on Ethnic Relations / Rapports sur les relations
following section is mainly consisted of part, full or summaries
of articles taken from newspapers.
La section suivante est essentiellement constituée d'exraits,
de la totalité ou de résumés d'articles
issues de journaux .
02 / 25 / 2003
on splits in MMD over Chiluba's arrest"
report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
have deepened within Zambia's ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy
(MMD) over the arrest of former president Frederick Chiluba, charged
this week with more than 60 counts of theft and abuse of office.
divisions have adopted a worrying regional flavour, analysts said,
potentially undermining the government of President Levy Mwanawasa
and his reformist agenda.
in support of Chiluba, mainly from his northern Luapula province,
have threatened to resign en-masse from the MMD in order to force
a leadership crisis.
have soured between Mwanawasa's supporters and those in Chiluba's
camp since July last year when Mwanawasa, as part of an anti-corruption
drive, asked parliament to lift Chiluba's immunity from prosecution.
The Supreme Court ruled against Chiluba's appeal last week, clearing
the way for his arrest on charges of "theft by a public servant".
think these [internal fights] will greatly harm the MMD and the
entire nation if not well handled," Fred Mutesa, an analyst
from the University of Zambia's Department of Development Studies
played populist politics with money, which he used to buy the
rank and file, while the current regime plays the politics of
distancing itself from the rank and file and does not flash money
the way Chiluba did. Those that benefited from Chiluba will not
give up without a fight, and while the fight goes on, economic
and social programmes will suffer," Mutesa predicted.
the Supreme Court's landmark verdict, MMD national party chairman
Chitalu Sampa said a "dark page" had been opened in
the party's history. "We are very sad about this development
as members of the MMD, this will definitely create divisions in
the party," he warned.
quick response was made by Vice-President Enoch Kavindele in a
national radio and television address.
have heard rumours that there are some members of parliament from
Luapula province who want to resign from the MMD. I would like
to warn them that even if they resign, they will not create a
leadership crisis because President Mwanawasa was elected at a
national level and not a regional one. The decision to lift former
president Chiluba's immunity was a parliamentary one and should
not be blamed on President Mwanawasa," Kavindele said.
though some Luapula legislators have tried to distance themselves
from the anti-Mwanawasa sentiment, generally MPs from the northern
region have come out against the current leadership, alleging
that they have been marginalised by Mwanawasa's administration.
think the other downside to the MMD internal fight is that it
is going to deepen the perceived ethnic divisions. This will result
in people not looking at things rationally, but on tribal grounds.
My suggestion is that President Mwanawasa should immediately look
at ways of placating the northern Luapula faction," Mutesa
position has been weakened by an opposition petition to the Supreme
Court that alleges the December 2001 election was rigged.
testimony has been heard from former senior party officials, some
of whom have been hounded by the government's anti-corruption
task force, acknowledging that votes were bought and the state
machinery used to ensure Mwanawasa's victory by fewer than 34,000
votes out of a potential electorate of four million. Mwanawasa
has said if state funds were used illegally, he was not aware
a 61-year-old lay preacher and former trade union movement leader,
has said that he would be willing to testify against his successor.
The seven-strong Supreme Court are likely to order a re-run of
the election if they rule in favour of the opposition.
away from the party infighting, Chiluba's arrest has been welcomed
by civil rights activists who campaigned against the lack of accountability
during his 10-year rule, a period that has been dubbed the "decade
of plunder", as ordinary Zambians sunk into even deeper poverty.
sends an important message not only to Zambian leaders but to
all African leaders that in a democracy nobody is above the law
and that abuses will eventually lead to prosecution," said
David Simpson, chairman of the Southern Africa Centre for the
Constructive Resolution of Disputes.
who was released on bail on Monday after surrendering his passport,
is due to appear in court on 3 March together with his former
intelligence chief Xavier Chungu, currently in detention on similar
charges of diversion of public funds.
is a good precedent, which will teach Zambian leaders not to take
the electorate for granted in the future," Reverend Nevers
Mumba, who heads the opposition National Christian Coalition,
told IRIN. "Politicians must know that Zambians hate to be
cheated by their leaders. What has happened to Chiluba will happen
to anyone who cheats Zambians."
leader of the International Federation of Free Trade Unions, Fackson
Shamenda, said the precedent set that a former head of state can
lose his immunity from prosecution would have far-reaching implications.
am afraid this thing will catch up with those in power since they
are products of the same plunder they are fighting," he told
/ 19 / 2003
Article: "Ex-president loses immunity, faces
Zambian head of state Frederick Chiluba has lost a last minute
bid to retain his immunity from prosecution, effectively paving
the way for his arrest.
