Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba speaking people with opposition Poor People's Party President Alex Mulyokela when he called on him at his palace in Kasama today.The Paramount chief has since called on all politicians to conduct peaceful campaigns ahead of the August election.- Picture by Mary Bwembya (ZANIS)
Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba speaking people

By Rev. Kapya Kaoma

Dr. Henry Kanyanta Sosala’s (aka the Chitimukulu) association of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) with Zambia’s moral decay, as published in Lusaka Times on June 18, 2019, is laughable, sexist, and insulting to women. The Chitimukulu was recently honored with an honorary doctorate, but his views on comprehensive sexuality education are planted in untold ignorance. The devastation of morality in Zambia cannot be blamed on Basic Integrated Science; nor is morality solely sexual in nature. Worse still, it is highly reckless and even detrimental to good governance for the Chitimukulu to blame democracy, human and gender rights for Zambia’s moral decay.

When are we men going to accept that girls don’t get pregnant by themselves? Pregnancy is the fusion process of the male gamete, and the female ovum. Behind every pregnant girl is a man–teacher, pastor, school boy, and even the sugar daddy, among them, some of those who surround the Chitimukulu and the President.

What then is Zambia’s moral decay? It is punishing the pregnant girl, but not the man who got her pregnant. It is punishing the victim of rape to carry the child to full term, but not the rapist; it is proposing the permanent expulsion of the pregnant school girl, but not the boy who got her pregnant; it is imprisoning a girl who procured an abortion, but not the man who made her pregnant. Shouldn’t we imprison both the mother and the father in case of abortion? Such a law will never pass even in our so called Christian nation!

The Chitimukulu wrongly believes its CSE that makes our children sexually active. This false claim ignores the process of child development. Today, a girl who enters first grade at 7 is likely to reach puberty by the age of 10 or 11 (grade 4). In the absence of imbusa and ichisungu ceremonies, who will guide such a child, if teachers? By the way, if we fail to guide our children on sexuality, social media, TV, love videos, and their peers will do it for us. We may bury our heads in the sand, but our children know more about sex than the Chitimukulu wants us to believe. CSE saves from HIV/AIDS, STD, unwanted pregnancies and abortion-related deaths. To blame CSE for sexual frivolousness is akin to impugning mathematics for our country’s financial corruption.

Ironically, Dr. Sosala cites Lord Macaulay’s argument on the destruction of African culture as key to the colonization of Africans. It is equally irrational to interpret Macaulay’s position as promoting “democracy,” since colonialism and democracy are worlds apart.

The Chitimukulu does not know that the domination of African culture came with the Bible, which he repeatedly cites in his flawed analysis. Of course, the bible has been used to oppress people—from the poor to slaves to black people to women. It is not surprising that Dr. Sosala follows this route—only girls are to blame for being sexually active! I wonder who makes dogs, chickens, cats, lizards, ducks, and pigs among many other animals sexually active–well blame it on CSE and females too.

Dr. Sosala’s analysis may seem original; but they are not. He is just parading the discredited myths promoted by his U.S. conservative allies and the Vatican. Across Africa, traditional CSE exists. The Chitimukulu’s own Bemba culture, which he seeks to protect from Western CSE, engages in ichisungu, and imbusa ceremonies. The following song is an example:

Banacimbusa eyee (Mothers of the initiates)

Banacimbusa mwangalafye (Mothers of the initiates you are playing)

Mwafunda umwana eyee (You teach a child)

Mwafunda umwana mwamusha panshila (You teach a child, but you leave her by the roadside)

Ukufunda umwana eyee (To teach a child)

Ukufunda umwana kufikapo (To teach a child, you must be explicit)

Senseleni eye, senseleni akasuba kawa! (Hurry up, hurry up, time is running out).

Ukufunda umwana kufikapo implies comprehensive sexuality education, something Audrey I. Richards’s book, Chisungu: A Girls’ Initiation Ceremony among the Bemba of Northern Rhodesia (1931) illustrates.

The chisungu ceremony is for young girls upon reaching puberty. During the ceremony, girls are comprehensively taught about sexuality, including sexual skills accompanied by illustrations of male genitals. Similar ceremonies exist across Africa–hlobonga among the Zulu, kujama among the Swati of Swaziland (Chilisa 2006: 253), and ngweko among the Kikuyu of East Africa (Magesa 1997: 126). I suggest that the Chitimukulu seeks the wisdom of banachimbusa, banangoshe or his Eastern cousins on the same.

The Chitimukulu’s limited knowledge of the very culture he seeks to protect is telling. But his failure to address moral decay beyond female sexuality is even worse. Corruption, poor governance, stealing of public funds, arresting of political opponents and political killings are behind Zambia’s moral decay. But who can bite the very hand that feeds him?

