ZAMBIA: VIOLATIONS OF THE HARARE DECLARATION 2
opponents while accused officials within his own government escape accountability.Under Sata, the Zambian economy has been captured by private sector elites andseveral members of President Sata’s own family, who have orchestrated unlawfulexpropriations, re-nationalisations, and regulatory violations of banking law thatplace personal interests above the public interest. Owners of the private media have been politically and financially compromised and transformed into an extension of the state propaganda machine.We bring this pattern of conduct to the attention of the Secretary-General of theCommonwealth Secretariat for referral to the Commonwealth Ministerial ActionGroup (CMAG), as policies undertaken by the current Zambian government representserious and persistent violations of the Harare Declaration and the CommonwealthValues and Principles re-affirmed in November 2009 (Appendix I).Representing a broad coalition of opposition political parties, civil society organisations,and private citizens whose rights have been infringed by the ruling Patriotic Frontgovernment, the Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights (CDDR) is calling onthe Secretary-General to fulfill its enhanced duties as expressed in the 2011 CMAGreport
to “act as a custodian of the political values set out in the 2009 Affirmation”and initiate the process of appointing an envoy to gather facts of these serious andpersistent violations for urgent referral to the CMAG for consideration.We are appealing on an urgent basis given the stark implications of these violationson the basic rights of Zambian citizens, requiring a firm and unwavering position on behalf of the international community before it is too late.
2. BACKGROUND: RETURN TO THE ONE-PARTY STATE
Located on the Zambezi River in the Southern region of Africa, to the east of Angola andto the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia has long been considered anisland of stability among other violent, authoritarian, strife-torn states in the region.With a population of 13.4 million people from 73 different tribal groupings, Zambia isrich in mineral resources but poor in terms of development. The country has defied theodds among its neighbors to build a successful multiparty democracy reaching acrossdiverse ethnic lines capable of pursuing national projects in a lawful, institutionalized1. “Strengthening the Role of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG),”Report of CMAG as adopted by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting,2011.