This is part of a series on 5 Reasons Why Africa is Poor (#1 Weak Institutions, #2 Culture, #3 Religion (this article), #4 Geography and #5 Poor Governance) of which this one looks at the third reason, that being our religious beliefs.
According to Wikipedia, a religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that aim to explain the meaning of life, the origin of life, or the Universe as we know it.
In that are also rituals and daily activities that help individuals connect to a higher power and accomplish the will of that being. Usually highly emphasized are works and activities that ensure virtuousness is maintained. One of the major defining characteristics of religion is that if this lifestyle is not observed, there are dire consequences in this as well as the next life.
In order to do this subject justice and not get misunderstood, we need to first open with a clear distinguishing between being religious and being spiritual in the truest form and way. This is gonna be evangelical in nature but I would be doing a great disservice if I did not show you the difference herein.
Religion vs. True Christianity
There is a great difference between RELIGIOSITY, CHURCHIANITY and CHRISTIANITY. Many are GOING TO CHURCH but few are GOING DOWN THE ROAD WHICH LEADS TO LIFE (Matthew 7:13-14). Many name the Name of Christ (2 Tim. 2:19) and claim to be Christians but few understand what a Christian really is. Many are RELIGIOUS but few are RIGHT WITH GOD. May God help us to understand the difference between RELIGION and true CHRISTIANITY as set forth in the Word of God, the Holy Bible.
In all the paragraphs outlined in this section, the first refers to religion and how one lives by it, the second relates to true faith as a Christian and how we live by it. After reading this part you will immediately realize that we have many folk who are religious and call themselves Christians when they should in fact be called Churchians!
“Salvation is something I must do. I must somehow earn or gain salvation by the way I live.”
“Salvation is something only God can do. Salvation is of the LORD!” (Eph. 2:8-9; Jonah 2:9).
Religion is summed up in one word: DO – man trying to DO different things to please God and earn His favor.
Christianity is summed up in one word: DONE – Christ dying on the cross to save sinful man (John 19:30).
The religious man is busy “working” (doing good works) in order to be saved.
The saved person is “not working” (Rom. 4:5) but is RESTING upon the finished work of Another (that other being Jesus Christ)
TRUSTING (Acts 16:31)
A Work to Do which is never done (How can anyone work well enough and hard enough to earn salvation?)
A Word to Believe (1 Pet. 1:25) about a Work that is Done (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
Man hoping to save himself
God saving hopeless man (1 Tim. 1:15)
RELIGION is man trying to BRING HIMSELF TO GOD (by human effort, good works, ritualism, traditionalism, sacraments, etc.).
CHRISTIANITY is Christ BRINGING US TO GOD on the basis of what He did for us on the cross (1 Peter 3:18).
Religion is man trusting his own good works (Titus 3:5).
Salvation is man trusting the good work which the Lord Jesus did on the cross (Rom. 3:22-26).
A religious ritual
A real relationship (John 17:3)
Enjoying life (John 6:47; 10:10).
“I must reform my life and turn over a new leaf”
“I must be born again” (John 3:7).
Knowing Someone (John 17:3)
Man trying to please God in the wrong way (Rom. 8:8 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God”).
Man truly pleasing God in the only way (Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”).
Seeking to earn God's favor by works
Receiving God's favor by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8 and see Eph. 1:6).
“I can work my way to heaven and earn my salvation” (Romans 6:23 teaches that we have earned our way to hell: “the wages of sin is death”)
“I could never live well enough to earn my way to heaven. Christ had to pay the price for my salvation” (1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
“Salvation is something that a person must earn.”
“Salvation is a free gift” (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 4:10).
The sinner sees himself as good (Luke 18:11-12).
The sinner sees himself as sinful (Luke 18:13).
The religious man compares himself with others (Luke 18:11).
The saved man sees himself as God sees him (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 53:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12).
TRUSTING SELF (Luke 18:9)
TRUSTING CHRIST (Eph. 1:12-13)
BOASTING IN SELF (Luke 18:11-12)
BOASTING IN THE LORD (1 Cor. 1:29-31; Eph. 2:9)
“I have kept the law! I have done that which God has required” (Matthew 19:16-20).
“I have broken the law but I am trusting the One who came into this world to save guilty lawbreakers” (1 Tim. 1:15).
A religious man trying to earn his way to heaven by works may be likened to a man trying to swim from New York to London by his own efforts and energy and strength. He will never make it!
The person who is saved by faith is likened to a man getting on a ship in New York and trusting that ship to bring him safely to London. This man simply rests upon the ship and lets the ship do all the work.
The religious man is seeking to establish his own righteousness (Rom. 10:3).
The saved man is satisfied with the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
Religion is pictured in Genesis 3 by the fig leaves that Adam and Eve made for themselves – a terrible covering (Gen. 3:7 and see Isaiah 64:6).
Salvation is pictured in Genesis 3 by the coats of skin which God provided by way of the shedding of blood – a perfect covering (Gen. 3:21; Rev. 19:8).
CAIN'S RELIGION – “I bring to God the labor of my own hands” (Gen. 4:3).
ABEL'S FAITH – “I bring to God a blood sacrifice. An innocent substitute must die to save me” (Gen. 4:4).
Hoping to be saved by good works (a false hope)
Saved unto good works by God's grace (Eph. 2:10).
Religion teaches that good works are the cause of salvation.
The Bible teaches that good works are the result of salvation.
Religion says, “Good works are those things that a person does to be saved.”
The Bible says, “Good works are those things that a saved person does” (James 2:14-26).
“Christ is my Example and Teacher. I try to follow Him and live as He lived.”
Christ is my Savior and Substitute. I am trusting Him and only Him to save me” (Luke 23:40-43).
“I hope I will be saved.” “I think I will be saved.” “I feel that I will be saved, maybe.”
“I KNOW I am saved right now” (1 John 5:13 – “These things have I written unto you that believe on to name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life”).
As has been clearly demonstrated from the above contrasts, Religion is actually an institution established by man for various reasons which include but are not limited to exerting control, instilling morality and dogma. Organized, structured religions all but remove god from the equation.
Spirituality is born in a person (through salvation) and develops in the person (through the daily feeding of the word). It may be kick started by a religion, or it may be kick started by a revelation. Spirituality extends to all facets of a person’s life, not just their days of worship. Spirituality is chosen while religion is often times forced.
The Challenging Factors
Unfortunately, even I as a Christian realize the challenge we face when it comes to true faith and spirituality as we live in a fallen world, and that world has manipulative people seeking power to dominate and control, to their own selfish benefit, and even the church of Christ has such wolves posing in sheep’s clothing, seeking which sheep to devour.
What follows then is the perhaps the most harmful way in which religion (even within the Christian faith’s clergy) has become a millstone around the necks of men and as such has perpetuated poverty in Africa.
By this author’s standards, religion is the foremost factor in propagating poverty more than all the other four factors. If the list were to be arranged in order of harmfulness from the most to the least, then it would be religion at the top of the list, then culture, geography, poor governance and finally weak institutions.
Let us look at precisely how religion does this in Africa.
Religiosity = Poverty
The first big surprise is that there is a very interesting correlation between religious countries and poverty. Did you know that the top 30 richest countries in the world are the least religious whilst the bottom fifty poorest countries are almost 100% religious? What is it that causes poverty to work hand in hand with religiousness?
As you may know, there is only one exception to this above “fact”, the USA; it is generally religious but rich as a nation. I will show you later on why this is the case.
The poor nations’ religions biggest negative teaching emphasizes the “pie in the sky” paradigm. This basically tells people that you are no responsible for all that happens on earth, that you simply “resign” to your fate and best of all, that there is a better life ahead in the afterlife. The emphasis is in being fatalistic in outlook.
The rich nations stopped being fatalistic (as wrongly taught by religious establishment) and instead believed in their capacity and continue to do so to change their future through their own efforts (talents, gifts, skills, efforts, abilities, resources etc.). This has then seen them overcome great odds, identify their weakest points and then collectively work to eliminate these factors.
The USA Anomaly
Their religion emphasizes a “here and now” mindset besides the hereafter. As such the mindset emphasizes is the utilization of all talents and abilities for the betterment of their livelihood today. We are now seeing this form of “prosperity gospel” being preached in poor countries as well, the only challenge being that religious dogma has still a great stranglehold on many people’s mindsets that they either totally reject the truth taught within it, or else, embrace it believing it’s a panacea to wealth without the factors of time, effort and value (skills).
The saddest part is that the vultures that stand behind religion know that the poor are the most vulnerable and thus susceptible to being fleeced out of their hard earned resources, and so use religious dogma as a vehicle to amass wealth (more later).
Tool for Mind Control by the Ruling Class
Above all else, religion has been and continues to be the most powerful tool that is being used by the establishment as a tool for mind control. With religion the ruling class can justify war, oppression and downright slavery.
In case you did not know, Jesus Christ was the most anti-religious person to ever get credited for starting a movement that has spread to the entire world and have the most lasting influence ever. In spite of the fact that religiosity has been born out of his teaching, that is not what He taught – for He loathed any form of religiousness – period. He taught and emphasized spirituality through faith in Him, not men’s institutions.
He was so anti-religious that he tells them off and shows why they are so empty and burdensome. You can read his entire speech in Matthew 23 where he calls them out for what they are – control freaks!
With religion the ruling class can justify inequitable wealth distribution using the five key seeds shown below.
Religion has been used time immemorial as a means to control the poor. This is done by instilling the “suffer now and benefit in the afterlife” mindset. It is this teaching that caused a great awakening of the protestant movement in medieval times when Martin Luther learnt the shocking truth about the mother church after his visit to Rome.
Religion controls the poor by teaching what is termed the “suffering” model. It is thus touted as a mark of piety and emphasized by “works”. If you suffer more, you get a greater reward in the afterlife epitomized by bliss.
Three key factors are erroneously emphasized.
2. Kingdoms and Empires
Religion also promoted their leaders as being gods/god’s reps on earth and thus imposed a ruling and slave class system upon the populace. This has been practiced since ancient times and the idea of nobility finds its greatest strength through religious institutions. Nobility suggests that the ruling class have special blood (sacred) and thus rule over the “commoners” who serve the elite.
