The Lozi traditional authorities have dispelled rumors that there will be no Kuomboka this year because of the death of the Litunga’s sister, Princess Ngula Makoshi, who died last week.
Traditional loyalist Nyambe Litia said it was wrong for people to abrogate the Lozi culture of holding the Kuomboka.
He said it was clear that the Litunga had no funeral (Ilili mufu) and nothing could stop him from performing any traditional activities.
Prince Litia explained that there was no reason whatsoever to stop the traditional ceremony.
“It is not true that the Kuomboka ceremony will not take place because of the demise of the Princess. According to the Lozi tradition, the Kuomboka must take place no matter what happens, because the Litunga has no funeral (Ilili mufu), he needs to move his people from the flooding plains,” he said.
Prince Litia said the essence of the Kuomboka ceremony was to move people from the lower land to the upper because of floods, adding that Lozis should not destroy the tradition and customs deliberately because it was against their norms and beliefs.
“This is a straight forward issue which even the people at the palace understand; the royal drums should not stop because of the bereavement. We are all mourning and the ceremony is based on tradition to move the Lozi people from the lower land to the upper land as the Barotse plains are flooded, and now does it mean that the people will remain in the plain,” he said. Prince Litia said the Barotse plains were flooding which was an indication that the ceremony would be successful.
He said the ceremony was likely to take place in the first week of April. But another traditionalist Nyambe Nawa said it was impossible to have the ceremony because of the failure by the Kuta to adhere to the traditional guidelines.
Mr Nawa argued that there was no way the ceremony could take place because most of the traditional authorities who were supposed to perform traditional rituals were vacant.
He alleged that traditional duties were not moving according to schedule, claiming that the Indunas at the Kuta had failed and had for several times misled the Litunga.
Mr Nawa said there was tension in Barotseland because the Kuta only wanted to do what benefitted them at the expense of tradition.
“How can we have the Kuomboka when people who are supposed to perform traditional rituals of the Lozi during the ceremony are not there?
“Both the Imbwae and Akashabatwa who should take a lead in the performances are not there and these are the things which are supposed to be done to correct all the mischief at the Kuta,” he said.
Mr Nawa said there was a crisis at the Kuta (Lozi Council) that needed to be resolved to bring sanity because of the Indunas’ weaknesses.