Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Claim about Witchcraft courses at UNZA is misinformation


The University of Zambia has dissociated itself from the misinformation generated through social media on the well intended degree programme in Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) which will be funded by UNESCO.This is according to a statement issued to the media by Public Relations manager Damaseke Chibale.

Mr. Chibale said Witchcraft is a crime in Zambia as prescribed in Chapter 90 of the Laws of Zambia( The Witchcraft Act.) He said in line with the Witchcraft Act the University of Zambia Senate would not approve such a purported degree programme.The new degree programme in ICH, funded by UNESCO is yet to be developed and approved by the Univeristy of Zambia Senate.

According to UNESCO 2003 convention “intangible cultural heritage” means the practices,representations,expressions,knowledge ,skills – as well as the instruments,objects,artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith -that communities ,groups and in some cases individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.
Mr. Chibale said Zambia as a nation and a people is rich in these tangible cultural heritage which include Gule Wa Mukulu and Makishi Dance.

Below is the full press release.


  1. So what? Poor reasoning. Murder is a crime in Zambia but that doesn’t stop studies into how and why it is done.

    • @No PHD: I totally agree with you. The reasoning from UNZA is totally nonsensical. Like you have correctly stated, murder is a crime. nonetheless, there are several studies on murder, including forensics, pathology etc. If this is the official position of UNZA, then this university has really gone to the dogs! It no longer has critical thinkers. its so shameful!

    • Actually, several reputable universities around the world, including Oxford, have since the 1900s sent scholars to come to Zambia to study witchcraft for their PhDs. Go to Oxford and check-out in their library

    • Intangible Cultural Heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. Cultural Heritage is an expression of the ways of living developed by a community and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects, artistic expressions and values.

      Is witchcraft a practice, knowledge and skill? Simple answer is yes! Is it a way of living or practice that is developed by a community and passed on from one generation to another? Since answer is yes! Thus, witchcraft is an Intangible Cultural Heritage! So, what is your problem UNZA?

    • I have a PhD

      You Zambian are backwards. As a group Zambian are 5tupid but individually they are nice people.

      How can you believe in witchcraft?

      So backwards – can someone pass me a puke bucket please



    • You actually dont need to do a separate program in witchcraft, if people are that interested in witchcraft it can be studied under anthropology right there at UNZA.

    • Its laughable that an institution that offers Degree course in Mass Communication and Media can respond in this manner…truly gone to the are responding to ill informed brainwashed foooools, Facebook journalist and making yourselves look fooolish. In US studies you have described even go up to Doctorate of Philosophy level….

  2. I was just amazed at how the witchcraft thing came up. Really laughable but thanks UNZA for the clarification.

  3. So what is wrong with studying courses related to African medicines and witchcraft…you have pointless RE which is told to us in Primary school which was just a brainwashing session…why can’t we look into it…if Oxford was doing it you would commending them now because its yourselves you are making all sorts of jokes about it on social media. They have played a number of you that you look down on your heritage and culture…hence forget your history but you are mermorising a book called the Bible that has been revised a hundred times to suit the colonizers.
    Wake up from your folly and study about self!!

    • Thanks Jay Jay for pointing that out. In fact to make sound relevant, the govt in late 90s had changed it’s same to S.M.E (Spiritual Moral Education). What benefits has it brought, if one asks? Subscribing to one set of beliefs makes one a close minded bigot/hypocrite, which coincidentally is what most Zambians are. Imagine such shallow arguments coming from UNZA!

    • Dokowe – African are a docile bunch especially Zambians are a gullible bunch I wouldn’t care less if you vote me down…they adore all these foreign things even wigs, weaves, skin lighteners etc..this is all results of being brainwashed, just look at the pictures the are putting up.
      They are too lazy to study about self but we memorize the bible even named after an evil English King called James.

