By Gershom Ndhlovu
Not that I care much about Dr David Livingstone, the man whom it is claimed was the first white man to see the Mosi-Oa-Tunya in Silozi or Shungu Namutitima in Toka-Leya--or the Victoria Falls, named after an English queen who reigned during the man’s travels in the central and southern parts of Africa.
The fact that only 2221 tourists have visited his death place somewhere in Serenje between 2001 and 2008, speaks volumes of how poor tourism marketing in Zambia is. A quick calculation shows that less than one person per day visited the place in seven years.
Before I turn to the positive aspects of Dr Livingstone’s travels, or better still, the lack of them, which were themselves a direct harbinger of the infamous scramble for Africa, in which European powers of the time, divided Africa like a piece of cake among themselves, I would like to address one or two issues that affect tourist accessibility to Chipundu, some 100 km from Serenje and about 20 km off Tuta road.
Dr Livingstone’s death place is not only poorly marketed if at all, the road to the area is just better than a footpath, and when you decide to branch off from Tuta road, you need to carry bottled water and snacks because there are none on sale there, not even souvenirs that tourists want to come back with from a significant place as that.
For Dr Livingstone, I do not know why he is so revered in that part of
And yet we have allowed Dr Livingstone’s sacrilege to continue for close to two centuries. Apart from that, we have even named one of our cities after him. Would it not be better for us to call the falls by its original names? Would it not be better for us to call the City of
South Africa which attained majority rule in 1994 changed names of cities, towns and other infrastructure associated with the brutal past while Zimbabwe in 1980, changed most of the names associated with the colonisers replacing them with relevant local names.
Contrary to what is widely known, the first white people to see the
Equally, Dr Livingstone did not necessarily stop slave trade where he travelled. The degrading trade in humans was truly on its way out as an economic activity because it had been outlawed in 1807, about six years before Livingstone was born into a poor Scottish family, and the
Generally speaking, Dr David Livingstone is given more credit than he deserves and this has been ingrained in our mindset that if
Far from it. Tourists still flock to Machu Pichu in
The truth of the matter is that Dr Livingstone achieved very little during his travels and that is why the British government recalled him during his second journey but was sponsored by the private sector for his third and final trip. It is his talks at the Royal Geographical Society in
Dr Livingstone must be cast to the dustbin of history as events should be correctly re-written.
It is scary, isn’t it, to think that Members of Parliament are asking for the increment in Constituency Development Funds (CDF) from K400m which in itself is quite high, to an astronomical K1 Billion. May be it is because I am not a cadre of any party, but in the three constituencies I have lived in ever since the CDF was introduced, I have never benefited from it in any way.
I know for sure that the majority of people in the 150 constituencies of the country have never seen a single Ngwee of the CDF.
While this is not to say that all the MPs squander the money—there are a few diligent ones—constituents must demand budgets from the MPs and proof of expenditure for the projects the money is spent on.
It is difficult to appreciate PF Roan MP Chishimba Kambwili argument that that CDF should be increased because this is the money that benefits the grassroots and that it is also used “to improve among other things road infrastructure in constituencies.”I do not remember the last time a grader passed through the roads of most constituencies even in big cities such as Kitwe, Ndola and Lusaka not to mention rural areas where roads a worse than the Martian landscape.