By Given Chikeu



Somalis settlers in Zambia dropped their first bombshell in 1986 by establishing an unlawful settlement of well over 50 families next to Bwana Mkubwa Railway Station, about 10 km from Ndola -the friendly City on the Ndola-lusaka highway.

Without authorization, either from Ndola City Council or the Ministry of Lands. The Somalis -fuel tank drivers and their families -put up a compound of mud houses and pit latrines, water wells and common basic facilities.

Some patriotic Zambian journalists felt compelled journalistically, in national interest, to write prodding pieces concerning unlawful establishment of the Zambian version of Ogaden settlement in Ndola. Those pieces were written as a wake up call, specifically for the Zambian government, to take a decisive action against the Somalis squatters.

Following, those revelation published in various media outlets, the UNIP government under Kenneth Kaunda acted promptly in demolishing the settlement.

The Somalis squatters fled, therefrom,only to emerge in isolated hiding places notably, Twapia, Ndeke and outlying settlements.The government did not realize that the nefarious Somalis had come to Ndola to stay put.
The number of Somalis families residing in Ndola especially Ndeke Township, has glaringly increased from 50 to a level of countless estimation .Like a swam of bees they keep trooping every day.

For the rising Zambian generation, those who live in Ndola particularly, they stand inclined to know how and why the Somalis aliens found the possibility of coming to settle in Ndola from their country Somalia.

They came here Situationally, circumstantially, changefuly with no point of returning back home. They came seeking fortune.

In 1966, post-independence Zambia as a nation, encountered economic blockade involving railway transportation through Zimbabwe imposed by minority rule led by Ian Smith. This ensued in the aftermath of proclaiming independence against international condemnation.
To mitigate the effects of the blockade, the Kaunda’s government clinched an expeditious deal with his Tanzanian counterpart the late Julius Nyerere, to set up a countering road transport system -the Zambia -Tanzania Road Transport Service -then referred to as “Hell-Run. It enabled Zambia to import fuel through Tanzania.

But as bad luck would have it, the management faced the problem of recruiting fuel -tank drivers neither in Zambia nor Tanzania.

Somalia emerged to provide the possibility, a country which abounded in having drivers competent to meet the challenges of whatever terrain condition. Somalis drivers were recruited in numbers one group transporting fuel into Lusaka and another from Tanzania to Ndola on the Copperbelt.

In Ndola the Somalis drivers after a spell of honey-combing around, settled themselves on self demarcated piece of land at Bwana Mkubwa on the outskirts of the city of Ndola in defiance of immigration laws.

Initially, they came as single men. Hardly encountered wrath from the government they started abetting their families, wives and children, coming to join them at their new found settlement..

Since then, the Somalis applied their money power making Ndeke Township, so hard to believe, fast emerging as a city in Ndola -or a two -in -city.

Somalis are swiling in economic affluence hard to believe ! When in Ndeke Township ,you would think you are just a stone throw away to Ogaden settlement in Somalia.

Frankly speaking,far beyond argument,the somalis have presented themselves to extremes , wading through hard times . Physically and mentally, they present themselves as a people so defiant and tough -mindedly imbued with of a sense of fatalism fused with survival instinct -according to American Journalist author, David Lamb , famously renowned for his book sell-out ” The Africans and Arabs “.

For over a thousand years,in typical mindset as a good example, Somalis have been pitched in civil war hardly ending .Blood-shedding ,among themselves,until today! Yet ,Somalia is a single -tribe country.

Scientists say every person born on earth has a xenophobic element to them , genetically.The human xenophobic mindset is not alterable , much the same way as the behavioural aberration can be righted ,humanly.

Xenophobia,defined in simple words is the harbouring of hatred against strangers or foreigners .A question posed is it xenophobic to put some spanners to some of these people entering Zambia at any time they feel like?



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