Lozis fume over Nkoya province


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.

5 thoughts on “Lozis fume over Nkoya province

  1. This is an issue that the government should take interest in. The Nkoyas are living under the colonial rule of the Lozis. If Nkoyas are party and parcel of the Lozis what is Chief Amukena doing in Kaoma? The Nkoyas have been marginalised by the Lozis since independence. Why put a rival chief in an area where they have their own chief? Who are fanning trouble in Kaoma? I challenge all truthful citizens of Zambia to visit their historical records. How did the Nkoya drums find their presence in Lealui? How did Shakalongo Jambika die in Lealui and his remains burried in Ilundu village in the Barotse plain? There is more to this than meets the eye. The Lozis are planting their indunas in the Mankoyaland, what is the role of Afumba and Siwalyondo in the area of Chief Shakalongo? The Nkoyas of Chief Shakalongo chiefdom have vowed that if their demands of having Shakalongo as chief on their NRCs will not be honoured in favour of the Lozi indunas then they will not get NRCs and will boycott 2016 elections. I challenge the Nkoyas to voice out on their convictions and aspirations.

  2. The Indunas Katema and Imandi have not done their homework or the two are just ignoring the facts on the political and cultural history of Nkoyas. The Nkoyas are right to refuse to be under The Litunga dominion.I support the truth Mr Tamboka is sharing with unselfishing Zambians.

  3. Let me briefly share the following well reserached information on THE FIRST TIME THAT THE DRUMS OF NKOYA KINGSHIP
    At the time of Mwene Shakalongo Mwenda na Njimba , the Lozi Mwene by the
    name of Mulambwa came here to Nkoya for he needed such divinerpriests
    as the Nkoya Myene had according to their custom. When
    Mwene Mulambwa arrived at the other side of the Luampa river in
    the Shikela area, his people built a camp there. There he heard the
    sound of the large drums and the small drums of Mwene Shakalongo .
    When Mwene Mulambwa returned to his area in Loziland, he had a
    mind to scold his people, telling them:
    ‘I want the drums of kingship of the Nkoya, for they are splendid.’
    He sent his people to Mwene Shakalongo to request large drums, and
    also drummers who could teach the Lozi how to beat the drums of
    kingship of the Nkoya. There are still Nkoya at Lealui as drummers
    for the royal drums. From the days of Mwene Mulambwa onwards
    royal drums of the Nkoya have remained at Lealui to be beaten there.
    Certain Nkoya drummers went to be drummers for the Lozi Myene: in
    Loziland, the kingship is of the Lozi but the drums are of the Nkoya.
    [These drummers are:] the family of Mwiba and his uterine nephews;
    the family of Shishinda. There are also Nkoya drummers in
    Nalolo, where the Lozi Lady Mwene resides . We are referring here
    to the families of Ncungo and his children. They are drumming for the
    Lozi Mwene, on the royal drums of the Nkoya. From the year 1817 to
    this very day.

  4. In their petition to the late president of Zambia, Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa dated 30th December, 2005, the Nkoya Royal Council sought the indulgence of the government to create a separate province called Kafue Province for them: http://www.barotseland.com/nkoya-hist9.htm.
    Let us quote at length:
    “During those years [early 1800 A.D] and before the Lozis were forced into the present day Barotse Plains by the Sebitwane army from across the Zambezi, there were only four Chiefs in the present day Batotse Plains. These are: 1. Shihoka Nalinanga – Paramount Chief of the Nkoya People 2. Mange – Chief of the Kwangwa tribe 3. Libebe – Chief of the Mashi tribe 4. Imenda – Sub Chief of the Mbowe tribe.
    Smarting from his defeat of the Kololo under Sebitwane, the New Lozi Chief Sipopa started encouraging his warriors to systematically eliminate the native tribes who were refusing to accept his self-appointed Chieftainship.

