Health achievements this year have been partly smothered by on-going news of anti-retrovirus shortages – or “rationing”, in official reliance – but Sat boasted a battery of progress indicators, including 137 facility upgrades, two new district hospitals and hundreds of sector-related construction projects. A sinister side In general, the numbers paint a reliable picture of a developing county. The fact of the Rubdown’s relatively low coupon rate and 1 5 times oversubscribed alone attest to market confidence in Zambia.
But there is a sinister side to the Sat administration, which seems to be intensifying. To start with, rumors of the president’s poor health sparked a leadership rivalry between Defended Minister Geoffrey Mamba and the party’s Secretary General and Justice Minister Winter Kabob. While each minister has since publicly distanced himself from presidential ambitions, the dispute was intense enough to split the IF into factions, with six members arrested by police after allegedly storming a party function, destroying property and beating attendants.
IF-perpetrated violence has been directed outwards as well. The most recent case was against Hacienda Hickman, leader of the country third-place opposition United Party for National Development, who says his entourage was attacked last week during a visit to the town of Assam. While the incident was reported in numerous media outlets, the police issued a statement on Friday refuting Hacienda’s version of events. Violence has also been a feature of Samba’s numerous by-elections, the result of a IF strategy to increase their majority in Parliament.
Government baits the opposition parliamentarians with ministerial appointments and other incentives, triggering by-elections whenever members cross the legislature. The tactic has been largely successful, with IF winning eight of 13 ballots so far, with three more soon. But after the recent vote in Monika, which the MD won by a landslide, newspaper reports alleged IF-orchestrated violence, complete with gruesome photographs depicting bloodied members of the opposition. Victims of political violence come from all parties, however, as shown by the 2012 Refunds local government by-election that ended in the murder of a IF cadre.
The trend in the ruling party has been severe enough to merit censure from The Post, the country leading independent and pro-government newspaper. In an editorial earlier this month, the paper called on government to weed out and puns party tangs Involved In street violence. Sat NAS spoken out gallant electoral loathed, but his personal record on the issue is dubious. Nicknamed King Cobra, he was linked to machete attacks in a 2001 by-election while serving as minister without portfolio in the late Frederick Chiliad’s MD government.
Cultivating a culture of silence Sat has also taken up Africans presidential tradition of wielding the same laws that frustrated him in opposition. He has been accused of silencing critics with criminal and civil defamationproceedings, with members of the opposition-aligned media a favorite target. IF cadres have also been accused of beating Journalists and a series f institutional media reforms have run aground, due to the government’s powers to make key appointments to relevant committees. Critics also say the government’s use of the colonial Public Order Act has impinged on constitutionally guaranteed rights of assembly.
While the law calls only for organizers to inform police of demonstrations, in practice it has been used to shut them down entirely. This tendency to suppress alternative dialogue also plays out in disputes with Samba’s Nags, many of which are threatening to boycott what they say is an onerous registration process if overspent does not amend an MD-era law setting out the terms of their operation. The government says groups that do not register will be delimiters. Broken promises Despite the appearance that Sat has delivered on many of the country economic indicators, he trails a long string of broken promises.
One of the most significant of these is his government’s on-going failure to introduce a new constitution, which it promised to do within 90 days of taking power. Another of the government’s 90-day pledges vowed to peacefully settle long-standing separatist sentiments in Western Province, but clashes have continued, culminating in over 60 arrests and numerous treason charges last month. Likewise, the Freedom of Information Bill, paralyses since before his administration took office, has yet to come before the National Assembly, despite assurances to the contrary. Not all stakeholders are internal.
Dominated by foreign ownership, the extraction industry anxiously awaits the completion of government’s review of the Mining Act, and, according to a piece in this month’s The Bulletin and Record, it is unsure of what to expect. That makes for an uncertain investment environment in a country that relies on mining for 80% of its export receipts and, despite weaker Chinese demand, expects copper tonnage to reach 1. 5 million tones by 2015. No matter what the review reveals, it is not likely to assuage the industry legion of critics, who say generations of mining development have failed to improve the economic prospects of ordinary Zambia.
The story of the IF in power is convoluted and often ambiguous. The Sat administrationreinstated the Anti-Corruption Act abuse of office clause, but the president appointed his uncle as minister of finance. The government stabilized the coach, but it tore fuel and maize subsidies away from the poor. Zambia has the respect of international markets, but it maintains close ties with North Korea. The first big vote of the new session will be the 2014 budget, a document that will inevitably steer the narrative toward the 2016 election. The 2011 poll was close.
If the government doesn’t live up to its promises, the next one may be too. Think Africa Press welcomes inquiries regarding the republication of its articles. If you would like to repulse tens or any toner article Tort re-print, constantly or coeducational reposes, please contact:[email protected] Com. For further reading around the subject see: Back in the Red: Can Zambia Manage More Borrowing? Just six years after debt relief, Zambia is approaching international capital markets, with government promising more such borrowing in the future.