Nalumino Mundia was born in Kalabo, Barotseland on November 27, 1927.
Mundia studied at the University of Delhi, India and later Atlanta USA. He was a good orator who emerged as a strong critic of Kenneth Kaunda’s dictatorial tendencies.
In the Pre- Independence era Mundia is claimed to have entered the then Prime Minister Sir Roy Welensky’s house mysteriously.
It is said that in a rare bid to pressure the British colonial masters, Mundia magically entered Welensky’s house without the security guards noticing his entry. It is told that he was found seated in the Prime Minister’s lounge early in the morning!
After Zambia’s independence in 1964, Mundia served as the 1st Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry in Kenneth Kaunda’s first Cabinet.
He went on to resign and form his own Party by the name of UP in 1967. In 1968 Mundia under the United Party(UP) continued making historical post independence political strides against the United National Independence Party (UNIP), then under Kaunda, leading to his detention.
To be able to understand what transpired about the Mundia detention it is essential to retrace the history of May 29,1968 in Lusaka’s Matero Township then known as the hot bed of inter-party violence.
It was during this time that Mundia through a loudspeaker addressed hundreds of people about the intentions of the UP (United Party) to participate in the general elections.
As he outlined the strategy, he told the gathering that there was a plot to assassinate him by his political rivals.
And when he announced the names of UNIP members who wished to join the party, the meeting came under a hail of stones leading to the arrest of Mundia himself, Henry Ndhlovu, William Chipango, Dickson Chikulo, Julius Namakando and Adamson Mushala. Mundia nicknamed then as ‘Black Yesu’ for his habits of fasting to dramatise his protest and his compatriots were later acquitted in August 1968.
Later under the one party participatory democracy Mundia, who was released from jail, was appointed as Prime Minister of the country by Kenneth Kaunda and served from February 18, 1981 to April 24, 1985 replacing Mr Daniel Lisulo, who had become another outspoken critic of UNIP (United National Independence Party) policies, the then ruling party .
It was rumoured Mundia had intentions of challenging Kaunda for the Presidency in the late 80’s before his death. At the time of his demise Mundia was also envoy to Brazil, Peru and Venezuela as well as to Washington.
He had presented his credentials to President Victor Paz Estenssoro of Bolivia on a Friday and was attending a diplomatic function late Monday night when he collapsed and subsequently died of a heart attack on November 8, 1988 at age 62, and was survived by his wife and six children.
NB: He is the person behind Victoria falls power station and who brought electricity to Barotseland.
Imanga Wamunyima Jr
Edited by Bulozi London
Produced by BBN