Posted by Isaac C. Mwiya
Zambia today celebrates 50 years of political independence. Zambia got its independence from Britain on October 24, 1964.
The Golden Jubilee is being celebrated under the theme: “commemorating God’s Favour of Zambia’s 50 years of independence for continued peace, unity, democracy and prosperity”.
On a sad note, the country will celebrate this momentous occasion without the head of state. President Sata left Zambia for a medical check-up abroad on Sunday night accompanied by his wife and family members. In his absence acting president Edgar Lungu will take charge.
As part of the golden jubilee celebrations many activities have been lined up. The official celebrations will take place at the newly constructed National Heroes Stadium in the capital Lusaka. 26 countries are expected to send in dignitaries and representatives.
1,356 people from various walks of life will be honored for their contributions to the Zambian story in the last 50 years with the first ever Special Single Class Golden Jubilee medal at an investiture ceremony to be held at the National Heroes Stadium.
Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda will be among the many heroes to be honored.
The Zambia national soccer team that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 will also be honored. Others to be honored include players from the class of 1988 that reached the quarter finals of the Seoul Olympics of that year, drawing with Iraq 2-2 and beating Italy and Guatemala 4-0 respectively before losing to West Germany by the same margin.
Zambia has also lined up a friendly match against Ivory Coast on 25th October, 2014 at the National Heroes Stadium. Ironically, Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard and his assistance Patrice Beaumelle will be among the 1,356 individuals to receive Special Single Class Golden Jubilee medals. Renard and Beaumelle were in charge of Zambia when she won the AFCON in 2012.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has issued a 50 Kwacha Golden Jubilee commemorative bank note. The note carries portraits of Zambia’s five presidents over the last 50 years.
The Zambian story is incomplete without the mention of God. In this vein it is imperative to remember the prayer that was recited at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on the 25th of October 1964:
“O GOD THE FATHER OF ALL MANKIND, WE BESEECH THEE SO TO INSPIRE THE PEOPLE OF THIS LAND, WITH THE SPIRIT OF JUSTICE, TRUTH AND LOVE, THAT IN ALL OUR DEALINGS WITH ONE WITH ANOTHER WE MAY SHOW FORTH OUR BROTHERHOOD IN THEE FOR THE SAKE OF JESUS OUR LORD AMEN.”
Happy 50th Independence Anniversary Zambia. God bless our motherland.