Litunga is a Luyana word which literally translates to “land”
or “nation”. A common Luyana eulogy, “ta minya mupu na
ng’ombe”, which states that he owns all the land and all the
animals defines the magnitude of his incumbency. Another
eulogy, “mbumu to minyo uluyi ni itondo na bika ni
ngombe”, proclaims that the king is the sole owner of the
Lozi nation, the air, the land and water, servants and

The deliberations of installing the new Litunga are tradition
and strictly carried out by the senior members of the royal
family, the Kuta, and the priest-guardians. The preparations
start once the new moon breaks the sky. This is the time
strongly believed to be highly favorable for the good omens
because Nyambe ascended to the Heaven when the new
moon broke the sky, too.

The prince to be installed is seized secretly at night and
taken to Makono where some detailed secret rites which
clothe him with the power of the day and night shall be

During that night, the white water cow, the Liombekalala,
which represents the legitimating of Mbuywamwambwa, the
mother of the first male Litunga, will lick the Litunga-to-be,
to confer the power and wisdom from the infinite and
universal source. The huge monstrous water snake,
Lingongole, which represents the spirit of the waters of the
Lozi land, is also involved.

Early in the morning of the next day, the prince will embark
on the Nalikwanda. He will be given two sticks which he will
rub together against the maize stalks stuffed in a pot-shard.
The fire will eventually erupt on the pot-shard.
He will be taken to Ikatulamwa for further rituals and
afterwards, to Lealui with the new fire burning in the pot

Upon his arrival, he is settled on top of a war drum, the
Lioma while men perform the warrior dance, Ngomalume.
Women will then take turns fetching the new fire, which
came with new Litunga, to rekindle their hearths which were
put out on the day the previous Litunga demised.
Finally, all the people pay the royal homage, Ku Shoelela, an
indication that they are contended to be bestowed with the
new Litunga. The prince then ceases to be the “owner of his
body”, he is now the Litunga.

The strict Luyana and Lozi tradition strongly dictates that a
man can only mount upon the title of the Litunga by
undergoing through the process of prescribed rites. A few
have been mentioned above. However, a very small number
of individuals have ascended as rulers but without the title,
insignia, powers or functions of the Litunga.

Unlike the Lozi princes [Bana-ba-Malena (plural), Mwana-
Mulena (singular)] such as Prince Imbuwa and Prince
Meebelo who were dully elected by the noble Lozis in exile,
Sebitwane and his dynasty were totally fiendish and could
be termed by a title of Mung’ete, the interloper, because he
had seized his accession by force of arms.

Although these princes were dully elected, they could not
exercise the title, office or functions of the Litunga because
they were not baked through the prescribed rituals.
To this effect, the Lozi tradition strongly states that the
Litunga is the sole secular leader mandated by the universe
to poses and discharge functions that are considered to be
equal to the spiritual functions of Nyambe. He is therefore
seen as the most powerful ordained ruler not only in
Zambia, but the world over. This observation has evolved
from time immemorial.

The Litunga leads and rules the Lozi nation of a rich
background, bravely and political influence. The office of the
Litunga has provided very decisive leadership in times
where political mutual understanding or crises are
imminent. And their decisions have shaped many important
events in Zambian and south-central African political history.
The Litunga has many functions and performs many
obligations. The Lozi have great love and respect for the
Litunga and have coined a number of eulogies and
expressions, which have evolved for centuries, and define
his obligations to the Lozi nation; and, likewise, their
obligations to him.

“Mbumu ni wa maci uwaneni mubika ngombe lukulwa
mibonda,” Is a eulogy which proclaims the Litunga as the
fountain of wealth to whom the needy must appeal for

“Mwele no sikela,” states that the Litunga is the sovereign
arbitrator from whom justice and peace oozes.
The Litunga is bound to carry out several roles and

1. As the Supreme Executive, the Litunga is perceived as
Kaongolo ka Nyambe, a creature (insect) of God. He is the
Extraordinary Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Nyambe
(God). The Litunga is the bridge between his people and
Nyambe. The nation relies on him to serve the interests of
nature such as rain and good harvests. Through the
intercession with God, the Litunga is believed to have the
power that can avert feminine, drought, diseases, and the
flush floods.