The Author is Visiting Researcher at Boston University, USA. He was the original researcher to expose the ties between US right-wing evangelicals and the anti-LGBTQ legislation in Uganda, and has testified before Congress and the United Nations. He is the author of a number of books, including Christianity, Globalization, and Protective Homophobia, Democratic Contestation of Sexuality in Sub-Saharan Africa

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32 COMMENTS

    • I blame the Chitimukulu when you want to comment on everything you end up being exposed as ignorant no one knows everything so stick to and comment on what you know best that is wisdom.
      Often times the most intelligent people are not wise and vice versa!

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    • Very well said Rev. Kaoma. Someone should advise the Chitimukulu to stop from cut and paste of articles in the Daily Nation.

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    • The Chitimukulu’s limited knowledge of the very culture he seeks to protect is telling. But his failure to address moral decay beyond female sexuality is even worse. Corruption, poor governance, stealing of public funds, arresting of political opponents and political killings are behind Zambia’s moral decay. But who can bite the very hand that feeds him?

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    • Ba Kaoma you will to go and work at Chitimukulu farm as punishment. Kumuli chipuba.
      “Ukulinganya amapuuli ne mfumu.”

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  1. Wow ,they say little knowledge is dangerous and the chitimukulu is proving it all.

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  2. The truth is that no human being concludes all the truth : there will always be other views from any other point of view , everyone has his or her point of on any matter we see things from our own point of view you can see one accident scene yet every witness will have a different explanationg about it according to how they saw that accident scene .

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  3. From grades 1 to 4 pupils are taught in local languages. In grade 4 this is what’s being taught in Chitimukulu’s dialect: ubwamba bwa mwaume nga bwaingila pa kapunda ka bwamba bwa mwanakashi elyo ba tomba ninshi umwanakashi kuti akwata ifumo. Is Mwine Lubemba wrong to voice against such vulgarity?

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    • Ma language yenangu aya nselensele chabe na confusion monga bamanga the tower of Babel, every time i watch news and there is confusion ninshi people are using chitimukulu’s language, Why?

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  4. Rev. Kaoma Kapya writes that: “CSE saves us from HIV/AIDS, STD, unwanted pregnancies and abortion-related deaths”. Though appearing to be better informed than the Chitimukulu, Kapya does not tell us how CSE does the trick. In addition, Kapya who pretends to be better informed about the Bemba culture than the Chitimukulu tells us that traditional CSE exists in the Bemba culture in the IChisungu and Imbusa traditional ceremonies. But he does not throw down any clues on how these two ceremonies help girls to be assertive in sexuality matters as Western CSE claims to. Kapya should have demonstrated that he is better informed than the Chitimukulu in his write-up which he does not do. He only appears to aim at disparaging the Chitimukulu.

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  5. I have agreed with Rev. Kapya Kaoma on some points he has put up but not on all , rev. Kaoma said the bible has destroyed African culture telling us that the bible has targeted our African culture .
    The truth is that bible was written to address the problems of Adam and Eve , and draw them back to their creator and not Africa as the learned man of the cloth put it .
    The bible has indeed been abused by sinful man who thought it was his tool to oppress and colonise his fellow human being who has a fallen nature like himself, even now the bible is being used by crooks to do their business .
    However the bible is not foreign to Africa in fact it originates from Africa and not the western world , the oldest bible in the world is not from England or America , the…

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  6. I have agreed with Rev. Kapya Kaoma on some points he has put up but not on all , rev. Kaoma said the bible has destroyed African culture telling us that the bible has targeted our African culture .
    The truth is that the bible was written to address the problems of Adam and Eve ,’ and all humanity are descendants of Adam and Eve ‘ and draw them back to their creator and not African as the learned man of the cloth put it .
    The bible has indeed been abused by sinful man who thought it was his tool to oppress and colonise his fellow human being who has a fallen nature like himself, even now the bible is being used by crooks to do their business .
    However the bible is not foreign to Africa in fact it originates from Africa and not the western world , the oldest…

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  7. The oldest bible is the Ethiopian bible and is more original and has more books numbering 88 books including the book of Enock as it predates any other bible we read these days and the earliest churches were built in Ethiopia by Africans these churches have been excavated in Ethiopia they date back as far back as a thousand years .

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  8. Does someone pay the Chitimukulu for these long particles that are always full of contradictory quotations ?This Chitimukulu loves money and will continue writing these inconclusive ill researched articles as long as someone continues paying him. Sata knew him best.

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    • The Mwine Lubemba is always at home. He doesn’t go out looking for money like you and me. He has all the time to write whatever he wants.

