The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has announced that the Kuomboka ceremony of the Lozi people of Barotseland will this year not be held following the demise of the Litunga (King)’s wife, Queen Moyo Imwambo, who died on 10th March and was put to rest on 17th March, 2014.
The announcement was made at Limulunga palace, Mongu by Tawila Akapelwa Silumbu (Induna Inete) on behalf of the BRE to end speculation in the Kingdom.
According to local radio Liseli, Induna Inete said memories of the late queen were still very fresh and that the cancellation has been done to allow the gradual healing of the broken hearts, and to give time to people in the diaspora coming to pay their last respects to the queen.
The Lozi speaking people of Barotseland every year escape the rising flood waters of the upper Zambezi river in a spectacular ceremony popularly known as the Kuomboka Ceremony which also attracts various people from within and far away countries. The ceremony is essentially the movement of the Litunga – King of Barotseland from his Lealui Palace, in the flood plains to dry land in Limulunga, in his Royal Barge, the Nalikwanda, which is accompanied by his wife’s barge and several other canoes paddled by warriors.
Earlier in the week, a member of the royal family was quoted as saying the ceremony would still take place as the Litunga had no funeral leave but had a duty to move his people and urged the organizers to set a date.