¨ He has the mandate of negotiating, executing and enforcing
issues relating to land and natural resources.
¨ He employs a variety of powers to carry out the administrative
duties. The custom has reserved him the emergency powers
—that is, special authority to prevent or terminate a national

¨ The Litunga also may issue executive orders. These are
directions, proclamations, or other statements that have the
force of laws. The famous proclamation is the Abolition of
Slavery Proclamation which King Lewanika made on the 16th
July, 1906. Other examples which fall under this category

* The negotiations, execution and reviewing of former or fresh
Treats and Concessions, including the Baroseland
Agreement of 1964 which were entered by the predecessors
are all sovereign obligations of the Litunga.

* The participation of Litunga Lewanika in the conference held on
08th January, 1912 which established the South African
Native National Congress. Lewanika was one of the seven
paramount leaders who were appointed as Honorary
President and formed up the Upper House, serves as an

* The Litunga has the power of establishing new chiefdoms,
erecting boundaries, or excising a section of his land.
Balovale (Zambezi) District was excised from Barotseland in

2. As Commandant of the Lozi nation, the Litunga’s main
duties are to defend his country during the wartime and
upheavals, and to keep it in harmony during peacetime. He
is obliged to initiate strategies which harmonize the welfare
of his people and to ward off all internal and external
threats. Instances that form as examples are:

¨ The raid of the Ila and Toka people of 1882 by which Lewanika
secured about 20,000 cattle and a number of slaves. A
similar incursion was staged again in 1888.
¨ The partnership that Lewanika formed with the British
Government is another example. This was an initiative of
seeking protection from the Ndebele, the Portuguese, and

¨ Litunga Lewanika released his son Mwanawina to serve in
Great War and was promoted to the rank of Commander for
the East African operations in 1916—1918.
3. As the Custodian of the Lozi Culture, the Litunga
mounts on performances which teach, supervise, invigorate
and revitalize the customary and traditional practices among
his people. It is a natural phenomenon to witness the
Litunga dancing Ngomalume, supervising the royal
drummers, or to tune the pitch of the Silozi or Nkoya

4. As the Legate of the Crown, the incumbent Litunga is the
solitary representative of all his predecessors. He is
expected to show pride in the achievements and practices of
the monarchy and the Litugaship that has evolved for
centuries. He is expected to consult with (ku shea), to seek
guidance, and uphold the sentiments and decisions of his


1. Queen Mwambwa

¨ She is the founderess of the Lozi Kingdom. The Lozi tradition
states she was married to Nyambe, the god. And that
Nyambe ascended to Litooma, the heaven, in fear of
Kamunu, the human being, whose aptitude was replicating
that of Nyambe. As Nyambe ascended, he left and
bequeathed onto Mwambwa some queenly authority and
estate. She built her capital at Sifuluti Village, located in the
present-day Kalabo District of Zambia. Her royal shrine is
known as Sangaulu found in the Lukulu District, Zambia.

2. Queen Mbuywamwambwa

¨ She ascended to the throne on the death of Mwambwa, her
mother. She had left for Kaumbu in the Lunda country, a
place now found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Upon
her return, she asked Kuta, the Council, to install a male
Litunga. Mboo Muyunda was installed as the first male
Litunga. Her mother, Mbuywamwambwa remained as the
Makoshi (Natambumu), the mother and prime feminine
advisor to the Litunga.

¨ Her Ngambela was Ndopu Akalondo
¨ Her regiment was Nakandundu
¨ Her royal shrine is Makono

3. King Mboo Muyunda Mwanasilundu

¨ His capital was Likuyu
¨ His regiment was Ng’undwe
¨ His Ngambela was Ing’uwa and Imbala
¨ He was buried in Ikatulamwa. But later on, his shrine was
found open and empty. An extensive search found the kingly
property he was buried with in a new shrine in Imwambo.
He is therefore believed to have shifted to Imwambo.