    “Among the tribes that fell victim to this criminal and cruel project by Sipopa were the defenceless elderly Nkoya men – because the Nkoya people were the only tribe that refused to submit to the authority of these new settlers in their native territory. Over a period of time, the Nkoyas were increasingly growing uncomfortable sharing Mungulula (Mongu) with the hostile Sipopa. So Nkoyas of that area slowly but surely started migrating towards to the uninhabited lands and to join their other Nkoya relatives on the eastern side of the present day Mongu District.
    “This is the area which eventually became known as Mankoya District. This area was not assigned to the Nkoya people by another tribe but it was the Nkoyas who on their own volition chose to settle there if only this move would help reduce hostilities between the Nkoyas and the Lozis in the then Mungulula ( Mongu) District originally inhabited by the Nkoya people and the Kwangwa people.
    This and the chronology of events between 1936 and to date are some of the true historical facts which some of the current generation of Lozis will never admit.

    “This is because this type of history would sound malicious and demeaning to the Lozis current status and image which they have fraudulently built for themselves over a period of time. Secondly, the records that the Lozis thought would work against their tribal project of dominance over other tribes were systematically removed from public eye especially those concerning Kaoma (Mankoya) District.
    “This destruction of vital history was done soon after Independence and the Lozis taking advantage of their numerical superiority in the field of European education which they obtained by selling Zambia through the redundant Barotse Agreement 1964 (sic) which they obtained from a private company BSAC and using the plundered money and agreements to send to school only members of the Lozi Royal Family at the expense of other tribes and their God given heritage, they have quickly moved to rewrite the history of the Western Part of Zambia to suit their ego.”
    This description of Nkoya social memory is, to the best of my knowledge, a correct reflection of the content of events as they happened. The history of the Barotse people as an ethnic group in Ngululand (which is the true and original historical name of Western Zambia) is a very recent phenomenon in historical time. Having migrated into the area from the Congo Basin or the Luba-Lunda of Mwata Yamvo the Luyana or Luyi (which meant “foreigners” to the indigenous people in the area), moved south down the Kabombo river in the latter part of the 18th century, and found other Bantu such as the Nkoya, Sotho, Shona and Nguni already living in the land we now call Western Zambia. The new settlers conquered and subdued the locals through the use of arms. The Twa or Kwengo were driven south. By the 1800 AD the migrants had founded the “Barotse nation” with their greatest chief known as Mulambwa, who imposed himself on the locals and ruled from 1812 – 1830.
    However, it is worth noting that the conquered tribes of early Bantu had settled in the Zambezi plains even as early as the 1500AD, and these existing inhabitants such as the Nkoya were subsequently displaced. They also lost the control of much of their natural resources such as land and the Zambezi plain. Among the major dialects in Western Zambia are the Nkoya, Mashasha, Mbowela (Mbwela, Mbwera), Lushange, Lukolwe, Shikalu, and Lubanda, respectively.
    In assessing whether or not the Barotseland Agreement 1964 should be restored or not, or indeed whether Western Zambia (Barotseland) should secede from Zambia or not, it is important to cast the net wider and take into account the Nkoya narratives of history, or indeed the narratives of other ethnic groups in the region. In the opinion of the Barotse people, though, Western Zambia belongs to them “historically”. They also contend that the existence of their right to have an ‘autonomous nation’ was prior to the formation of Zambia as a state. That is to say, their right to exist as an independent country cannot be bestowed upon them by Zambia – whose polity is more recent.
    Now let us suppose that this position is correct. When we look at the history of Central-western Zambia, as we have done, we learn that the migration of a Barotse people who were later referred to as Luyana, or Luyu (to denote “foreigners”) is a more recent phenomenon in historical time than the indigenous peoples such as the Nkoya, Kwangwa and Twa who had lived in Western province and surrounding region since 1500AD. Although these local people were conquered by the Lozi in the early 1800AD through the use of force and diplomacy, it is a fact of history that the land which is now called Barotseland was theirs. It did not belong to the Luyana.
    These historical facts force us to ask this question: What is the origin of land ownership in Western Zambia and why? Should later settlers (Barotse) be allowed to possess land which did not historically belong to them, or should there be need to establish a platform to correct the wrongs of history? If the Barotse acquisition of land through force can be justified, then why should they resist other alternative discourses which attempt to rewrite the historical accounts of Western province in terms of the Nkoya, for example, as the true owners of that land?
    In the recent past the Nkoya Royal Council (NRC) presented a petition to the Republican President, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata, in which they reiterated – again – their opposition to the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement 1964 or the secession of Western Zambia from the rest of the country.
    They have argued that contrary to attempts by Barotse intellectuals and members of the Barotse Royal Establishment to falsify history, Nkoyas are not part of the Barotse-speaking people. According to a Nkoya traditionalist, Robert Litungu at http://www.ukzambians.co.uk/home/2010/12/27/zambia-mankoya-part-barotseland/:
    ‘The Mankoya people do not want to belong to a feudalistic and tribal grouping that does not provide them with the right to exercise their right to self-governance and reinforces the colonial legacy of tribal subjugation of weaker tribes. They want to be part of a democratic society, that is, the Republic of Zambia, which espouses the freedom of speech and association.

