The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has given the University of Zambia $340,000 to develop a degree Programme to train students in witchcraft.
The training in what is referred to as Intangible Cultural Heritage will commence with the first intake comprising of 20 students, reports Lusaka Times.
The Zambia National Commission for UNESCO has explained that Intangible Heritage comprises practices such as witchcraft, and social practices such as expression through music, knowledge, skills as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and rituals.
Zambia National Commission for UNESCO Secretary-General, Dr. Charles Ndakala, said despite efforts in safeguarding cultural heritage, there are cases of destruction of priceless cultural heritage in certain countries which threatens traditions and customs.
Dr. Charles Ndakala was speaking to Journalists on the sidelines of a five days’ workshop for the orientation of UNZA Lecturers on Intangible Culture Heritage.
In November last year, Higher Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo announced that Zambia should consider research and the study of witchcraft as a science that can be used productively for the benefit of the country.
Professor Luo said Zambian scientists can learn from the South African counterparts who have commenced studies in witchcraft in some universities.
“I could not help but think of witchcraft when I saw a mobile phone put into a box and it turned into a lady’s pant!” she said during the commemoration of the World Science Day for Peace and Development dubbed: ‘Recreating interest in science, technology and innovation’.
But then Government Spokesperson Kampamba Mulenga said Government was disappointed with media reports suggesting that it will consider research on witchcraft as a science that can be used productively for the benefit of the country.
Ms Mulenga said the allegations are blatant falsehoods coming from people who have nothing good to offer to the nation.
She said the government is aware that there is a group of people that are spreading malicious statements through various media platforms, bent on destroying government’s image.
She added that contrary to the allegations, President Lungu’s administration has and will always uphold Zambia’s status as a Christian nation as enshrined in the preamble of the constitution.