Thursday, June 21, 2007

Politics of Poverty in Zambia

Further to an earlier post we have been sent this article .

It is not everyone who is in full support of the British magistrate’s court ruling against the former Republican President Frederick Chiluba that he must repay 80% of public funds siphoned through the Zamtrop account in London.

This is a civil case in which it is alleged that Chiluba and his associates fraudulently spent about £25 million of public funds during his days as president of Zambia. On May 31 the High Court of Zambia ordered the freezing of $25 million-worth of assets and money owned by Frederick Chiluba and his co-accused accomplices.

Chiluba has strongly defended himself—by accusing the British prime minister Tony Blair of colonialism and intimidation. He said that the money he spent on his luxurious clothes (K200 million was mostly received in donations from overseas wealthy individuals and corporations. Indeed the corruption charges against the ailing former president has been received with mixed feelings within Zambia—because of the evident lack of political and moral sympathy from President Levy Mwanawasa (the man Chiluba has appointed to replace him in 2001).
It is the case that the judiciary and the anti-corruption force have failed to find tangible evidence on the alleged corruption charges against Chiluba.

The political intimidation of Frederick Chiluba has dealt a big blow to the political fortunes of the MMD—it has lost the erstwhile emotional and political sympathy among the disgruntled working class communities in the urban and mining communities—especially in Lusaka and the Copperbelt. This will remain to be fact because the political strength of the MMD depends upon working-class political sympathy and not otherwise.

Indeed, the ailing former president still enjoys political and tribal loyalties among the Bemba-speaking communities in Wapola (?) and the Copper-belt mining towns.

The careless and unguarded political utterances by President Levy Mwanawasa has helped to inflame tribal ill feelings among the Bemba-speaking political hooligans in Zambia. It is a fact that Mwanawasa is physically and emotionally unpredictable—when compared to his predecessors Chiluba and Kenneth Kaunda. More or less Mwanawasa has succumbed to the vice of ethnic and tribal loyalties in the sense that political appointments are made on the strength of the existing ethnic and political patterns.

We in the World Socialist Movement believe that corruption is a vice endemic within the political and economic structures of capitalism. The struggle against corruption must be viewed to be a struggle against property—we have always cautioned the peasants, workers and students to guard themselves against choosing sides between the warring religious, ethnic and racial factions. We advocate international working-class solidarity—socialism as the only alternative to capitalism.
ENB (?)

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