One of the darkest chapters in the history of the world was mass enslaving. The ruling class usurped authority from the poor, forced them to convert and then had them enslaved for forced labor. The slave trade was justified by religion. The whites had a right to rule and blacks had no rights but be slaves.
It took centuries before the abolitionists and rights activists begun to work fervently to eliminate it – but not before seeing the great toll it had on the development of a continent and its citizens – the Africans.
This was the “back end” of Christianity as a religion. When missionaries came to preach the gospel, the came with the three C’s namely Christianity, Civilization and Commerce. The idea was convert, modernize and then exploit.
They converted us to Christianity but with a subtle plant, by using imagery of a white Jesus Christ with blonde hair and blue eyes. He looked just like the missionary! He then “civilized” us with his technology and “etiquette” so that we now looked, dressed and talked like him. He further divided us into ethnic groupings and then used color code to separate us. Whites, Indians, Colored and Blacks with blacks being classed the least and whites the most.
This brought about the fifth seed, shown below.
5. White supremacy
White supremacy gets its greatest advocacy in religion. Unfortunately Christianity has been that vehicle that has carried this terrible seed. Here in the propagators of this teaching have taught that “white” is good (white list, white magic etc.) and “black” is evil (black list, black magic etc.)
Slavery, Apartheid and the Jim Crow laws all got their strength and validation from religion through the misapplication of the Bible. The idea was not to teach the truth that sets free, but the lies that bind and enslave masses – in this case the indigenous black Africans.
This teaching was so powerfully engrained by using force, through lynching, through killing, by false teaching and by perpetuating an environment that disenfranchised black people and favored white people through inferior education and lack of equal opportunities in order to keep them blind, deaf, dumb and dead.
By continually placing this teaching everywhere, it did not take long before black Africans believed and even accepted to be trampled on and even stolen from, through colonialism and neocolonialism.
One of the most obvious proofs of this dangerous seed is seen in the “bleaching” of skin so openly practiced by people of darker skin pigmentation. The inferiority complex is so engrained that now lighter skinned is seen as angelic and beautiful whilst darker skinned is seen as poor and classless – This has caused the “skin bleaching” industry to boom.
Therein lies the proof, blacks actually now believe that they are so cursed that they have to change their own identity into that of their oppressor to be seen as progressive. This is evidenced by the term “bazungu” for anyone of influence or power. Very tragic.
The above items have imposed and emphasized the fact that with this “religious” angle, the elite can continue amassing wealth whilst the poor are kept distracted by the emphasized teachings as shown above. They then justify the continued suffering which works both ways
Now, when we know our purpose, therein lies our destiny and then, the journey becomes one of learning, giving and becoming salt and light. Salt is representative of its ability to bring change to the flavor of society to bring about positive and equitable lasting wealth. Light is representative of illumination from the darkness of poverty and illiteracy, bringing about the greater good of society through the establishment of positive legacies for posterity.
In the next article, we will be looking at the matter of how geography has had an adverse effect on the ability for Africa to create and retain wealth.
This is part of a series on 5 Reasons Why Africa is Poor (#1 Weak Institutions, #2 Culture (this one), #3 Religion, #4 Geography and #5 Poor Governance) of which this one looks at the second reason, that being our culture especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Generally speaking, culture is very widespread, so an appropriate description is in order, however, unlike the previous article, we will keep this one short and so get our definition straight from Wikipedia.
Culture is, in the words of E.B. Tylor, “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” The Cambridge English Dictionary states that culture is, “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time.”
Based on the above definition, we could thus say that all manner and behavior wholly embraced and lived by any particular group of people in a given location over time can be correctly termed as their culture. As such, even religion is very much part of culture.
However, for this particular series I have chosen to separate them because religion does especial harm to Africans and reinforces the factors that further intensify poverty on this continent – especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Let us then briefly look at each one and see it as a component of the whole cultural context of this particular dilemma.
Knowledge – The beneficial application of collective information and experience as shared by society and passed on from one generation to the next. With the advent of literacy, this has allowed for better preservation and passing on of ideas more consistently.
We however cannot ignore the effect of poorly funded education sectors and how this in turn negatively affects the proper exploitation of knowledge.
Belief – Herein lies the greatest enemy of progress and growth in Africa (more later)
Art – The preservation of culture in Africa has been a painful process. The early Christian Missionaries worked against many art forms declaring them pagan and demonic without fully understanding them. When this is coupled with the consistent and systematic reprogramming of locals from their mother tongues to colonial languages, this worked to erase much art which today remains lost in antiquity.
Morals – Our morals today get more degraded by Western influence especially through entertainment, specifically through the medium of music and film. Most youth now can be seen modeling themselves after their favorite pop, R&B, Hip-Hop or Reggae icons or film stars to such an extent that it results in a Hodge podge of lost identity – this coupled with a language that is not ours.
Law – This is the factor that determines the “rules of the game”. It is a fact that the more complex and fair the laws of a given society are and the ability to bring to justice those flouting these laws (through regulation and enforcement through the arms of governance), the more civilized that society is. Even more pronounced is the general improvement and wellbeing of its members.
Customs – The code of ethics and behavior that forms our very core of being African, by which we are defined. Many tribes have different customs though many are very similar, especially among black Africans and hence forge the amalgam known as customs.
In spite of this all, we still have evolved cultures that are driving nails into the heart of wealth creation and instead leaving in its wake poverty and suffering.
Now having looked at the full definition of how culture relates to in the context of African poverty, let us now see how this is a major causative agent in perpetuating poverty.
The Challenging Factors
There is a great enemy of progress in Africa, an enemy that has really siphoned untold potential out of the system and perpetuated mediocrity. It does not seem to be ending and if it is not called what it is – retrogressive, it will continue to be a plague to our wealth creation potential and blot to our progress.
Clan Based Thinking
This would be defined as a systematic placement of personnel based not on their competence or abilities but rather on their affiliation by family, tribe, clan or political attachment or support.
Whist this may look good on the outset for those who wish to promote and support such thinking, it has detrimental effects on the overall development of any nation where this is widespread. Unfortunately, most Sub-Saharan Africa perpetrate this thinking, and in some countries even going as far as outright genocide.
What is most critical though is that even if the person applying is known by the employer, the jobs are usually offered on merit, they pick the best man or woman for the job – period!
Regrettably, here in Africa the opposite happens, people are always picked not because they are capable, have the skills, qualifications and abilities, but are picked because they are related to someone, or are of the same tribe, clan or are “connected.” Whilst this may be good for those seeking employment or contracts, it is dire for the nations involved.
This is also another level of corruption. It is based on the premise that connections come above delivery or results. This is about eating before cooking, reaping before sowing, harvesting before planting. The emphasis is no longer about competence but loyalty and the problem with this is that in the end, no results are even considered, everyone looks out for their interests (what they can amass for themselves) – period. This is at the detriment of the nations involved.
In Africa this is usually based on tribe (same region, dialect), clan (same class, family or roots) or political membership. This practice is widespread all across society. From the public sector to the private sector, people are picked based on the above, not their abilities. Therefore the net output suffers as these individuals simply cannot deliver.
This is worst felt in areas where technocrats, experts and consultants services are required in critical sectors either in management positions or technical capacity. Instead of placing someone who understands and has the expertise to help solve pressing problems, they get someone who does not even know where to start from – and so they either waffle their way, or simply make wrong decisions. This leads to overall under-performance, incompetence and deteriorating standards. Add it all up at national scale and the results are catastrophic.
It is such that has been the root behind the inability to see continuity, planning and strategic execution of policy as individuals heading or working within these sectors are clueless. This perpetuates mediocrity and ultimately poverty.
This kind of thinking says “I am owed a piece of the pie” and therefore sits waiting to be given the same. It is aptly referred to as a “chip on the shoulder” which speaks of someone who has a self-righteous feeling of inferiority or a grudge that demands compensation beyond reason. This thinking expects to receive at all times. It is aptly represented by the common colloquial “batiyanganileko” that feels entitled. It is commonly pushed in socialism.
Unfortunately socialism in this author’s opinion does not work. Here’s an illustration to prove the point.
A class teacher indicates that he is going to mark everyone “fairly” and give an average for all effort performed by a class instead of giving individual marks for each person. In his first test after all marking, the class had a B+ average and everyone was praised. As you can imagine the A students were displeased whilst the D and F students were over the moon. In the next test, the class average dropped to C. The A students did not see any point in working for others whilst the D and F students didn’t even bother. By the fifth test the entire class got an F as the average.
The moral of the lesson is simple, people respond best to a reward system, and rewards should be given to those that work the hardest. This principle is true even with God as He will reward according to works and results achieved, there will be no “socialism” per se in heaven.
This is true on earth. All nations that pick this model inevitably fail. The better model is to reward according to work performed, in essence capitalism. When people realize that their best efforts go to fund lazy people who have not worked, they also chose to do less and less until the overall effect is that everyone ends up in the “F” zone!
The entitlement mentality believes the world owes them something in return, and so sit back and wait for government or organizations (like the church) to “do something” and alleviate their poverty. Unfortunately reality does not operate like that. If one does not work, they shall not eat (the words of St. Paul). Life rewards those who work.
According to Fin Scope 2015 Report, about 1 in 5 adults in Zambia are dependents in homes. This is yet another facet of the entitlement mentality.
In the “7 Principles for Financial Prosperity” we have the 7 common reasons why people get into debt. At #3 is “subsidizing a lifestyle” under which we have what I coined “the messiah complex”. This is where breadwinners try to become the “messiah” of their families and are burdened with taking care of virtually all their relatives.
We show that this perpetuates misery and poverty because family members tend to have the above “entitlement” mindset which sees them all sit around waiting for their messiah to provide. Over time this can have a serious negative impact on wealth creation. Progressive nationalities have learnt to synergize their efforts for betterment of the entire family. Unfortunately, a large percentage simply sits around and waits for their benefactor to bring in the dough!
Another extension of the entitlement mentality. In this case the problem is intensified by the education system that creates job seekers to feed the industrial system instead of identifying and allowing children to specialize early through determining what their aptitude is and where their greatest potential is.