    • You can never “study”witchcraft because it is below or beyond the realm of logic/reason.It’s like trying to study GOD.These phenomena are in the realm of spirits and you practice them only with faith.The term “Intangible Cultural Heritage” is used in a scientific sense but scientific methodology has its limits in this case.

  4. If Witchcraft is a crime why do you allow witch-doctors to operate because one of witchdoctor’s function is to heal bewitched people.

    • @******* ****:
      The law does not recognize Witch Doctors as such, but they officially operate under the name “TRADITIONAL HEARERS” or “HERBALISTS” or “SANGOMA (in RSA)”.
      e.g. Dr. Rodwell Vongo, he is President of the Traditional Health Practitioners Association of Zambia (THPAZ).
      They don’t call him “President of Witch Doctors of Zambia (WDZ) – which in reality HE IS.

    • *******: If physical assault is a crime, why do you allow doctors to operate because one of doctors’ function is to treat assaulted people.

  5. The problem we have in Zambia is that we don’t have well-trained journalists. The highest institution that trains journalists in Zambia is Evelyn Hone College but sadly, it only offers diplomas. The standard of journalism in our country is appallingly below par. We even have people who’ve never been in a journalism class masquerading as journalists. Just take a look at political parties with their so-called Media Directors? No journalism background. We have dull DJs working in radio stations and masquerading as journalists. Real journalists are busy being enticed with some fake diplomatic jobs leaving us with on rejects who can barely construct a sentence in English. Being active on social media does not make one a journalist

  6. Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is like a certain now very old Zambian politician who used to say, and quote: “Musiyaleni fo maLodzi” while in Chipata or Kasama. He must be made the principal of this program at UNZA, buloi bwahae namalyanga yani bu tulile sikala, utayo yonga mwa lihele!

  7. In developed countries it is called Mystical Studies and it offered at college and graduate level.Students learn about Medieval Mystical Traditions,Earth Spirit Medicine, Herbal, Practical Potions, Metaphysics,spiritual healing,hypnosis etc.
    But in Zambia,this Christian nation nonsense has clouded the minds of ordinary people.They are not thinking straight.
    A simple google search will show you that a majority of Zambians blend traditional thoughts(Animism) with Christian beliefs

  8. Zambians are their own worst enemies. Anything to discredit someone we don’t like is welcome. The proposed program will only help to understand the mystery surrounding some our mystical fables. Why should we continue living in guesswork of our own heritage? Maybe ukulowa is just a fable told at insaka so how are we going to prove this if we don’t do a study.

    • @Dr Chaos Theory: Just seen your invitation to discourse on this thread. First of all, I do not think your approach of generalization (anthropology) is best approach. Otherwise, there would have been no justification for school of Law. All would then have to have been lumped as degree in humanities. Intangible Cultural Heritage is a specialization, like law. May be we can take it up from there!

    • @ Little knowledge is Dangerous, Anthropology is just one route that could be used to study this phenomena of witchcraft with specialization being done at postgraduate level. This is also bring in the question of level that one would study this? Is it at postgrad level or undergrad? If it is at undergraduate level getting a specialised degree in an esoteric subject would not be very beneficial.

    • @Dr Chaos Theory: The Anthropology route would be great at whatever level. However, my preference is where it is inclined to social theory but natural sciences as well. For example, at what point does witchcraft interact with the science of kinematics, projectiles, photons etc? What I mean is that instead of focusing solely on evolution profiling, it would be great to look at contemporary applications by interrogating natural sciences perspectives as well.

    • @ Little knowledge is dangerous, how do you investigate the casual linkages between witchcraft core beliefs, principles, practices and effects? The effects could be the result of random coincidences. An integrated approach with an established science would not produce any useful results owing to the maturity of the two fields. The methods and techniques of natural science are well known and documented. The same can not be said about this dark. The social sciences have enough problems reconciling the plethora of theories that can be used to explain the same phenomena.

