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Zambia Analysis The thinking persons place

A new start
Post-election analysis from Sishuwa Sishuwa, Neo Simutanyi, Francis Chigunta & Robert Liebenthal

November 2011 | ZMK 10,000.00

Maize boomwho benefits? Religion and politics The GMO policy debate Zambias resilient artists

Editorial

Zambias new start


As we go to print on this re-launched Zambia Analysis, our country can look back on 47 years of independence and five weeks of a new government. Barely had the dust settled after the dramatic elections before Zambias man of action got to work with his broom. Few of Zambias powerful decision-makers will have slept soundly this month as Commissioners, Director Generals, Managing Directors, Boards and entire agencies have been swept away. Satas clean-up will be felt deeper into the public service too, as civil servants are sternly told it is time to improve their work ethic. For some observers the moves are decisive; for others, reckless. The uninhibited use of presidential powers to fire people is a worrying sign. On the other hand, the governments commitments on corruption and a new constitution are to be welcomed. As this agenda progresses, putting tighter limits on presidential powers would be popular and necessaryand we will all be watching to see if this happens. But after all the clearing-out, how will the PF govern? The immediate political problem is clear: the government lacks a parliamentary majority. The exercise of presidential powers only goes so far. Overturning a few election results will not suffice. The PF will try to eat into the soft centre in the MMDs parliamentary representation, either by inviting cross-overs or arranging tacit agreements on voting. Beyond such political manoeuvrings, however, the new government will need to devise workable policies. In some cases, they need them fast. We have already seen workers across the country seizing the chance to demand more money in their pockets by taking to the picket lines. The government is trying to wrest back the initiative and calm the unrest it itself encouraged, but it remains to be seen what sort of an impact the new minimum wage policy will have. If it is a new start for Zambia, it is alsocoincidentallya new start for this magazine. Zambia Analysis is back for the first time since 2010. We hope you like the fresh new look and serious approach. Well be developing the magazine as we go. Look out for some rolling improvements to the content and, before long, online availability. Our mission is to raise the level of analysis available on Zambias newsstands and each month we will feature high quality writing on economics, politics, business and culture. We will not get far without the support of our readers and we invite you tell us exactly what you want from us. On the production side, be assured that we will produce consistently and make the magazine visible and widely available. This major focus of this issuenotwithstanding the speed of developments in the last few weeksis a look back at the elections and what they signified. Much more is to come in the months and years ahead. For now, we hope you enjoy the magazine.

Images: Kupela Clarke, Isaac Chela, Kiss Brian Abraham

Write for Zambia Analysis If you have something to say, why not say it in these pages? We invite ideas and contributions of all kinds. Please contact the Editor: editor.zambia.analysis@gmail.com

02 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

Contents

This issue November 2011


4 Notes Cover Story 6 Zambia votes for change 9 Sata in power
Neo Simutanyi on how the PF defied the opinion polls

Zambia Analysis The thinking persons place


Editor Aaron Griffiths editor.zambia.analysis@gmail.com Contributing writers Emma Broadbent, Food Security Research Project, Francis Chigunta, Robert Liebenthal, Chola Mukanga, Andrew Mulenga, Owen Sichone, Neo Simutanyi, Sishuwa Sishuwa Art Direction & Design Christoph Nick Published by Zambian Analysis Limited Board of Directors Simon Zukas (Chairman), Masulani Mazyopa (CEO), Robert Liebenthal, Friday Ndhlovu, Isaac Ngoma Zambian Analysis Ltd. Lungwebungu Road Rhodes Park Lusaka Printing New Horizon Printing Press Cover photo Kupela Clarke, Isaac Chela, Kiss Brian Abraham Subscription 6 issues: ZMK 90,000.00 12 issues: ZMK 180,000.00 (including postage/delivery) Call +260-955-55 05 50 Zambian Analysis Ltd.

Sishuwa Sishuwa on how the PF will rule

12 The boat sets sail

Robert Liebenthal on the economic challenge facing the PF

14 What went wrong for the MMD? 18 A memo to President Sata 20 The election in charts Features
Chola Mukanga offers President Sata some advice

Francis Chigunta on the MMDs election campaign and future prospects

22 Mountains of maize, persistent poverty


The Food Security Research Project on why the maize production boom has barely dented rural poverty

26 Is Zambias GMO policy changing? 31 Pray with your eyes open Arts | Books | Culture 33 Book Review: Getting better 34 Consuming passion
Chola Mukanga on Charles Kennys new book

Emma Broadbent on evidence, policy, and the evolving debate on GMOs

Owen Sichone on why religion and politics should keep a healthy distance

Andrew Mulenga on Zambias resilient artists and a rise in art consumerism

Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 03

Notes

Mo Ibrahim Index
Image: Mo Ibrahim Foundation

The Mo Ibrahim Prize for African leadership was awarded for the first time since 2008, with Cape Verdes Pedro Pires winning the $5 million award. Meanwhile, the 2011 Ibrahim Index, which provides a statistical measure of governance performance in all African countries, was launched in October. Zambia ranked 16th overall, the same as in 2009, but with a fractionally improved score of 57 out of 100. The top

ranked country was Mauritius; bottom was Somalia. The greatest improvement in overall score in the last year was achieved by Sierra Leone; Madagascar had the biggest fall. In the individual categories, Zambias lowest ranking came for sustainable economic opportunity in the rural sector (30th of 53); its highest for national security (7th). www.moibrahimfoundation.org

Diary: November 2011


14.11 World Diabetes Day 17.1119.11 The Proudly Zambian Expo, Lusaka 20.11 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 23.1126.11 Global Expo Botswana 2011, Gaborone, Botswana www.globalexpo.co.bw 24.11 By-elections in Chongwe, Nakonde, Magoye

Ease of doing business


Zambia has slipped 4 places in the World Banks Ease of Doing Business Report from 80th to 84th out of 183 countries. The report noted that Zambia had taken a negative step by making registering property more costly by increasing the property transfer tax rate. Mauritius and South Africa were the leading African nations, ranked 23rd and 35th respectively. Number one in the world was once again Singapore. Across the ten sub-categories, Zambias lowest ranking was for trading across borders, where a calculation of the time 04 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011 and cost of importing and exporting containers and the number of documents required rendered it 153rd in the world. The countrys best ranking in the subcategories was for securing credit, where a high score for strength of legal rights (the degree to which collateral and bankruptcy laws protect the rights of borrowers and lenders) placed Zambia 8th in the world.
Image: World Bank

25.11 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 28.119.12 UN Climate Change Conference 2011, Durban South Africa 29.111.12 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, Busan Korea

www.doingbusiness.org

Notes

Stray statistics
Between 1998 and 2008, the number of mobile phone subscribers in Africa increased from 4 million to 260 million. Call prices fell from an average of $0.30 per minute to $0.10 per minute. (Africa Confidential) During the 2001-08 commodities boom, the worlds top 20 mining countries achieved an average mining growth rate of 5 per cent a year, but South Africas sector shrank by 1 per cent a year. (Chamber of Mines of South Africa) Zambia was the 6th most aid dependent country in 2000 and the 19th most in 2009. (ActionAid Real Aid report) Zambia has been independent for 47 years, which is rather less than half a million hours (411,720). Among the 25 teams with foreign managers in the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifying competition, 7 qualified and 18 did not (28% success). Of the 19 teams with national managers, 7 qualified and 12 did not (36.8% success).

