|Nickname(s): Aba saamike akatambala ku chimuti
Kasama is the capital of the Northern Province of Zambia, situated on the central-southern African plateau at an elevation of about 1400 m. Its population, according to the 2000 census, is approximately 200,000. It grew considerably in the 1970s and 1980s after construction of the TAZARA Railway through the city, and the tarring of the Great North Road from Mpika through Kasama to Mbala. It sits at the centre of a road network which also reaches the Luapula Province in the west, Mporokoso in the north-west, Isoka in the east and Kayambi in the north-east. Consequently, it is a commercial hub with banks, markets, services and an airport.
Kasama is in the heartland of the Bemba tribe whose Paramount Chief Chitimukulu has his headquarters 9 kilometres (6 miles) from Malole mission which is 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the centre of Kasama town.
In 1898/9 a crisis over the succession of the Chitimukulu led to Bishop Joseph 'Moto Moto' Dupont gaining the agreement of Bemba chiefs to the British colonial Administrator of North-Eastern Rhodesia, Robert Codrington taking control of the area. Codrington established a boma at Kasama and the town's central location as well as its closeness to Chitimukulu's court led to it eventually becoming the largest and dominant town of the north-eastern lobe of what became Northern Rhodesia then Zambia.
The town has a few modern facilities, among them are a Shoprite Checkers branch, budget stores, a local supermarket called PJT and four bakeries. The town has banking services, with banks such as Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO), National Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE), Finance Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Cavmont Bank, Barclays Bank and African Banking Cooperation (Bank A.B.C) The town has VISA and ATM services.
Most people in Kasama are unemployed and they run small businesses to earn a living. Kasama has around six internet cafes where people can access internet services. The hospital is the Kasama General that provides locals with health services. The town has a police station and several police posts.
Kasama has the following residential compounds within the district council boundaries:
- Central Town (the largest)
- New Town or Mbulo
The compounds below are out of the council boundary:
- Mulenga Hills
Kasama sits in the middle of four major roads: the Kasama - Mpika road, the Kasama - Mbala road (which are part of Zambia's Great North Road), the Kasama - Luwingu road and the Kasama - Mungwi road; all of which are tarred roads.
Kasama recreational facilities include the Kasama golf club, which also offers tennis, volleyball, badminton, body building, and a small football ground with one stand that can seat less than a thousand people. The town has other football grounds where people can play soccer.
There are resorts at Chishimba Falls and guest houses and lodges such as the Chinchi's Nest and Kings Guest House, and 3 nightclubs.
World War I
At the end of World War I, when it consisted of a handful of government offices and a dozen stores, it was evacuated by its British population of a couple of dozen in the face of a surprise raid from the north-east by German East African forces under General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck. Not knowing that the armistice had occurred in Europe the day before, the Germans took the abandoned town on November 12, 1918 and continued south-west (there was no battle at Kasama since the British imperial forces were at Abercorn), agreeing a cease-fire at the Chambeshi River on November 14 when they were informed of the German surrender in Europe. For further details, see Von Lettow-Vorbeck Memorial.
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- Wohnprobleme in der Dritten Welt : theoret. Grundlage, Methodologie u. 4 Fallstudien in Bogota, Jakarta, Nairobi u. Kasama = Housing problems in the third world / Städtebaul. Inst. im Fachbereich 1 Architektur u. Stadtplanung d. Univ. Stuttgart. Verf.: Eberhard Knapp