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
Author of "The 7 Principles for Financial Prosperity", Life Coach, Facilitator, Peak Performance Coach, Digital Marketing Professional, Network Marketer, Health & Wellness Consultant, Pastor, Copy Writer, Motivation Speaker & Writer.