Instead we have a one-size-fits-all style of education. It rewards left brainers (analytical, methodical and memorizers) instead of also considering right brainers (creative and abstract). It focuses on getting everyone to learn so much that is irrelevant instead of specializing in what is suitable.
The result is lost potential and wealth. The result is kids getting into school with the paradigm “go to school, get high grades and then get a good paying job”. But then, how many of those are available?
The world is now changing. Gone are the days (except in the civil service) when you showed up, clocked in, hang your jacket, shuffled some files and got paid. Now the time has come when pay is pegged to performance. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the language of the corporate sector. Numbers, bottom lines, profits, dividends, and shareholders are what matter, if the numbers don’t add up, then you get downsized – which is a nice term for being retrenched or let go.
This has made the rich countries prosper immensely and seen the overall effect benefit everyone. Poor countries focus on resource pilferage and nepotism, and these coupled with corruption have ensured perpetuity of poverty levels.
Herein is another bomb. We have decided to always be receiving. The Bible declares that it is more blessed to give than to receive and yet we want to be receiving at all times. This has meant that the giver gets more blessed, whilst the receiver gets the lesser blessing – the immediate satisfaction of the need, but not the ending of the problem.
In rich countries, most citizens have learnt to become a resource, meaning they give more, they help solve problems. They have an obsession within their area of calling. They are working.
Below are some differences between being in a job and work.
I have some news for us all, we need to simply wake up. STOP THE DEPENDENCY MENTALITY! Realize that the only way we can emancipate ourselves is by becoming resources. In the words of President John Kennedy, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
Become a resource, a source of progress and strength. Start your journey toward your destiny. Seek what it is that God has placed inside you.
We are the change we seek. Nobody is coming from outside to help us. And even if they do, for as long as we still want to go around the world with a begging bowl asking for handouts, we forever will be cursed to remain dependents, looking out for messiahs to come and “save us”.
But if we realize that God has given us all the resources and abilities, and also the wealth in our ground, and then get out there and begin to work, then we will see wealth begin to accumulate and grow. Then we will see our nations become wealthier. Then we will see our people blossom. Our GDP will increase, our grounds will become rich, our works will speak for us, and our prosperity will become a reality!
In the next article, we will be looking at the greatest poison of our continent – religion!
Let me commence with a disclaimer. This article is not targeted at any government, party or ruling class. It is nonpartisan, neither is it condemning nor endorsing any particular party, group or affiliation. This looks at the overall factors and how they play a great role in bringing about the effects we see of widespread poverty in the continent of Africa.
One of the seemingly unjust realities that currently dog our continent is the fact that its citizens are very poor. And when I use the term “very”, I am not exaggerating. It is very true.
In a recent study (carried out by Global Finance Magazine - with data sourced from the IMF), we have the 23 poorest nations in the world.
Out of the 23 poorest countries in the world, 19 are located in Africa.
To correctly determine which countries, there are two standard methods of measuring the wealth of countries and how rich or poor its inhabitants are. The measure most often used is Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which represents the size of a country’s economy. A refinement of this is per-capita GDP, which is a measure of the average welfare and affluence, or poverty, of residents of a country. However, GDP and per-capita GDP are less useful when comparing economies across national boundaries – which one must do to determine the poorest countries in the world – because GDP is expressed in a country’s local currency.
The measure that most economists prefer is GDP at purchasing power parity. GDP (PPP) compares generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of countries, rather than using just exchange rates, which may distort the real differences in income. The figures above include data and forecasts for the wealth of countries and regions from 2009 to 2013. Source: the IMF (unless otherwise specified).
Another sobering stat is that for every $1 that is spent in aid toward a poor country, $25 is spent servicing debt repayment. Unfortunately poor countries spend 25 times more money paying back debts it cannot afford whilst basic services are limping to non-existent.
To best understand this, picture a household and use that illustration. In the developed world a typical household that is struggling financially would normally be paid a weekly cheque from their welfare system. These amounts paid help toward basic standing expenses such as food (in the form of food stamps), gas, electricity and water. However, these poor people will still own a car, have an iPhone, get the latest clothing and subscribe to cable or satellite TV! The car, phone and clothes are bought using available credit (through credit cards and store accounts) and maxed out. So when money comes in, it mostly goes to debt repayments.
If you have been following my lessons on Prosperity Insights, you will realize that these are liability based expenses. Furthermore, the debt repayment far exceeds the income earned. In short, the expenses are way beyond earning capacity.
Many African countries are similar. They have large service provision and massive expenditure (overheads – huge wage bills, defense, infrastructure development, pending social services etc.) and very small income earnings. And wherever incomes could be earned or are being earned, that income suffers from massive pilferage in the form of corruption at every level from the grassroots through to the highest institutions.
This article will be dealing with the major causative factors that are exacerbating the situation. If African countries could deal with these problems, most of our poverty would be significantly reduced.
1. Weak Institutions
Institutions are by their very existence one of the key pillars of good governance (more later). They play a pivotal role in ensuring continuity and stability in a given society.
Thus they can be described as an established method or way of performing an activity that is widely accepted throughout society. Institutions provide the rules, guidelines, and structure needed to carry out day-to-day economic activities, such as production, consumption, and exchange.
Institutions form the framework of an economic system. This framework establishes the “rules of the game” under which members of society operate. Institutions can be formal such as government laws, or informal, such as cultural practices. By their very nature, institutions create structural rigidity, which is extremely beneficial. However, this rigidity inhibits change and progress, which can be exceedingly harmful. In some cases, institutions are so intertwined with the fabric of society that only outsiders recognize their existence.
Several institutions key to the study of economics can be considered economic institutions. These include market exchanges, the circulation of money, production techniques, private ownership of property, 40-hour work weeks, labor unions, and a host of others too numerous to list. Many other institutions can be thought of as political, social, or cultural.
The primary economic benefit of institutions is the creation of a stable framework under which production, consumption, and exchange activities can occur. Buyers and sellers, for example, voluntarily engage in market exchanges based on the institutional “rules of the game” established by government/laws. They can safely engage in exchange with some degree of certainty that everyone is playing by the same rules.
Formal and Informal
Institutions can be either formal or informal.
Formal: Formal institutions are those officially established in one way or another, often by governments. Laws are an excellent example of formal institutions. For instance, here in Zambia government has officially mandated that vehicles drive on the left side of the road, that kwacha is legal tender, and that the first and second Tuesday in July is celebrated as Heroes and Unity Days. Each of these institutions affects production, consumption, and exchange.
Perhaps the most noted formal institution established by government is government itself. In Zambia, the Zambian Constitution establishes the government republic (third republic) as a formal institution. The myriad of government agencies, from the Ministry of Defense to PACRA (Patents and Company Registration Agency) or Bank of Zambia, are all formal government institutions.
Other examples of formal institutions include business corporations (LAZ, ZICA, ZIM etc.), labor unions (ZNUT, MUZ etc.) and religious organizations (ZEC, ECZ and CCZ). Each provides “official” structure to society and the economy. Although not part of government, many non-government institutions are actually enabled in one way or another by government (through an act of parliament like LAZ). Governments, for example, establish the guidelines for what legally constitutes a corporation or a religion (at least for tax purposes).
Informal: Informal institutions are not officially established, but are practices commonly accepted throughout society. Many societies, for example, have informal institutions regarding courtship and marriage. In one society, it might be common for parents to arrange a marriage when children are young. In another society, the accepted practice might be for the groom-to-be to seek the blessings of the prospective father of the bride.
Informal institutions apply to all types of activity – social, cultural, political, and economic. It is, for example, common practice to pay food servers a gratuity (or tip) at many restaurants (fancy eating places). Those who fail to tip in the accepted manner commit a social blunder. However, tipping is not an accepted practice at other restaurants (take aways), and attempting to tip is also considered a social blunder.
Many formal institutions undoubtedly began life informally. Our earliest ancestors most likely agreed, informally, that murder was a bad idea long before it was legally, and formally, outlawed by religious institutions and ultimately governments. However, even if informal institutions do not carry the weight of law, they create a solid structure to society. For example, triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) is an informal institution that has virtually eliminated the thirteenth floor from all high-rise skyscrapers.
You can learn more about the precise meaning of institutions and the role they play by reading here and here.
The Challenging Factors
Having looked at the full definition of what institutions relate to in the context of African poverty, let us now see what cancers are eating up this vital pillar from the inside.
It goes without any doubt that corruption is by far the most evil vice that is widespread in most African countries. It is the number one cancer destroying institutions from within and from without. It is no wonder that studies have shown repeatedly that corruption and the wealth of a nation are inextricably linked in that rich countries conversely have the least amount of corruption whilst poor countries have the most.
Unfortunately corruption in African countries is at all levels, from the traffic officer and policeman in the community, the local council market chairperson, the civil servant in key ministries like lands, the revenue and customs officers at the tax office, procurement departments in both the public and private sector, school registrars – basically everywhere!
It is this widespread level of corruption that has inevitably eaten wealth like a cancer from within us. Anyone who points at politicians and leaders is inevitably pointing at themselves. Corruption isn’t just about the recipient, it’s about both the giver and receiver. Both are perpetuating the disease and exacerbating poverty in three critical ways.
Firstly, it causes the resources (especially money) that could be collected to help run these institutions correctly to be diverted into people’s pockets. This renders the institutions incapable and can no longer function effectively. This is very common especially when it comes to fees and penalties.
Secondly it erodes confidence in the said institution. If society perceives partiality and ineffective oversight by the said institutions, then support dwindles which in turn, nullifies their role and leaves anarchy in place (everyone does what they deem fit in their eyes).
Lastly the general public and service recipient suffers most, because the sector is no longer efficiently regulated or monitored. This in turn disenfranchises the populace and inevitably perpetuates poverty and its effects.
Hemorrhaging of funding (ends in wrong hands)
Instead of money reaching the government for distribution to these critical institutions, it ends up in the hands of few individuals at the detriment of development. This hemorrhaging is evidenced by gross inequalities throughout society. Basic amenities and services for the masses remain very low to non-existent.