4. King Inyambo

¨ His capital was Makululalo
¨ His regiment was Kabeti
¨ His Ngambela was Imandi Liomba
¨ His shrine is in Liondo

5. King Yeta I Ya Musa

¨ His capital was Mwandi
¨ His regiment was Suyaela
¨ His Ngambela was Angulu
¨ His shrine is in Namanda

6. King Ngalama wa Ingalamwa

¨ His capital was Likwa
¨ His regiment was Kawayo
¨ His Ngambela was Iwake, Namunda, and Malende Sikwanda-
¨ His shrine is in Kwandu

7. King Yeta II Nalute Mucabatu

¨ His capital was Imutenda
¨ His regiment was Mbanda
¨ His Ngambela was Iwake
¨ His shrine was Nandopu

8. King Ngombala

¨ His capital was Nakaywe. He standardized the flow of tribute
goods by installing the Lindumeleti, Ambassadors, among
the conquered people. In this way, the Litunga also
monopolized the central market which entailed a barter
system because the flood plains were rich of maize, fish,
and cattle which they Luyana exchanged with dugouts,
honey, and bark-fibers which came from outlying areas.
¨ His regiment was Imutakela
¨ His Ngambela was Namunda Katanekwa
¨ His shrine is in Ng’undu

9. King Yubya Ikandanda

¨ His capital was Nakaywe
¨ He utilized all the former regiments
¨ His Ngambela was Nambayo
¨ His shrine is in Namayula

10. King Mwanawina I

¨ His capital was Naliele
¨ His regiment was Imutakela
¨ His Ngambela was Namuyamba
¨ His shrine is in Lieneno

11. King Mwananyanda Liwale

¨ His capital was Naliele
¨ His regiment was Imutakela
¨ His Ngambela was Muswa
¨ His shrine is in Kasiku

12. King Mulambwa Santulu

¨ He is well remembered for his dear love to nature and the
animals. But he is prominently remembered for founding
and promulgating laws relating to marriages and property.
He died, c. July, 1830.
¨ His capital was Lilundu
¨ His regiment was Imutakela
¨ His Ngambela was Muswa
¨ His shrine is in Lilundu

13. King Silumelume Muimui

¨ He was the son of Mulambwa Santulu. He ascended to the
throne on the death of his father, c. 1830. He was
assassinated during the performances at the Kuta.
¨ His capital was Lilundu
¨ His regiment was Imutakela
¨ His Ngambela was Muswa
¨ His shrine is in Namaweshi

14. King Mubukwanu

¨ He was the son of Mulambwa. He ascended to the throne on
the death of his younger brother, Silumelume. He was
defeated by Sebitwane. He fled and sought refuge at Lipu
Island. He was poisoned by his wife and died at Lukulu Fort,
c. 1840.
¨ His capital was
¨ His regiment was Imutakela
¨ His Ngambela was Omei
¨ His shrine is in


A. Sebitwane
B. Mamucisane
C. Sekeletu
D. Litali


I. Mwana-Mulena Imasiku Mubukwanu
II. Mwana-Mulena Imbuwa
¨ He was declared as the ruler of the Luyana upon the death of
his father, Mubukwanu. He was equally expelled by the
Kololo and fled with his party across the Kabompo River and
settled in Lukwakwa region. He was assassinated by the
Mbunda people, c. 1860.

III. Mwana-Mulena Meebelo Anang’anga

15. King Sipopa Lutangu

¨ He was forced into exile by the Mbunda who killed Imasiku. He
mobilised the Luyana nobles who staged a war against the
Kololo. He defeated the Kololo and was proclaimed as the
ruler at Sola Village in Jun, 1864. He built his summer capital
at Mukoko Village and winter capital at Nangulwe.
¨ He established the Lozi Kingdom in 1864


16. King Mwanawina II

¨ He was declared as the ruler of the Lozi August, 1876 at
Katongo, Sesheke. The succession proceedings were
finalized and he ascended to the throne in October, 1876. He
was ousted by his nobles, who preferred his cousin, Lubosi,
in May, 1878. He was killed by poison and starvation in 1879
on an island namely Ng’ambwe.
¨ His capital was Liandwe
¨ His regiment was Kabeti
¨ His Ngambela was Mamili
¨ His shrine is in Ng’ambwe, Sesheke District

17. King Lubosi – 1st Regime

¨ He was born in 1842 in Nyengo. The Lozi nobles proclaimed
him as the next Litunga soon after the death of his cousin,
Mwanawina II. He ascended to the throne in August of 1878.
He shifted his capital from Sesheke to Lealui and founded
Lubachi as his winter capital. He was deposed by Ngambela
Mataa in September, 1884 who installed Tatila Akufuna. He
fled to Mashi.

