Thursday, 14 February 2013

Things are going on in Zambia

A few years ago, when he came to power, Sata was the golden boy set to fix the problems caused by his predecessor's regime widely considered to have been riddled with corruption and human rights abuses. Now a coalition of civil society and opposition parties have come together to petition the Commonwealth to investigate human rights abuses, including allegations that the government is using archaic, colonial era laws to crack down on freedom of expression and association. Also,

President Michael Sata accused of inciting ethnic violence, abusing law enforcement bodies to persecute opponents, and judicial interference
Ethnicity-based comments and decisions are always worrying. The tourism minister taking on tribalism with tribalism at a campaign rally:

Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo says Zambia will never be led by a Tonga president because the Southerners are not willing to embrace other tribes. Speaking at a campaign rally in Livingstone today, Masebo said the Tonga people were being used to perpetrate tribal politics. But the PF Chairperson for elections said people should vote for Hakainde Hichilema on merit. "Let us vote for HH because he is good and not because he is Tonga, don't be used in politics of tribalism. We should not agree to tribalism. We should reject this because some of you are married to Bembas; some of you are married to Lozis. We can't have a country based on tribe," she said.
UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is up on defamation charges for statements made about the President. He has claims that he is not guilty and the case will be heard in April.

Meanwhile, Sata has appointed an opposition party MP as Deputy Minister of Agriculture - Agriculture is in something of a mess after the food reserve agency system failed to prevent staple food shortages in the copperbelt area.

The country is also in the midst of a very interesting on-going debate about presidential immunity.

So, things are happening in Zambia, and people should, perhaps pay attention. Zambia is, also, a recently lower-middle income country, a key supplier of copper and other materials to China and a neighbour of the conflict-ridden Eastern DRC.

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