Image: Kiss Abraham

Is Zambia on the brink?


ActionAid has warned the world is heading towards a triple crisis of climate change, depleted natural resources and rocketing food prices. Zambia is among the most vulnerable countries, and yet is highly unprepared to handle the crisis. The report blames the lack of effective policies to fight and reduce the high levels of malnutrition combined with the weak implementation of climate adaptation plans. Several decades of government neglect of agriculture have left small-scale farmers struggling without effective extension services or access to fertilisers and seed stock. Lack of access to financial services, transport and markets has further stagnated the countrys agricultural productivity. With dire climate impacts predicted and land degradation and environmental concerns also worsening, things are likely to get worse. Commenting on the report, ActionAid Zambia Director Pamela Chisanga urged the new government to prioritise climate change and the agriculture sector.
Image: ActionAid

Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 05

Post-Election Analysis

At The Polls

Zambia votes for change


Neo Simutanyi explains why the PFs victory was not as surprising as it at first seemed

Michael Sata, the Patriotic Front (PF) leader, was elected Zambias fifth president following elections held on 20 September. Sata won 43 percent of the vote, beating his nearest rival, incumbent President Rupiah Banda of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) who obtained 36 percent, while United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema came third with 18 percent of the votes cast. Despite the PFs convincing win, the party only managed to win 60 seats in the 150-member national assembly, with the opposition dominating the legislature with a total of 88 seats. Satas victory was, to some degree, unexpected. Several opinion polls had predicted an MMD victory (discussed in detail below), and in places the PF campaign had appeared lacklustre and under-resourced compared to the MMDs high-profile blue campaign. But there are several reasons why we should not be too surprised by the result. First, the MMDs performance in the last three elections was consistently poor, winning less than 45

percent of the national vote each time. Second, Sata only lost the 2008 presidential election by 35,208 votes and it was always possible that a higher turnout in regions where he commanded support would be enough to hand him victory. His strategy of concentrating on his strongholds and urging his supporters to turn up in large numbers even if they were assured to win locally appears to have worked. Third, the MMD had taken it for granted that they would perform well in strongholds such as Eastern, Central, NorthWestern and Western provinces. The result shows that PF made significant inroads in these supposedly MMD strongholds and seriously reduced MMDs potential winning margins. For example, while the performance of the MMD in Eastern, North-Western and Central provinces was quite good, the PF still improved on its past performance in these areas. Fourth, the voting pattern in the Northern Province was different from 2006 and 2008, where non-Bemba speaking areas voted for MMD and PF only

06 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

Image:

Commonwealth Secretariat (Liesl Harewood)

Post-Election Analysis Table 1: Comparing opinion polls with the 2011 Presidential elections results (%)
Synovate poll (July) Province Central Copperbelt Eastern Luapula Lusaka Northern North-Western Southern Western National
Source:

CPD poll (August) Sata 33 43 28 51 43 50 22 18 20 38 Banda 53 25 51 34 35 41 50 31 41 41 Hichilema 12 5 5 5 6 5 12 46 18 13

2011 Election results Sata 28 68 18 73 56 64 11 7 23 43 Banda 49 26 72 23 31 32 50 19 33 36 Hichilema 21 4 3 1 11 1 35 71 28 18

Sata 32 58 12 61 40 63 29 11 17 37

Banda 42 32 81 30 37 32 49 31 50 42

Hichilema 19 5 3 2 15 3 18 54 15 15

Electoral Commission of Zambia

retained Bemba-speaking areas. In the 2011 elections, Sata and PF won in constituencies in the Namwanga and Mambwe speaking areas, such as Mpulungu and Isoka West. If the break-up of the PF-UPND pact in March was expected to diminish the PFs electoral chances, this did not materialise. In the event, both parties built on their strongholds. The PF amassed most of its votes in its own traditional strongholds (Copperbelt, Luapula, Lusaka and Northern provinces), with large winning margins and relatively higher voter turnout averaging 55 per cent. The UPND, too, performed better than expected, winning by a large margin in Southern Province and reducing the MMDs winning margins in Western and North-Western provinces. Its ability to win more seats outside Southern province (Central, North-Western and Western), may call for a re-assessment of the label that it is a regional party. While votes for Hichilema came strongly from the south, his party gained 6 new seats and repositioned itself once again in Western province where it had lost considerable support following its controversial convention to replace the late Anderson Mazoka in July 2006. Though voter participation in the 2011 election was higher than 2008, it was much lower than 2006. The 2011 turnout of 54 percent was higher than the 45 percent in 2008, but much lower than the 2006 turnout of 71 percent. Despite having 1,225,925 new voters added to the voters roll, only 2,789,340 people voted in the 2011 elections compared to 2,789,114 in 2006 an increase of only 226. What explains this apparent apathy? Many people may have stayed away because they were not satisfied with the candidates on offer. Others may have stayed away because they did not believe their participation would have changed the result, or because they lacked confidence in the ECZ. Whatever the

reasons for people staying away, the myth that low voter turnouts favour incumbents has been firmly debunked. Opinion polls played an important role in the run-up to the elections. At least three polls projected a narrow win for the incumbent party, while only one in May indicated a possible PF victory. Polls conducted in July (by Synovate) and August (by the Centre for Policy Dialogue, which I head) appear to have been taken very seriously by the media, public and political parties and attracted much lively and sometime acrimonious discussion. The alleged motives of those behind the polls often received more debate than the poll findings. The public media used the poll results as propaganda to persuade voters to rally behind Banda; on the other hand, the private media, especially The Post newspaper, discredited the CPD poll and instead came up with a poll that projected a PF win by 55 percent. Zambias partisan media outlets competed to influence public opinion to rally behind their favoured candidate. But why were all the polls off the mark? Several observations can be made. First, the Synovate and CPD polls were fairly accurate in the voting intentions of the voters in each province in terms of who would win overall, but they were inaccurate on the margins of wins in the opposition strongholds, partly because of the number of those who were undecided or did not disclose how they would vote. Second, neither the sample sizes nor sampling techniques explain the variance between the final results and opinion poll projections. The sample sizes of both polls (1,463 and 1,500) were within statistical levels of confidence and reliability. The fact that they were held one and two months before the elections may Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 07

