The socio-economic impact of the Mushala rebellion in North Western province of Zambia, 1976-1990
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This study examines the socio-economic impact of the Mushala rebellion in North Western Province of Zambia from 1976 to 1990. The study argues that there were several reasons which compelled Adamson Mushala to take up arms against the United National Independence Party (UNIP) government. Mushala was dissatisfied with President Kaunda’s one-party system which limited political opposition by force or coercion. His insurgence was also fuelled by Kaunda’s refusal to accord Mushala the position of Director of Game and Fisheries. He was further dissatisfied with what he perceived as government’s failure to fulfil the people’s expectations of national and economic development. In particular, Mushala was infuriated with the marginalisation of the people of North Western Province, a situation he attributed to government’s failure to develop the province. He also wanted political power. The study revealed that Mushala’s rebellion had devastating socio-economic effects in the province. The insurgency led to the displacement of people from their homes. As a result of the kidnappings and abductions carried out by Mushala and his men, some family ties were broken as people lost children, husbands and wives. It also affected the educational activities and health facilities in the province. There was also destruction of life and property. The Mushala rebellion further disrupted the agricultural system. Consequently, hunger and starvation emerged in the province. The study further reveals that the government responded to the rebellion by initiating and implementing a number of measures in order to help the local people of North Western Province. On 28 January 1976, President Kenneth Kaunda invoked and extended the State of Emergence regulations to cover North Western Province in the wake of Mushala’s rebellion. The government mobilised troops to the province in order to deal with security challenges engendered by Mushala’s insurgency. The sort not only pledged to reward anybody that would provide the information regarding Mushala’s whereabouts but also detained those who were suspected of collaborating with him. The government also provided food aid to victims of Mushala’s insurgency. Mushala was finally killed in 1982, by Zambian security forces. However, the study noted that the remnants of Mushala’s gang regrouped in Mwinilunga and continued with their acts of terror until they were pardoned by Kaunda in 1990.
The University of Zambia
SubjectMushala rebellion--Marginalisation--North Western Province
One party state--Mushala rebellion--Zambia