Zambia 2005

Africa

Yearbook 2005

Zambia. According to countryaah, Lusaka is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Zambia. The opposition was fiercely opposed to President Levy Mwanawasa throughout the year, who was accused of incompetence and authoritarian leadership. After a strike among the miners in the province of Copperbelt degenerated into riots and vandalism, the president ordered that Michael Sata, leader of the opposition party Patriotic Front, be arrested. According to local newspapers, Sata had acknowledged that he urged the workers to resort to violence to emphasize the demand for wage increases. He was prosecuted for both rioting and espionage, a criminal offense that in Zambia may include property destruction. Sata went free to the castle until further notice.

Zambia’s third largest party, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), elected former finance minister Edith Nawakwi as new leader. She advocated a united opposition to the 2006 presidential and parliamentary elections and was at the forefront of demands for a new constitution. When a government-appointed commission proposed that the president’s power be limited and Parliament be told more about cheering the opposition, the government said no.

During the autumn, the government got more and more difficult. Like other countries in the region, Zambia was hit by severe drought and failed harvest, which led to sharply increased food prices. For a long time, the government claimed that it had the supply situation under control, but in September the import duty on maize was forced to drop and the private sector imported 200,000 tonnes. In November, it was clear that this was not enough, and the government declared that the country was in a state of disaster. It was appealed to the outside world for food for US $ 18 million since 10% of the residents were found to be near starvation.

In September, technical problems forced Zambia’s largest refinery to close. This led to severe fuel shortages that paralyzed the communications and caused Konkola Copper Mines, the country’s largest mining company, to threaten to temporarily shut down production. To solve the crisis, the government abolished the import duty of 5% on refined oil products, which meant a loss for the state of about SEK 18 million per month. The Minister of Energy had to take on the blame for the problems and resign.