Post-Election Analysis have resulted in a shift in public opinion on account of hard electioneering by the opposition in the weeks before the elections, possibly energised by the fear of the predicted results. Indeed, it can be argued that all the serious opinion polls were off the mark. Even those that projected a PF win overstated the margin of victory. A day after the election, PF general secretary Wynter Kabimba declared that his party would obtain over 60 percent of the national vote. There seems to have been a campaign of misinformation and propaganda to persuade opposition supporters not to accept a possible MMD victory Third, the medias intensive discussions of the poll findings may have encouraged undecided voters to turn up to vote for their preferred candidates and party. Furthermore the PFs Dont Kubeba campaign may have discouraged PF supporters from disclosing their real voting intentions. The PF polled heavily in its strongholds of Lusaka, Copperbelt, Luapula and Northern provinces, suggesting that the undecided and those who did not disclose were PF voters. It can also be argued that the media debates on the polls led to a focus on three candidates (Sata, Banda and Hichilema), meaning that the vote-splitting that occurred as a result of multiple candidates in 2001 did not occur. Informed by opinion polls and the media, people appeared to vote more strategically than in previous elections. This may partly have been due to innovative campaigning by the PF, who targeted their support bases for mass support. While the end result of the electoral process was a peaceful transition and handover of power, it was not inevitable that this would be so. The level of suspicion and alertness by voters was unprecedented and this was reinforced by public statements from opposition leaders to their supporters to ensure that the MMD did not steal their vote this time around. Indeed, the revelation by PF general secretary Wynter Kabimba that his party had deployed 27,000 monitors to undertake the parallel vote tabulation may also have deterred any plans at vote tampering, if such plans were afoot. It also helped keep the ECZ fairly transparent. The Post was also instrumental in discrediting the ECZ and spreading conspiracy theories that there were plans to rig the election in favour of the incumbents. The seizure of ballot papers in Lusaka, Lukulu, Mongu, and Solwezi showed the level of alertness in areas in which the opposition suspected electoral fraud. In Lusakas Lilanda and Kanyama areas irate voters frustrated by late delivery of ballot papers seized and destroyed them claiming they were meant to rig the election. In Solwezi, Lukulu and Mongu, there were running battles and ballot papers were taken to police stations, while voters prevailed over the ECZ to replace suspect electoral o fficials. Delays in announcing the election result on 22 September 08 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011 created serious tension. Opposition leaders accused the ECZ and the government of planning to rig the election on behalf of the MMD. Sporadic violence broke out in Lusaka and the Copperbelt as the results failed to be announced. The tension was such that had it been announced at that point that the MMD had won, the country would surely have erupted into violence. It is still a mystery how information on the PF having a comfortable lead based on results from 133 constituencies was put on the ECZ website and later removed. The governments efforts to seek high court injunctions to prevent newspapers and private television stations from publicising unverified election results raised suspicion as to why the government did not want the public to know. It is perfectly legal to collate and release results, even ahead of the ECZ. Further, it would appear that political pressure from opposition parties to have the ECZ honour its pledge to announce the winner within 48 hours and the fear of a possible escalation of violence weighed on the electoral authorities to announce the winner, even before results from seven constituencies were received. The puzzle is: why were the seven remaining constituencies all located in Western province? In the 2006 and 2008 elections, the Western province was place where voted two days after everyone else had voted and where the results came last. Why the coincidence? Only conjuncture can unravel that puzzle, but allegations of rigging cannot easily be dispelled given the consistent pattern. Zambia was saved the large-scale rioting and violence that would have occurred had the MMD won the election. It would appear that this time around, the PF and its supporters were prepared to defy the law and take to the streets. The fear that the security forces would be unable to contain such an eventuality may also have convinced electoral officials to go ahead and announce the result, even though unfavourable to the MMD and the incumbent President Banda. The negotiations which may have gone on behind the scenes to get Rupiah Banda to concede defeat before all the results were in must have been intense. But ultimately Banda and the MMD yielded to the pressure and in the end even managed to appear gracious in defeat. In the final analysis it is clear that for many people the election was about change. There seems to be consensus that the MMD was voted out of power by young voters who were not even born when the MMD came to power. Having voted for change, Zambians expect the new government to deliver. It remains to be seen whether the new governments lofty promises will be fulfilled.
Neo Simutanyi is Executive Director at the Center for Policy Dialogue, a policy research centre based in Lusaka.

Post-Election Analysis

Governing

Sata in power
Will the Sata presidency see the rise of a leftist social democratic agenda, asks Sishuwa Sishuwa?

Slowly but surely the euphoria that accompanied Michael Satas election as President of Zambia is dissolving. In its place is a heavy traffic of expectations from a public hopeful that the man of action and his newly constituted government will deliver the postelection goodies. It is now time to govern and implement the progressive reforms that the PF manifesto contains. There is no doubt that Sata enjoys a lot of goodwill from the public and all those in civil society, the media, the trade unions and the opposition who joined the long queue to deliver their congratulations to him. This is unlikely to change in the first six months of PF rulethe honeymoon periodas people give the new government a chance to settle. Sata and his cabinet

must take advantage of this period to initiate progressive institutional reforms and act on some of the key issues that captured the imagination of the poor, the working class and the rural people. What are the crucial areas that the new government is likely to focus on? And how will they deal with the significant challenge posed by the composition of the new parliament? While Sata easily beat the former president Rupiah Banda by over six per cent, his party suffered a setback in parliament where they do not command a clear majority. The PF has 60 seats (68 when the 8 slots that the constitution allows the president to appoint are added), the MMD 54, the UPND, 28, ADD and FDD has one seat each and there are three independent Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 09
Image: Kupela Clarke, Isaac Chela, Kiss Brian Abraham

Post-Election Analysis

parliamentarians. Since the combined total of the opposition vote is superior to that of the PF even when the nominated seats are added, how will the PF try to govern with a minority parliament? What are its options for securing a majority and what are the implications of not doing so? The lack of a clear majority in parliament may derail some of the key reforms that require parliamentary approval. Satas predicament in parliament was not unexpected. Given the fact that the PF enjoyed high levels of support in only four provinces, it was expected that a PF victory would produce a minority government and parliament. Indeed, most of the ruling partys members of parliament came from their traditional strongholds. The recent election of the Speaker of the National Assembly proves that the government will face difficulties in passing motions in the House. A smart and shrewd politician, Sata has two principal options to consider. First is increasing the number of his present cabinet in order to further co-opt or attract opposition MPs (in addition to those that he has already co-opted) with ministerial appointments so as to give the ruling party a working majority in parliament. Given that he has trimmed his cabinet to 19 and won many accolades for that, this may not be the easiest option to take. But since he is in a desperate situation, the president may have to take decisions that are unpopular and uncomfortable. He could appeal for public understanding and sympathy, which he is likely to get as long as it is done during the honeymoon period. The MMDs predicament of being in the opposition ranks for the first time, outside state coffers and without strong leadership makes it the leading candidate for targeting or poaching individual members. Taking this option may lead to expulsion of appointed MPs and subsequently to by-elections, though it is also possible that the Speaker may be reluctant to declare the expelled MPs seats vacant or that they seek legal redress which may drag on for the duration of their tenure. It may also compromise the independence and ability of parliament to provide checks and balances. In response the PF may offer the national interest excuse, arguing that it has been done before by former president Levy Mwanawasa and that it represents the best way of delivering its key campaign promises. The second option for the government is to form a government of national unity, thus allowing the president to appoint 10 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