Another sad fact is that all the money that is stolen, especially that which is in millions of dollars, is syphoned consistently and taken to off shore accounts and investments outside the country. This means that even after stealing that money, it does not even get used within that nation but is taken to the already rich countries to be stored in banks, purchase luxurious pent houses and vehicles and sustain excessive lifestyles which include education for their kids, first class education and lavish holidays.
Lost revenue – weak imbalanced tax collection (small tax base, not broad)
Another major challenge is that because institutions are weak, the tax base is very small – usually targeted at the civil service, private corporate formal sector and organizations. With unemployment standing at between 50% – 95% of the population you find that they have a rather large untapped informal sector that would enlarge the government revenue base immensely. However that sector can never be efficiently taxed because… you guessed right – weak institutions. Most revenue would end up being lost to even more widespread corruption.
Subsequent failure to fund critical sectors of which these four are absolutely vital.
This sector is the lifeblood of commerce and industry. Without a good transport sector, moving of goods and services becomes very expensive. This in turn hampers development and growth in the economy. In fact, if transport and roads are not well developed, many areas would remain cut off and inaccessible, preventing development and growth and thus subsequently perpetuating poverty.
In Zambia, key institutions that govern this sector include but are not limited to mainly RDA (Road Development Agency) and RTSA (Road Transport and Safety Agency). Also in the construction industry NCC (National Council for Construction) plays a critical role in ensuring that right standards are maintained. The assurance of the maintenance of these institutions is directly proportional to their independence from the executive. This is true of rich countries.
In most African countries these sectors have much work to do in terms of developing and reaching truly independent status.
These are the first step in enforcing and upholding the rule of law. This institution is very critical to ensuring no anarchy prevails. A well-funded police service safeguards peace and harmony and guarantees justice for all. Where people choose to break the law, there is recourse to justice in a transparent and professional manner.
Unfortunately in most poor countries in Africa, the police services are very corrupt. This therefore means that those with money get favors and never suffer consequences for breaking the law. In countries where corruption is widespread, criminals walk scot free without any fear. This then sees injustice prevail, the poor unjustly suffering and gross unfair incarceration of the innocent, simply because they do not have the means nor the resources to pay arresting officers in order to “lose” files, or pay lawyers for proper legal representation where cases go to court.
The saddest part of this all is that when institutions like the police and judiciary are weak or riddled with corruption, innocent people get sentenced to long prison terms (besides the absolute disregard of habeas corpus – I know people that have been in detention for years simply because no one on the outside could just take their files to court and expedite the case) and in extreme cases have even been executed whilst guilty criminal murderers walk free.
This will always be the case until the day that this vital institution is properly funded. That can only happen when corruption and syphoning of money ceases at all levels.
There are two critical sources of wealth in any nation, the first source lies and is harnessed from the ground – its natural resources such as minerals, water and agricultural produce, all products coming from the ground (Prov 13:23). The second source is ideas that can be harnessed from the minds of its citizens. These ideas can only be harnessed if the minds of the citizens are empowered and sharpened by correct education.
Unfortunately in most poor countries, education simply does not get to the masses. Most citizens have to walk miles to attend a school, most times having an unusually large number of pupils to one teacher (between 60 – 120 pupils per teacher). This is further worsened by lack of educational tools and text books. Lastly prohibitive costs mean that the poorest of the poor never even access education – which is very unfortunate because this is their one guaranteed key out of poverty. That key is cruelly prohibited because this vital institution is not adequately funded.
In very poor countries the money simply never gets to this sector – period. For those poorly governed, education gets minimal funding. This means for most citizens their true potential shall never be harnessed, their ideas never developed, their potential never reached, their genius never utilized, their ingenuity never exploited, their skill never tapped, their talent never seen and worst of all, they never get a chance to be wealthy.
It is a fact that all rich countries have invested greatly in all their educational institutions, from nursery, primary, secondary to tertiary and specialist colleges/universities. This is further enhanced by a very advanced Research and Development funding pool (R&D).
In short, they fund ideas and work to develop them over years. It is through this strategy that quality of life and entrepreneurship blossoms as ideas are always being exploited. Furthermore, wealth increases when innovation (social, political, environmental and technological) is encouraged, fostered and rewarded.
Unfortunately for many poor African countries, the aforementioned does not happen and so the very few who manage to get the education end up heading for greener pastures abroad (the same rich countries) to work and even develop their ideas through R&D thus robbing the poor countries of the very scarce human resource to start with – further prolonging poverty.
Perhaps here is where the greatest tragedy lies. As the saying goes “a healthy nation is a wealthy nation”. If the citizenry cannot access basic medical care for easily treatable and preventable diseases, then we see more people die early and never get to fully realize their potential. With an average life expectancy of between 35 to 50 years, it means most of the population dies without truly reaching their full potential.
According to a presentation made by Peter A Singer on TED, there is a formula or recipe for keeping a country poor and herein I mention three of them that all relate to health and have dire consequences for the populace – which unfortunately is the case in most African countries.
1. High death rates for women and children
It goes without reason that if a large number of women and children keep dying at birth, the nation is robbed of future human resource. It is a fact that women play a central and pivotal role in many African countries and are the engine of commerce at the grassroots. Not only do they have to work long hours on domestic chores, they also have to fend for the welfare of their families. Bear in mind that most of them are widows or single parents with many children.
If these have their lives cut short, this has a net effect in how much wealth can be created and retained. The situation is also worsened by the fact that they die from preventable diseases and conditions. If health care was at basic optimum levels, many of these unfortunate souls would be alive today.
Another major challenge lies in the number of health care providers versus the population. The ratio is simply mindboggling. Like the teachers, the health care givers (doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff) are very few in comparison to the population.
2. Impede the cognitive development of children that survive
Firstly, there is a challenge with food and nutrition which then means the children that are born and live are stunted and underdeveloped. Many suffer from nutrition deficiency diseases such as marasmus, kwashiorkor and the like, coupled with irregular meals, lack of basic sanitary conditions and under five health care centers (too far or nonexistent).
When you compound this at national scale, the result is staggering. Children who somehow survive this do not get the education needed to get their young minds to begin developing (through learning via the education system) and thus end up illiterate. Illiteracy poses major challenges for the citizenry and impedes personal development and growth.
3. Leave mental illness untreated and stigmatized
This is perhaps another area that leaves much to be desired. As it stands, mental illness has been stigmatized, underfunded and ignored. Unfortunately this robs the nation of even more human resource. There are many forms of mental illness that can be treated and those that suffer from many forms can be treated and reintegrated into society to become major contributors.
Many forms of autism, bi-polar disorder, cerebral palsy, motor neuron degenerative disease (like what Professor Steven Hawking – the famous theoretical physicist – suffers from). If he were in a poor African country with his condition, he would have been discarded and left to his fate, thus robbing the world of one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century and his discourse on Black Holes and Time.
Stephen William Hawking CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA is an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. His scientific works include a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009 and has achieved commercial success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his book A Brief History of Time appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.
Hawking suffers from a rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease or Lou Gehrig's disease, that has gradually paralyzed him over the decades. He now communicates using a single cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating device. Hawking married twice and has three children.
The untapped potential within this area is massive, and if more money is directed toward this area of health care, the human resource we could tap into is unimaginable. Unfortunately these are marginalized and mistreated, isolated and ignored, to the great detriment of African countries and adds to the poverty levels.
The inability to adequately fund these sectors has dire consequences on the wealth creation capabilities of a nation. In spite of the repeated calls for these sectors to be funded, these calls fall on deaf ears. Why? The answer will be found in culture, religion and poor governance.
Read the next article in the series on Culture here.
Matthew 24:24 (NKJV)
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
This spirit is known as the spirit of Kundalini, the term being borrowed from an Eastern belief that equates it to the "primal energy that flows like electricity within the body and brings about greater enlightenment and spiritual bliss". Unfortunately, a FALSE spirit has come manifesting outwardly what the undiscerning would assume is the outward charismatic manifestation of the HS. IT IS NOT!
Here are three common signs of this false spirit that is this very minute deceiving and seducing so many believers and snaring them under her spell.
In recent history God has been moving in a mighty way and pouring out His Spirit in order to empower His people for this latter day dispensation. However, there is also a spirit that PRETENDS to be the HS. This spirit works using the spirit of Anti-Christ (1 John 2:18) to deceive and destroy the children of God (John 10:10)
1. Theatrics and Manifestations
The strategy here is simply, whenever the Word is being preached and a point is being made, with life changing power, this spirit causes distraction. This then draws attention away from the word being preached and instead gets people to focus on its activities. Simply put, it entertains. Remember that it’s the Word that transforms - not activities.
Examples include screaming, jumping, rolling, twisting, shaking, laughing and the like. What makes this even more dangerous is that the Holy Spirit will also manifest in a similar way. The only difference being that He does so in a way that 100% under the control of the subject and orderly – always. The Holy Spirit does not “possess”, He “inspires”. Demons possess and take over, making people do what they cannot even recall afterwards.
Worst of all there will be outright demonic manifestations which should rightly be dealt with privately and under care and supervision – away from the main congregation – as demons are attention seeking narcissistic entities that thrive on being focused on. This is another way to pass on LIES. Unfortunately many ministers and preachers have been ensnared by the great deception that comes with listening to the lies and stories that they will give.
This is a selfish “personal” style of prayer and worship lifestyle that's all about self-aggrandizement rather than a focus on God’s will and sovereignty. I call it the “me-me-me” devotion.
Examples include "bless me, give me, do for me" without caring for others and their welfare FIRST. Most serious though is the fact that prayer is not according to what Christ taught “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” but instead prayer is “my will be done here on earth in the name of Jesus – by fire and by force”!
This then focuses on the temporal and what is not eternal. It focuses on this life instead of the life to come.
Perhaps this is where the greatest danger lies, for its done subtly and in disguise. The activities and behavior exhibits fruit of the flesh (Gal 5:16-20) instead of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).
Examples include “dangerous prayers” (which are more akin to witchcraft and sorcery than Christian in any way), “back to sender” (which exhibits hatred and not love as Christ has taught us) and worst of all, the undue crediting of the devil for virtually every wrong and misfortune when in many cases will be the consequence of bad individual character traits, wrong choices and decisions, wrath, sloth, greed, lust, envy, gluttony and worst of all, pride.
