• politics
  • zambia-in-the-world

This week’s picture

A picture of Fisheries and Livestock Minister Michael Katambo kneeling reverently while talking to President Lungu has done the rounds READ MORE...
  • zambia-in-the-world

Zambia is a good global citizen

Zambia is placed 40th out of 125 countries on the Good Country Index. This new index seeks to measure how READ MORE...
  • living
  • zambia-in-the-world

Zambia wins 2017 Under-20 AFCON

Zambia has won the 2017 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), after winning all its matches, beating Guinea 1-0, Mali READ MORE...
  • government
  • zambia-in-the-world

Lungu in Israel

President Lungu is in Israel on a five-day state visit. He left Zambia in his private jet, travelling with eight READ MORE...
  • living
  • zambia-in-the-world

Junior Chipolopolo excels!

After a long drought in Zambian football, the junior Chipolopolo (the national U20 team) has qualified for the biennial 2017 READ MORE...
  • communication
  • zambia-in-the-world

ZNBC fails to broadcast AFCON

Zambia is currently hosting the 2017 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations, with the matches being broadcast by SuperSport, but not READ MORE...
  • government
  • zambia-in-the-world

Commonwealth VIP visits Zambia

Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General (political) Josephine Ojiambo has visited Zambia as part of a regional tour of southern Africa. She met READ MORE...
  • zambia-in-the-world

King of Morocco on state visit

Moroccan King Mohammed VI has visited Zambia on a three-day state visit, with the two countries signing 19 agreements and READ MORE...

This Week’s Exchange

Nic Cheeseman, professor of democracy and international development, Birmingham University, UK, stated:

“Until now, Zambia’s progress under multi-party politics has been quietly impressive. Over the last year, though, things have changed. (…) According to the Conference of Catholic Bishops – one of the most influential bodies in the country – Zambia doesn’t deserve to be called a democracy (…) it has become a dictatorship – or getting there. Many Catholic leaders were seen to be sympathetic to the PF, when it won power under Michael Sata in 2011, so what has changed? This is not the first time that a Zambian president has sought to consolidate his authority by manipulating state institutions. Nor is it the first time that opposition leaders have been arrested, or civil society groups intimidated. In the recent past, these moments of high political tension have often been resolved peacefully, (…) but it’s unlikely that Lungu will cede his quest to remain in office. First, key civil society groups such as the trade unions have been weakened by privatisation, informalisation and unemployment. Second, the Constitutional Court, that’s responsible for interpreting the constitution, was handpicked by Lungu. Third, Lungu’s case is more complicated than Chiluba’s. In 2001, the second president had served two full terms in office and wanted one more. Today, Lungu is arguing that he should be allowed to have a third term because his first period in office did not count, as he was just serving out the final year of Sata’s term. All of this means that Lungu is likely to get his way. (…) Opposition protests are inevitable, as is some civil society criticism. If past form is anything to go by, Lungu’s government will respond with threats and intimidation.”

Ruling PF party deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri reacted:

Cheeseman is nothing but an attention-seeking professor, who thinks he can lecture us about democracy. The people of Zambia spoke through the vote, and their wishes must be respected by all, including Cheeseman. Cheeseman creates the impression that there was a letter authored by all Catholic bishops, which labelled Zambia as a dictatorship. For the record, that was an opinion expressed by the archbishop. (…) It is irresponsible for Cheeseman to compare ours with late President Frederick Chiluba’s third-term bid. The view that the current constitution allows President Lungu to seek re-election (…) is before the courts of law. (…) the PF will respect the outcome of the court system. President Lungu’s good governance record remains solid. It was President Lungu’s administration that took the referendum on the proposed Bill of Rights to the people. (…) it was UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema who campaigned against it. It is President Lungu’s administration, which allowed for the 50%+1 clause in the constitution, the running mate clause, and reduction of presidential powers. President Lungu believes in an independent judiciary. (…) Today, Zambia has a Constitutional Court, something that was unheard of in the history of our nation. While the opposition petitioned the Constitutional Court, President Lungu remained calm until the matter expired. We wish to correct the view that human rights of politicians in trouble with the law are being violated. Citizens, who are also politicians, and on trial, have appeared in court within a week of being charged, and (…) for continued trial. The due process of the law is clearly being followed to the letter. Professor Cheeseman‘s daydream, that Zambia is falling from grace because of HH’s arrest, is a lie. Zambia remains a shining example of democracy not only on the African continent but world over.”