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Published 29th March 2013

Vol 54 No 7


Zambia

Towards a one-party state

ZAMBIA: Former President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia during the Frontline States Summit in Lusaka. Ernst Schade / Panos
ZAMBIA: Former President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia during the Frontline States Summit in Lusaka. Ernst Schade / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

President Sata wants the political control that eluded him in 2011 and also the parliamentary majority that will allow him to change the constitution

The governing Patriotic Front’s tactics are far from original. The PF’s attempts to dominate the media and gaol opponents hark back to the era of the one-party state under the United National Independence Party (UNIP). Like the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) which it narrowly beat in the 2011 elections, the PF is using all manner of skulduggery to win by-elections and co-opt opponents to secure a parliamentary majority. President Michael Chilufya Sata and his closest advisor, the PF Secretary General and Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba, cut their political teeth in former President Kenneth Kaunda’s UNIP.


‘With the thoughts of Meles’

The EPRDF conference was meant to show unity and quell doubts about the Growth and Transformation Plan

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has been unanimously confirmed as Chairman of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front for another two years. Nothing less was expe...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Protestors carrying banners reading ‘BRICS – don’t carve Africa’ were right to draw parallels between the emerging powers summit in Durban this week and the Berlin Congress in 1885. The geopolitics is totally different but both meetings presaged huge shifts in Africa’s economic and political relations.

In 1885, it was a colonial carve-up with Africa as the target and Europe at the zenith of its power. In Durban this week, Africa was at the top table. In Durban, as in Ber...

Protestors carrying banners reading ‘BRICS – don’t carve Africa’ were right to draw parallels between the emerging powers summit in Durban this week and the Berlin Congress in 1885. The geopolitics is totally different but both meetings presaged huge shifts in Africa’s economic and political relations.

In 1885, it was a colonial carve-up with Africa as the target and Europe at the zenith of its power. In Durban this week, Africa was at the top table. In Durban, as in Berlin, economic interests dominated the talks: Africa’s challenge is to use its resources and burgeoning markets to punch above its economic weight. China, the world’s second largest economy, which is still far from the peak of its economic and political power, is hundreds of billions of dollars in national income ahead of the rest of the BRICS club – Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa.

Trade among BRICS countries has risen to US$280 billion from less than a tenth of that in 2002. With currency reserves of $4.4 trillion (over half held by China), the BRICS also have over 40% of the world’s people. The plan to establish a BRICS bank reflects frustration with the Western-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Delegates couldn’t agree on the details although Russia proposed each BRICS country should contribute $10 bn. to the bank’s share capital. A railway between Durban and Dar es Salaam is planned. And South Africa also emerged as the favoured location for the bank’s headquarters.

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