Complied by Francis Pelekelo
6th February, 2019.
The Nkoyas have for many years using Zambian sponsorship contested the legality and relevance of the royal establishment at Naliele as the headquarters for the senior chief for Kaoma district (now Kaoma, Luampa and Nkeyema). As a prelude, we shall give a brief narration of the reasons which led to the establishment of Naliele in 1937.
It must be noted that the Nkoyas, unlike other tribes in Barotseland, were a disorganized and uncivil society because they were unaccustomed to administration and education. They are fundamentally disunited, fragmented, disconnected and lacking political organization and judicial structure. Basically they are full of intrigue, unpredictable and barbaric. A civilized society can function well only when there is order. This required the administration of authority and good governance. The alternative is chaos and anarchy. The Naliele kuta therefore was established to provide proper organization of good governance, good order, education, proper judiciary and public administration; and above all to set the Nkoya free from themselves. This called for the arm of government to be brought nearer.
In the early 1930s the colonial administration established various administration posts called British Overseas Military Administration, (acronym BOMA) at Mongu, Senanga, Kalabo, Mankoya and Sesheke. In these areas there were already princes or princesses who were running the affairs of the Barotse Native Government (BNG), except for Mankoya. The traditional affairs of Mankoya district were administered from Lealui. Therefore to complete the exercise, the Governor of Northern Rhodesia in consultation with the Litunga and the Resident Commissioner proposed the establishment of a similar position of a resident prince to provide leadership and uniformity in administration, more so that the Barotse Native Government was introducing the Barotse Native Treasury. A meeting was called which was addressed by the Governor in which all the area chiefs from Mankoya district were invited. Mwene Mutondo Kanyincha did not attend but he did send a representative. The Governor outlined the functions of the native treasury to be established which was an arm of the Barotse Native Government and how it would be applied. He explained the requirement to open a district Kuta in the district to dispense law and order and provide effective public administration as was the case with other districts.
All the area chiefs welcomed the new arrangement as it would reduce the travel challenges to Mongu/Lealui for their allowances and other duties; these would now be performed locally. In 1937 the Naliele royal establishment was opened and Mwanawina was appointed to be the new senior chief for Mankoya district. The Naliele Kuta got off to a good start. Mwanawina coordinated the affairs of the district very well, and Mutondo and Kahare were each given two positions on the Kuta. Thus the administration of the Barotse Native Government was based at Naliele in line with other BNG regional posts at Nalolo for Senanga, Libonda for Kalabo, and Mwandi for Sesheke. From 1937 the following are the people who have ruled Naliele palace.
1. Mwanawina Lewanika: He was the first person to be a Prince at Naliele from 1937-1948.
2. Amukena I-Isiteketo Lawanika: He was the second person to be a Prince at Naliele from 1948-1957.
3. Mwendaweli Lewanika: He was the third person to be a Prince at Naliele Palace from 1957-1968.
4. Litia Mbikusita: He was the third person to be a Prince at Naliele from 1968-1994.
5. Amukena II-Makweti Isiteketo Lewanika: He is the fifth person to be a Prince at Naliele from 1996 to date. Please note that the seat was vacant between the periods of 1994 to 1996 to look for the right candidate.
Kaoma district, has thirteen (13) area chiefs or Silalo Indunas taking into account the various tribal groups which inhabit the district in order to dispense public administration not based on tribal affiliation. These are:
1. Chief Mwanambuyu (Kwangwa) for Lukute Silalo;
2. Chief Mwene Kasimba (Mbunda) for Lalafuta Silalo;
3. Chief Mufaya (Totela) for Mayukwayukwa Silalo;
4. Chief Kabilamwandi (Luyana) for Luambuwa Silalo;
5. Chief Libinga (Subiya) for Mulamatila Silalo;
6. Chief Kakumba (Kwangwa) for Shishamba Silalo;
7. Chief Mwene Kahare (Nkoya) for Litoya Silalo;
8. Chief Afumba (Luyana) for Liyunyi Silalo;
9. Chief Mwene Mutondo (Nkoya) for Shikombwe Silalo;
10. Chief Siwiwaliondo (Luyana) for Nalifalamba Silalo;
11. Chief Mwanatete (Nkoya) for Kahumbu Silalo;
12. Cief Kasabi (Luvale) for Kabaa Silalo and
13. Chief Kanguya (Luvale) for Mulwa Silalo.
The district has a permanent representation by Induna Mbongwana at Lealui and had several representatives on the Katengo, the de-facto parliament for Barotseland. For example, during the period approaching the independence of Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland, the Barotse Native Government was reformed. After the reforms which excluded chiefs from participating in the National Council, each district was represented equally on the Katengo (Parliament) by five elected Councillors and nominated councillors. Mankoya (Kaoma) district had the following representatives: Mr. Kenneth Mbandu Kalyangu (Mbunda) Mr.Kashiwa Mutaima (Nkoya) Mr.Jevans Kapatiso (Luvale/Luchazi) Mr. Simon Liyoka (Nkoya) and Mr. Misheck Mutti (Mbunda). Mr. Simon Liyoka was appointed to Sir Mwanawina’s cabinet and held the portfolio of Minister for Transport and Communications.
Among the nominated councillors were; Induna Imangambwa Mr. Munalula, Mwanamulena Imasiku, Induna Kabilamwandi from Naliele Palace and Mwanashihemi Ngwelela (Mutondo), Mwanashihemi Muleka (Kahare) and Mr. Kankolomwena represented the Nkoya community.
But the Nkoya chief Mwene Mutondo wants to claim that he is the senior chief for Kaoma district. The Nkoyas are even attempting to chase other tribes from Kaoma claiming the land is theirs against Barotseland traditional system and modern way of life.
Barotseland Post (2017). Scramble for Barotseland: The Intransigence of the Nkoya of Mwene Mutondo – by Nyambe Namushi, Induna Yutanga.