ministers from all the major political parties and expect both the UPND and MMD to support PF bills. This option, though, is unlikely to be adopted. The third option is to maintain the status quo and hope to petition the parliamentary victories of several MMD MPs in courts of law. This is predicated on the hope that the courts will nullify their seats which the ruling party will scoop when by-elections are held. Apart from the fact that this option is likely to take time and is unpredictable, the likelihood by the ruling party of winning parliamentary seats in such areas like Eastern and North-Western provinces is negligible. But as government takes shape all eyes are on Sata to see on how inclusive the PF government will be, given its low parliamentary representation in non-Bemba areas. North-Western and Southern Provinces already seem to have been punished for their voting patterns if the composition of the new cabinet is used as a yardstick. After addressing the challenge in parliament, what sort of government are we likely to see and what will its priorities be? If Satas pronouncements during the ten years that he spent in opposition are anything to go by, the nation is likely to witness the emergence of a leftist social democratic government that prioritises the provision of social services such as education and health as a way of fulfilling its campaign pledges and rewarding its supporters, even if the cost of social spending might be very high. Sata has shown that he does not shy from taking bold decisions, even if that means higher government expenditure. The government is likely to immediately raise the minimum wage, reduce taxes and significantly adjust the tax exemption threshold as a way of ensuring more money in peoples pockets in line with the campaign promises. Initiatives like youth conscription into the National Service are likely to be re-introduced as way of creating employment for young people. But more areas which may generate increased employment will have to be identified immediately if the government is to stem potential unrest and loss of support. Although it is highly unlikely that the mines will be nationalised, mine taxes and mineral royalties are likely to be reviewed and significantly adjusted upwards. Some form of the popular windfall tax initiated by Mwanawasa but abandoned by Satas predecessor may be re-introduced to increase revenue for social expenditure. Sata is also likely to seek to fulfil his pledge of providing more bags of fertiliser to rural farmers as a means

Post-Election Analysis

of boosting rural agriculture and raising his popularity ratings in the rural areas. It is unlikely that the number of bags will be as high as 15, as promised during the campaigns. But it is not in doubt that the marginalised and landless rural peasants and small-scale farmers who yearly defy so many obstacles to produce a decent harvest only to agonisingly watch their produce decompose due to the deregulation of commodity markets that favour corporate farmers will expect a lot from the government both in terms of agricultural support and the procurement of their produce. Finally, eager to build political support and enhance the presidents reputation as a man of action, the government will try to begin resolving the outstanding benefits of hundreds of retirees and retrenches who openly supported the PF hoping to have their long awaited funds settled. If there is a crucial policy that the former ruling party started but failed to implement, it is that of decentralisation. Given Satas background in local government and his ability to keep an eye on directives, he is well-placed to push the agenda and avoid the pitfalls of the MMD. The new government is likely to begin implementing the decentralisation policies in the first 90 days both as a way of fulfilling its own manifesto commitments and of transferring potential failure to local organs and officials. The Barotseland issue may mean the devolution of powers to provincial and district authorities will start in Western province before being replicated in other parts of the country. The fight against corruption is another crucial area the government is likely to give attention to, especially given that Sata has managed to don Mwanawasas regalia and capture the imagination of both the donors and many Zambians who identified and supported Mwanawasa for that purpose. Even Satas relationship with the influential Post newspaper is mainly predicated on how he handles the fight against corruption both in his own government and in the previous regime. In the short term, the progressive changes and high profile appointments that Sata has made to such crucial institutions and offices like the AntiCorruption Commission, the judiciary, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the police may be sufficient. But over time, the changes of leadership of political institutions must be followed by legal reforms that give such institutions complete autonomy from the presidency or the executive arm of government. Corruption has been deeply pervasive and the new government will have an uphill battle to cleanse the nation of this scourge. If

some of Satas cabinet get caught up in it, the President will have a major challenge on his hands. Sata is being surrounded by followers demanding personal favours and it will be very difficult for him to close the doors on patronage politics. The PF government is likely to initiate constitutional reforms within the first 100 days in office. Given the fact that progressive recommendations from previous constitutional review commissions exist, the government is unlikely to embark on another constitutional review exercise. Instead, we are likely to see the formation of a small committee of experts to look at previous recommendations, synthesise them, and draft a new national constitution that may be subjected to a referendum and constituent assembly or other popular mode of adoption. But while issues like that of dual citizenship may be easily supported, the government may be reluctant to include in the new constitution such provisions like the 50% + 1 and the running mate clause, though they may amend the article that disqualifies people from standing for the presidency because of their parentage. There is also a possibility that the civil service might witness sweeping reforms aimed at increasing its efficiency and professionalism. There is too much bureaucracy, a lot of wastage of public resources, and a notorious pool of hard core conservative elements who block progressive reforms and frustrate government efforts. Previous attempts by the World Bank and other donors to reform the civil service have foundered thanks to the efforts of these change-resistant elements. The considerable goodwill enjoyed by the new government gives it a lot of room for manoeuvre in the first six months. The opposition will be wary about irking a highly expectant public by being too obstructive. But the attitude that President Sata and the PF adopt towards the MMD and the UPND will also determine the extent to which the government is likely to receive support. An aggressive or non-conciliatory approach may prove costly. Whatever happens, the nation is waiting and millions want more jobs, lower taxes, and more money in their pockets. If there is one thing that Sata demonstrated during the election campaign, it is that he can get an audience feeding from his hands. But can he run a country?
Sishuwa Sishuwa is reading for a doctorate in Modern History at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 11

