HH shouldn’t emulate failures of his predecessors, urges William Harrington

HH shouldn’t emulate failures of his predecessors, urges Harrington

By Thomas Ngala

PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema should not emulate failures of his predecessors, urges William Harrington.
He says there is need for President Hichilema to take up the challenge made by Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) France-based international lawyers to append his signature to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) submission document and thereby allow for arbitration on the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 impasse.
Harrington, a BNFA trustee, said he appreciated President Hichilema’s desire for peace to prevail over the Barotseland issue and that he will not allow any blood to be spilled on the Barotse plains as declared in a press conference in 2023.

He said it is unreasonable for President Hichilema to state that he would emulate his predecessors on the Barotseland issue because the abrogation of the BA64 by Dr Kenneth Kaunda was an illegality under the international law on treaties.

“That was a very encouraging and progressive policy statement for which the President must be highly commended. What is however needed now more than ever before is political will to do the needful. The BNFA however believes that a sustainable solution can and indeed must be achieved through the proposed international arbitration process,” he said in a statement. “The BNFA is desirous to see the President leave a good legacy of having found a sustainable solution to the long-standing Barotseland impasse by agreeing to the arbitration process. The BNFA also fervently feels that if indeed President Hichilema is against the Barotseland National Council (BNC) resolutions of 2012 following disengagement … by first republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda in 1969, then he should not hesitate to sign the PCA submission document that was presented to him in 2021. President Hichilema should not emulate failures of his predecessors. We can only urge him not to follow footsteps of past predecessors who failed to use arbitration to resolve the impasse. The BNFA is reiterates its position to accept any outcome of the arbitration process. We stand for peace and he himself has expressed his desire for peace.”

Harrington reiterated BNFA’s consistent and persistent position that it would accept and respect any outcome of the arbitration process in the interest of sustainable peace and stability.
He called on President Hichilema not to abate the gross illegality as his predecessors did on the issue, but rather to fix it as a matter of extreme urgency through arbitration.

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