Is Zambia ready for home bred millionaires?…the curious case of Mulenga Mikalile- Anthony Mukwita

Is Zambia ready for home bred millionaires?…the curious case of Mulenga Mikalile

Written by Anthony Mukwita


As a published author, I am always looking out for a story with a good plot—a feel good story about an individual or organisation that has performed exceptionally well in their chosen fields.

It is for this reason that when brother James Ndambo came on the scene and brought Choma to a standstill about two years ago doing good deeds, I was first among equals to unpack Mr Ndambo to the vast circle of Zambians that new not the man.

This is because from my previous encounter, I knew Mr Ndambo as a self-made millionaire that created his own business empire starting humbly under a harsh environment in Zambia, moving to South Africa, Dubai, Congo, and Namibia.


In every corner, Ndambo´s name was spoken in harsh tones of respect and reverence, but unfortunately, success and Zambia is like oil and water—they don’t mix.

Before we knew it, Ndambo´s philanthropic work was nipped in the bud, they ran him out of town and for good measure also targeted his business in Walvis Bay, Namibia he built from scratch and shut it down.

No reasons given but clearly someone in government was threatened by the huge shadow of James Ndambo.

I don’t think Mr Ndambo is coming back to Zambia any time soon, he´s gone, he has also taken away all his philanthropic works that shall now benefit people in Congo and Dubai.


Fast-forward to this week, the Zambian media space has been flooded with stories of youthful entrepreneur Mulenga Mikalile of the CEO and brains behind Mika Meats founded in 2020.

The tongue wagging started following a startling Auditor General´s report raised a red flag after a ´special audit´ regarding a $400 million debt Mikalile´s company is owed by the government of Zambia.

Allegations are that the product he supplied Boma could either be defective or overpriced, signalling a red flag that they are preparing to withhold his hard-earned money, I was surprised!

Was this the Ndambo story unfolding all over again where the man had to be probed by ACC over charity works?

I don’t how the AG´s office works, I also don’t supply government anything so I can’t competently argue about the on-going probe.
My curious mind told me to hit the data sites and found nothing out of place on Mikalile´s file, a poster child of Zambian business who turns only 44 this year but has a business portfolio that qualifies him to supply goods worth $400 million in a depressed economy like ours so, as you can understand I was impressed, and I am not easily impressed.


As facts stand, Mikalile has Mika offices in Dubai and Tanzania where he has Tanzania Mika Meats, Guang Zho, China etc (in picture) where he does supply business across continents with full time staff in all the international offices.

In Zambia he has full time staff complement of 2000 workers doing full time work and more on short external contracts, he could employ more as he expands, if he is allowed to expand in what now seems like a ´hostile´ environment with the AG standing over his shoulders.

Mika has 66 beef shops around Zambia and abattoirs, as he works on a massive fish farming project to ease food shortages at cheap prices.
When you talk to him, he is an affable lad that always prefixes you with ´Mr´ or ´Sir´ as he explains himself and tells his ´humble beginnings story´ that started in the village, going to school between 1991 and 2001 at Lubushi catholic school.

Mikalile further pursued higher studies at UNZA where he took a shot at computer sciences before going full throttle in business to which he took to like a duck to water, literally.

In the streets he is known for his collection of fancy cars, cabriolet´s Maybach´s etc but few are aware of his philanthropy work through the church ofcourse besides the 2000 Zambians he employs full time.

When I looked at this portfolio, I said to myself as sucker for a good human interest inspirational story, ´is this the guy you want to take out your economy or is this the guy you want to prop up so that instead of 2000 people, he can employ 10,000?´

My answer is like in the United Sates where people like Donald Trump where in the past lent money by banks to stay afloat, you keep Mika alive so that he can employ more people.

In future when a mining company is struggling, make him a partner don’t pawn mines to foreigners, when you want to build a road, get him on a PPP, don’t get foreigners.

My missive here is Zambia needs more James Ndambo´s and Stephen Mikalile to help in economic growth and job creation.

I don’t have a dog in this fight as author, former Editor in chief and diplomat except that if a Zambian is doing well, reward them instead of flogging them but I guess only time and investigations will tell.

Let us celebrate wealth and success instead of sharing poverty. I love success stories.

Anthony Mukwita was the PF ambassador to Germany during the plunder

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