MWANSABOMBWE District was yesterday a hive of activity as the main event of the 2014 Mutomboko traditional ceremony of the Lunda people of Luapula Province officially got underway.
Kick-starting the event was the pre-ceremony that took place in the morning at Mpembwe near Kanyimbo Village, known also as the hiding place for Senior Chief Mwata Kazembe and was followed by the ‘Umutentamo’ in the afternoon.
The Umutentamo event is more of a small court procession held within the palace premises, where Mwata Kazembe installs his chosen village headmen.
Mwata Kazembe’s chief political advisor, Peter Chanshi, who is also spokesperson of both the Mwata and the Lunda Royal Establishment, described this year’s ceremony as a ‘land mark’ because it is being held when the country is commemorating 50 years of independence.
Mr Chanshi said in an interview yesterday that the 2014 Mutomboko Ceremony had been organised in a unique manner because the activities had been tailored in line with the country’s jubilee celebrations.
He was happy with the impressive atmosphere around Kazembe Village where hundreds of people had by Thursday already arrived to witness the Mutomboko ceremony.
“The mood is surprising and amazing looking at the number of people coming through. By yesterday (Thursday) hundreds of people from various parts of the country, including Southern Province, had already arrived to be part of the activities in this year’s ceremony,” he said.
Mr Chanshi said all was in place for the successful hosting of the Mutomboko ceremony, which reaches its climax today when The Mwata rises to the throne to participate in the victory dance – Mutomboko – at the main arena.
Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo said Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma would grace this year’s ceremony.
Meanwhile, locals seized the opportunity to cash in on the Mutomboko by increasing prices for goods and services such as accommodation.
A check around Kazembe area found guesthouses pegging a relatively small room with a single-bed at K150 and K200 from the normal price of K30 and K50, respectively.