True Christianity is hinged on these three scriptures (Mark 12:29-31 – The love of God and fellow man, Matthew 5:43-48 – The principles of walking in love throughout, James 2:14-26 – The care of those that are less privileged)
Be vigilant and alert to this subtle but powerfully deceptive spirit of Kundalini and avoid her at all costs.
1 Tim 6:10 (NKJV)
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
In the above picture you see what the world hankers after, money – power – respect – and lascivious debauchery and perversions. These money will facilitate – but at what ultimate price? Unfortunately, its many sorrows and finally death.
There are three key lessons that can be gleaned from the above scripture relating to money and these are
1. The love of money – This is so because of what money promises those whose values are not centered in Christ namely POWER. It is this power that leads to the corrupting of the individual.
2. Straying from faith – The Word teaches obedience, humility, subservience and stewardship. When we allow power to corrupt us, it will inevitably draw us away from these virtues.
3. Greed – When we strive to obtain what we do not deserve, we inevitably become carnal, allowing our base nature to LUST after the things of the flesh.
1 John 2:16 declares “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” Many have been inadvertently snared by these things and have been slowly drawn away from God, and money facilitates these things.
In a poll carried out some decades back, Americans were asked what they would be willing to do for $10,000,000. Two-thirds of those polled agreed to at least one or more of the following:
The most fundamental question here is why? Why would someone be willing to kill a stranger for money, even when they have never killed before? What makes money so attractive that people will bend or break their moral conscience to just get a chance at money?
The most obvious answer is that with money, one can acquire a lifestyle they don’t have. It was Al Pacino’s character in the film Scarface that made a statement that sums up totally the driving philosophy behind many people’s quest for money as shown in the picture below.
Can we then say that money is evil? That is not true, money is neuter. Money is like a knife, it is neither good nor bad. It always depends on the person handling it. The knife can be used to kill someone, yet often times it is used for more good than bad. Imagine a kitchen without a knife! Ask a chef how tough that would be.
Money is an amplifier. It simply amplifies what is in essence already there. If one is kind, loving, considerate and patient, then money will amplify these qualities and make them true philanthropists. However, if one is greedy, selfish, rude and inconsiderate, then money will just amplify these qualities.
There is one extra quality that those who pursue money inevitably seek, POWER. With money comes power. Power gives the bearer of the money the ability to wield it. It is this power that corrupts, again, only according to the intrinsic qualities and character traits of the one who brandishes it.
Based on the above, we can conclude that money is not evil. However, if we love money too much, then we would be willing to do anything to acquire it. This then brings in another factor, GREED.
Greed is an overwhelming desire to have more of something than is actually needed. Greed is getting more than one deserves. Someone will always be paid according to what they put in. Call it equity if you like. When one desires way beyond their input, that then becomes greed.
The bottom line is, the love of money, the unhealthy desire for money, to acquire that which having money promises, is what is evil. But the money itself has never been and will never be evil.
Extract from “The 7 Principles for Financial Prosperity” book. © 2015. All rights reserved.
The Road ahead for His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu
After an agonizing three days where the two parties involved battled it out in the hearts of Zambians vis-à-vis the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s verified announcements constituency by constituency, the result finally got announced, PF’s Edgar C Lungu with 807,925 votes representing 48.33% of the total votes cast and UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema with 780,168 votes representing 46.67% of the total votes cast, a difference of 27,757 or 1.66%. This result is the tightest and closest margin in the history of our young democracy!
Indeed this means two things, firstly that the PF has gotten to retain their governance by the skin of their teeth and that this slim margin says a lot in itself – that PF’s infighting, the lack of a placement of a decisive leader during the tenure of the late President Michael Chilufya Sata (MHSRIP) and the subsequent multifaceted messages that were coming out of the PF camps with its various factions and varied endorsements – certainly sent a shockwave reverberating through its supporters and has left the party’s support base highly fragmented.
In fact, one can’t help but acknowledge that had former president Rupiah Banda not come in and endorse the incumbent, we could perhaps be speaking a different story today – one of victory for the UPND instead.
So what are the implications of all this and how does it auger for His Excellency President Edgar Lungu?
In order to fully understand what is happening now and thus properly speculate where things could be headed, we need to carry out a brief analysis of the past.
The Death of HE Michael Chilufya Sata
As we all know very well, our former president died on the 28th October 2014, exactly four days after our celebrating of Zambia’s Jubilee. At this time Hon Edgar Lungu had been left as acting president and was at the same time both Minister of Justice and Minister of Defense and the much coveted Secretary General of the PF. The two portfolios landed on him after the previous holders Winter Kabimba were fired and the other Hon Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (popularly known as GBM) resigned respectively. For reasons that only HEMCS knows he lumped these responsibilities on Hon Lungu. When he needed to travel abroad for more medicals, he left Lungu in charge (with the instruments of power) and as the saying goes, the rest is history.
With his demise, the scenario that had been predicted in a leaked bedroom recording between one “bashi Nono” and “bana Nono” in which the former fully disclosed what was to be a crisis (and correctly) should there be no firm choice by the late president (alive at the time) in choosing or at least clearly indicating a successor, the thing most dreaded happened, the PF spun into a freefall winner-takes-it-all circus where leaders began mudslinging, accusing, backstabbing and outright washing all their dirty linen in public.
This was further exacerbated by the constant online and offline media reports that showed a truly divided party. The final “proof” was at the party general convention at the Mulungushi Rock of Authority where Hon Edgar Lungu was picked amidst great controversy and bitter misunderstanding.
The first sign that the “anointed” leader and choice of the “people” rested on Hon Lungu became obvious is when Acting President at the time Guy Scott decided to drop him as Secretary General of the Party. There was an immediate uproar and a dangerously chaotic reaction that saw tension immediately grip the hearts of people in the nation. This was short lived as Acting President Guy Scott immediately realized that he needed to reverse this for the sake of progress. That was the genesis of what this author will coin “Lungumania”.
Once it became obvious that Lungu was the people’s choice, the splits, quits, migrations and endorsements against him became more pronounced. I am not going to go into details as to who endorsed who but the bottom line is the leadership and unity seemed to get worse. When it looked like Lungu’s group was by far the largest and the most popular on the ground, common sense and sheer internal as well as external pressure seemed to have twisted the acting president Guy Scott into forming a “reconciliation” so as to move the party forward and make up for lost days – which UPND had taken full advantage of and began their campaigns to roaring large crowds in perceived PF strongholds like Kanyama Township in the heart of Lusaka.
The Truce – Reconciliation
In spite of the seeming reconciliation, we saw a number of “heavyweights” lend their support to UPND (no names mentioned here – you know them) and openly mock and ridicule the reconciliation. Despite this, the Lungu team had their game together and with those in support mounted what looked like an insurmountable journey. Team Edgar had seemingly so much against them. For starters the private media was mostly pro opposition both in terms of print, radio and television media. Furthermore, most online media was also anti Lungu. This put great pressure on Team Edgar to do what they could and with little funds and support for massive campaigns, it looked bleak to make this happen until a twist of fate played into their hands.
Enter Rupiah Banda
As fate would have it, Rupiah’s bid to stand as a candidate under the MMD ticket was quashed by the Supreme Court and so instead of backing his own opposed Nevers Mumba, Rupiah decided to throw his weight behind Hon Edgar Lungu. This certainly was a game changer. Yes this raises a lot of eyebrows as to what was in it for him. There were indeed insinuations that he would be made Vice President (as reported in some quarters of the print media) but this author certainly does not think so (could be proved wrong in a week of publishing this) but stands to gain much in Edgar’s victory – I will not speculate but leave that to the reader to deduce.
As it turns out, the RB gambit worked to PF’s favor and so with this victory at hand, the big question now stands, what is his reward?
I can only speculate but that is beyond the scope of this article.
So, Hon Edgar Chagwa Lungu has finally gotten into the proverbial “Plot 1” and this against all odds! He purportedly had these things standing against him
However, something strange happened with Lungu that we all must admit whether we support him or not, it seemed somehow that a certain special “favor” just came upon this man. From the time of the state funeral, to the speech at Heroes’ stadium, to the various runs in the campaign, there was an aura about him. The “people” had chosen their man – and no amount of chicanery, trickery or bullying was going to change this. Indeed “Lungumania” was here to stay – at least for the duration of the election campaigns.
It is this “Lungumania” that saw many contribute their money into the PF campaign machinery plus all of the “connections” that were garnered by the “friends of Edgar Lungu”. Indeed within that period, in spite of all the negatives listed above, against all odds, Edgar Chagwa Lungu is now president.
You must bear in mind that President Hakainde Hichilema gained massive ground for his party, got overwhelming support from the MMD Members of Parliament (virtually all of them with the exception of a few), and also had great backing from a number of disgruntled PF significant individuals who chose to back him rather than Edgar Lungu. This all is evidenced by the margin of loss we now see a difference of 27,757 or 1.66%.
Indeed great kudos to the UPND campaign team and supporters – yours is not a lost cause. The margin tells you that you stand a great chance at taking it in the following elections (2016) should you strategize well and continue with the path you have taken.
Bow out gracefully, get back to the drawing board and begin your campaigns now – 18 months isn’t long and your victory depends on what I will outline below as the scenario His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu finds himself in.
So, what is the future road ahead for President Lungu? Well, here are the challenges he faces in no particular order
1. The Cabinet
There is no question that he needs to make changes, but the real question is who stays, who goes? And what are the implications of each one of these decisions considering that he has only 18 months before the next elections? Furthermore, because UPND is certainly going to start campaigning very early, how does he manage to meet all the promised made within one year as campaigns will certainly take off just after the rain season in 2016?
Furthermore, those that will be dropped may end up migrating, further diving the already division riddled party. Therefore letting go of some ministers may actually be detrimental to the stability of PF going into the next general elections. This is going to be very challenging, thus has to be handled very wisely.
Does he continue the programs of the Late President Sata or does he reverse them? We have the mine tax issue, the fired nurses, the unpaid farmers, the massive debt we already have undertaken, the Bemba royal establishment dilemma, the budget deficit (after a funeral and an election), the thorny but highly necessary constitution delivery and last but not least, the many pending bills that require to be signed and made into law including things like freedom of information, clipping of presidential powers, public order act, countrywide broadcasting licenses for the media, decentralizing of some key government institutions (such as the ECZ) and much more.