a landmark decision, the Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously
dismissed Chiluba's appeal against a parliamentary ruling last
year that lifted the immunity against prosecution he enjoyed as
a former president.
lawyer, Robert Simeza, told IRIN after the ruling that his client
"is now going to be arrested". Soon after the verdict,
Chiluba was asked to appear at the offices of the government's
task force on corruption.
former Zambian president faces several criminal charges for offences
he allegedly committed during his 10-years in power, dubbed by
critics as a "decade of plunder".
high-profile case began in July when Chiluba's chosen successor,
President Levy Mwanawasa, asked parliament to lift Chiluba's indemnity
as part of his crusade against corruption. Mwanawasa argued that
the charges levelled against his predecessor were in direct conflict
with Zambia's national interest.
included a US $20.5 million payment to a Congolese businessman,
Katebe Katoto, for military equipment that was never delivered.
Chiluba has also been accused of involvement in the undervalued
sale of cobalt, in which Zambia lost US $60 million.
Supreme Court's decision was generally welcomed by commentators
IRIN spoke to.
is the kind of judgement that the Zambian people were expecting,"
opposition Zambia Alliance Party president, Dean Mungomba, said.
Mutti, chair of the Anti-Corruption Commission investigating the
mismanagement of the national economy and abuse of office, welcomed
think it is good that the Supreme Court has finally made a decision
on this matter. Now we can move onto other cases and make progress,"
he told IRIN.
some analysts have suggested that the ruling was a double-edged
sword that Zambia's leaders could come to regret.
think as a deterrent against corrupt leaders, the decision is
good," said Fred Mutesa, an analysts from the University
of Zambia's Department of Development Studies. "But this
has set a precedent that has long-term ramifications that will
not spare Mr Mwanawasa and his friends from the ruling party when
they are no longer in power."
Supreme Court is currently hearing a petition by three opposition
parties who allege that the December 2001 election, which brought
Mwanawasa to power, was marred by vote-buying and other electoral
malpractice. The accusations have been supported by international
and local election monitoring groups.
trial has now moved on to Mwanawasa. He must tell us just how
much Chiluba stole, and how much of that money Mwanawasa benefited
from," Michael Sata, the leader of the opposition Patriotic
Front, said outside the court house.
Supreme Court has in recent days heard damaging testimony from
incarcerated former intelligence chief Xavier Chungu and former
finance minister Katele Kalumba. They have stated under oath that
they used tax payers money to bank-roll Mwanawasa's campaign,
and to clean up his personal debts ahead of the polls, in breach
of Zambia's electoral laws.
according to Mulenga Mambwe, who described himself as an opposition
supporter: "As long as Chiluba goes in jail, I will feel
good. Mr Mwanawasa can be dealt with later if need be."
also has problems within his own party. He was initially regarded
at Chiluba's protégé. His subsequent determination
to prosecute Chiluba and his senior lieutenants in the ruling
Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) has helped undermine
Sampa, MMD chairman and former defence minister said that the
Supreme Court decision was likely to cause further divisions.
02 / 11 / 2003
Article: "Uproar over "national unity"
has erupted over President Levy Mwanawasa's decision to appoint
key opposition members of parliament (MPs) to his cabinet, a move
that critics say is a breach of Zambian law and designed to weaken
a move unprecedented in Zambian politics, Mwanawasa on Saturday
named nine opposition MPs to his government, three of them as
full ministers, while the rest were given deputy ministerial positions
in the name of national unity. In so doing, Mwanawasa ignored
a High Court injunction restraining him from going ahead with
Zambian law, any MPs that cross the carpet automatically loose
their seat. To become a minister one either has to be an MP or
be nominated by the president. Mwanawasa had already nominated
his full quota of eight legislators.
that basis, the leader of the opposition Heritage Party, retired
Brig-Gen Godfrey Miyanda, won the High Court injunction restraining
Mwanawasa late on Friday.
Mwanawasa, a former lawyer, responded: "The High Court cannot
grant an injunction against me as president. I enjoy indemnity
against injunctions as long as I am president and I think the
injunction was granted in order to embarrass me so I am going
ahead with the appointments in the name of national unity."
opposition parties have reacted by expelling legislators who have
accepted government posts.
position has not changed from the time Mr. Mwanawasa said he would
appoint opposition MP's to his cabinet," Forum for Democracy
and Development (FDD) president Christon Tembo said shortly after
Mwanawasa named his new ministers. "The MP's that have accepted
the cabinet positions must consider themselves expelled from our
Mwanawasa's response has been robust. "I don't care if the
opposition expels the MP's that I will appoint," he recently
told a campaign rally.
