JACK ZIMBA, Lusaka
ONE day in December 1972, Adamson Mushala bundled his wife and 5 youngsters, together with a two-weeks-old child, right into a model new Land Rover 109 station wagon and drove off from his house in Mufumbwe.
He had told his wife that they have been going to attend a pal’s wedding ceremony in Mongu, Western Province, however they quickly discovered themselves crossing the border into Angola.
That was Mushala’s escape in another country to start his armed rebel towards the Kaunda authorities that may final from 1976 to 1982.
Earlier than he was lastly killed by authorities troopers, Mushala had morphed into an enigma who impressed each worry and admiration.
Thirty-six years after his dying, his widow, Rejoice, remembers a well dressed gentleman with an attractive smile.
On the wall of her front room hangs a black-and-white studio photograph of her husband.
“He took that picture when we were in Angola,” she says calmly after noticing my curiosity as we sat in her front room.
Rejoice lives in a small settlement referred to as Kivuku in Kasempa, North-Western Province.
Her home is just some hundred metres from the place she first met her husband – at Mukinge Mission Faculty, again within the 1950s.
When Mushala accomplished his Commonplace Six Higher, he went to coach as a recreation ranger, whereas Rejoice went to stay in Chizela (now Mufumbwe), the place she labored as a group faculty instructor.
It was right here that the 2 former school-mates bumped into one another once more and fell in love.
Rejoice says she had quite a lot of suitors earlier than Mushala, together with Emmanuel Mulemena, who later turned a kalindula music maestro.
“There are many people who proposed to marry me, but I think God arranged for Adamson to be my husband,” she says, a slight glint in her eyes.
She provides: “I don’t know what attracted me to him. Of course he was tall and very smart. He really looked nice in his suits, but I think it was just God who brought us together.”
“I liked the way he walked and he had a beautiful smile. I also liked his complexion,” says Rejoice.
She nonetheless refers to Mushala as “my black-shine”.
In 1959, Mushala and Rejoice received married at Chizela Bible Faculty in Mufumbwe.
In response to Rejoice, the European missionaries on the Bible school had helped to sponsor and organize the marriage.
“Many people came to witness our wedding because it was the first of its kind in Mufumbwe,” says Rejoice.
“It was a wonderful wedding held in Christian tradition,” she provides.
Rejoice describes her marriage as “wonderful”.
“He really loved me,” she says.
On January 16, 1960, the couple had their first baby referred to as Bert.
However by this time, Mushala had turn out to be utterly disillusioned with the British colonial authorities.
“He was not happy with the white colonialists and he really wanted to join the fight for independence,” says Rejoice.
Shortly after, Mushala give up his job and joined the independence wrestle.
Each Mushala and Rejoice had been actively concerned within the struggle for Zambia’s independence underneath the United Nationwide Independence Celebration (UNIP) led by Kenneth Kaunda.
The truth is, Rejoice says she was current in 1961 when Julia Chikamoneka and different ladies protested topless within the capital towards colonial rule.
Mushala, himself, was despatched to organise social gathering actions in North-Western Province.
“He was really involved in the fight,” says Rejoice.
A GIRL NAMED MAO
Then in 1962, on the peak of the wrestle for independence, Mushala and a number of other younger males have been despatched to China for coaching in guerrilla warfare.
Rejoice recollects seeing off her husband on the airport in Lusaka.
On the time, Rejoice was anticipating the couple’s second baby.
Whereas in China, Mushala had met Mao Zedong, higher often known as Chairman Mao, who’s the founding father of the Individuals’s Republic of China.
Truly, there’s a romantic story to their assembly.
When Chairman Mao discovered that Mushala’s wife was anticipating a toddler, he gave him a parcel for the child, with a particular request – to call the infant after him.
When Mushala returned residence in 1963, Rejoice had given delivery to a child woman. Mushala named the woman “Mao”.