Does he really continue down HEMCS’ line or does he assert his leadership as an individual – perhaps “continuity with change”?
3. His Gratitude for “Team Edgar”
We all know that many worked tirelessly to see President Edgar get to State House. How will he repay them. Positions? Foreign service? And how about those that seemed to oppose him during the early days of selecting the candidate for PF president. Will he victimize them? Will he perhaps follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and forgive them instead? What about those who are suspected of corruption or have pending cases in court? Does President Edgar do a “Mwanawasa” on them? (For those of you who don’t know what a “Mwanawasa” is – it is when even after a former president helps to bring his successor into power, the successor then turns on them and allows the courts and rule of law to take its course – in short a betrayal of their goodwill)
4. The Predecessor’s People
What happens to the bloated Foreign Service of which we are told is filled with what media has coined the “Sata forest”? Are they going to be retained or brought back? Where will that money to repatriate, end their contracts, pay their dues and get the new ones and their settling in allowance in place come from? Then there are those who are supposed to be professionals, the Permanent Secretaries, Directors within government and quasi government positions, special personnel and the like still going to remain or be moved.
But far more important than the four is this one
5. How will they turn PF’s fledgling dismal result and Win 2016?
This is the greatest headache. Had it not been for the MMD supporters and the voters that stayed away, UPND would be the winners hands down. What does that say for PF? It says they need a total make over, they need great leadership on the part of President Lungu that will bring together rather than divide, accommodate rather than evict or expel, embrace rather than push away but even more so, tolerate and consolidate rather than be prejudicial and scatter. If His Excellency President Edgar Lungu can be wise enough to be as cool headed and temperate, restrained as humanly possible and not think emotionally but with posterity in mind, this would be the time to bring all dissidents and disgruntled people back together to create as much as is humanly possible the pre-2011 PF team. If that can happen, it is very likely PF will have the muscle to take on UPND in 2016.
Truly President Edgar Lungu has no time to celebrate as the task ahead is gargantuan. And it must also be realized that in 2016, we have a tripartite election and the future of PF rests solely on his leadership style. If he exercises restraint and inclusiveness as much as possible, and also works to dispel all the “perceptions” perpetrated by the opposition and his opponents alike, then he may indeed prove to be the leader most thought he wasn’t, and that will ensure PF remains intact, retains most of its supporters and wins the hearts of the Zambians – as they did in 2011.
But if God-forbid he becomes vindictive, begins a witch hunt, persecutes those that opposed him openly, and embraces those perceived to have “issues and skeletons” that need to be brought to the public and decisively dealt with, then it is the opinion of this author that the Patriotic Front as a party may end up heading where the MMD is today, into the ranks of the opposition with an almost extinct presence in any subsequent elections.
Like all articles of this nature, only the passage of time will tell the true tale – so, in the words that I have so come to love, all we can do is just wait and see!
God bless this great nation of Zambia – Indeed Zambia Shall Prevail!
There comes a time in any nation when it comes to a fork in the road, when there is need for very serious decisions that will forever alter the fate of that country. It is at such junctures when the divine has to come into play. The invisible hand of God moves in and events unfold that change the dispensation and bring about another era. We have seen this in the nations of the world with specific examples drawn from the Bible. Every time that nation had leaders that called upon God’s name, He would prevail and move events toward prosperity, but when the nation’s leaders drew it away from God, then He would remove His protective hands and they would fall into captivity.
Scripture in the Book of Daniel Chapter 10 teaches us that every nation has two elements or entities that battle for or against it. When Daniel began praying for Israel and the prophecies that had been written about it, he saw a vision of a mighty angel who told him that the Prince of Persia had withheld him 21 days and prevented him from delivering the message God had for His nation. He further stated that Arch-Angel Michael came to his rescue and fought off that Prince. However, even as he departed, he warned about the next prince that was on his way, the Prince of Greece.
We now know in hindsight that Israel was under the Medes at that time, soon the Persians with King Darius overthrew them. Events would see the Israelites released back to their land and Jerusalem but they would see the rise the Greek empire that overthrew the Persians. So we see prophetically the foretelling of what was to occur being revealed clearly to God’s servant.
So we know several things…
1. Events that occur physically proceed what occurs spiritually – We see throughout the prophetic books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Revelation that when the saints pray, God moves
2. Spiritual Entities stand for or against nations (angels vs. principalities) – We need to realize that there is a mortal ancient enemy of mankind and he works ceaselessly to bring about chaos and disorder and only prevails whenever he is allowed to
3. The success or failure of a nation is hinged on their spiritual stand – Obedience to God is always a factor in determining where a nation will end up as far as its prosperity is concerned.
4. Prayer can and does change events – There is nothing that occurs under the sun that God is not in control of, be it good or evil. With evil God permits it because man is the regent here, he decides what goes and if he transgresses the law of God and opts to pursue his evil desires, he shall equally reap thereof.
A Call to Prayer
In view of this, it is up to those that call upon the Lord and are obedient to Him (saints of the most high) to do the one thing we have power over – TO PRAY. Here is what God has to say about prayer…
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
There are three conditions and three responses that God promises here. Let us examine each one.
1. Humble themselves and pray
A true mark of humility is to turn to prayer. Forget about whom we are in society, come down from our high and mighty castles and acknowledge His supremacy. All we have is in His hands and He is supreme. He gives and He takes. He appoints and He removes. He allows and He prevents. He is indeed sovereign and the sooner we know this, the better off we are. In humility (without pretense, pomp and fanfare) we simply come – just as we are. No titles, no positions, no status – just as we are.
Answer: Hear from Heaven – His ear is not deaf nor His eye blind that He won’t hear our cry. When we pray sincerely – God always promises to hear and to act.
2. Seek My Face
To seek means to look for, pursue, hunt, and trail after. The idea is to drop all things and focus all one’s attention on Him. Forget about the distractions all around us, instead look to Him alone. There is an element of urgency when the work seek after is used. Here it depicts desperation on the part of the subject, who places all their hope, faith and trust on that which he seeks, realizing that once that which is being sought after is realized, then all goodness will follow. God answers those that desperately seek after Him. The Psalmist illustrated it greatly when he declares as the deer pants after the water so my soul longs after you. Indeed we need to seek after God as a thirsty man seeks after life giving water.
Answer: Forgive Their Sin – If our seeking is genuine, He will forgive. If our hearts are truly after His own and our motives pure as a child, He will forgive. Indeed He is quick to forgive and quick to turn away from His wrath.
3. Turn from their wicked ways
Man’s heart is indeed wicked above all things and is so continually. However, God has granted us grace through His Son Jesus Christ whom we can call upon and receive salvation and pardon from all sin. If we choose to surrender our lives wholly to Him and let Him reign in our lives, He is able to lead us in the ways of life and bring about great prosperity for us. But for this to happen, true and full repentance must occur. To repent means to turn away permanently. This is not just confession (which is abused by many for they confess today and go back to sin tomorrow – with impunity). Repentance signifies never returning to what caused the rift between the subjects (us) and God. It calls for a total destruction of all shrines set up in worship of self and instead letting God reign supreme over every area of our lives.
Answer: Heal their land – God promises healing for the land. Within the wings of healing shall follow prosperity, peace, joy, love, success, increase, blessings, wonder, satisfaction, goodness, fellowship and genuine concern for one another. Truly love shall prevail. This does happen and can be sustained as long as His people get on their knees and pray.
God’s Invisible Hand
I believe that we can see this happen to our nation of Zambia. We can stand and pray and seek after God. We can stand in the gap on behalf of our nation and let God reign supreme. His hand has always worked behind the scenes to maintain peace and tranquility in this nation. See how he did so below…
It was God’s hand that worked behind the scenes to see Dr. Kenneth Kaunda picked as Zambia’s leader when Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe (Bemba) and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula (Tonga) could not see eye to eye and agree on who should lead the other. It was God’s hand that saw Kaunda instead ascend to the helm of leadership and lead this nation through the first, second and third republic.
It was God’s hand that worked to bring in Dr. Frederick Titus Jacob Chiluba to the helm of MMD (he was not a founder member) and then the presidency, leading to the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation.
It was God’s hand that worked to see Levy Patrick Mwanawasa raised from outside the corridors of power to become Zambia’s third president.
It was God’s hand that worked to see Rupiah Bwezani Banda become the fourth president during what was in essence a set of wondrous circumstances following the demise of Mwanawasa in office.
It was God’s hand that worked to see Michael Chilufya Sata become the fifth president beating MMD’s Banda in spite of what many agree was the most expensive presidential campaign ever mounted by any party in the history of this nation.
Now we have lost our president to illness and have seen the swearing into office for the next 90 days (83 days as at the writing of this article) of Dr. Guy Scott. I believe that the hand of God is still at work and works behind the scenes to bring our next anointed leader of this nation, the sixth president of the republic.
You must however realize that the enemy (both Satan and interest groups lead by greed for power) also seeks to destroy our treasured peace and tranquility. There is a striving after that is led by greed for power and wealth at the expense of the Zambian poor (who are the majority as currently Zambia still has about 75% of its population living below $1 a day). The enemy wants to see Zambia degenerate into war which we shall not stand for.
Zambia shall prevail! This is a Christian nation and we have a remnant of believers that shall stand and pray for this nation. The Lord is summoning us all to take our stand and get on our knees and pray.
Our Call to Action
If you are one of those that sense and feel the Holy Spirit speaking to you and urging you to stand, then let us all get together and do our part. I am inspired greatly by a letter that was recently issued by the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia under the National Prayer Mobilization Schedule – Zambia Mourns title with the leading scripture from 1Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing”.
I would like to pledge to stand with the series of prayers listed within and am calling on all Christians to stand together. Below is a list of actions you can take to get this process started.
#1: Commit to prayer – Each one of us will for as long as they may wish each day (5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes) to pray sincerely for our nation. We shall all pray together at 04:30hrs each morning. Simply get up, check your facebook status – see the prayer point and pray
#2: Check facebook each morning – We will endeavor to post a prayer point and scripture each morning. Please pray for that point and ask God’s hand to prevail.
