THE INJUSTICE SURROUNDING MAMA ALICE LENSHINA AND THE LUMPA CHURCH
A Recounting by Rev Walter Mwambazi
Until the lion learns to write, every story will always glorify the hunter – Chinua Achebe
History is written by men who hanged heroes
– William Wallace aka “Brave Heart”
This won’t be a long post…
This woman is perhaps one of Zambia’s most misrepresented people.
The government of the day claimed she and her followers were a cult that drank urine and climbed trees to ascend to heaven.
They also claimed she was a powerful witch operating with ancestral powers!
These were LIES!
The truth is tragic, but for the sake of her legacy and the Lenshina Church I shall summarize
👉🏾 She operated in the prophetic and had many visions that led to a clear presence of a powerful healing ministry
👉🏾 Her reputation and ministry were so profound that in 1964 her church already had over 150,000 members
👉🏾 She had more influence than the Scottish missionaries (later UCZ)
👉🏾 She was revered by many because of how simple and profound she was, yet commanded such a profound message that resonated with people of her day
👉🏾 She chose to not back UNIP then, and that led to skirmishes between her followers and the youth league of that day led by Kapasa Makasa
👉🏾 These skirmishes became a concern for the Northern Rhodesian Government and with Kaunda as Prime Minister, this had to be brought under control
What follows is a tragedy:
👉🏾 A contingency of police and security forces were sent to “control” the situation and instead led to a massacre (700 people killed in 3 days)
👉🏾 Many Lumpa church members fled into Congo and Mama Lenshina was arrested
👉🏾 She then spent many years being moved around from one prison to another from 1964 until 1975 (not too sure)
👉🏾 The Lumpa church was banned and members prohibited from meeting until after 1992
👉🏾 She then spent the remainder of her life under house arrest until her death (late 70s)
👉🏾 It is not until 1992 when the MMD government under Chiluba worked to try and get many Lumpa church members back to Zambia
Because history painted the Lumpa church so bad, it never really went back to it’s former name, adopting newer names now (Jerusalem Church)
In spite of many write ups like “They have Blood on their Hands” and a comprehensive series in the Daily Mail back in the 90s, this woman and her legacy still hasn’t been rectified.
My aim is to help add my voice to history and ask that those whom it is within their power to do so correct this long lasting injustice.
Indeed Mama Lenshina was in fact the pioneer of powerful women led ministry who’s impact cannot be ignored.
May God bless her family and those who were impacted by this gallant servant of God!