    • Physical or natural science, and social science, are two types of science that share many things but are also different on many levels. The main similarities between the include the following: both sciences employ the same scientific model in order to obtain information; some branches of each science even employ both natural and social science components (e.g. medicine, biology and ecology, and this is where witchcraft comes in), while economics and psychology are examples of social sciences proper; both have general laws that have numerous applications; both use empirical and measured data that is observable by the senses. Additionally,theories in both sciences can be tested to produce theoretical statements and general propositions. I therefore still believe triangulation can work in…

    • @Dr Chaos theory: In summary, science is more concerned with studying nature, while social science is concerned with human behavior and societies. Pure science is characterized by control, exactness, rationality, controlled variables, and predictability, while social science is the opposite—it is spontaneous, with unpredictable or uncontrollable variables, and it deals with human emotions and behaviors. The basis of natural science is experimental data, while social sciences rely on experiential data. The usual method of science (with respect to experimental data) is doing repetitive and conventional experiments in a laboratory, while social science, utilizing experiential data, usually involves alternative methods of observation and interaction with people within a community. Natural or…

    • @ Little knowledge is Dangerous, supposing you were to undertake studies in witchcraft would your interest be in getting a theoretical understanding of the art or to be a practitioner?

    • @Dr Chaos Theory: so tel me how use of kaliloze guns can not be used experimented in a laboratory using natural sciences research rigor

    • @Dr Chaos Theory: If I were to undertake studies in witchcraft, my core interest would be contemporary applications. But to do that, first things first: understand fundamentals i.e. theoretical understanding

    • The dichotomy between natural/social science is rather trivial. Both social and natural sciences should involve academic rigor and proper methodology. The dichotomies point to the choice of the researchers ontological position decided a priori. There is no reason for social science to be lacking in rigor or for experiments not be conducted during data collection. All these methods are available to the both the humanities and natural sciences equally.

    • @Dr Chaos Theory: agreed. Academic rigor is the cornerstone of research regardless one’s ontological orientation; & be it from social sciences or natural sciences perspectives. Agreed too that both methods are available either side. There is no doubt that mixed methods/triangulation by and large achieve the same degree of thoroughness and exhaustiveness, which is the ultimate goal of research.

      Hopefully at this juncture, after an interesting exchange of elements of social theory, we are now agreed that witchcraft, also known as Intangible Cultural Heritage can as much be subjected to same academic rigor as is done to rocket science. Good day!

  9. Beliefs in witchcraft is an aborant and dangerous trend and should be banished not encouraged my muting studies of the same.
    Whole families and societies have been split and in some cases individuals evicted or murdered for being suspected witches. Even children are accused of being witches and suffer abuse….

    Beliefs in witchcraft only strengthen fake churches and pasters to expolit people who have minds weakened by beliefs in witchcraft.

    A progressive GRZ would task those chiefs who get paid to help banish this primitive belief among there subjects..

    It is no coincidence that no developed advanced country has any such primitive beliefs among its people…….

  10. UNESCO can not fund such a program

    The program has been funded by UNESCO

    Senate has not approved

    Senate can not approve because witchcraft is illegal in zambia

    • Do you know what UNSECO stands for and why it was created? I always tell you dingbats to research with that technology om your fingertips…

  11. Is the study of Witchcraft and other intangible things a priority in a poverty stricken heavily indebted country? If you look at most Intangible cultural artifacts in Zambia, there is very little difference with what is known about Witchcraft! Of what benefit to our economy are these studies? We are busy celebrating Chinese Construction Marvels in Zambia like Mongu-Kalabo road, Lukulu District Hospital, etc but where are the real Zambian stories? Is this a diversion tactic by PF to remove our attention from the FIC reports on Mega PF plunder? We even have a so called Opposition party that has become so irrelevant to the cause of Zambia. If Sata was in the opposition today, perhaps he could have opened the eyes of most Zambians – easily cheated and deceived! Continue celebrating…