#3: Share the prayer point – Use your social media network to do that. Let’s share on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Whatsapp and WeChat or just about any social media platform you may be aware of. If you prefer you may even share via SMS – do your part – let us take Zambia for Jesus.
#4: Mobilize your church – Work with your various ministries at church and get everyone praying these points. This is not about churches or denomination; it’s about our nation of Zambia. Zambia is greater than any of us and God has His hand upon this nation. With unified prayer and purpose, we can see God’s will prevail and His hand squash every enemy of Zambia.
#5: Join the group “Zambia Shall Prevail: The 80 Day Prayer Chain” – We need as many people as possible to stand with us in raising our nation to God. This group will be our main focal point on Social Media but will need more to stand and work with us to see God move on our behalf. Here's the group url https://www.facebook.com/groups/zambiashallprevail/
Take note of the details above and let us start the journey together. The first day of prayer shall be on day number 10 with 80 days to go before the 90 days is done. We believe God shall stand supreme and our nation shall prevail. Day #10 falls on Friday the 7th November 2014 and the 80 days elapse on Monday the 26th January 2015. It stands to reason that the election date has to occur at least one week before this date placing it around the 19th January or thereabouts. We shall have to stand and pray throughout right up to the election-day and after, until the swearing in of the new president. After that, we can change the purpose and directions of our prayers.
The Prophetic Jubilee Atmosphere
This is the Year of Jubilee and God has promised 7 things that accompany Jubilee these being i) Atonement ii) The Favor and Mercies of God iii) The Trumpet shout of victory iv) Freedom from bondage and slavery v) Restoration vi) Debt cancellation and v) Land ownership. There is a prophetic air of manifestation in this year of Jubilee (24th Oct 2014 to 23rd Oct 2015) and it is time we His saints stood in the gap and begin to travail in the spirit on behalf of our motherland.
We believe that when saints of the Most High (Adonai) God stand and pray together, God moves. As the saying goes
“It is impossible to move a mountain, but prayer moves God and God moves mountains”
We can move the mountain that stands before us by praying to God. It is God that declared
Zechariah 4:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.
7 ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”
There is no power under the heavens that can stand before our mighty God. We can and must stand. We are called at such a time as this to do our part. Let us be faithful soldiers in the Lord’s Army and pray.
For those of you who would like to see all the prayer points in the letter as raised by EFZ, kindly click here.
By Chibulu "Ba Muzo" Musonda
MY ZAMBIA BEST 11 @ 50!
When "Ucar" Godfrey Chitalu leapt off the bench to score twice to defeat Uganda 4-2 in February 1977, my pregnant mother was in the stands at Dag Hammerskjoeld Stadium. I was still an embryo. So from her womb, I must have celebrated that brace. Seven months later I was born at the Central Hospital in Ndola.
Ever since football has been a part of my life.
Even when I die, I would love to be remembered as simply 'one who loved football'. I consider "Ucar" Zambia's greatest soccer player ever. Records don't lie. He was the first known Zambian Footballer of the Year four years after this country was birthed. Chitalu holds the record of winning that accolade four times. Apart from 1968 he won it in 1970, 1978 and 1979.
I got involved in Zambian football because I believe this blessed country has talent such as that of ''Ucar" to win the World Cup! Today I celebrate 11 individuals, among the many others who have graced the game in Zambia, to continue a tradition established this month on this page as to commemorate 50 years of our existence as a sovereign state. Independent Zambia has many tribes and languages but football has been one major unifying factor in this half a century.
Long live United Zambia! Happy 50th birthday mother Zambia! God bless our Great Zambia! As a ball boy at Independence Stadium, I was privileged to see some of my selections at close quarters in my formative years.
Here now I pick my best 11. [Efford Chabala, John Soko, Kaiser Kalambo, Dickson Makwaza, Stoppila Sunzu, Jericho Shinde, Johnson Bwalya, Charles Musonda, Ucar Godfrey Chitalu, Cris Katongo and Kalusha Bwalya]
#1. Efford Chabala
One of his finest moment was when stopping a penalty against Ghana in helping Zambia reach the Seoul Olympics in 1988 2-1 on aggregate.
Famously reported to have said: " Kuiposakofye" when asked to recount his Accra heroics. That was 5 years after emerging on the scene as a 23-year-old to become Zambia's number one until his death in the Gabon disaster on duty for this country. The country's first East and Central Challenge Cup was won with the Mufulira Wanderers man who also occasionally played as a number 9 for club (1988 season scored five goals in a few matches for Mighty including in the Independence Cup 3-0 triumph over Roan Utd while Peter Chilufya kept goal), saving three penalties in 1984 in a shoot out win over Malawi. A year later Efford was named Sportsman of the Year.
Edges out Emmanuel Mwape but Kennedy Mweene has an opportunity to draw closer. Vincent Chileshe, James Phiri and Ghost Mulenga were good goalkeepers too. Chabala, the country's most capped goalkeeper with 108 appearances, also played professional football in Argentina for Argentinos Juniors.
#2. John Soko:
When legendary Dennis Liwewe introduced him as a new find from Kalulushi Modern Stars against Zaire in 1989 Independence Stadium went dead silent.
Can the lanky number 2 cope with the dreaded Leopards led by Kabongo Ngoyi? After the match, his name was on the lips of the fans. A tough marker man. He kept wingers in the pocket. Great cover defensively and overlapped with purpose. He may have played only two Africa Cup of Nations in 1990 and 1992 but I have seen no number two better. We are never to know Soko's complete greatness due to the cold hand of death. Peter Mhango, Edwin Mbaso, Bernard "Tools and Hardware" Mutale Laban Chishala, Mordon Malitoli and the versatile Joseph Musonda, the 2012 AFCON winner, deserve mention but Soko surpasses them all.
#3. Kaiser Kalambo
Played for Zambia from 1973 to 1982. Kalambo was diminutive but hard in the tackle. He captained Zambia at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Dean Mwiinde introduced the late Kalambo to me about two years ago at Sunset Stadium and his recollections of the game were as vivid as yesterday. He was replaced in 1982 at the Africa Cup in Libya whilst recuperating from injury by Nkana left back John Kalusa. In fact, Kalusa played so well at the finals he got the nickname "Libya".
Kapambwe "Imbambwe" "Pebros" ''Gentile" Mulenga who could also operate in midfield like Kalambo, Edward Musonda, from whom Kalambo took the number 3 mantle, and Whiteson Changwe would stake a claim for this spot as would Ackim Musenge. But a player named the "Kaiser" after some Germany great gets the nod.
#4. Dickson Kenneth Makwaza
Zambia's 1974 captain first played for this country a year after its birth. He represented the country for a decade and wore the armband first in 1967 taking over from Howard Mwikuta.
Mwikuta was handed the captaincy briefly from Samuel "Zoom" Ndhlovu who is the first black captain of the Zambia national team taking over from Jackie Sewell. Zoom played for the Northern Rhodesia team from 1956. Sewell was the first captain of independent Zambia. The prolific forward was the most expensive footballer in English football when he transferred to Sheffield Wednesday from Notts County for £34, 500 in March 1951. He played for England and later represented this country after coming to the British colony of Northern Rhodesia to play for Woodlands Stadium outfit City of Lusaka in 1961 after moving from Aston Villa to Hull City. Mwikuta is the first Zambian alongside Fred Mwila Senior and Emment Kapungwe to play professional football abroad at Atalanta Chiefs in 1967.
Back to Makwaza after that background then. The "Barbed wire" retired a decade later with the distinction of being the only central defender never to be shown a yellow card or red card in his club and country career. The likes of Dick Chama, Harrison "WaWa" Chongo, Robert Watyakeni, Michael Musonda, Jones Chilengi, Fighton Simukonda, Ben Pabili Bamfuchile and Estone "King Yellow Man" Mulenga all were central defenders of substance.
The discipline of Makwaza stands out. The hero and his wife Hilda celebrated their Golden Jubilee in marriage on October 13 and in those 50 years have produced seven children-2 girls and 5 boys including the famous Linos Makwaza, the former Nkana coach and Power Dynamos legend, who represented Zambia at 3 Africa Cup finals from 1992 through to 1996.
#5. Stopilla Sunzu
Born in Chingola of a Congolose migrant footballer Felix Sunzu Senior who played for Konkola Blades as a goalkeeper, Sto wrote himself in Zambia's football folklore scoring the penalty that won his country's first major international piece of silverware-the Africa Cup of Nations that had eluded Zambia for 48 years. Converted from midfield into a defender by Frenchman Herve Renard, Sunzu was the saviour. Singing a Christian song "Munjikate ukuboko" Sunzu stepped up to slot home the decisive spot kick that sent Zambia into joyous raptures until now unknown.
Zambia had conquered it's demons. The talent of 2012 may not have been better than some from previous generations but God's favour was on Chipolopolo. It was crucial that the deliverer of that fatal blow to Ivory Coast in the 8-7 post match penalties win was one who acknowledged Jehovah God Almighty as his helper when taking the spot kicker.
The nation was spell bound. Rainford Kalaba had been presented with a similar chance but scuffed it. Sunzu, as his teammates sung " Kalombo Mwane" whilst offering supplications in reverence to the Almighty Deity in scenes reminiscent of a Pentecostal prayer meeting miraculously made history.
Ashios Melu, the two time Zambian footballer of the year, is another of my all time favourites. Either for Mighty or Zambia, the crowd would chorus " Meluuuuu, Meluuuuu, Meluuuuu" calling on the central defender of hot shots to unleash a cracker from range whenever a free-kick presented itself on the pitch. Few of the present generation actually know Melu played as a centre forward first before converting into the centre back role for Zambia.
He was a number 9 for Wanderers in 1983 scoring 43 goals before capturing his First Zambia Footballer of the Year accolade. By 1987 when he bagged the second, Melu was a great commander of the of the Zambia back line battalion. Legend, unverified, has it Melu's deadly shot killed a player in Greece where he played for Olympiakos.
At Independence Stadium though in a 3-0 win over Gabon I saw Melu's shot flatten Da Costa; the son of the Gabonese coach who was in the human wall. Costa missed the return after being hospitalised in Libreville suffering chest pains from the shock of the scorching shot. Elijah Litana was carried around in Arabic planes for matches because he was a defence pillar.
