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. Visit ABBREVIATIONFINDER for the acronym of ZWB that stands for the country of Zambia.
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.
Little was known about the country in Europe until the travels of D. Livingstone (1852-55), who discovered the Zambezi waterfalls. The local population had arrived in successive waves from the Congo Basin. European penetration began at the end of the 18th century. with the Portuguese, but it was the English who carried out the colonial conquest without encountering resistance. The mineral riches attracted the attention of the British South Africa Company (BSAC), founded by CJ Rhodes (➔ # 10132;); in 1924 the BSAC ceded all its rights and powers to the British government, which constituted the protectorate of Northern Rhodesia. The increase in world demand for copper greatly enhanced the British possession. In 1948 a political party was born, the Northern Rhodesia Congress, then the Northern Rhodesia African National Congress (NRANC), chaired by H. Nkumbula. In 1953 between Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia (➔ Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (➔ Malawi) the Federation of Central Africa was established, wanted by the British Colonial Office. The federation lasted, amidst disputes and protests, until December 1963, when Northern Rhodesia was on the eve of independence. Meanwhile, the NRANC had undergone a split: KD Kaunda and other radical elements had given birth (1958) to the United National Independence Party (UNIP), which in the elections that preceded independence obtained a majority; Kaunda became head of the government and then, proclaimed independence within the Commonwealth on October 24, 1964, president of the Republic. ● The new state, which took the name of Zambia, found itself dealing with the problems of the whole of southern Africa, where Portuguese colonialism and the racism of white Rhodesians and South Africans loomed. Kaunda always vigorously defended the rights of Africans, but without neglecting direct meetings with the exponents of the “white power”. Internally, from 1972 the Zambia became to all intents and purposes a one-party state. Inspired by ‘African socialism’, with a strong vocation to ‘humanism’, Kaunda promoted a policy of nationalization and social reforms, which over time burdened inunbearable measure on public finances. Productivity remained insufficient, while copper prices on the international market tended to fall. During the 1980s, the government adapted to the recipes imposed by the International Monetary Fund, meeting growing opposition. After various incidents and a failed attempt at a military coup (1990), even Zambia had to face the turning point of pluralism, which was interpreted by an unofficial formation, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), headed by the president of the Zambian congress of trade unions, F. Chiluba, who won the first free elections (1991). ● The new president tried to stem the widespread phenomenon of corruption in the public administration and to improve the difficult economic conditions of the country. The situation deteriorated further after the disputed elections of 1996, which saw the confirmation of Chiluba. The opposition organized a civil disobedience campaignto which the government responded with harsh repression. As dissent and protest grew, Chiluba’s authoritarian tendencies were accentuated. In 2001, in a climate of great tension, the presidential elections took place, which recorded the narrow victory of L. Mwanawasa, candidate of the MMD. The results of the consultations were contested by the opposition forces and deemed flawed by possible fraud by international observers. Mwanawasa enunciated a democratic reform program whose implementation proved very problematic. The effects of AIDS, malaria and the flow of refugees fleeing the Congolese conflict contributed to aggravating the situation of widespread poverty. Nonetheless, the country continued its efforts to encourage foreign investment and economic growth. After the sudden death in 2008 of Mwanawasa was succeeded by R. Banda, belonging to his own party. At the presidential elections held in September 2011, M. Sata was elected, the first Catholic president in the history of the country, who obtained 43% of the votes against the 36% awarded by Banda; died in October 2014, he was succeeded by E. Lungu, who in the consultations held in January 2015 received 48% of the votes, being reconfirmed for a second term in August 2016 with over 50% of the votes. Resuming in the elections in August 2021, the outgoing president was defeated by opposition leader H. Hichilema, who took over from him.