Zambians vote in national election

2011-09-20 07:42

Lusaka - Zambians began voting on Tuesday in national elections to choose their leaders for the next five years, in what analysts say will be a tight race for the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy.

"We're anxious, we want to vote," said JJ Mulenga, a 58-year-old retired army officer, who was one of the first in line at the polling station in Bauleni, a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of the capital, Lusaka.

The election pits President Rupiah Banda of the MMD against Michael Sata, the leader of the main opposition Patriotic Front (PF).

Banda, who has presided over one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa - 7.6% last year and 6.4% the year before according to the IMF - has campaigned on a platform of growth and development.

Sata, a fiery nationalist, whose biting rhetoric earned him the nickname "King Cobra", has attacked Banda as soft on corruption and criticised him for failing to do more to spread the wealth in a country where 64% of people still live on less than $2 a day.

The PF says if elected they will crack down on corruption and bring back a windfall tax on mining firms in a bid to help more Zambians benefit from the country's huge copper reserves.

Zambia last year was the largest copper producer in Africa and the seventh-largest in the world.

About 5.2 million voters are registered to take part in the presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

  • 2002 - 2011-09-20 08:27

    It's a shame that countries like Zambia still talk about growth and developments, such countries should have passed this stages long time ago. The poor masses will be standing in lines to vote for nathing, jst for the few elite and their Asian partners to pocket profit from the country's wealthy.

  • tshwanecc - 2011-09-20 08:42

    What do you expect if CORRUPTION is perceived as normal. We even have companies like Rand Merchant Bank buying a private bank in Zambia under VERY questionable circumstances. Most African countries will ALWAYS lag behind due to CORRUPTION. Zambia has been independent since 1964 and they have NOTHING to show off.

  • Kwena Mogopa - 2011-09-20 09:04

    Obviously Banda is a puppet of the West hence IMF supports him.Zambians must vote cautiously.And make sure they put pressure on their leadership to deliver.Nationalization is corrupt too,if Sata is so keen on stopping corruption he should rethink his nationalisation strategy.We dont want hunger within SADC.If they were the 7th copper producer in the world they should start investing on infrastructure and disassociate with IMF crookes.Stop loaning money and build reserves that what Gaddafi did,hence they had to remove him,they want Africa to be a charity case.Peace Ma-Afrika!

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