Traditional Kings and Chiefs of Zambia

The Government of Zambia recognizes 4 Paramount chiefs, 43 Senior chiefs and 241 Chiefs. Their royal titles differ with the four most senior ones being called Kings or Paramount chiefs Traditional entities are recognized by Government with representatives seating in the House of Chiefs under the constitution. Membership is 50 members from the 10 provinces (each province ,5 chiefs). The Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (MOCTA ) is responsible for overall policy, planning, effective coordination and implementation of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Traditional Affairs programes in Zambia.

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Litunga of Barotseland (Lozi people)

HM Litunga (King) Lubosi Imwiko II current reigning monarch of Barotseland kingdom or Lozi people of Zambia. He has been King since 2000. He is the surviving son of late King Imwiko I who reigned from 1945-1948. He was married to late Princess Mulako who held the title Muoyo Muamba. She died in 2014

The King has four adult sons and others

Prince Richard Lubosi Imwiko,

Prince Akapelwa Imwiko,

Prince Brian Mwanangono Imwiko,

Prince Mwendaweli Imwiko

He is the custodian of the kuomboka ceremony in which he moves during the rainy season from the lealui palace located at lower grounds to the limulunga royal palace located on higher grounds through the zambezi river in boats. This ceremony is witnessed by the people.

Kalonga Gawa Undi of Chewa people

HM King Kalonga Gawa Undi XI of Chewa kingdom of Chewa people of Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. He is sometimes referred to as paramount chief a title used wrongly by the colonial british. He reigns over all Chewa people in these countries and has subordinate chiefs – 42 in Zambia, 33 in Mozambique and 137 in Malawi.

He is the custodian of the famous Kulamba ceremony, a huge annul August ceremony whereby all the chewa subordinate chiefs in the three countries come to the kingdom headquarters at Mkaika to pay allegiance to the King and inform him of the happenings at their levels of jurisdiction. It also celebrates the history of chewa people and was banned innthe colonial period by Christian British who saw it as a pagan culture. The ceremony has existed from 15th century to date.

Photo :

Mwata Kazembe of Kazembe Lunda kingdom/people

Mwata Kazembe XIX (Paramount Chief or Senior Chief) Paul Mpemba Kaniembo of Kazembe Lunda kingdom, Zambia is the 19th monarch of the Lunda speaking people of Kazembe kingdom, luapela province, Zambia and was chosen king in 1998 at the age of 36. He is married with four children, two sons and two daughters. Kazembe kingdom was at the helm of precolonial trade and was mentioned by David Livingstone.

He is the custodian of the Umutomboko annual ceremony which attracts tourists and lunda people from all over.

Photo : Zambia tourism agency
President Edgar Lungu of Zambia greets the monarch
Photo : Zambia daily mail

Paramount chief Mpezeni of Ngoni people

Paramount chief Mpezeni iv of Ngoni people of Zambia.
He has been monarch since 1981.
He is a descendant of Zwangendaba who fled the mfecane shaka zulu war in South Africa and settled in Zambian. He leads the ngoni people every year to celebrate Ncwala ceremony.

Photo : Lusaka times

Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II of Soli People

HRH Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II Elizabeth Mulenje of Soli people of chongwe district, Zambia. Most powerful female royal traditional leader in Zambia. She has been monarch since 1976 and served as minister of home affairs from 1979 to 1986. In 2013 she became the first female chairperson of the house of chiefs of Zambia.

Chieftainess Nkomeshya is the custodian of the Chakwela Makumbi ceremony (pulling down the clouds) in which she plays the role of the rainmaker. She oleads with the ancestors for rain and plants the first seed for the growing season. She is a known advocate for ending child marriages

Chitimukulu of Bemba people

HM 38th Chitimukulu (King or Paramount Chief ) Kanyanta-Manga II Henry Sosola of Bemba people of Zambia. He succeeded his late predecessor in 2015. All bemba kings belong to the crocodile or Ngwena clan making it aa symbol or royal emblem in most functions.

He is the custodian of the Ukusefya pa Ngwena or festival of the crocodile in which the Bemba people of Zambia  enact their migration from angola to present homeland Zambia. The King is carried ina crocodile shaped pallaquin at the ceremony.

Senior Chief Mukuni of Leya people

HRH Senior Chief Munokalya Mupotola IV Siloka III Mukuni of Leya people of Livingstone, Zambia. He is the 19th chief of the mukuni dynasty and holds the title Lion King of Victoria falls as the custodian and was selected to the throne after the death of former chief. The mukuni royal palace is located in the Victoria falls region.

The businessman is the Tourism brain behind Mukuni
big five which offers walks and interaction and with cheetahs, lions and elephants. He is also the brain behind mukuni royal trust that  has investments in hotels along the zambezi river and Victoria falls  region. The chief presides three annual ceremonies

Senior Chieftainess Malembeka of Lamba people, Mpongwe District, Zambia

HRH Chieftainess Malembeka of the Lamba people, bulima, Mpongwe District, Zambia. She is one of the 25 chiefs of Lamba people of Zambia and DRC Congo and one of the four only women chiefs.

She is the custodian of the Kwilimuna annual ceremony celebrated by her people.

Full list of all chiefs in Zambia by the ministry of culture and traditional affairs below. 👇🏿

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