Mumba Yachi returns

 Mumba Yachi returns

By Staff Writer
After more than a year of forcibly staying away from a country he considers home, deported folk musician Mumba Yachi is back in the country.

Yachi’s manager Mwila Mutale.

The story of Mumba Yachi and the Lumpa Church.

Folklore musician Yachi has returned home after government had decided to grant him legal status.

Yachi has since returned to Zambia and was received by his manager at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) in Lusaka this morning.

Yachi was deported by Immigration Department after he was found to have fabricated birth documents and obtained the National Registration Card (NRC).

He was deported to the Democratic Republic Congo.

But Yachi has maintained that he was Zambian from his parents that were among the thousands that fled Zambia during the Lumpa Uprising in 1963.

Alice Mulenga Lenshina was a Zambian Prophetess who founded the Lumpa Church and led the largest religious and indigenous sect in the country prior to Zambia’s independence.

The Lumpa Church based in Chinsali, quickly grew in numbers and allegedly out-numbered both the Catholic Church and United Free Church of Scotland and attracted members from Mpika, Chama, Nakonde, Kasama, Luwingu.

Her organisation grew in influence and rapidly established branches.

By 1959 her organisation had also eclipsed the political parties UNIP and the ANC.

But it’s her teachings rejecting the authority of “earthly governments” and refusing her members to be subjected to paying taxes, appearing in government courts that made the new government declare it illegal.

On July 24th 1964, Prime Minister Kenneth Kaunda declared a State of Emergency.

Lenshina rejected this and what is known as the Lumpa Uprising ensued.

About 2000 Lenshina followers(other numbers are said to be in excess of 8000) were killed by state agents.

State troops were sent in Chinsali to quell the uprising and the ensuing riots.

The Lumpa Church was immediately banned and Lenshina was arrested and detained.

Over 15,000 followers and Lumpa Church adherents fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Her Church temple Headquartered at her home village at Kasomo in Chinsali was destroyed.

Government and traditional churches accused her of promoting a sect that mixed christianity with animist and ritual practices.

But Lenshina insisted that the core principles of her message remained the sanctity of marriage, opposed polygamy, and promoted the upliftment of common people.

In fact Lenshina was her Christian name spoken in Bemba but from the Latin name; Regina.

She remained detained without trial until when she was released in 1975.

During this period, she was a restricted person and was placed in detention in various places such as Kalabo, Mukushi and Lusaka.

She died on 7th December 1978, in Lusaka in a Chilenje house based on Nkunda Road.

Mumba Yachi says his parents were among those from Northern Province fleeing the suppression of the Church by the State.


The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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