¨ He set up the Barotse Native Police in 1893.
¨ His regiment was Imutakela
¨ His Ngambela was Silumbu Akapelwa
¨ Lubosi Lewanika – 2nd Regime

¨ On the 04th November, 1885, Lubosi recuperated his throne by
a bloody battle which toppled Akufuna.

¨ He attended Coronation Ceremonies of King Edward VII and
Queen Alexandra at Westminster Abbey in London in 1902.
He was decorated with the medals of King Edward VII in
1902, and King George V in 1911.
¨ He abolished slavery on 16th July, 1906, signed the Ware
Concession on 27th June, 1889, Lochner Concession on 26th
June, 1890.

¨ He maintained Imutakela as his regiment
¨ He maintained Lealui as his capital
¨ His Ngambela was Mwauluka Nasibebo, Mukamba Njekwa, and

18. King Tatila Akufuna

¨ He was the eldest son of Mwana’ Mulena Imbuwa Mulambwa.
He ascended to the throne by coup d’état which was led by
Ngambela Mataa and overthrew Lubosi Lewanika in 1884.
The coup was however reversed in 1885, and Lewanika
regained the throne
¨ His capital was Lealui
¨ He utilized all the former regiments
¨ His Ngambela was Mataa
¨ He was ousted on 04th November, 1885 and fled to
Mashukulumbwe region where he was assassinated by
Mulanziana Sitwala, c. 1887.

19. King Litia Yeta III, CBE

¨ He was born in 1871 at Likapai. He was bestowed with the title
of the Commander of the British Empire, c. 01st January,
¨ He ascended to the throne on 13th March, 1916.
¨ He attended the Coronation Ceremony of King George VI and
Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey in London in 1937.
¨ He established Limulunga as the winter capital in 1930. He
founded Naliele sub-capital in Mankoya (Kaoma) District
under Senior Chief Mwanawina; and Nawinda sub-capital
established under Senior Chief Kufuna in Balovale District. It
was during his rule when Balovale (Zambezi) District was
detached from Barotseland in 1940.
¨ He relinquished the throne on 20th June, 1945 owing to ill

¨ His capital was Lealui
¨ His regiment was Imutakela
¨ His Ngambela was Mataa-wa-Ndiku, Munalula Mbangweta,
Namakando Wina
¨ His shrine is in Mulumbo

20. King Mwanang’ono Imwiko I

¨ He was educated at Bethany House School, Goudhurst, Kent.
¨ He ascended to the throne in 1945 and demised in 1948. He
spearheaded the establishment of Development Centre in
Namushakende, and the Legislative Council
¨ His capital was Lealui
¨ His regiment was Imutakela
¨ Namakando Wina was his Ngambela
¨ His shrine is in Naloyela

21. King Mwanawina III, KBE

¨ He was born on the 07th February, 1888 at Lealui. He was
bestowed with the title of the Knight Commander of the
British Empire (KBE), c. 01st January, 1959. he was educated
at PMS Missionary School in Barotseland, Lovedale College,
South Africa, and University of Capetown, South Africa.
¨ He served in Great War as commander of Barotse Carriers in
East African Campaign from 1916 to 1918. He was honored
with Allied Victory and British War medals.

¨ He attended the Coronation Ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II at
Westminster Abbey in London in 1953.
¨ He ruled Barosteland from 1948 to 1968. He was knighted by
the British in 1959. He was pressured into signing the
Barotseland Agreement, 1964 which attempted to absorb
Barotseland by Northern Rhodesia to pave way for the
creation of the so called Republic of Zambia

¨ His capital was in Lealui
¨ His regiment was Imutakela
¨ His Ngambela was Namakando Wina, Mukele Walubita, Imasiku
Akabeswa, Muleta Imenda Minyambowe, Ndangwa
Nooyo,and Imwaka Mahela
¨ His shrine is in Sikuli

22. King Mbikusita Lewanika II

¨ He was born in 1907 in Lealui. He received education from
Barotse National School, University of Capetown (South
Africa), University of Wales at Aberystwith.
¨ He ascended to the throne on 15th December, 1968, and died
in 1977