Rejoice says the parcel from Chairman Mao contained child garments and toys.
When the nation attained independence on October 24, 1964, Mushala was dwelling in Kamwala, Lusaka.
Rejoice remembers the day clearly.
“We all wore suits and went to celebrate,” she says.
However for Mushala, that celebration was short-lived. He was quickly discontented with the Kaunda authorities.
He was notably sad for being handed for appointments.
Mushala needed to be in control of wildlife.
Rejoice thinks individuals near Kaunda had warned him towards appointing her husband to go the division of wildlife, saying he would use the place to rise towards authorities.
“But he just loved the job of a game ranger, his plan was not to turn against Kaunda,” says Rejoice.
When he couldn’t bear his frustrations any longer, Mushala turned his again on Kaunda and UNIP and acquired concerned with a brand new opposition celebration referred to as United Celebration led by Nalumino Mundia.
However his actions would quickly get him into hassle, and he ended up spending months in detention in Chinsali.
Rejoice says she was by no means told the place her husband was throughout that interval, and she or he herself had been positioned beneath home arrest in Mufumbwe.
In response to Rejoice, when Mushala got here again, he was bitter, and began having clandestine conferences with some individuals.
“He never shared his plans with me. Whenever I asked him, he used to tell me that women are not supposed to know everything that a man was doing,” she says.
In December 1972, the nation was declared a one-party state.
Rejoice says Mushala hated the one-party state.
“He used to say to me ‘why should a man stand against a frog, does it mean a frog represents us the people?’” she recollects.
Beneath the one-party state, residents solely had two choices on the poll – YES or NO, Kaunda or a frog.
A REBEL IS BORN
Considered one of Mushala’s shut buddies on the time was Mulondwe Muzungu.
In response to Mr Muzungu, in December 1972, shortly following the declaration of one-party state, Mushala had walked into his workplace on Cairo Street to pay his premium on his life insurance coverage coverage beneath the Previous Mutual monetary firm.
Mr Muzungu remembers one exceptional element about his pal that day – he was driving a model new Land Rover 109 station wagon.
“It must have been grey or beige,” he says.
However it’s the phrases that Mushala stated to him as he walked out of his workplace that struck him most.
“As he was going, he said to me, ‘look after my children, for you will not see me, except on incarnation’. I did not understand those words, so I just laughed,” says Mr Muzungu.
The subsequent time he would hear of his pal was on January 11, 1973.
“At lunch time, there was a news bulletin on Radio Zambia to the effect that William Chipango, Chrispin Mwendabai and magistrate Mwanamwale had been arrested in the Sesheke area, allegedly for ferrying people across the Zambezi into South-West Africa (Namibia) for military training, and that Adamson Mushala had fled the country,” he says.
However earlier than then, Rejoice recollects that when her husband returned to Mufumbwe from Lusaka, he requested her to accompany him to a good friend’s wedding ceremony in Mongu.
In line with Rejoice, Mushala had tried many occasions earlier than to influence her to journey overseas with him, however she all the time refused.
This time, nevertheless, he was extra persuasive.
“He insisted that we go together because his friend wanted to meet me,” she says.
However Rejoice was nonetheless recovering after delivering her fifth youngster.
“I told him I could not go on a long trip because my baby was just about two weeks old, but he insisted. He told me we would use a shortcut through Kabompo and that he would drive carefully,” she recollects.
Rejoice lastly gave in, and round 16:00 hours on that day in December 1972, after saying goodbye to kinfolk, the household acquired on the Land Rover and headed westwards, making a stopover in Manyinga district for every week.
Later, on the best way, Rejoice observed troopers in unusual uniform.
“I asked my husband why there were many soldiers,” she says.
That’s when Mushala defined that they have been truly headed for Luanda, the capital of Angola.
“I didn’t know we were going to Angola,” says Rejoice. “He never shared his plans with me. You know how secretive men can be.”
