Contribution of Kapasa Makasa to Zambia's political history from 1947 to 1991
Kanchebele, Florence Bwalya Mulenda
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Many studies exist on the rise and and growth of African nationalism in Zambia. They include autobiographies and biographies by and on politicians who participated in the struggle for independence. However, several veteran politicians who pioneered the independence struggle have not attracted scholars' attention. Most studies focus on the leaders of the struggle and the first president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, at the expense of subordinate leaders such as Kapasa Makasa who also played significant roles.Even in his autobiography, Makasa has not come out clearly on his role in the politics of independence. What has been presented is not really his story but that of Zambia's struggle for independence. After independence, he held important posts in the government starting from Provincial Resident Minister to full Cabinet Minister,Ambassador and ending as Member of the Central Committee (MCC) of UNIP by the time he retired in 1991. Yet, this aspect of his career is unaccounted for in his autobiography which ends with the country's attainment of independence in 1964. This study argues that Makasa was instrumental in raising the rural population of Northern Province, which included the present day Luapula Province, from its attitude of psychological subservience as a result of years of white domination to a sufficiently high level of political consciousness to demand a change in the status quo.Another major argument of this study is that although Makasa held such important posts in the nationalist government which he served for twenty seven years,his contribution to national development was not as significant as that to the independence struggle. The main reason is that after independence, Kaunda pursued a policy of authoritarianism in the party and government. Those who did not agree with his policies where either dismissed or forced to resign. This alienated him from many of his former colleagues in the struggle including Malama Sokoni, Simon Kapwepwe and Makasa.