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 55 seats.
According 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.