The First Lady and I together with my entourage are in Mongu to attend the Kuomboka Ceremony, President Edgar Lungu told citizens via a Facebook post from Mongu where he paid a courtesy call on King Lubosi Imwiko II at his Lealui home.

Kuomboka is a word in the Lozi language, literally meaning ‘to get out of water’. The ceremony that takes place at the end of the rain season, when the upper Zambezi River floods the plains of the Western Province. The festival celebrates the move of the Litunga, king of the Lozi people, from his compound at Lealui in the Barotse floodplain to Limulunga on higher ground.

This year, the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) expanded the size of the Nalikwanda, a royal barge for Kuomboka ceremony to accommodate more security officers on board, making it the biggest royal barge ever, and President Lungu said he was honoured to be part of the occasion.

“It is always an honour to pay a courtesy call on the Litunga at Lealui Palace like I did on arrival. The importance of our traditional ceremonies cannot be over emphasized. We have a diverse but united nation that must preserve it’s traditional and cultural values and norms. We have, over the years existed so well alongside each other. Nothing and no one should divide us along the lines of tribe. We are one nation and one people. Let us celebrate our diversity and never use it to harm one another,” President Lungu stated.

Justice Minister Given Lubinda at the 2017 Kuomboka ceremony

“Peace and unity is our collective heritage as a nation founded under the banner of “#OneZambiaOneNation. That is why my Government endeavours to maintain healthy relationships with their Royal Highnesses across the country as they are the true fountains of wisdom I wish you all an enjoyable day as we witness the Kuomboka Ceremony!”

Several government officials including Justice Minister Given Lubinda are enjoying quality time at the ceremony which was last held three years ago.