Zambia. The general elections in September led to a
change of government. In his fourth attempt, opposition
leader Michael Sata, representing the Patriotic Front (PF),
succeeded in being elected president. He received 42% of the
votes and sitting Head of State Rupiah Banda just over 35%.
In the parliamentary elections, PF increased from 43 seats
in the 2006 election to 60 seats, while long-standing
Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) dropped from 75 to
Countryaah official site, Michael Sata had long profiled himself with his criticism
of the Chinese companies that have taken an increasing place
in the Zambian business, especially the mining industry. He
received some support for his criticism of the human rights
organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), which in a November
report accused the Chinese-run copper mines of failing
security measures, hostility to trade union activity and
unreasonably long working days. HRW urged the new president
to live up to his election promises and put more stringent
demands on the mining companies.
One of the first things Sata did after taking office was
to dismiss the head of the Anti-Corruption Authority, a man
believed to be close to former President Banda. He also put
an end to the sale of Finance Bank to a South African bank.
Finance Bank had been taken over by the Zambian central bank
in 2010 with reference to illegal and unhealthy banking
operations. The central bank also got a new head just after
Sata's entry. A number of other officials appointed by Banda
were also replaced. Zambia's first president, Kenneth
Kaunda, was sent to neighboring Angola to apologize to the
regime on behalf of the nation because former Zambian
governments had supported the UNITA guerrilla during the
Angolan civil war until 2002.
Former President Frederick Chiluba passed away in June.
He was widely praised for being behind the transformation of
Zambia into a multi-party democracy, but his aftermath was
eclipsed by accusations of widespread corruption.