Zambians play the ‘race’ card over threats of anti-corruption protests

By Incorrect Author 2 October 2009

It’s a shame how often African governments accuse the West of inciting domestic unrest, rather than believing that the people themselves are actually seriously ticked off. Take Zambia, which now accuses Western donors of inciting protests to force the state to appeal the acquittal of former president Frederick Chiluba on corruption charges. The acquittal led to former colonial power Britain and civic and opposition leaders accusing the government of backtracking on an anti-corruption campaign launched in 2002. Funded by Western donors, many civic groups say they will start nationwide protests today to get the case into a higher court. Home affairs minister, Lameck Mangani, got all Mugabe-esque about it all accusing donors of interfering with Zambia's judiciary. Reuters quotes him as saying: "We have noted that all this is happening with the blessing of some donors. We shall respect the co-operating partners, but they should not dictate how we run the affairs of Zambia." Chiluba was accused of stealing R3.8 million from the state. He denied any wrongdoing and was acquitted two months ago. Two businessmen accused alongside him were found guilty. Somehow, somewhere echoes of South Africa resound audibly ...

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