Thursday, April 17, 2008
By Amos Malupenga
Thursday April 17, 2008 [04:00]
The Zimbabwe crisis should be an eye-opener to all African leaders, opposition Patriotic Front president Michael Sata has said. Commenting on the situation in Zimbabwe after the March 29 harmonised elections, Sata said the Zimbabwean crisis was not only for Zimbabwe but the entire Africa. He said what was happening in Zimbabwe and Kenya should help Africa to reflect on what the problem is.
“All African governments, including Zambia, make laws and decisions that become tools of oppression when they are in power,” Sata said. “And when these tools of oppression have become legal instruments, they create patronage and patronage becomes very dangerous because it creates poverty, unemployment, corruption and general crime.
Are we as Africans not ashamed that 48 hours ago, there was an election in Italy and as we are speaking now, the whole world knows the results of those elections and yet Italy has more people than Zimbabwe and Zambia combined and more parties participated? ”
Sata said another election on a party level was going on in the US and despite the candidates’ differences, it was clear that there was no rigging because there was no patronage.
“Africa has become a laughing stock,” he said. “Our President in 2006 was embroiled in a controversy where elections were influenced by patronage, poverty and unemployment.
Today, our President is embroiled in another controversy of the NCC. When NCC is complete, elections will be held under the new constitution. What will SADC talk about because in that NCC, the Church, my party and women are not there?”
Sata said African leaders should concentrate on making laws that reduce patronage.
And Sata urged the international community not to look at the issue of Zimbabwe with bias.
“Because we are poor as Africa, we can’t influence elections in Italy and US,” Sata said. “The so-called international community are looking at Zimbabwe with bias.
Their western media are portraying some problems like they are only in Zimbabwe when these are common problems even in Zambia.
They are talking about the rising cost of living in Zimbabwe but they are not talking about the rampant fuel increases and the Zesco in Zambia. Fuel prices hikes have a spiral effect.”