The depiction of Lubosi Imwiko II in a Zambian political campaign video advert has infuriated some Lozis who have since called upon the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) to prevail on their newly found friends of the Patriotic Front, who are the formulators of the political campaign ad in question, to immediately pull it off the media as it violates the Lozi culture and norms.
Saleya Kwalombota writes on the subject as below:
It is now made clear that the Barotse Royal Establishment traditional leadership does not accept demands of the Lozi culture on which it is founded. It is heart piercing to watch His Majesty Lubosi Imwiko II featuring in a political party advert on Zambian public and private television stations.
This is disrespectful to His Majesty and the Barotseland Monarchical system.
The Litungaship is above partisan politics and depicting His Majesty in a political party advert of a territory with sovereignty issues with Barotseland is an insult to the formulators of the Barotseland Agreement 1964. It troubles the minds of well cultured Sons and daughters of Barotseland watching a Patriotic Front (PF) political advert where His Majesty is marching majestically side by side with president Lungu while the Barotse royal drums of kutamboka (Litunga’s majestic march) are being played with another political Patriotic Front song playing in the background.
The whole scenario equates His Majesty to a level of a PF cadre. Did the PF get permission to feature His Majesty in that political advert? Where is the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) leadership in this case?
It seems, therefore, that any disrespectful act perpetuated by the close friends of His Majesty, Lubosi Imwiko II, is not worthy of examination!
This is not a proposal to discuss either the damage of the political advert in a real sense of community or the traditional leadership relationship but the central greater picture behind it.
Keen observers of our culture will recall that it is not the first time this type of matter has happened concerning the image of the Litungaship on public media. Years ago a Zambian manufacturing firm, Trade Kings Company, played a video advert of one of their products, Boom Soap, where the KUSHOWELELA Lozi salute was depicted. The traditional leadership at BRE then did not tolerate the cultural nuisance but protested and the advert was pulled off the media. Why did the BRE act in such a manner then? The advert equated Boom to the status of our King because the word and acts of KUSHOWELELA are attributes only given to the Lozi King. Likening something to such attribute and salute is simply disrespecting the antique of the Lozi system.
In like manner, we expected the current crop of BRE indunas to have acted like others in the past. Yes this is both surprising and dangerous.
Surprising because there has, perhaps, never been any time in the past when the person in Litungaship can be used as a subject in a political campaign advert! Dangerous, because when custom and culture is neglected by those who ought to attend to them, the concept nurtured in the stillness could destroy the civilization of our society.
Finally, the issue raised in this piece of writing is not intended to undermine the dignity of the current crop of BRE Indunas but justifies the calls for the statutory institution of Barotseland Acts and Orders.
Our King is and must always be above political affiliation and as such the BRE is here called upon to protest to their newly found friends, the Patriotic Front party of Zambia who are the formulators of the aforesaid political advert, to have it pulled off the media.
Bulozi fasi la bondata Luna.