The household handed by way of Makondo, Calunda and spent two weeks in Kazombo, earlier than reaching Luanda.
Once they arrived in Luanda, Mushala defined his plan to his wife.
“He told me that he was now going to fight against the one-party system,” she says.
Rejoice says whereas in Luanda, Mushala would often go away for lengthy durations from house.
“He used to fly from Luanda and go and meet his friends. I don’t know where they used to meet from, but I suspect they used to meet in South Africa,” she says.
After staying in Luanda for 3 years, Mushala moved his household to South Africa.
And in 1976 – Rejoice doesn’t keep in mind the precise date or month – Mushala stated goodbye to his wife and headed again to Zambia.
“He told me if I was not afraid I could return to Zambia, but he also warned me that the authorities would either arrest me or kill me,” she recollects.
That was the final time Rejoice noticed her husband, or ever heard from him.
“I remained like a widow,” says Rejoice, who was by this time coaching to develop into a physician.
She says from then onwards, the whites who have been taking good care of her and her household would frequently replace her about her husband and guarantee her he was okay.
“The whites who kept us used to give us updates about my husband. They would tell me where he was operating from and they told me he was safe,” she says.
However in November 1979, Rejoice determined to return to Zambia.
Once I ask why she determined to return, she responds: “Why would I not return to my own country?”
She and her youngsters, plus two different households, have been pushed to the border between Angola and Namibia by South African troopers.
They then needed to stroll by way of the bush in the direction of Zambia.
“We ran out of food and we had to depend on wild fruits,” she says.
After days, they arrived in Shangombo, which lies on the Namibian border in Western Province, and handed themselves to police.
“I introduced myself as Mrs Mushala. The officer-in-charge was really surprised,” she says.
In response to Rejoice, the federal government needed to ship a aircraft to select them up, however she refused.
“I refused to use a plane because there were other freedom fighters’ wives and I didn’t want to leave them behind.”
Later, they have been pushed to Senanga earlier than being taken to Lilayi, the place they have been detained for about two months.
In January 1980, she was detained at Lilayi earlier than being taken to Kawambwa and positioned underneath home arrest.
Whereas in detention, she repeatedly wrote letters to Dr Kaunda begging him to launch her and the opposite detainees.
MUSHALA IS DEAD
Based on Rejoice, on Sunday, November 27, 1982, round 09:00 hours, a person got here hurriedly to the detention home and threw a replica of a newspaper inside.
“Mrs Mushala, look at this newspaper,” the person stated.
“I got the newspaper and read that Mushala had been killed and that his body had been transported to Solwezi,” says Rejoice.
Rejoice says Mushala had appeared to her in a dream the earlier night time to say goodbye to her.
“He told me, ‘my wife, I’m gone now remain in peace, may God keep you till you grow old’.”
She says considered one of her youngsters had heard her speaking to somebody within the night time, and had requested her who she was speaking to within the morning.
“I told him your father came and he was saying goodbye to me,” she says.
Rejoice stated initially she was told she can be allowed to attend her husband’s burial. Then she was told the physique can be transported to Lusaka.
However lastly she was told she couldn’t journey to Solwezi for safety causes.
“When they told me that, I collapsed, they had to rush me to hospital,” she says.
Rejoice and two different ladies would stay in detention two years after Mushala’s demise.
The ladies protested their detention with a starvation strike, which appeared to have gotten the eye of the authorities.
Rejoice says she lastly received an opportunity to speak to Kaunda by way of telephone when she was in Mansa.
“I spoke to Kaunda on the phone when I was in detention in Mansa in 1984,” she says.
She says Dr Kaunda told her that she was now free.
“That was the first time I spoke to Kaunda, and that was the last,” she says.
Rejoice says President Kaunda didn’t need her to return to Mufumbwe, however to settle in Lusaka.
Rejoice refused and returned to Mufumbwe.
“I didn’t want people to think that I was working with the government against my husband.”