Welcome To The City Of Kitwe
Brief History of Kitwe
The name Kitwe comes from the Lamba word Ichitwe (a big head), because long before the industrialisation took place the inhabitants of this place the Lambas found a head of the dead elephant. The town of Kitwe is part of Chief Nkana’s area. The Lambas were misplaced when the mining actitivities commenced in this part of the Lambaland in the 1930s.
Kitwe was founded in 1936 in north-central Zambia. It has historical land-sites that tell of Zambia’s history. It is also one of the leading copper-expanding city in Zambia being the birth place to many mines and manufacturing industries.
The City of Kitwe lies between Latitude 12° and 13° south and Longitude 28° and 29° east. The city sits on a fairly flat land with an altitude of 1,295m above sea level.
The City boasts of the centrality of its location in the Copperbelt province of Zambia, and is bordered by Kalulushi, Mufulira, Luanshya, and Lufwanyama districts and the city of Ndola. Kitwe City covers an area of 777 km2 and comprises of a strip of land of about 32 km wide and approximately 64 km long stretching from Mufulira-Ndola Road in the east, to Lufwanyama River in the west. To the south, the city is bounded by the northern tributary of Baluba River; it follows the Musakashi, Kafue and Mutupa Rivers.
View of Kitwe in the 1930s ‘Matuka Avenue’
Recent view of the beautiful city
Kitwe is the third largest city in terms of infrastructure development and is one of the most developed commercial and industrial areas in the nation. It is made up of townships and suburban areas including Parklands, Riverside, Buchi, Chimwemwe, Kwacha, Nkana East, Nkana West, Garneton, Ndeke, Miseshi, Wusakile, Mindolo, Chachacha and Race Course, to mention a few.
Welcome sign to Kitwe at Kamfisa
According to the Central Statistics Office Preliminary Report of the 2022 census, the present population of Kitwe City stands at 762,981 with an approximated 3.3% annual growth rate. Population growth in the City is expected to grow even faster in the near future due to the City’s growing importance as a centre of mining and trade activities.
Kitwe’s primary economic activity, like the rest of the region, is mining. Other economic activities in the City include agriculture and manufacturing.
The story behind Kitwe’s Mposa Mabwe Statue.
Kitwe’s Mposa Mabwe statue is the epitome for struggle, resolve and determination by those who put their lives on the line to struggle for freedom for Zambia’s independence over 56 years ago.
The life-size effigy was sculptured by Francis Chinyemba. It portrays a muscular topless middle-aged man in loose handcuffs on his left wrist, holding a stone while aiming another in the western direction using his right hand.
This is one of the most prominent public art pieces done by a local artist in the country, the Mposa Mabwe statue is simply the story of the Cha movement cast in stone.
Owing to little or no weapons of ‘war’ at their disposal, locals relied on stones to fight armed police officers and colonial masters. This is the story that Mposa Mabwe tells.
Located on Kitwe’s Matuka Avenue surrounded by shops and a taxi rank, it is a common sight that symbolises the efforts of young people towards pre-independence struggles that eventually rid Zambia of colonial rule.
The Cha Cha Cha uprising of 1960 is regarded as a key movement that spurred Zambia’s victory over British rule at the height of the struggle, which could not have been successful without the involvement of youths.
Four years later, Zambia had gained its independence.
Legend has it that the Cha Cha Cha campaign was a show of civil disobedience and political awareness by those that propagated for independence and their followers.
The execution which was mainly led by Zambia’s first minister of State for Defence and Security Lewis Changufu involved strikes, arson, blocking of the roads, boycotts and protests in Lusaka and across the country.
It is reported that the campaign was named Cha Cha Cha after a popular African dance so as to symbolise that time had come for the British government to dance to the tune of freedom fighters.
MPOSA MABWE STATUE