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MZUZU--Inkosi ya Makhosi M'mbelwa IV will be buried Saturday at Edingeni in Mzimba district following all funeral rites for Ngoni chiefs, Senior Chief Inkosi Mpherembe has said.
The rites include putting the body in a sitting position, wrapping it with nguwo (cow hide) and placing a cattle gallbladder on the body to symbolise the power of the deceased chief.
According to Inkosi Mpherembe, the ceremony will involve mourning of the late chief with Ngoni dance.
"A gun will be fired before taking M'mbelwa IV's body from the house in Mzimba to the burial site where a gun will be fired again before lowering the body into teh grave," Mpherembe told The Nation.
After the lowering of the body into the grave, the first born son of late M'mbelwa IV will stand on the side of his father's grave and carry the arrow his father was using as a symbol of his ascendancy to power.
Burial of the chief, Mpherembe said, will be followed by a mourning period and shaving of the mourners’ heads.
M'mbelwa IV, who has been accorded a state funeral, has been mourned by hundreds including Pres Micheal Sata of the Republic of Zambia.
In a statement the Zambian State House released Wednesday, Sata described late Ngoni paramount chief as a great and selfless traditional leader.
"The untimely death of the paramount chief is indeed a great loss not only for the people of Malawi, but for the Zambian people as a whole; he will be remembered as a great traditional leader who dedicated his life to selfless service up to the time of his death.
"During the period of your national mourning, we commiserate with you and join you in spirit, prayerful reflection, and beseech the Almighty to grant the bereaved royal family and the entire Malawi nation His abundant mercy, solace and fortitude to bear this great loss. May the soul of Paramount Chief M'mbelwa rest in eternal peace," read the statement in part.
©The Maravi Post 2013