The Current Litunga, King of Barotseland, is not Lubosi Imwiko II

08 January 2021
His Majesty the Litunga, Imwiko II - CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE


The correct name of the current Litunga (King) of Barotseland is simply Imwiko II and NOT Lubosi Imwiko II.

This is because when Kings are enthroned in Barotseland, they shed off their personal names and will only be addressed by their Kingly name.

Hence, Imwiko II is his correct Kingly name while Lubosi Imwiko II is wrong because Lubosi, his personal name, no longer applies to him.

This error has mostly been perpetuated by the Zambian media, and we too are guilty of having tolerated this anomaly, but must now try to correct this error since we know better.

Thus, even those kings before Imwiko II were often addressed incorrectly. For example, Yeta IV, King before Imwiko II, was always reported as Ilute Yeta IV. This too is wrong because Ilute, his personal name should no longer apply to him upon becoming Litunga.

Similarly, Lewanika II before him was popularly but wrongly called Mbikusita Lewanika II. Again here, Mbikusita, his personal name should no longer apply to him upon his ascension to the throne.

However, Mwanawina III was often correctly addressed simply as Mwanawina III, but also in his case, we must especially add that he could also be addressed as Sir Mwanawina III, KBE because he was particularly honoured with the special British title 'Sir' for his role in World War I. He was additionally, knighted as Knight Commander - of the Order - of the British Empire (KBE) for his additional involvement in the Second World War by the British Monarch.

Mwanawina III was honoured during the famous New Year Honours of 1959, at which the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, honoured and knighted many people in the Commonwealth realms, including Mwanawina III who was actually given two Honours; the SIR medal for the Services he rendered to the British as a Sergeant during the First World War, commandeering 2000 Barotse porters up to Serenje (today's Northern Zambia); and the second Medal of Knight Commander - of the Order - of the British Empire, KBE, for the services he rendered when he was the Senior Chief of Mankoya, by assigning his subjects to provide rubber from Mambongo tree species, a special rubber substance, needed for weaponry hardware during World War II to the British.

So, Sir Mwanawina III, KBE and King Mwanawina III are both correct.

Imwiko I, the Litunga before Mwanawina III and father of Imwiko II, must not be addressed as Mwanañono Imwiko I, but simply as Imwiko I because Mwanañono, his personal name no longer applies to him.

Yeta III should never be Litia Yeta III but simply Yeta III because Litia, his personal name no longer applies to him. However, Yeta III can also be written as Yeta III, CBE, as he was also made Commander of the British Empire after he led a British regiment to East Africa in World War I.

Lewanika I should never be written as Lubosi Lewanika I, but simply as Lewanika I because Lubosi, his personal name no longer applies to him.

You can also prefix them as Litunga or King, thus, Litunga Imwiko II and King Imwiko II are both correct.

Note, also, that the correct title of address to the Litunga is His Majesty or HM.

This is because His or Her Royal Highness (HRH) is reserved for their Royal Highnesses, the reigning Princes and Princesses, who rule over various provincial or regional Principalities of Barotseland. The term HRH can also be used when addressing all other regal personalities such as Their Royal Highnesses the chiefs of various chiefdoms or sons and daughters of the King or Prince/Princess regal.

Just for the record, in Barotseland, the Litunga does not preside over any chiefdom or any regional/provincial principality, but rather he presides over the entire Kingdom, which is a collection of regional/provincial principalities, with several chiefdoms under them. In fact, the term ‘Paramount Chief’ must rightly apply to those who head these Regional/Provincial Principalities because these are the Paramount ‘Chiefs’ over their Principalities, with many ‘chiefs’ under them, making them paramount chiefs of sorts.

It is these chiefs (Or sub-chiefs in Zambian classification) who are chiefs over their chiefdoms, although the term Chief is itself alien to Barotseland.

The Litunga is not a 'chief' or 'paramount chief' because he actually has no 'chiefdom' or principality he presides over. This is why you will never find the Litunga on any Zambian National Registration Card (NRC), or even any head of a provincial/regional Principality such as Amukena or Inyambo, etc, as might be the case with say ‘Chitimukulu’, under the chief field of the NRC. The chief slot is reserved only for the sub-chiefs and never for the heads of the provincial/regional Principalities or the Litunga when it comes to Barotseland.

However, it is correct to say that the Litunga is 'Paramount Ruler' over Barotseland because he actually rules and has jurisdiction over the entire nation and territory of Barotseland as King!

The above classification is unique to Barotseland, therefore, trying to dismantle the classification just creates unnecessary errors and confusion.

Did you also know that the appropriate way to address the Prime Minister or Ngambela of Barotseland is His/Your Honor or My Lord the Prime Minister?

The other Ministers or Induna are also to be addressed as Your Lordship, His Lordship, or Their Lordships if male and Your Ladyship, Her Ladyship, or Their Ladyships if female.

In siLozi, the term My Lord / My Lordship or My Lady / My Ladyship is simply Mulena’aka or Malena’aka. Their alternative, Muña’aka, can also be used.

  • Social network:

Leve Your Comment

You are free to comment here below in accordance to our Comments Policy here

Once you have posted your comment, rest assured that it will be published, even if you don’t see it immediately, as the Comments Cache system needs to refresh and reload before your comment could become visible.

Thank you for your continued interest in our stories!



The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.