Zambia. At the end of October, the country’s 77-year-old President Michael Sata passed away at a hospital in London. According to Countryaah.com, Zambia population in 2020 is estimated at 18,383,966. Sata had been ill for a long time and, according to rumors, had been pronounced dead several times before. In accordance with the country’s constitution, Vice President Guy Scott was temporarily allowed to take over the presidential post. Scott, whose parents were immigrants from Scotland, was not expected to be able to run for office in the extra-ordinary election, which according to the constitution would be held no later than 90 days after the president’s departure.
Just days after the takeover, Scott dismissed Secretary of Defense Edgar Lungu as Secretary General of the Patriotic Front (PF). The decision was due to a power struggle within the party ahead of the upcoming presidential election in January 2015. However, due to widespread protests in the capital Lusaka, Scott chose to reinstate Lungu as the party’s secretary general shortly thereafter.
During the autumn, the government presented a new budget that included, among other things, increased fees for foreign mining companies in the country. Mining industry revenues accounted for 70% of Zambia’s exports and the purpose of the increase was to address the country’s budget deficit.
Earlier in the year, human rights activist Paul Kasonkomona was cleared of charges that he would have argued for gay rights during an ongoing television broadcast in April 2013. Opposition politician Frank Bwalya was also released by court after charges of appearing inappropriate when speaking in a radio interview in derision terms about President Sata.
In August, Sata dismissed the country’s Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba after accusations that he was trying to seize power from the incumbent president, who for long periods stayed away from the public because of his ill health. According to Abbreviation Finder, ZA stands for Zambia in English. Click to see other meanings of this 2-letter acronym.
Within the country, some thirty native languages are spoken, all of which belong to the bantu languages. English is the official language at the national level, but seven of the native languages - bemba (spoken by 25%), nyanja (12%), tonga (12%), lozi (6%), kaonde (3%), lunda (3 %) and luvale (2%) – recognized as regional official languages.
According to topb2bwebsites, in Zambia, over 85% of the population is Christian. There are almost 90 different Christian communities (2010). The oldest are the communities established with missionaries in the late 1800s.
The Catholic Church, which began its operations in the country in 1889, is the single largest Christian community with an estimated 35% of its population as members. About 8% of the population belongs to Baptist, Pentecostal and Charismatic communities. Although Zambia, named Northern Rhodesia, was for many years a British colony, only about 2% of the population are members of the Anglican Church’s over 650 parishes.
More than 10% of the population is said to be primarily practitioners of traditional indigenous religion. Almost 2% of the population is said to belong to the Bahai and just over 1% are Muslims. In the country there are small groups of Hindus, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Orthodox, Methodists, Presbyterians, Menonites and those belonging to an independent African Zionist church.
According to the 1996 Constitution, Christianity is state religion. The Constitution and other laws guarantee freedom of religion. However, religious political parties are prohibited and religious groups must be registered. Religious groups that are not registered can be fined and their members can be sentenced to prison. Teaching in and about Christianity is compulsory in all public schools through seventh grade. Teaching in other religions, e.g. Islam, not given in public schools but well in private.
The following days are national holidays: Good Friday, Easter Eve, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.
The 21st century it opened with generally positive signals, both from a political and an economic point of view. With regard to the first aspect, the democratization process, started in 1991 with the introduction of multi-partyism, was consolidated in the country, which had however experienced difficulties and serious moments of crisis during the two presidencies of F. Chiluba (1991-1996, 1996-2001). In December 2001, after his renunciation of standing for a third term, presidential and legislative elections were held in a climate of great tension. The former, which saw a large group of contenders, were narrowly won by L. Mwanawasa, supported by Chiluba and the ruling party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), which obtained 28.6 % of the votes, against 26.7 for A. Mazoka, candidate of the main opposition party, the United Party for National Development (UPND). The MMD won 69 out of 150 seats in the National Assembly, followed by the UPND with 49, while the others were distributed among the smaller parties. The electoral results were contested by the opposition and considered vitiated by possible fraud by international organizations. Contrary to expectations, however, the new president rejected the role of Chiluba’s ‘creature’, and launched a series of reforms aimed at combating corruption, also in order to restore international credibility to Zambia and thus obtain the reopening of credit lines. blocked by the European Union and other countries because of the widespread embezzlement, moreover reported in Zambia by the same Court of Auditors and by the independent press. As part of this attempt at moralization, the National Assembly voted in July 2002 (a vote confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2003) the suspension of immunity for Chiluba, allowing the initiation of legal proceedings against him for fraud and corruption. Mwanawasa also initiated a confrontation, although not easy, with the numerous civil society organizations, which, spread throughout the territory, had helped to denounce the abuses of the government and to increase popular participation. The elections of September 2006 confirmed a certain maturity of the democratic system: at the end of a lively and free electoral campaign, Mwanawasa was confirmed as president with 42.9 %, while in the contemporary legislative consultations the MMD obtained 72 seats, the Patriotic Front (born in 2001from a split of the latter) 44 and the UPND 27. Overall positive signals were also coming from the economy, thanks to the growing demand for copper on international markets. The country, whose GDP had grown between 1999 and 2006 at an annual average of 4.5%, however, was still strongly affected by the lack of productive diversification and the backwardness of the agricultural sector. A further and very serious problem was that of social services, which had suffered from the structural adjustment policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund. Above all, the health system, already lacking in specialized personnel (emigrated to Europe, the United States or the richest African countries), found itself bearing the brunt of the spread of the AIDS epidemic. The impact of the disease on the economic and social system seemed difficult to predict, both due to the drastic reduction in life expectancy at birth (which fell from 50.2 years in the 1970-1975 period to 37.4 years).2000-2005), and because to be most affected was the end of the full population of working age (in 2005, the 17 % that between 15 and 49 years).