Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II picks his prime minister

04 April 2017
Author :   Sibeta Mundia, Barotseland Post
Nyambe Mwenda (right) is new Ngambela of Barotseland Picture courtesy of Liwena Mukeya, Mungu FM Radio


After four (4) years without a Ngambela, Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II, King of Barotseland, has finally appointed Nyambe Mweenda as his new Ngambela.

In the Lozi tradition, the Ngambela as traditional prime minister of Barotseland is in charge of managing political agendas and administrative affairs of the people.

Mweenda, who was Induna Mukulwakashiko, has been acting Ngambela for some time now until his ascension to the post of Ngambela at a ceremony, locally known as COLISO, which took place in Lealui royal village yesterday the 3rd of April 2017.

Meanwhile, the new Ngambela has been urged to unite all the people of the Lozi kingdom in order to foster peace and harmony in the Barotse nation.

The last Ngambela, Clement Wainyae Sinyinda, resigned after being Ngambela for only a year citing frustrations in his duties.

The installation of the Ngambela was conducted by the new Induna Imbwae, Mukenani Muziba, in the presence of Lubosi Imwiko II and many dignitaries such as Zambia’s Western Province permanent Secretary Mwangala Liomba and his deputy PS. Bernard Choomba, alongside some tourists and visitors who have started arriving early for this weekend’s prestigious Kuomboka ceremony.


Ngambela is the Litunga’s official spokesperson and representative. In fact, the term Ngambela is derivative of the Luyana ‘Ngambele’ which literary means ‘talk to me’ or ‘speak for me’. It is given to one through which the King talks to his people or one through which the people talk to the King; nowadays the word is written as Ngambela.

He is also known as Minyolui, which means owner of all people (the Aluyi). This speaks of his administrative role over the kingdom and its citizenry, especially in matters of land administration.

The other term SOPE is also applied on the Ngambela. Sope means number one or foremost; this is why he is referred to as prime minister – the first minister to the Litunga and the people. Similarly, the first month on the Lozi calendar is called Sope (January).

Therefore, the personage of Ngambela carries three major functions, as spokesperson (Ngambela), land administrator (Minyolui) and Sope (prime minister and representative).

However, for effective governance of Barotseland in a power sharing gesture between the royals and civilians (commoners), the Barotseland Freedom charter of 2012 (constitution) has legislated a two tier administrative system which has proposed the splitting of the functions of Ngambela, Sope and Minyolui.

Accordingly, Ngambela and Sope roles will be reposed in the personage of an elective office of Prime Minister who will be directly elected by parliament from the political party with majority seats in the lower chamber of parliament or House of Commons – Katengo, who will also head the civil government.

The functions of Minyolui will now reside in the office of the Lord Chancellor who will head the upper chamber of parliament or the House of Lords. He will head all land administration in conjunction with the civil government and continue to administer the traditional kutas and all royal matters.

Currently, the Ngambela is merely appointed by the Litunga while the Prime Minister in new Barotseland will be elected democratically through parliament.

The model of having two chambers of parliament is to ensure effective checks and balances. The House of Lords will check on the excesses of the politicians in the House of Commons while the politicians will check on the excesses of the royals.

This will ensure stabilization of Royal Barotseland as power will be shared between the commoners and the royals like all other progressive democratic constitutional monarchies of the world, such as Canada, Britain, Japan, Netherlands etc.

Other BRE Induna look on as Nyambe Mwenda is installed Ngambela of Barotseland. Picture courtesy of Liwena Mukeya, Mungu FM Radio
Other BRE Induna look on as Nyambe Mwenda is installed Ngambela of Barotseland. Picture courtesy of Liwena Mukeya, Mungu FM Radio


BELOW: The installation of Ngambela Mweenda by Induna Imbwae. Video courtesy of Liwena Mukeya , Mungu FM


BELOW: Dance and celebrations following Ngambela’s installation in Lealui Video courtesy of Liwena Mukeya , Mungu FM

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