    ‘The argument that the Nkoya had invited the Lozi to protect them against the Kaonde and thus should continue to accept Lozi hegemony does not hold water in this day and era.
    Surely, can the Marotse accept to be ruled by the British since they offered them protection from the Ndebele and Portuguese?

    ‘The Government should set up a commission of enquiry to examine the Lozi claims of hegemony over the Mankoya just like the government of Northern Rhodesia did in 1938 when they freed the Lunda and Luvale.
    The Nkoya were denied educational opportunities as part of the scheme to subjugate them.

    ‘In this regard, the Government should not be seen to be giving privileges to one tribal chief whose establishment has subjugated other tribes.
    If the worst comes to the worst, the Government should call for a referendum in Western Province on whether the people of that region should be granted the right to govern themselves.
    Having been victims of the autocratic Barotse system of governance, the Nkoyas and many other tribes in the province will certainly vote against such self-governance and elect to continue being part of a democratic and unitary Zambia.’
    In historical truth the Nkoya are, indeed, a distinct ethnic group who do not speak Silozi, the resultant language which arose after the assimilation of the Aaluyi (conquered) tribe and the Makololo–Sotho (conqueror) tribe from South Africa.

    1. Pelekelo Patisha
      Its a pity that you simply lifted a story written by somebody who understands or knows next to nothing about the history of Barotseland and that of the Nkoyas. More sad is the fact that Nkoya people are largely illiterate, for this reason they mix issues and facts because they cannot research. For your information Sioka Nalinanga, Mange, Sipopa, Libebe, Imenda were not contemporaries. Its shocking to hear that Sioka Nalinanga who is a cousin to Mbuywamwambwa is claimed to be Nkoya! We know that Sioka had married Luhamba when he had drifited to Kabompo and Kasempa after his nephew Mwanambinyi had looted his cattle. Sioka then ran to Mwito after stealing a royal drum called mutango. It was retrieved by Isimwaa thereafter Sioka went to Dongwe before drifting to Kabompo and Kasempa. Perhaps that is where he must have had contact with the Nkoyas and married Luhamba who is believed to be a sister to Mutondo. As regards Libebe of the Makwamashi he is a contemporary of Lubosi whom the Nkoyas and the Mbundas called Liwanika lya matunga or mafuci because of the policy of unification of all refugees in Barotseland. The Nkoya are the first such refugees to have been accepted and resettled in Barotseland. They came to Barotseland during the reign of King Mwananyanda Liwale who King Mulambwa’s brother. The wild claims being made by the new Nkoyas based in Lusaka cannot be accepted. The best the Nkoyas should contemplate is to shift and go elsewhere away from Barotseland. They have no legitimate claim whatsoever. Barotseland is a nation which cannot be divided to benit only 4.7% of the population! They constitute only 14% of the population in Kaoma, Luampa, and Nkeyema districts. They are not present in Mitete while Ithezithezi is not even a part of Barotseland which goes to show their immense ignorance. Muchinga will welcome these people and I am sure Kambwili will tame them because they will claim to be more superior to the Baemba after 5 years of co-existence.

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