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  9. You may have a point but the tone of your language is so emotional. You must understand that even your thought about this topic is subjective, and that other people may have opinions even diverse from both points. You speak highly like you are biased towards protecting the girl child regardless of whether she has committed an abortion on her own. Take a chill pill and read again what the chitimukulu wrote and I know you find the useful and the things you might not agree with….

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  10. Great response! I also had issues with some of the analysis by The Chitimukulu but just brushed it aside. I am glad to see your detailed response of the flaws in the Chitimukulu’s article. Becoming sexually active has nothing to do with ones morals, it is a natural process that comes with hormonal changes in the human body. That said, CSE will not trigger or stop someone from becoming sexually active. In fact introduction of CSE in the Zambian school curriculum is a positive thing that should be supported by all Zambians.

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  11. You have some good points but I have 3 things to say to you

    One is that in writing a rebuttal we don’t talk down the or use language that sounds belittling of your target opponent. In as much as you have found flaws in his reasoning, intellectual engagement does not mean using strong language so as to make you appear wise. In this case, you hide behind intellectual debate to debase the person who deserves some decorum as a paramount chief, but has chosen to be an intellectual luminary among his people and the nation. His public engagement is unlike other paramount chiefs, say the Litunga who only speaks through his indunas.

    Secondly, you carry a title of Reverand yourself, and here you are telling us that what has destroyed the African culture is the Bible. So if you are a…

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  12. …….. So if you are a Reverand in church, are you an agent of further destruction of your people? It is highly erroneous to say the Bible is responsible for the African’s moral decadence. Europe itself has thousands of churches, including the building which burnt in France. Europeans genuinely believed in the Bible and were Christians. It is only recently that Europe has suffered proportionate apostasy due to advancement of technology, highly commercial economy and development of other passions. In bringing you Christianity, the early missionaries were trying to obey the command we know as the great commission, “go ye therefore, and spread the gospel, even unto the ends of the world.

    Thirdly, note that although Chitimukulu may have said a lot, he was propmted by the complaint…

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  13. …he was propmted by complaints from a grandmother whose grandchild “shikulad” the mother by innocently mentioning stuff that ordinarily wouldn’t be discussed with parents. Granted, these are subjects that carry a cultural sensitivity and sanctity. citing a song of the fimbusa does not equate the mode of delivery of the sexual education by fimbusa to classroom discourse, especially the idea of consulting parents directly. I mean we don’t discuss p3ni3s and v*g*n*s with parents, do we, Reverand?

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  14. how can you teach your child how you sleep with your wife for that child to be born at a tender age is that wisdom? lets teach to children to be productive not how wear a condom just to please those *****s improper syllabus has poverty misery and death chitimukulu you are a hero

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  15. The language of ‘Reverend’ Kaoma against Chitimukulu, being so toxic and corrosive, is merely meant to demean the chief.

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  16. Forgive the judgmental”Reverend”. He spoils his analysis as noted by despondent 15-16 above.
    Shouldn’t he not learn more about his “professional manual”

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  17. With all due respect. Paramount Chief Chitimukulu should rule more silently. Any chief who talks too much exposes himself/herself to debate…and the debating stage knows no royalty, it will tear you up. That is why even Presidents have special assistants. As a Chief, he is supposed to be issuing only statements on key issues of national concern. I have not heard our Paramount Chief issue a statement on the current political and economic situation and corruption in the nation. Why is he carefully skirting these more important issues, instead of lecturing us on morals???? By the way, Reverend Kapya Kaoma is spot on in his critical view of The Chitimukulu’s article on sexuality education. You can tell Rev. Kaoma balisambilila, not honorary degrees which have become so common in this…

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    • He is a Reverand who believes in the Bible that he says it was a tool for subjugation of an African. This clearly shows that Ba Kapya Kaoma is a treacherous individual.

      As for the Chief expressing his opinion on national matters, there is no harm in that. He fancies himself as “free thinker”. Therefore, you cannot confine his expressive mind to only “key issues”. You think the do called Comprehensive Sexual Education is not a key issue? No one said the Chief cannot be criticized. The issues is that in doing so, measure the tone of your language and let you points of contention convey your message. Why is Kaoma emotionally rattled?

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  18. How come he is a reverend and argues that the bible has had a detrimental effect on African culture? Shouldn’t that be left to religious skeptics, agnostics etc?

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  19. When I saw the first part of the first sentence “Dr. Henry Kanyanta Sosala’s (aka the Chitimukulu)…..”, I didn’t bother to read the whole article because I immediately became biased to perceive ba Kapya as a f.ool.

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