But Sunzu is the man.
#6. Jericho Shinde
I was about 8 years when I witnessed Zambia beat Cameroun 4-1 at Independence Stadium with "Big" Michael Chabala grabbing a first half hat-trick but the star was a midfield man from Nkana Red Devils Shinde.
His four league titles with Nkana attests his subtlety in the middle of the park either as holding midfielder or in the more advanced role. Nicknamed "Tanker" the man who may represent a modern day archetypal anchorman in the mode of Manchester City's Yaya Toure was a cut above the rest.
Derby Mankinka who made his niche at Profund Warriors and later graced Europe for a Polish club and a Soviet Union side comes close here. Older folk talk of Richard Stephenson or Jani Simulambo. Aaron Njobvu, Andrew Sinkala of German giants Bayern Munich and his sublime sibling Nathan are acknowledged.
#7. Johnson "One Man Commando" Bwalya
I understand he is now a lawyer in Switzerland. Mighty Mufulira Wanderers has always produced gems. Bwalya, the youngest Zambian footballer of the year at 19 was quick and had an eye for goal from distance.
He took on men using shear strength reducing them to shreds. Watch YouTube video of Zambia 4-0 Italy to see Bwalya's long range trademark cracker. Here, I think Lucky Msiska of the "Muchofe" fame deserves recognition too. John Zyambo as well. Moses Simwala, who was later to become one of the most successful coaches in Zambia winning 8 Super Division titles as Nkana coach, would not be out of place too in this role. Peter Kaumba, who I did not watch, would certainly be a more than a worth replacement for Bwalya. You don't get voted Africa's best winger for nothing-1982.
So proponents of 'don't pick a player you didn't watch must note the great injustice in my choice here.
#8. Charles Musonda
Easily the best ever number 8 this country has ever produced. By now, with previous selections by other contributors, we know that Charly Cool had no competition in this role. Great vision and defence splitting passes were his hall mark plus those '360 degrees turns to elude a marker' as Liwewe would say.
With only one Africa Cup to his name in 1986 where Musonda got injured in the 3-2 loss to Cameroun, Zambia's midfield machine's most defining moment was at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Musonda was the conductor of the Zambia orchestra that swept the world off its feet; first African country ever to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympics then featuring full strength national teams. Casualties? Guatemala and Italy both suffering 4-0 defeats.
Injuries meant Musonda did not play as much for Zambia as we would all have loved. Hence the mistaken belief and accompanying smear campaign that he was not patriotic.
Far from it. In 1993, Musonda, despite not being match fit due to injury, returned to the Zambia team in this country's quest for a maiden place at the World Cup and nearly helped Chipolopolo reach the 1994 World Cup in the USA with a late effort that would secure a point to ensure qualification at the expense of Morocco in Casablanca. Sadly, Musonda was booted in the face and lost a tooth but penalty appeals were waved away by the infamous Gabon referee Jean Fidel Diramba. No one unpatriotic can be honoured for his services to Zambia by a Patriotic Front government.
At his best some old pundits saw similar styles in Musonda's play to compare the former Anderlecht man to Brazilian great Pele. His starring role in the 1991 European Cup Winners Cup final won 2-0 through goals by Gianluca Vialli in extra time by Sampdoria forced the Italians to want to sign Musonda but injury prevented the swoop. He won many titles in Belgium with Anderlecht where he played with former Nigeria boss Stephen Keshi. But watch out for Charles Musonda junior the advanced version of Charles.
I would give the world to have that boy and his two brothers: Tika and Lamisha play for the country of their mom Angela Mushimba Musonda and their legendary dad-and not adopted Belgium. We can talk of Willie Phiri, the magical Nchanga Rangers link man. His status is legendary. Alex Chola would be a sober choice too. Named among the best 200 footballers by CAF in the last half century the Zaire born Chola was excellent.
I watched his last match for Power Dynamos-a 3-2 loss to Kabwe Warriors in the 1987 Independence Cup final. It was his come-back from injury match cut short by a Whiteson Changwe tackle in front of the Grand Stand near the South Open Wing. Boniface Simutowe, the youngest Footballer of the Year in winning it in1968 is highly regarded by history too and records. Even Rainford Kalaba can claim something here that will not be viewed as absurd.
#9. "Ucar" Godfrey Chitalu
When the world talked about Lionel Messi's goal-scoring record, Jerry Muchimba, a football historian and statistician, and I quickly presented evidence of Chitalu having scored 116 goals in a calendar year .
FIFA's position as a result is that football's mother body does not recognise such records but are a creation of the media. Well, great. We know that most goals in a calendar year were not scored by a German Gerd Muller or the little magician from Argentina who weaves his trade at Catalonia club Barcelona but a Zambian: Ucar Godfrey Chitalu in 1972!
Ante Buselic, the Zambia boss, tried to undermine Chitalu by preferring Bernard "Bomber" Chanda at the 1974 finals the Nkana forward netted thrice while Chitalu came back with a goal. But to be named Zambia's best footballer on two occasions after that only twice played final in the history of the Africa Cup won by Zaire 2-0 in the replay after an initial 2-2 draw underlined Chitalu's unparalleled mental strength.
Chanda deserves mention. So does Jack 'The African Pele' Chanda. Fanny Hangunyu, he who embarrassed legendary Bruce Grobbelaar when the Zimbabwe international goalkeeper was at his prime in the dominant years of Liverpool in the 1980s. Kelvin "Malaza" Mutale was stopped in his tracks by death. See his hat-trick against Mauritius. I spoke with him face to face on the day the team left to meet its fate in Libreville. They were at Masiye Motel in Emmasdale prior to departure.
"Ikaba shani bola Ku Senegal?" I asked. This was a few days after his Mauritius super single soul show.
"Tukamona" (We shall see) he responded. Sadly, we were never meant to see.
What I had seen the year before when the Nitrogen Stars of Kafue made caused Efford Chabala to be substituted after putting three goals past the international goalkeeper to help Nkana win the Independence Cup 3-2 after coming from a 2-0 deficit against Mighty Mufulira Wanderers was enough to convince me "Malaza" would have put the likes of Samuel Eto'o in the goal scoring shed.
Stone Nyirenda, Dennis Lota and Collins Mbesuma were feared forwards too in their prime.
#10 Chris Katongo
2012 BBC African Footballer of the Year. 2012 Africa Cup most valuable player. This was a tournament where even Chelsea legend Didier Drogba reached the final. First Zambia national team captain to win the Africa Cup.
Gibby Mbasela, Wisdom "Whizzzzz" or "Summerby" Chansa, Sunday Kaposa,Kenneth ''Bubble'' Malitoli, Michael Chabala, Simon Kaushi Kaodi, Maybin Mgaiwa and Patrick Phiri are mentionables.
#11 Kalusha Bwalya
The greatest Zambian footballer I have ever seen. Attempting to describe Kalusha as a footballer is like trying to climb Mount Everest with no legs. "Lusha" as the crowd affectionately referred to the man with one of the deadliest left in African football ever announced his arrival on the big time in Zambia by being named the 1984 Zambia Footballer of the Year.
Less than half a decade later in 1988, he was Africa's finest footballer. No one else in Southern Africa had achieved that feat or has ever equalled it. After the Gabon disaster of 1993 that claimed the 18 creme de la creme generation of Zambian footballers, Kalusha carried the nation on his shoulders! Give me any player who has played more than two decades for the national team? He deserved the name Great Kalu or even King Kalu.
He scored free kicks that would make David Beckham go green with envy. At Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, where he was club mates with Brazilian great Romario, Kalu won two Eredivisie titles between 1990 and 1992. Before moving to Holland, at his first club Circle Brugge, the Mufulira Blackpool product was top scorer for consecutive seasons: 1987 and 1988 and was by streets the club's best player in that period which prompted the move to the Netherlands.
Zambia's most inspirational football captain. What I have left out we can fill in. This man is a book on its own. First FAZ president to conquer Africa.
So there you have it, Chibulu Musonda's top 11 all time best Zambian Footballers in the last 50 years of Independence. Many great and honorable mentions are here as well. They are within the article but in case you are one of those that literally jumped all the article and just read the numbers directly, here is a list below of honorable mentions.
#1: Emmanuel Mwape, Kennedy Mweene, Vincent Chileshe, James Phiri and Ghost Mulenga
#2: Peter Mhango, Edwin Mbaso, Bernard "Tools and Hardware" Mutale Laban Chishala, Mordon Malitoli and the versatile Joseph Musonda
#3: Kapambwe "Imbambwe" "Pebros" ''Gentile" Mulenga, Edward Musonda, Whiteson Changwe and Ackim Musenge
#4: Howard Mwikuta, Samuel "Zoom" Ndhlovu, Jackie Sewell, Fred Mwila Snr, Emment Kapungwe, Dick Chama, Harrison "WaWa" Chongo, Robert Watyakeni, Michael Musonda, Jones Chilengi, Fighton Simukonda, Ben Pabili Bamfuchile and Estone "King Yellow Man" Mulenga
#5: Ashios Melu
#6: Derby Mankinka, Richard Stephenson, Jani Simulambo, Aaron Njobvu, Andrew and Nathan Sinkala.
#7: Lucky Msiska, John Zyambo and Moses Simwala
#8: Tika and Lamisha Musonda, Willie Phiri, Alex Chola, Whiteson Changwe, Boniface Simutowe and Rainford Kalaba
#9: Jack 'The African Pele' Chanda. Fanny Hangunyu, Kelvin "Malaza" Mutale, Stone Nyirenda, Dennis Lota and Collins Mbesuma
#10: Gibby Mbasela, Wisdom "Whizzzzz" or "Summerby" Chansa, Sunday Kaposa,Kenneth ''Bubble'' Malitoli, Michael Chabala, Simon Kaushi Kaodi, Maybin Mgaiwa and Patrick Phiri
#11: None mentioned...
Rev Walter Mwambazi
Network Marketer, Pastor, teacher, facilitator, social media pro and coach. Father of two, husband of one beautiful wife, committed to the Lord Jesus Christ!