Kasaba Bay is one of the places in Zambia that is synonymous with the country’s late founding father Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda.
Situated in the Nsumbu National Park area in Nsama District of Northern Province along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Kasaba Bay was one of Dr. Kaunda’s favourite working holiday and private retreat destinations.
National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) Northern Region Director, Kagosi Mwamulowe explained that Kasaba Bay is of great significance to Zambia’s history and heritage due to its link to the late first President.
Mr. Mwamulowe said during his presidency, Dr. Kaunda often travelled to Kasaba Bay, which was a Presidential Lodge, for retreat where some historical decisions and policy directives where announced.
He revealed that cabinet re-shuffles were also among the major announcements made from the tourist destination during the founding president’s tenure of office.
“Kasaba Bay is very significant to Zambia’s history because the late first President could go there for his retreat and each time he was there, the whole nation was early attentive because key announcements were made from that side including cabinet reshuffles,” Mr. Mwamulowe said.
Mr. Mwamulowe disclosed that the Kasaba Bay had chalets arranged according to hierarchy of the presidential entourage and had a number of facilities for hosting of high-ranking meetings.
He said the then Presidential Lodge is also important to historical events between Zambia and her neighbouring countries including the liberation of Southern Africa.
The Regional Coordinator cited the hosting of the meeting by Dr. Kaunda with former President of the then Zaire Mobutu Seseko and Mozambique’s Samora Machel on 19th October, 1986 to discuss matters of peace.
He disclosed that it was after the said meeting late former Mozambique President Machel took off with his plane from the Zambia Air Force Base in Mbala before his death in a tragic air crash.
“On 19th October in 1986, Dr. Kaunda hosted former President of the then Zaire Mobutu Seseko and Mozambique’s Samora Machel at Kasaba Bay to discuss matters of peace concerning the guerrilla fighters in Mozambique and it was after that meeting that President Machel died in a plane crash,” he said.
Mr. Mwamulowe has since revealed that plans are underway by the Ministry of Tourism through NHCC to declare Kasaba Bay as a National Monument and preserve its rich historical importance.
And with the New Dawn Administration having identified tourism as a key sector in the economic transformation agenda plans are underway to develop Kasaba Bay as a major tourist resort in the Northern Tourism Circuit.
Northern Province Minister Leonard Mbao said government is aware of the rich history of Kasaba bay as well as its tourism potential and wants to ensure that the area is given a befitting status.
Mr. Mbao said promoting the Northern Tourism Circuit cannot be done without the mention of Kasaba Bay based on its historical background and connection to First Republican President late Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.
“He held cabinet meetings from there and other African countries were critical decisions were made and the best way for us as a province to honour our founding father is to rekindle Kasaba Bay,” said Mr. Mbao.
The Provincial Minister said the allocation of K150 million in this year’s budget towards the development of Kasaba Bay Airport is an indication of government’s commitment to the actualization Northern Tourism Circuit.
He added that government has also sourced for funds from the World Bank towards the development of Kasaba Bay.
Mr. Mbao, who is also Mpulungu area Member of Parliament, said the money is expected to facilitate the planning and development of the tourist resort.