows his parents’ whereabouts,” he said.
Induna Imandi further clarified that the Kuta of Barotseland was open and operating normally, as opposed to reports.
He said though they were some changes, most of the indunas had been given back their positions to ensure smooth operations of the Kuta.