The Mbunda Royal Council (MRC) has appealed to the government to ensure that there was harmony between the Mbunda and Lozi people domiciled in Western province.
Mbunda Royal Council National Publicity and Information Secretary, Du Shefu Mbandu, said the government should be cautious in the manner it would handle the rift that had existed for years so that unity among the two tribes was achieved.
Mbandu, in a statement issued in Mongu on Tuesday, said there was also need for traditional ceremonies for the two tribes to be accorded equal opportunities to celebrate and showcase their way of life.
He claimed that the Mbunda people constituted the largest single language group accounting for over one million inhabitants in the region.
“The Cheke ceremony is but an annual traditional undertaking meant to showcase the Mbunda traditional way of life and it appears on Zambia’s calendar of annual traditional ceremonies,” Mbandu said.
He also praised the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) through the Litunga for installing Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika as the Senior Chief for three districts, Kaoma, Nkeyema and Luampa.
Mbandu said the accomplished Historian Mbikusita-Lewanika would discharge his traditional mandate in line with the traditions and customs in the catchment districts of the province.
“Dr. Lewanika is not only thoroughly learned but also an accomplished historian and it is from this point of view that we want to believe that as Senior Chief, he will discharge his traditional mandate without encroaching on the traditional set-up of other non-Lozi language groups indigenous in the Kaoma clusters,” he said.
Mbandu said Article 165 (1) of the constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 states that the institution of chieftaincy and traditional institutions are guaranteed and shall exist in accordance with the culture, customs and traditions of the people to whom they apply.
He said the installation of Mbikusita-Lewanika, who is 75 years old, as Senior Chief comes after the passing of his predecessor, Senior Chief Isiteketo Amukena in November last year.
“This event marks an important tradition within the Barotse Royal Establishment and signifies the continuity of leadership within the region,” Mbandu said.
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