¨ His capital was Lealui
¨ His regiment
¨ His Ngambela was Imwaka Mahela, Suu Lishomwa, and
Mukande Musialike
¨ He initiated the Kuomboka-Kufuluela Committee in 1971 to
expand the level of participation in the planning processes
of the ceremonies
¨ His shrine is in Lishekandinde

23. King Ilute Yeta IV

¨ His capital was Lealui, son of Yeta III, 1977-2000 (d. 7th July
¨ He utilized all the former regiments
¨ His Ngambela was Mukande Musialike, Sililo Mwandamena,
Silumelume Siyubo
¨ His shrine is in Ndowana

24. King Lubosi Imwiko II

¨ He is the current Litunga, son of King Imwiko, 2000 (October) –
presently reigning
¨ His capital is Lealui
¨ He utilizes all the regiments
¨ Hitherto, he has had the following Ngambelas: Mukela
Manyando, Imbuwa Imwaka, Imasiku Lyamunga, and Litia
Walubita . . .

His Majesty Mulena Yomuhulu Mbumu wa Lubosi
Imwiko II, King of Barotseland
c.1550 Bulozi (Barotse) Kingdom founded
1838 Suppressed by Makololo invaders (Kolol-Rotse Empire)
1864 Bulozi Kingdom restored
1897 British Protectorate

17 August 1911 Incorporated into British Northern Rhodesia
12 May 1953 – 24 Oct 1964 Barotseland Protectorate
24 October 1964 – 1969 Attempt by the Failed Republic of
Zambia to make Barotseland a province within Zambia
October 1969 Attempt by the Failed Republic of Zambia to
derecognized the Free State and Kingdom of Barotseland
Aluyana Dynasty
Sovereign Title Mbumu wa Litunga From To
King Mboo Mwanasilandu Date unregistered Date unregistered
King Inyambo Date unregistered Date unregistered
King Yeta I Date unregistered Date unregistered
King Numwa Date unregistered Date unregistered
King Ngalama Date unregistered Date unregistered
King Yeta II Malute Date unregistered Date unregistered
King Ngombala Date unregistered Date unregistered
Yubya Lukama (Regent) Date unregistered Date unregistered
King Mwanawina I Date unregistered Date unregistered
King Mwananyanda Liwale Date unregistered 1812
King Mulambwa Santulu 1812 1830
King Silumelume 1830 Date unregistered
King Mubukwanu 1830 1838
King Imasiku 1838 Date unregistered
Makololo Rulers
Ruler Title Morêna From To
Ruler Sebetwane 1838 7 July 1851
Ruler Mma Motshisane (F) 1851 1851
Ruler Sekeletu 1851 June 1863

Ruler Mambili June 1863 1863
Liswaniso (Rebellion) 1863 1863
Ruler Mbololo 1863 1864
Aluyana Dynasty
Sovereign Title Mbumu wa Litunga From To
King Sipopa June 1864 August 1876
Mowa Mamili (Regent) August 1876 October 1876
King Mwanawina II October 1876 May 1878
King Lubosi I (1 Phase) August 1878 August 1884
King Tatila Akufuna September 1884 July 1885
Sikufele (Rebellion) 1885 1885
King Lubosi I = Lewanika I (2 Phase)
Lubosi, known as Lewanika the Uniter 4 November 1885 4 February 1916
Mokamba (Regent) 4 February 1916 13 March 1916
King Yeta III 13 March 1916 June 1945
Regent Shemakone Kalonga Wina (1 Phase) June 1945 June 1946
King Imwiko Lewanika (* 1885; † 1948) June 1946 June 1948
Regent Shemakone Kalonga Wina (2 Phase) June 1948 August 1948
Mwanawina III (* 1888, † 1968) August 1948 13 November 1968
Hastings Ndangwa Noyoo (Regent) 13 November 1968 15 December 1968
King Godwin Mbikusita Lewanika II (*1888, †1977) 15 December 1968 1977
King Ilute Yeta IV (* 1907, † 2000) 1977 2 July 2000
King Lubosi II Imwiko October 2000
Ngambela Prime Ministers of Barotseland
1864 – 1871 Njekwa

