Kuomboka cancellation debate rages on

Heated debates between ordinary Lozis and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) over the cancellation of this year’s’ Kuomboka ceremony following the demise of the Litunga’s wife, Queen Moyo Imwambo are reported to be raging on.

Reports from Mongu say some Indunas who announced the cancellation of the ceremony have since been demoted by the Kuta for allegedly abrogating Lozi tradition.

The Lozi people insisted that their traditional drums (Maoma) should be beaten to indicate that all was well because nothing had gone wrong in the Lozi kingdom as per tradition.

The Lozi royalists who spoke on condition of anonymity claimed that the Maoma could only be “silent” in the event of the death of the Litunga and not for any other reason.

The reports say consultative meetings among Lozi top officials were underway to chart the way forward over the cancellation of the Kuomboka.

The Indunas at the Kuta have been blamed for being quick to announce the cancellation of the Kuomboka ceremony without consulting widely over the matter.

“We are not saying we wanted to celebrate the event, but we are looking at norms and culture of the Lozi which is well known. The Kuomboka ceremony is not all about tourism, but it  is also about  the movement of people and their resources from the lower land to dry land because of floods, and this is done yearly.” they said.

They claimed that the cancellation of the Kuomboka by the BRE was done outside the norms and beliefs of the Lozi tradition.

“To be precise, the Lozis are not happy with the happenings at the Kuta, where meetings are taking place, and that they are prolonging programmes is a sign of failure by the Indunas.”

Recently BRE announced the cancellation of the Kuomboka ceremony but the announcement was received with mixed feelings which have resulted in on-going debates because many feel tradition was abrogated.

According to the Lozi tradition, if the Kuomboka was cancelled, it meant that even those chiefs in other chiefdoms of Mooyo and Kalabo should not go ahead with their mini ceremonies which usually took place in concert with the Litunga’s.

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