Post-Election Analysis

Economy

The boat sets sail


The PF government will rise or fall on whether it creates jobs, says Robert Liebenthal
Perhaps the two most salient facts on the Zambian economy are that almost 90 percent of Zambias employed population of 4.1 million (out of a labour force of nearly 5 million) work in the informal sector, and that two-thirds of the population is under the age of 25. Look no further to explain the PF victory on 20th September; and look no further to understand the massive task that awaits the new government: jobs and services for the youth. With only 60 days left (by the time this article appears), for the PF government to deliver its promised resultsespecially more money in your pocketit is already clear that there will be some quick fixes: raise the minimum wage; raise the income tax threshold, reduce interest rates; reduce fuel tax and valueadded tax. Of these, reducing fuel tax may have the most widespread effect, since it will help reduce upward pressure on prices generally. Such tax reductions can in principle be financed by increased taxes on the mining industry. Even if there is no change in the mining tax regime (no return of the windfall tax), revenue from the mines will increase in 2012 because of high metal prices, exhaustion of the capital allowances provided under the Development Agreements, and the agreements reached with the last government on payment of tax arrears. Internationally, some 4050 percent of mining industry profits are collected by governments in taxes of one form or another. The PF manifesto says that a PF government will engage the mining houses in arriving at an equitable and enforceable mining tax regime in order to promote rapid investment and employment in the industry. Whether windfall tax in the form introduced by the MMD government in 2008 is the best way to get a fair share of mining profitsor whether other measures can achieve the same targetshould be left to the experts. One way or another, expect mining taxes to go up. As important as the form and level of mining tax is improvement in its administration and in the transparency of the mines financial operations. As other countries are doing, Zambia may 12 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

be looking at increasing its share in the ownership of the mines, through ZCCM-IH as well as through launching and expanding Zambian-owned mining houses. But quick fixes can only do so much. The minimum wage and higher tax threshold will only benefit formal sector employees. More important is a strategy that can ensure that five years from now there will have been real, tangible progress in generating employment, if for no other reason that, if there is not, some other party will do to PF what it has just done to MMD. Fortunately, we know exactly what is needed to address the jobs issue. The Zambia Business Survey conducted in 2010 addressed exactly this problem. It concluded that the medium and small enterprises (MSMEs) that largely comprise the informal sector are between one-sixth and one-twelfth as productive as large-scale enterprises (depending on the sector). It is obvious, then, why informal sector incomes are so low. Why this gap in productivity? The Zambia Business Survey found several reasons. MSMEs lack access to infrastructure, especially power and water, as well as to mobile phones and the Internet. The high cost of transport limits their access to markets, especially in rural areas. Enterprise productivity is also associated with better education and better access to financial services (note that lower interest rates mainly benefit those with access to banking services). The Analysis of the Constraints to Inclusive Growth in Zambia, conducted two years ago by the Millennium Challenge AccountZambia, reached similar conclusions. So here is a clear agenda for the new government if it really wants to have an impact on job creation. Much depends on the public sector playing its part, especially through better infrastructure, education and financial services. But there was little discussion during the election campaign of the management of the public sector, especially the allocation and quality of public expenditure. Nearly 30 percent of the government budget goes to general public services and almost 50 percent goes to personal emoluments. Both are high by international standards and suggest that there is considerable room to spend more on priority sectors, as well as to get better results from government ministries and their operations. Corruption, of course, is a major issue, which the government has already committed itself to addressing. But everyone familiar with government operations knows that there is waste and inefficiency that could be eliminated by tighter management, with a much stronger focus on performance management. This is not about cutting the civil service if anything, services like education and health need to expand. Nor is it only about firing poor-performing civil servants. It is about getting the public service to implement effectively. It is also about decentralisation and bringing public services closer to the people. The government needs to dust off the Decentralisation

Post-Election Analysis

Implementation Plan that was left on the shelf by the previous government. And it is about better financial management, including strengthening the Auditor Generals office and following up on its recommendations (as clearly set out in PFs manifesto). And it is about far more thorough project selection and preparation. The job creation agenda also requires more large-scale private investment (both foreign and domestic), not only in mining, but in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and services. Inevitably perhaps, much of the international comment on the election of the PF government has focused on what it means for foreign investors, especially from China. More rigorous enforcement of the labour laws is inevitable andgiven some of the abuses that have been seenjustified. Zambias labour laws have not, according to the Zambia Business Survey, been a deterrent to foreign investment; far more important is the general business environment, especially regulation (which has been improving) and low labour productivity due in part to low skills. The wave of labour unrest which followed the election will test the negotiating and conciliation skills of the new government, but there is no reason in principle why a win-win result (a better deal for workers and some stability for employers) cannot be achieved. More important for investors (and not just foreign ones) will be to avoid knee-jerk changes in regulations, like the requirement that all exports be cleared by the Bank of Zambia, the need for which has not been explained nor its practical operation clarified. In addition, government policy towards the Zambia Development Agency and public-private partnerships needs to be clarified, including a re-examination of investment incentives. Predictability is far more important for foreign investors than incentives.

The PF has come into government at a time of especially great international financial and economic uncertainty. The crisis in the Eurozone and fears of continued recession in the United States have not so far had much effect on copper prices and markets, the long-term outlook for which remains good. But recent days have seen copper prices dip to their lowest levels this year, and there may be more volatility in the months and years to come in exchange rates and commodity prices, so Zambia should aim to remain well-protected with a healthy level of foreign exchange reserves and prudent foreign borrowing. An early market test for Zambia will be whether or not it proceeds with an international bond offering, as planned by the previous government. Related to this is whether the new government will manage the exchange rate in such a way as to strengthen the incentive for non-mining exports to support diversification. Only twice in Zambias history have there been political changes as momentous as the election of the PF government: independence in 1964 and the election of MMD in 1991. After both those events, there were important changes in economic direction. In 1964, and especially after the 1968 election, Zambia chose a state-dominated economic regime. In 1991, it chose liberalisation and privatisation. Now the challenge is to make a liberal economy work more effectively for the creation of jobs and the delivery of servicesnot through quick fixes, but through a combination of private investment (not only foreign) and a far more effective public sector.
Robert Liebenthal is an economic consultant, currently Vice President of the Economics Association of Zambia. The views expressed are his own, and do not represent the EAZ.

Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 13

Image: Steffen Blume

Post-Election Analysis

14 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

Image:

Commonwealth Secretariat (Liesl Harewood)

Post-Election Analysis

Post-Mortem

What went wrong for the MMD?


How did the MMD lose despite having so much in its favour, asks President Bandas former political affairs adviser Francis Chigunta

The elections are over. The Patriotic Front (PF) under President Michael Sata is now in power. Many Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) members and supporters are finding it difficult to come to terms with this reality. They are wondering how the mighty MMD lost power and how it will survive in opposition. Without a doubt, the defeat of President Rupiah Banda and the MMD has caused anger and anguish among party members and supporters everywhere. Blame for the defeat is, rightly or wrongly, being apportioned to certain individuals. This article attempts to understand how a ruling partywhich enjoyed all the advantages of incumbency and rode a wave of economic and social successwas defeated by an opposition party that lacked viable national structures. The MMD and its supporters were supremely confident that on 20th September President Rupiah Banda would defeat Michael Sata and the PF hands down. Objective conditions on the ground seemed to favour an MMD victory. Under President Bandas leadership the economy was in good shape and Zambia had recently been re-classified as a lower middle income country, with gross domestic product growth of about 7.2 percent in 2010, $2.6 billion in foreign reserves, single digit inflation, and high foreign investment inflows estimated at over $4 billion in 2010. The Banda government also had a commendable infrastructure programme for schools, hospitals, roads and so on, and sound agricultural policies that led to consecutive bumper harvests of maize and other crops. As Charles Ngoma observes in a recent article, in most democracies where the economy is booming, it is unthinkable that the ruling party lose power. Indeed, the MMD defeat came as a shock to its leadership, members and supporters. But to a discerning eye, the loss is not so shocking. It is a loss that cannot

