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News Item

Dateline - Mongu 05-04-2003

Kuomboka is a premier tourism attraction - Kavindele

By Sheikh Chifuwe of The Post of Zambia in Barosteland (taken from the Post of 06-04-2003)

The Kuomboka is a premier tourism attraction, Vice-President Enoch Kavindele has said. Speaking after more than 100,000 people witnessed the arrival of the Litunga of Western Province, Lubosi Imwiko, the 23rd Litunga at the plateau palace in Limulunga, Vice-President Kavindele urged the tourism bureau to market the traditional ceremony internationally.

The royal barge docked at the Limulunga harbour about 18:45 hours, one hour later than expected because it got stuck in the plains. Vice-President Kavindele said government was encouraged by the interest shown by the Lozi people in their tradition which has existed for more than 100 years.

"Even the cost of hosting this ceremony was borne by the local people themselves," Vice-President Kavindele said. "The Kuomboka is a premier tourism attraction, it's a unique ceremony where people leave the lower for the upper land." He said government would encourage other people involved in other traditional ceremonies to support the promotion of culture. Vice-President Kavindele said he was particularly impressed that the paddlers and indunas were composed of young and old people aged between 19 and 90 years old. Vice-President Kavindele accompanied the Litunga on the royal barge up to Nengwana where the Litunga sounds the drums to signify the success of the ceremony.

About 20 boats and canoes escorted the royal barge up to Limulunga where people waited to receive the Litunga. The Litunga was accompanied by his wife who rode in a different royal barge with another one carrying members of the royal family. At the summer palace in Lealui, the royalists and politicians who included opposition UPND leader Anderson Mazoka waited up to 10:00 hours on Saturday as the Litunga shifted to the upper land.

Over one hundred paddlers took part in this year's event. Agriculture minister Mundia Sikatana said the momentous occasion reminded him of old days when his father was one of the indunas to the Litunga. Sikatana said the African identity should always be maintained and protected so that it was not lost. "Such ceremonies unite us, this is a real beautiful and rich culture," said Sikatana.

And addressing MMD cadres in Senanga yesterday, Vice-President Kavindele said the rehabilitation of the Mongu-Senanga road was underway and that funds were already released for the project. Vice-President Kavindele said the road was an important link for business and investment opportunities in the area. MMD Western Province chairman Simasiku Namakando urged the party cadres to chase those bent on disorganising the party in the area.

Copyright - The Post Of Zambia