Editor's Note

Editor’s Note – Week 19/2016

I find it curious that government has promoted police officer Marjorie Moyo from the rank of constable to that of sergeant. Moyo is the unfortunate officer, who was run over by a minibus trying to escape a roadblock in February 2016. As a result, she has had to undergo restorative surgery to her face in South Africa, and is still in need of skin grafting. However much I sympathise with her plight, I fail to understand how the accident makes her a better police officer. One must hope Moyo was in fact promoted on merit, although the public media has given the clear impression that government promoted her out of its good heart because of the accident. I have friends who work in the civil service for one reason only, to enjoy lifelong secure employment with a pension at the end, irrespective of the fact that they are under-utilised, underchallenged and, therefore, extremely bored. The civil service should not see mediocrity as its mission in life.
camilla
Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly


camilla
Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly
  • money

Inflation drops in April

The annual inflation rate has dropped to 21.8% in April 2016, down from 22.2% in March. Food and non-alcoholic beverage READ MORE...
  • politics

Lungu in Malawi

President Lungu was on a one-day visit to Malawi on 25 April to meet Presidents Peter Mthalika (Malawi) and Filipe READ MORE...
  • politics

KK turns 92

First President Kenneth Kaunda (KK) celebrated his 92nd birthday on 25 April.
  • politics

One day of national mourning

Zambia observed one day of national mourning on 30 April in honour of late Lewis Changufu, 80, a former freedom READ MORE...
  • money

Treasury bills over-subscribed

The Bank of Zambia’s latest auction for treasury bills on 28 April was over-subscribed, attracting bids amounting to a total READ MORE...
  • politics

Mulenga Sata defects to UPND

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  • politics

Sampa’s new party name rejected

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Quotes Week 19/2016

President Lungu during the official Labour Day celebrations in Lusaka highlighting a new toll-free 7010 number at the Ministry of READ MORE...
  • development
  • focus

A snapshot of Zambia

The just released 2015 Living Conditions Monitoring Survey contains many interesting facts about Zambia: Zambia’s population was estimated at 15,474,000 READ MORE...
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Poverty decreases in Zambia

One of the most important indicators for development – poverty – has reduced in Zambia. The 2015 Living Conditions Monitoring 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.”