be attributed to one factor, but to a complex combination of factors: short-term, long-term or cumulative. In general, however, the loss says more about the weaknesses of the MMDs election campaign than the strengths of the PF. Following the announcement of the election date for the 2010 elections, the MMD Presidential National Committee Campaign launched a very colourful, well resourced blue campaign across the country. The campaign organisers, with the aid of hired foreign political consultants (the so-called image builders), claimed that their campaign was based on a rational, scientific planning and management approach to electioneering. The campaign painted the country blue with an assortment of materials, especially the famous MMD chitenge. On the surface, all seemed to be going well. Most opinion polls seemed to favour the MMD. It was generally predicted that President Banda would garner over 40 percent of the popular vote, to be followed by Michael Sata in second place and Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) in third. But as pervasive as the colourful MMD campaign was, it contained inherent weaknesses that led to a shocking and humiliating defeat. In identifying these weaknesses, the intention is not to apportion blame to any individual or group of individuals, but merely to attempt to understand what went wrong. The first major weakness in the MMD campaign was its organisers failure to appreciate and fully involve party officials and members in mobilising voters. The inexperienced and amateurish MMD 2011 campaign team made a fatal strategic error in breaking with tested party campaign tradition (in which a national campaign team sat at the apex with provincial, district, constituency, ward and branch campaign teams beneath) in Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 15

Post-Election Analysis favour of a strategy that focused on a district team. The resulting disillusionment among party officials, especially seasoned and experienced campaigners at various levels of the party, may have contributed significantly to the loss in the elections. The situation was not helped by the absence of strong party structures on the ground. When President Bandaa genuine and concerned leadertook over the leadership of the MMD, the party was in serious decline. On the ground, branches were either weak or non-existent, while the national secretariat lacked the financial capacity to re-organise the party. Although the Party President had made a serious attempt to support the MMD and revive its structures, complacence and a dwindling hunger for power among MMD members after 20 years in office made the task of re-organising and re-energising the party difficult. This was a long-term challenge. Worse still was the commercialisation of the campaign. The spirit of volunteerism was seriously lacking among some senior and ordinary MMD members. The fall-out from the adoption of unpopular candidates in some areas did not help matters. The second weakness was a campaign strategy that focused mainly on organising a series of public rallies. The larger the rally, the better for gaining votesor so it was wrongly assumed. The crowds were large but deceiving, and the focus on rallies undermined attempts to conduct proper door-to-door campaigns. To compound matters, there was no campaign manual and the recruitment and training of polling agents was chaotic. The lavish distribution of campaign materials masked these weaknesses. The third weakness was in how the campaign themes were transmitted. The main campaign message was based on developmentalism, and rightly so: the MMD Government had delivered results in various areas. But the campaign team failed to localise and particularise the message in a way that resonated with various categories of voters. The MMDs campaign slogan, building tomorrows Zambia, does not seem to have captured the mood of the voters. With a low life expectancy, African voters appear to be more interested in issues affecting their daily livelihood activities and communities than any discussions of their future. The strong focus on macroeconomic parameters like GDP growth, inflation, foreign reserves, credit rating, and so on in campaign speeches, which the average Zambian voter did not understand or appreciate did not help matters. In that sense, the MMDs campaign seemed to be out of tune with the real aspirations of voters. The foreign political consultants (the so-called image builders) who had been relied upon to help professionalise the election campaign do not seem to have helped much. Their understanding of the local context, especially the informality of African politics, left much to be desired. More significantly, the campaign projected confidence that 16 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011 President Banda and the MMD had the elections in the bag. This was unhelpful. Messages of this type have the unintended consequences of dissuading supporters from voting. There are a number of other factors that need to be highlighted. The MMD was expected to take advantage of its incumbency to win the elections, but in fact its long stay in power worked against it and made it susceptive to the desire for change. The campaign team failed to appropriate the language of change and sent out confusing messages. On the one hand, some MMD officials publicly stated that the party was delivering the change that the people wanted, while others stressed that there was no need for change. Another major factor in the MMD defeat was the failure to network and form viable alliances. It is not clear why the MMD leadership failed to capitalise on the collapse of the pact between the PF and the UPND. Hakainde Hichilema, the UPND President, came a strong first in Southern Province (with 71 percent of the vote) and a strong second in North-Western (over 35 percent) and Western (nearly 28 percent). He also performed well in Central Province with nearly 21 percent of the vote. The total votes that he got nationally (506,763, over 18 percent of the total) would have greatly boosted President Bandas chances of winning the elections. President Rupiah Banda and the MMDs re-election chances were further undermined by a largely hostile private media, particularly The Post newspaper. The Post carried headline stories on the perceived arrogance of power (especially failure to deal with alleged corruption) by senior public officials that fed a discontent upon which the opposition, especially the PF, thrived. Attempts by the state-owned media to counter the The Post onslaught proved futile. Their rhetorical excesses largely directed at the PF leader, Michael Sata, seem to have alienated some voters. Also challenging was the apparent failure by the MMD to properly coordinate so-called parallel structures, including nondescript or questionable civil and religious organisations. The outcome of the election shows that the voracious appetite for MMD campaign materials country-wide did not translate into actual votes. The opinion surveys, especially those secretly conducted by the image builders, gave the campaign organisers a false sense of confidence. The MMD campaign voter targeting plan, as developed by the image builders, was faulty. To the shock of the MMD leadership and supporters, the anticipated swing in favour of the MMD in Lusaka and Luapula, and to some extent the Copperbelt and Southern provinces, did not materialise. Voters in these provinces turned out in numbers to vote for the opposition. The turnout in opposition strongholds was generally above the national

