(THE REAL NATIONAL AGENDA)
A NATION OF UNSUNG HEROES AND WITHOUT CELEBRATIONS
By DR DANIEL MVULA SHIMUNZA
A GREAT nation, is known by its heroes and celebrations. In Zambia, we bury and demonise them. Zambia has had notable figures in her history, as well as modern times.
We must begin a culture of national celebrations of our heroes, and sing about them. The “Presidential Honours,” are just one of the ways, to celebrate our great men and women. But, they are not enough. We need a culture, of celebrations of greatness. This generation, must find ways to retrace our steps, to find these unsung heroes, and celebrate them; unreservedly, honestly, and urgently.
The sincere respect we accord our heroes, makes us build a culture of future achievements, as we build on the shoulders of great men and women. Our history has been distorted, and must be re- constructed from stereotypes.
De-construction and re-constructions are important for creating an accurate narrative of our national existence. We have all risen on the shoulders of great men and women in life, families, and nation. The voices of our heroes, must once more inspire us, and not die silently.
In Politics, we have not celebrated some people, as we should as a nation. One such person, is the man larger than life, who the New York Times on November 15, 1968, carried the story of his death.
Litunga (King) Mwanawina Lewanika
It is the hero of our independence, Litunga (King) Mwanawina Lewanika (III). We have overlooked this single man, who was a signatory of the Independence Constitutional Agreement of Zambia, in the Barotseland Agreement, of 1964.
How can we ignore, such a figure, as a nation, and move progressively with blessings? This betrayal, is costing us today!
Zambia’s history of liberation ignores him, relegating him to obscurity, and starts with now late former President Kenneth Kaunda, which is a blatant distortion.
Look at the title of the man, “Sir.” Zambia, is a formation of two states, namely; Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia. This is where the slogan,” One Zambia, One Nation,” comes from. Two states, which formed one unitary, indivisible state.
Self-preservation, and gross insecurity, in the First Republic, led to marginalisation of this man, and his people.
Dr Kenneth David Kaunda
The deceptions of all governments, thus far, leaves us as a nation, in a covenantal-breach of brotherhood. There are serious consequences of breaking covenants of brotherhood, which Dr Kenneth David Kaunda did, sadly.
He is the founding father of the nation, who agreed to unite two British Protectorates, namely; Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia, to form the present unitary, indivisible state of Zambia.
The immense contribution of this man, leaves a sad curse on our nation, if not handled well. His spirit remains grieved, for the efforts of the founding “fathers” of our nation, who sought to overshadow his legacy deliberately, by self-preservation and insecurity.
This man as a King, was selfless. He sacrificed his prestige, people, and nation, for a greater good, yet remains uncelebrated in our history. He was relegated to the historical and political backyard.
Sadly, to date, his people have been ignored, by successive governments to honour the broken promises of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. I urge the new dawn administration, to urgently, seek godly counsel on how to honour this king of Barotseland, otherwise Zambia will never progress, as intended.
He sponsored six of the Kaunda administration’s first Cabinet, to study abroad. When Kaunda sought audience with the Queen of Britain, they were chased, until this King was party to the independence arrangements, which led to the formation of Zambia.
Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula.
The Other man, is Mr. Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula. We have not celebrated well, this great lion of Zambian political foundation. A leader of the African National Congress (ANC), which started in Barotseland, spreading like wildfire, to Northern Rhodesia.
It was a fire then, leading the liberation struggle of our people, way before Zambia National Congress (ZANC), and United Party for National Independence (UNIP), existed.
Both before, and the aftermath of the alliance of (UNIP), and (ANC), is what won our much celebrated national independence. Without this alliance, there would be no freedom for Zambia.
The only other opposition alliance to win elections, is the current UPND Alliance of 12 political parties, who must be respected, for their selflessness, and liberating Zambians in 2021.
Mr. Nkumbula, must take his place,in our history “proper.” The propaganda against him, must be corrected, for legacy and spirits posterity, not to judge us harshly.
The man was left in the backyard of Zambian history deliberately, to push a narrative of politics without him. Like the other unsung heroes, we must place this man in his proper standing, albeit, his short-comings like anyone of us.
Human fallibility, is normal, but we all have the possibility of change for the better, and contribute to national development. President Hakainde Hichilema, did well to visit his burial site, but much more must be done, to honour this legacy.
Dr Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba
The Second Republican President, Dr Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba, has not been celebrated well. He led the founding of democracy and economic liberalism. His spirit cannot rest in peace, as his legacy has been almost obliterated.
The enemies of his legacy, have sought to efface his indelible contribution. His Court cases for corruption turned out to be a mere vindictive attempt to demonise him, at all cost.
No case on record, in our jurisdiction was won against him, by the deceptive Task Force on Corruption, then.
The new dawn administration, must by Cabinet decide the justice, urgently, to be done for this man, and his suffering family. The only President, to serve two consecutive terms successfully, and handover power smoothly, to a successor thus far on record, must be celebrated.
