THE Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) should state whether this year the people of Western Province will hold the Kuomboka ceremony, a senior citizen and a member of the royal family Charles Ngalama has demanded.
The Kuomboka ceremony is the shifting of the Litunga from his Lealui palace, in the flood plains to the dry land in Limulunga, in his royal barge the Nalikwanda.
The Lozi speaking people of Western Province do this every year to escape the rising flood waters through the Kuomboka ceremony.
Prince Ngalama said the BRE should immediately announce to the people if the ceremony would take place, looking at the low water levels because of this year’s poor rainfall pattern.
He said the people were concerned, especially that the usual final touches on the preparation of the ceremony were not taking place at the moment.
But a BRE official told the Daily Nation in an interview that they would issue a comprehensive statement this week to state their position on the Kuomboka ceremony.
The Prince said last year, the Kuomboka ceremony was cancelled following the demise of the Litunga’s wife, Queen Moyo Imwambo, who died on March 10, and that it was worrisome that todate the BRE has not announced whether the ceremony would take place this year.
Prince Ngalama said his fear was that having such low levels of water in the plains might affect the ceremony again this year, adding that the Maoma royal drums according to tradition could not stay for a long time without being sounded.
“Our parents (BRE) must learn to make their decisions in time, considering that our ceremony is seasonal, and the levels of water in the plains are reducing due to the poor rain pattern,” he said.
Prince Ngalama said according to the Lozi tradition, the Kuomboka ceremony of the Litunga was cancelled again this year, it would mean that even the two chiefs in Kalabo and Senanga would not hold their ceremony which usually took place in concert with the Litunga’s.