Yohane Mbeeya Moono
Nakonde is a Namwanga name which means “a taboo committed in a holy place” though the meaning is subject to debate.
The political history of Zambia can never be complete without tracing it to the birth place of Zambian Modern Day Politics. The first Welfare Society which is the equivalent of a political party was first formed by a man known as Donald Siwale at Mwenzo Mission Station in Nakonde. The formation of the Welfare Society was the beginning of Zambians and Africans at the time to stand up against the injustice they suffered at the hands of the Missionaries and later on the Colonial Government officials. Donald Siwale through this movement enlightened alot of Zambians and Africans about the need to voice out their concerns particularly on the governance matters.
Nakonde is relatively a young district but rich in history. It was not a district until 1995 when it was detached from Isoka district. Nakonde provides the country’s passage to the East. It is the gateway to East As it borders Tanzania in the East.
The rich history of the district dates back to the 19th Century. During the First World War British and German soldiers fought fierce battles which resulted in a number of fatalities. Five German soldiers who fought in the First World War are buried in a protected national heritage site called Old Fife on the Old Malawi road in Katozi area of Nakonde District, about three Kilometers from the District offices and the Great North Road. Old Fife is also in the political realm in Nakonde as is a ward in the constituency of Nakonde.
Furthermore, Nakonde is home to the burial site of leader of the Ngoni speaking people of the Eastern Province of Zambia. Zwangendaba was the leader of the Ngoni speaking people as the moved from South Africa fleeing the deadly Mfecane wars in that country. In 1835, the major highlight of their journey dawned upon them as they crossed the Zambezi river. A solar eclipse characterised their crossing of the Zambezi river up north into the Eastern Province of Zambia where they finally settled.
Nakonde is one of the most renowned places in Zambia for the Rice that supposedly emanates from the place. The peaceful relations and almost absent border restrictions that exist between Nakonde and Tunduma makes the place of choice for many business people from different parts of Zambia and beyond. The most notable industry in the District is the Clearing and Forwarding Industry as well as the Cross Border Trade provide the major economic activities in the district
Nakonde has so much tourism potential which can be fully maximized when aggressively marketed. Nakonde should also be marketed as potential tourism destination of choice for many foreign and local tourists. There is so much to learn about the district which need to be well package for the outside world to fully appreciate what Nakonde has to offer. Apart from being one of the busiest Points of Entry and Exits, the district can also add tourism to the contributions it makes to the national treasury.
Modernising the Mwenzo Airstrip to easy travel to and from the district and improving the Road network within the township and with other districts are going to be key in making the district one of the preferred tourism destinations. Perhaps the district needs a political museum at Mwenzo to fully give the full history of the Welfare Societies that were started at the place by Donald Siwale. The district can managed the demand that would come in terms of accommodation when the tourism industry is running at full capacity.
The Birth Place of Modern Day Politics in Zambia needs to be aggressively and purposefully marketed on the tourism potential it harbours.