Post-Election Analysis average of 53.98 percent (59.67 percent in Copperbelt, 57.73 percent in Northern, and 58.37 percent in Southern). In contrast, voter turnout in the MMDs supposed strongholds was below the national average (50.44 percent in Eastern, 47.24 percent in Central and 48.21 percent in Western). Although the 55.04 percent turnout in North-Western Province was above the national average, the number of voters was too low to make up lost ground. In general, the MMD campaign took the voters as one homogeneous group. No serious attempt was made to segment the voters and address their concerns through carefully crafted and targeted messaging. In particular, no serious effort was made to reach out to the new voters, especially the disaffected urban youth. According to the electoral commission, there were about 1.2 million newly registered voters, most of them young. The election results suggest that it was this group, unimpressed by the developmentalist message about infrastructure and bumper harvests, who swayed the vote in favour of the PF. MMD campaign organisers mistook the voracious appetite for party materials among young voters and others for political support. This was a costly mistake. The full implications of the MMDs electoral defeat are not yet clear, but it will certainly take time for the party to overcome its collective sense of shock. Some observers are already preparing to write its obituary. They say that the party has no permanent secretariat and assets and its members are not bound by a common ideological orientation. The immediate aftermath of the elections will be difficult, butfor a number of reasonsit is premature to talk of the death of the MMD. The elections have not given PF a clear majority in parliament. Combined, the opposition has more members of parliament than the ruling party. Second, the MMD has some gifted and talented leaders like Felix Mutati and Kabinga Pande who can emerge to lead the party to greater heights. Third, despite some defections, the MMD membership base remains intact across the country. Fourth, the MMD remains the most widely represented party nationallythe only political party with MPs elected in every province. Fifth, the MMD has a proud record of significant economic and social achievements. Sixth, it is not clear how the PF government will hold together and deliver on its promises over the next five years, nay 90 days. These are strong assets that the former ruling party can rely on to survive in the opposition and re-position itself for 2016. These assets notwithstanding, electoral defeat suggests that there is something wrong with the MMDs public image, presentation and political strategy. As long as the MMD remains saddled with the mind-set and the public image that led to the September debacle, it will never again be a party of government. The leadership must seriously explore ways of pulling the party back from oblivion. Changes in structure and approach are inevitable. For a start, the partys National Executive Committee (NEC) should commission an independent evaluation of the MMDs communications and campaigning, especially in the last elections. The evaluator should not be closely related to the recent party campaigns or the NEC. The findings could be used to help the party to chart out a way forward and reposition it for the 2016 elections. In the absence of such an initiative, there is a serious danger that the party will disintegrate. By now it should be clear that, for all its vigorous political rhetoric and abundant campaign materials, the MMD 2011 campaign had a soft underbelly. If there are eight lessons that emerge from the experience, they are as follows: Experimenting with campaign strategies should be done carefully and cautiously. If something worked in the past, keep using it until it stops working. The national campaign committee is critical and should be selected carefully through broad consultations. Placing too much faith and confidence in foreign political consultants at the expense of similarly or better qualified local professionals can be costly. Campaign materials and money do not win elections. Carefully crafted and targeted messages are critical to winning the hearts and souls of the voters. Conducting voter profiling or segmentation to ensure proper voter targeting is very important. Rallies may be good for political morale but they do not win elections. Direct contact with voters is very important. Perception is more important than reality. The failure by the MMD to deal with negative attacks properly, especially from a popular medium like The Post newspaper, may have cost it dearly during the elections. Protecting home base first is important. The election results suggest that the MMD should have consolidated its support in its strongholds of Western, North-Western and Central Provinces, as well as gaining ground in opposition strongholds as the PF did.
Dr. Francis Chigunta is the former Special Assistant to President Rupiah Banda for Political Affairs.

Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 17

Post-Election Analysis

Opinion

A memo to President Sata


By Chola Mukanga
Congratulations, Mr. President! You ran an inspirational and transformational campaign that has not only earned the presidential office but has the admiration of the Zambian people. More than that, your victory has rekindled the ancient hope of our people for sound and effective government: a government that governs in the interests of its people and not for the pockets of powerful foreign corporations; a government that puts the vulnerable before the rich, the oppressed before the oppressor, and the weak before the strong. As you no doubt know, your journey, and that of our nation, has just begun. Over the months and years to come, we will face many challenges. The world once again finds itself staring into another global recession, perhaps much worse than the 2009 crisis. Although Zambia may be far from the current turmoil engulfing the Euro zone and the United States, we are not immune. We will begin to feel the effects through tightening remittances, a slowdown in commodity prices, the inevitable reduction in overseas development aid, and the negative impacts on our emerging tourism industry. To make matters worse, you have assumed the presidency at a time of great uncertainty in our region. The Zimbabwean political situation remains volatile with political players in our sister nation seemingly stuck in a perpetual equilibrium of stagnation. Malawi is no better, with a government that has failed to rise above petty politics. To the north, the DRCs historic failure to develop remains a huge constraint on our advancement. Our economy has grown consistently over the last seven years, but not as fast as those of regional competitors such as Angola and Mozambique. Our high levels of rural poverty and inequality persist. Our human and physical infrastructure is broken and more than 70 percent of our people live on less than $1 a day. Our people are physically and psychologically broken. As you noted on the campaign trail, theres an urgent need to restore our dignity. It is surely a gross injustice of the previous regime that a country so richly endowed should fail to nourish the young 18 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

and care for the elderly. Our childrens futures are shackled by never-ending corruption and greed reinforced over two decades of tyrannical rule. Its within this context that I write you this short memo with a few broad pieces of advice. Listen to your instincts. For the first time we have a leader who has a genuine heart for the poor and is comfortable with every strata of our society. The resonance of your campaign messages is self-evident. We now look to you to apply your people-centred philosophy to the many challenges facing our nation. But in doing this you have already recognised that no man knows everything. Zambia is blessed with many talented individuals at home and abroad. You must now do what you can to put together a group of experts to provide you the very best advice on finance, mining, transport, education, information technology, engineering, manufacturing and health. We no longer need to go down the MMD route of relying solely on advice from the IMF and World Bank. As you said several times during your campaigns, real and effective solutions are home grown. We are masters of our destiny and God has given us a remarkable opportunity with your election, a chance to reshape our future for the better. Consult openly. The failed MMD regime ran government both as a personal piggy bank and a closed shop. It treated government policy as personal to holder. It was particularly notorious for not issuing Green and White Papers, replacing them with poor Cabinet Policy Papers that ordinary Zambians neither saw nor commented on. Only in rare instances would one be lucky enough to hear the odd ministerial statement followed by a predictably poor debate in the House. Consultation is the hallmark of effective government. Ordinary Zambians long to have a say in whether ZAMTEL is restored to Zambian hands, whether the windfall tax on mining is reinstated, or whether more money should be borrowed externally. But consultation must never be an excuse for policy inaction: a balance must be found between open consultation and the work of the government. Be patient with the critics. Divergence of opinion inside and outside government is critical for reaching creative and innovative solutions. It is critical that every tier of our government emulates your down-to-earth approach, in particular the mantra that no man is an island. Rather than seeing people with different opinions as enemies, men and women in government should now see them as critical partners in ensuring that its policies are perfected. This is a serious point because under the previous administration things became so bad that we saw running battles between the government and The Post. It was sad seeing the previous president