"I will adopt the same MP's during the bye-elections and
has stressed that the appointments were in the "national
interest" in a bid to reconcile opponents over the controversial
December 2001 presidential election, ruled as flawed by international
and local poll monitors.
parties have petitioned the Supreme Court to have the election
annulled, and key politicians and officials from the former administration
of Frederick Chiluba have presented damaging testimonies of vote-buying
and malpractice that have undermined Mwanawasa.
dismissiveness of the party leaders has left many of us to wonder
whether he sincerely wants to unite the country," Father
Joe Komakoma, head of the Catholic Commission for Justice and
Peace (CCJP), a church-run NGO told IRIN. "He should have
sat with the leaders and mapped out a strategy and terms of reference
on how the new arrangement was going to work, but he did not do
that so this rules out his good intention of national unity."
/ 05 / 2003
Article: "Focus on pressure on Mwanawasa to resign"
report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
is mounting on Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa to step down and
call fresh elections following damaging testimony before the Supreme
Court suggesting electoral fraud helped him into office last year.
pressure has come from some of Mwanawasa's closest allies, as
they witness the former lawyer turned anti-corruption crusader
become increasingly linked to breaches of Zambia's electoral code
in a Supreme Court hearing launched by opposition parties who
are attempting to have the December 2001 poll annulled.
who struck a popular chord with his campaign against corruption
which targeted former key members of his own party in the previous
administration of Frederick Chiluba, has reportedly said that
he would not succumb to "ill advise" to resign, and
instead would wait for the Supreme Court's decision.
refuse to call for fresh elections based on lies which are being
told," he told journalists. "I have lots of respect
for the judiciary and I will respect their decision in this matter."
Mwanawasa's credibility suffered a further blow last week when
Xavier Chungu, the former head of intelligence under Chiluba,
testified that he personally cleaned up Mwanawasa's "bad
debts" before the 2001 election using a special intelligence
account held in London. He also alleged that he gave Mwanawasa
up to US $416,000 in cash to help buy votes in the run up to the
addition to the money he said he personally gave Mwanawasa from
state coffers, Chungu alleged that he spent an additional US $458,000
to purchase cars and bicycles for Mwanawasa's campaign, on instructions
from Chiluba, who had chosen Mwanawasa to succeed him as presidential
candidate for the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).
was subpoenaed by lawyers of the three main opposition parties,
the United Party for National Development (UPND), the Forum for
Democracy and Development and the Heritage Party who are challenging
the result of the 2001 election. The former intelligence chief
is currently under police custody and faces more than 20 counts
head of the European Union election monitoring team testified
late last year that the polls were not free and fair and so did
the US-based Carter Centre and two domestic monitors, Coalition
2001 and the Foundation for a Democratic Process. Their main bone
of contention was the use of state funds by Mwanawasa's campaign.
ministers Vernon Mwaanga, Levison Mumba and Michael Sata have
all provided details on how tax-payers money was spent to support
Mwanawasa's candidacy. Chiluba himself has gone on record that
he would be willing to testify against Mwanawasa if he was subpoenaed.
the face of the damaging allegations of vote-buying, even Mwanawasa's
allies have begun to distance themselves.
this week the influential privately owned newspaper The Post,
which has backed Mwanawasa's campaign to jail politicians that
had plundered the economy over the past decade of MMD rule, advised
him to stand down to avoid further embarrassment.
urge President Mwanawasa to heed the advice of so many well-meaning
and well-intentioned Zambians at home and abroad calling for fresh
elections, without that, no good will come out of his government
regardless of good intentions, policies and programmes he may
have," one editorial argued.
"We say this because as things stand today, President Mwanawasa's
crusade against corruption cannot be complete because if it is
not limited, it will touch on his very source of power _ the 27
December 2001 fraudulent election."
response has been to announce a radical move to appoint key opposition
members of parliament to his government. The decision, however,
has earned him further scorn from opposition leaders who regard
it as a thinly veiled attempt to divide them and derail the Supreme
the planned appointments were in good faith, Mwanawasa would have
consulted the party leaders, but he has chosen to go it alone
which can only mean one thing, he wants to weaken the opposition
and undoubtedly scuttle the petition," said UPND spokesman
Mwila, leader of the Zambia Republican Party, told journalists
that the "only way Mwanawasa can regain credibility is by
calling for a fresh election now in the national interest, hanging
on to power is against national interest and he knows it".
concern has emerged that although a fresh election could technically
be the right step, it could throw Zambia into confusion and sink
the government's popular poverty alleviation programmes.
need lots of money to hold an election, and money is one thing
this government seems to lack the most right now," Sipho
Kapumba, information and research officer at the Zambia chapter
of the Media Institute of Southern Africa. "This thing ought
to be thought over and elections can be held maybe 18 months from
now in order to ensure that the social programmes go ahead."