The Zambia Police Service has announced that it will deploy 600 of its officers to this weekend’s Kuomboka ceremony.
President Edgar Lungu will be the Guest of Honour while opposition leaders Hakainde Hichilema and his Vice Geoffrey Mwamba are also expected to be in attendance.
The ceremony which is a big tourist attraction is held to mark the shifting of the Lozi King Litunga from his traditional palace in Limulunga to the day parts in Lealui.
The annual festivities of Kuomboka will start from the Royal Capital of Lealui, and will conclude in the Summer Capital, in Limulunga. Kuomboka means “getting out of water” in Lozi and the celebration takes place at the end of the rainy season, when all lower lands are flooded by the Zambezi River, and it redraws the move of the king of the Lozi people, the so-called Litunga.
This year, the royal barge Nalikwanda will demand more paddlers than ever (180 instead of 120), making this celebration the grandest ever.
Famous for its big papier-mâché Elephant on the barge, the Nalikwanda takes a whole day to cover the distance between the two villages.
The last time the ceremony was held was in 2012.
Low water levels on the Zambezi plains and the death of the Queen have been officially blamed for the hiatus.