The man who championed the removal of the brutal dictatorial regime of the One-Party State, has not be honoured why? Kaunda, was “wamuyaya, Kumulu ni Lesa, panshi Kaunda” (Interpreted, Kaunda Forever, God in heaven, Kaunda on earth).
Zambia a Christian Nation
The man who declared Zambia, as a Christian Nation, remains a footnote in our history why? The silence of successive governments, to restore back what the Courts ruled in his favour, must be frowned upon by all.
The new dawn administration, must pay back what the Courts ruled in the
acquittal of Dr Chiluba. He served his country well, regardless, of his fallibilities like all men. Injustice, must be abhorred by all from anywhere, and everywhere!
Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda
The Fourth Republican President, Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda, is another unsung hero. Demonised, yet he served his country. Sitting down with him over a cup of tea makes you feel completely around experience and wisdom.
Passionate about his nation, this patriot negotiated many national and international disputes. Recently, after the August 12, 2021 elections, we all saw his subtle role to bring together Sixth Republican President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and President-elect then, in Mr. Hakainde Hichilema.
What a statesman! We need this unsung hero, now and in future.
The other unsung political hero, is President Edith Nawakwi. A trail-blazer, among women in politics. Hate her or love her, she i; a fighter, smart, articulate, intelligent, and resilient.
We all may not agree with her politics sometimes, but as a person in her own way, she has made a contribution to Zambian public life. At the helm of a male-dominated sphere, she has stood her grounds, as a force to reckon with. Like a rose among the lilies, she still is a voice of the people.
As a Minister of Finance, in the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), she served her country, not without controversy.
She was a vicious attacker, of the now Seventh Republican President, in the August 12, 2021 elections. Many would not have agreed with her, but such is our democracy, maturing to a point of tolerating divergent views from people like her, albeit, the motives. We must all remain constructive, and make a positive contribution, to national development.
Maureen Nkandu Chileshe
In Journalism, Ms. Maureen Nkandu Chileshe, must be celebrated. Rising like a shining star from national obscurity, to stardom in the Journalism industry on the international stage, is no mean achievement. It takes; brains, skills, gifting, plus smart work, to become an icon of the Fourth Estate. We hear so little about this lady at home, yet she is a great icon of the industry.
The new generation of media persons must emulate such icons, and rise to prominence at home and abroad, in transformative and investigative Journalism. We are tired, of the shallow current “populist” Journalism.
Journalism, is not for the lazy people in media houses. It takes smart investigative and transformative approaches, to ascend to the pinnacle of great reporting. Zambia must tell our own story of our unsung heroes in an intelligent narrative, not always painting a darker side of ourselves.
Dr. Nevers Mumba
In the Church, Dr. Nevers Mumba, remains a Voice of God, and reason of our generation. Extending his leadership to politics, the man must be honoured in this life by this nation. His fallibilities, are overshadowed by his contributions. Whether he becomes President or not, is up to God, but his consistency thus far, is admirable. The nation and the church, must honour this great servant of God. He has fought demons, and political battles, not for himself, but his nation.
The great Victory Bible Church; broadcasts, conferences, and Bible College, commanded national and international attention. He has entered the annals of our national history, as a statesman, serving as, Republican Vice President and later, as High Commissioner to Canada, respectively.
He has walked the challenging path of a drum-beater or major of a fight for morality and integrity, in leadership. A gift to his generation, and nation, remains an unsung hero. Zambia, do not wait, until it’s too late, to honour your heroes, I pray!
In Football, Kalusha Bwalya, remains a legend. New names are coming up, but we all cannot forget the “Great Kalu,” as he is popularly known. His scoring exploits would leave all of us mesmerised at home and abroad.
Inspiring many young men and women today, he has left an indelible mark of the football story of our nation, for generations to come.
Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu
Inspired by the lions, like late Mr. Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu, still one of the top scorers, football remains the top sport of our nation. We must keep celebrating the likes of celebrated FIFA referee Janny Sikazwe, who are lifting the Zambian flag at home and abroad, regardless, of recent setbacks. To err is human, to forgive, is divine.
There are many unsung heroes of our nation in various fields. However, these are picked, only as a sample of what we must endeavour to do as a generation. We must celebrate and sing about our national heroes in life and death.
Consequently, time will fail me and space, to write about: Alick Nkhata, Lottie Mwale, Paul Ngozi, Anna Mwale, Emmanuel Mulemena, Smokey Haangala, Ackim Simukonda, Ephraim the Son of Africa, Kings Malembe, Justice Gertrude Chawatama, Makebi Zulu, John Sangwa, Ms. Linda Kasonde, Ms. Mary Mulenga, Ms. Mizinga Melu, JK, Esther Chungu, Masha Chilemena, Kenneth Maduma, Bishop Joshua Banda, Bishop Edgar N’gambi, and Bishop Joe Imakando, and many more, too numerous to mention. Let us honour, and celebrate our national heroes now!
Dr. Daniel Mvula Shimunza MNT Founding President
For First World Zambia Ideology.