1872 – 1878 Mamili (d. 1878)
1878 – 1884 Silumbu
1884 – 1885 Mataa (d. 1885)
1885 – 1898 Mwauluka (d. 1898)
1898 – 1919 Mokamba (d. 1919)
1919 – 1928 Mataa
1928 – Jan 1941 Mbwangweta Munalula (d. 1941)
1941 – 1948 Shemakono Wina
1948 – 1956 Muheli Walubita
1956 – 1962 Akabeswa Imasiku
1962 – Oct 1963 Silamelume Siyubo
Oct 1963 – Mar 1964 Vacant
Mar 1964 – Oct 1965 Hastings Noyoo (acting to Dec 1964)
1965 to 2000 – Maxwell Mututwa
2nd March 2012 Clement Sinyinda, Installed Prime Minister
of Barotseland


The ruler: Mulena Yomuhulu Mbumu wa Litunga (reign
name), Litunga of the Lozi and Paramount Chief of
Borotseland, with the style of His Highness.
The principal consort of the ruler: Moyoo
The junior wives of the ruler: Linalinga
The Heir Apparent: Mulena of Sesheke, i.e. the Prince of
The Princess Royal: Mulena Mukwai
The consort of the Princess Royal: Mulundwelu
The ruler’s official sister: Makoshi
The sons of the ruler: Mwana’ Mulena, i.e. Prince
The daughter of the ruler: Mukwai, i.e. Princess
The wife of a prince: Natandi
The husband of a princess: Ishee
Bana Bamulena: ‘children of the king’, i.e. the Royal Family
Bo-ishee: husbands of Princesses
Bulena Bwamalozi: Kingship
Bulozi: land of the Lozi
Induna: chief, counsellor of state
Ishee: title of a husband of a princess, usually conferred
with a new title on marriage
Kashandi: council chamber
Khotla: council hall
Kuomboka: the ceremony in which the Litunga journeys in
state from his summer residence to his winter palace
Kuta: parliament
Lealui: the summer palace of the Litunga
Lokombwa: stewards
Likwanabi: commoner relatives of the Royal Family
Lilalo: sub-district
Limulunga: the winter palace of the Litunga
Linabi: the descendants of kings through males and females
for five generations, i.e. the Royal Family
Linalinga: junior wife of a King
Lindumeleti: representative of the King in an outlying
district, sent to supervise the collection of tribute
Litunga: ‘the earth’, i.e. the King
Litunga la Mboela: ‘earth of the south’. The Princess Royal
Lutatai: Royal pavillion
Lutungalo: a royal drum
Mabuto: royal bodyguard
Mafulo: palace
Makoshi: title of the Litunga’s official sister
Malozi: the People of Barotseland
Manduna: counsellors of the right
Maoma: Royal drums
Mbumu wa Litunga: ‘great one of the earth’, the King
Meyana: wives of ruling chiefs, other than the King
Moyoo: the title of the principal wife of the Litunga
Mukwai: Princess
Mulena: Chief
Mulena Yomuhulu: ‘the Great Chief’, i.e. the King
Mulena Mukwai: ‘Chief Princess’, i.e. Princess Royal
Mulena Mukwai Mboanyikana:
Mulundwelu: Prince Consort to the Mulena Mukwai
Mutanga: subject
Mwana’ Mulena: ‘son of the king’, i.e. Prince
Mwana Mulena Kufuna: the usual title of the Litunga’s eldest
son, the “first Prince”, or “marshal of the Princes”
Mwana Mulena Kaluwe: the usual title of the Litunga’s
second son
Mwenduko: Royal drum
Nalikwanda: Royal barge
Natamoyo wa Lwambi: ‘the sanctuary of the north’, a
Minister of State to the Princess Royal
Natamoyo wa Namuso: ‘the sanctuary of the north’, a
Minister of State to the King, usually a prince of the blood
Natandi: title of a wife of a Prince of the blood
Ngambela: Prime Minister, Chief Minister
Nguana-Morena: Prince
Pitso: National Council
Sambi: chief counsellor of the Princess Royal
Sicaba saMalozi: the Lozi Nation
Silozi: the language of the Lozi
Solami: Chief Counsellor of the King


  1. No ! we can not go there now — that can wait until we get rid of Lungu . We have a more vicious case of a dictator in our land . The case of bulozi is straight forward – HH and the upnd can tackle that very easily : God has given us a think tank , we need these men and women for this country to go 4ward . Please don’t bring that now .


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