  12. Who are targetted resource person? Definately dont leave out Chiefs….they wallow in witchcraft these ‘leaders’

  13. This is a mess. Some people are trying to pump sense but the majority are not reasoning. UNESCO = United Nations Educational, Scientific and CULTURAL Organisation. If your argument is that agriculture and mining are the priority, so 16 million Zambians to all study agric and mining? If the whole body is the eye, where will be the smell? In those big developed countries, there are millions of study lines. The result is an intelligent, dynamic, robust society. As soon as you try to proscribe a few study lines, you have subscribed to narrowness, ignorance and backwardness. Sadly, that is where we have been. Long live robust study. Pls UNZA continue leading the way in investigation

  14. Good response UNZA. I am more able to believe in the educated men and women of UNZA than Childish and his entourage! The tribal grouping is very LOW!

  15. If were true, thank God it is no, the lecturer if it were for the cult must have been a Three Mansion, to qualify.

  16. Whatever you may wish to call it but its totally unacceptable for a reputable institution of higher learning as UNZA to offer such a discreting program …..

  17. We are fraulted with hypocrites and cowards fearful of venturing into the excitements of the infinite. Can some diasporian tell us something about Halloween day and ‘wacko’? Developed countries proceeded from here into astrology, cosmology, space exploration, UFOism.By God, scientific study should have no limitations.

  18. UNESCO doesn’t design projects and program s

    You design they just fund. They are NOT involved in legality or otherwise

    Nkandu luo challenge d local scientists to research in witchcraft

    Thats why unza took it up. Unfortunately for them it has backfired

  19. @Dr Chaos Theory: so tel me how use of kaliloze guns can not be used experimented in a laboratory using natural sciences research rigor?

  20. Why should we be forced to abandon our natural gifts of curiosity just because someone cheated us that academic study of witchcraft was taboo?

  21. @#24, I don’t observe Halloween and that does not mean that everything developed countries do Zambia
    should do.

  22. Very sad that the course will not be offered, I was planning to take a minor in KALILOZA Gun on witchcraft studies

  23. Just two days ago rumors were circulating on social media about riots which wasn’t the case and people believed…now this is a disappointing issue because it seems every story that circulates on social media, people believe without evidence… I’m a student at the institute and this story is false

  24. Prof Lou is the person who started the rumour of witchcraft when she said that UNZA will start a course on Witchcraft! If a learned person can make a joke about a course programme, what will be the reaction of the common person in the street? Don’t blame the people but blame the Minister of Education, Prof Lou for her silly comment!

  25. Ladies and Gentlemen.
    Am so disappointed with the UNZA curriculum, we are Africans we all know what witchcraft is. Each family has at least experienced its nasty disastrous action.
    1. It is evil.
    2. It is real and horrible.
    3. It hits and no reversing.
    4. It is crime like what others have already said.
    The University wants to turn our children into witches! When he/she come home you are all worried… No we don’t want this. Money from UNESCO in smeared with evil blood.
    1. They will need practicals you are going to experience mysterious deaths in the Campus. The Chancellor will definitely practice in order to protect himself from the class practicals eventually all members of staff will grow interest. This is a misplaced idea from an evil minded person who has been bribed by…

  26. The problem Zambians have is that they know all the problems, blame each other and it ends there. That is what is more laughable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. All this witchcraft nonsense is a disguised way of trying to open doors for accepting Satanism in this country after it has traditionally received massive opposition at every level of our society. Evil people will stop at nothing eh.

  28. HH can start one in Namwala if he wants and become the head or chair of the wicked studies. Anyway, Satan is a loser and will not come to our educational system to destroy it! We bind all the works of Satan and his people with derailed minds in the name of Jesus!

  29. Bana Mulenga ningufwa ati umwana wenu aleya pa UNZA. Aleya muku sambilila inshi? Bana Musonda aleya muku sambilila ubuloshi pa digili. kikikikekeke awi te sana cut me a drink.

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