Post-Election Analysis engaging in insults and being insulted. The lesson is that this sort of antagonism creates the impression that the government does not listen. We hope that you will continue the spirit of open criticism and debate that has characterised your campaign and early presidency. Indeed, theres room, where appropriate, for those in opposition to advise government. You have already taken an important step in this direction by bringing MMD members within the new ministerial team. What is now needed is for your new administration to transform how politics is done in our country by moving Zambians beyond entrenched partisan positions, towards more open and direct engagement with the leading opposition parties. This would be good for your government and good for our people. Plan for the long term. Rampant poverty comes with political pressure for immediate solutions. In finding those solutions theres always the lurking danger of turning back the clock and implementing dangerous policies that are intended to save the day but imprison us in the long term. The last administration failed to plan for the long term and started pursuing senseless policies: borrowing senselessly, over-procuring on road contracts, attracting the wrong investors, and eliminating or reducing taxes to please foreign funders while doing nothing for the average person. Sadly, the Banda government will be remembered as one of desperate people who did desperate things. The new Zambia you are building must avoid this at all costs. Yes, we should strive for a better today, but equally we should be prepared to take todays pain to secure a better future for our children. Avoid profligate spending. We all understand the need for government to act swiftly and respond to queries from specific groups. However, it is important to first recognise that the national budget is not different from household budgets. If money is spent on something, adjustments need to be made elsewhere. This calls for careful planning to underpin spending decisions, and most importantly explaining to the Zambian public how those trade-offs are being made. Under the MMD regime we had become a nation of beggars that continuously fed off debt and foreign aid. Zambia has a limited pot of funds, so we need to relearn how to use it wisely. It is important that early on in your presidency you are clear on what government can and cannot do, and where its priorities should be. This will allow public debate and input on your general direction. Again, your instincts and understanding of our people and the advice of your experts will become handy here. Cut wasteful spending. As you know, fiscal space can only be increased in two ways: cutting waste or generating more revenue. Given your stated policy goal of generating larger revenues through widening the tax base and lowering taxation, there will be a need to secure short-term sources of revenue. We are tired of borrowing, especially in the absence of an effective debt management strategy. That means that not only should we keep a closer rein on spending, but we must actively seek ways to cut wasteful spending. Inefficiencies must be systematically identified. The public should direct this process by offering ideas as part of a broader savings challenge to help create fiscal space. Prioritise the security of our national wealth. We recognise that you have assumed the leadership after decades of relentless plunder. You have already done exceptionally well, respecting the rule of law and putting forward a bold case for Zambia to be comfortable with its past while expanding the freedoms of tomorrow. The most pressing economic question facing our country is how we should harness the vast mineral wealth beneath our feet. In solving this problem it is important to put an end to the current situation in which mining companies treat our taxation system with impunity. Zambians expect these companies to pay their fair share and to do so without fail. The culture of secret deals and negotiations must come to an end. The government should set an optimal mining tax which all investors must comply with without secret haggling. Its not right that a certain constituency is able to sit down and negotiate their way to certain privileges, while ordinary Zambians quietly obey the laws and pay their taxes accordingly. More importantly, we wont develop as a nation as long as we fail to secure our mineral wealth. Avoid the mistakes of the past. As we drive off to a new future, we see in the rear view mirror twenty years of MMD rule with president after president amassing power for themselves. We have high hopes that we have a leader who longs to serve rather than waits to be served. A critical way to move forward is to deliver a constitution which will stand the test of time. The old National Constitutional Conference championed by the previous administration was a costly and unfortunate exercise. We cannot afford to waste money on another expensive initiative. Mr President, the early days of your presidency have already demonstrated your strong commitment to equity, justice and prosperity. As you forge ahead we trust that the principles outlined above will be the emblem of your government.
Chola Mukanga is an adviser to the UK Government on issues of economics and international justice, rights and law. He is the founder of the Zambian Economist website (www.zambian-economist.com), where a version of this article first appeared.

Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 19

Post-Election Analysis

Presidential vote provincial breakdown, 2008 and 2011


As the chart 1 shows, all the main candidates increased their total votes in absolute terms, but it was Sata who gained more than anyone else. In terms of the share of the total vote, Satas increased in all provinces except Northern, where it fell fractionally despite a much increased number of votes. Bandas share fell in all provinces except Lusaka, where it increased by less than a single percentage point.1

The election in charts


Chart 1

Swings and the varying weight of provinces


The biggest swings to Sata came in Western province (a swing of over 24 percent away from Banda) and Copperbelt and North-Western provinces (about 6 and a half percent away from Banda). But in terms of numbers of votes, the Copperbelt was the most important to Sata for the simple reason that it has significantly more voters than any other province (with a turnout of around half a million). Look at it this way: in 2008, Banda polled about 35,000 more votes nationally than Sata; in 2011, Sata polled about 183,000 more votes nationally than Banda. So where did Sata get the 218,000 votes that turned things around? Chart 2 compares how many more votes the two frontrunners gained in 2010 than in 2008 in relation to the other in each province.2 So, for example, Sata increased his 2010 vote in the Copperbelt by over 113,000 votes more than Banda dida huge contribution to his overhauling of the incumbent. 20 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011
Chart 2

Post-Election Analysis

Chart 3

Parliamentary seats gains and losses


The parliamentary gains and losses of the three main parties in each province are shown in chart 3. What this shows is that the MMD lost not only a number of the seats they had held in PF strongholds, but also in their own strongholds of Central (PF gains) and Western (UPND and PF gains).3

Chart 4

Women in parliament
The number of women elected to parliament remains strikingly low, as shown in chart 4. (The ADD at least can claim that 100 percent of its MPs are female, although a pedant may point out that they only have the one).

1 2 3

In these calculations, spoiled or rejected ballots are not counted in the share of the vote. (Sata # votes 2010 minus Sata # votes 2008) minus (Banda # votes 2010 minus Banda # votes 2008). Minor parties are not represented in this chart.

Disclaimer: the figures and charts represented here were devised by the Editor of Zambia Analysis based on data gathered from websites. Any errors are his alone.

Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 21

Economic Analysis

Mountains of maize, persistent poverty


Analysis by the Food Security Research Project shows why the maize production boom has barely dented rural poverty

Zambias small- and medium-scale farmers produced an impressive maize surplus in 2011. The marked increase in maize production between the mid-2000s and 2011 coincides with the scaling-up of the governments two flagship agricultural sector programmes: the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP, formerly known as the Fertiliser Support Programme), which distributes subsidised inputs to farmers; and the purchase of maize at above-market prices through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). Together these programmes accounted for over 60 percent of the Ministry of Agricultures public budget over the past five years. They also accounted for 9096 percent of the total budget allocated to the ministrys Poverty Reduction Programmes (PRPs) during the 20062011 budget years. While there are other PRPs, such as the Food Security Pack and Programme Against Malnutrition, they are dwarfed by the FISP and FRA operations, which in budgetary terms stand out as Zambias main anti-poverty programmes. In spite of all this, rural poverty declined very little between 2006 and 2010. Although the rural poverty rate declined from 83 percent in 1998 to 77.3 percent in 2004, it was virtually unchanged at 76.8 percent in 2006.1 While official poverty rate estimates for 2010 have not yet been released, preliminary estimates suggest that the rural poverty rate remains in the range of 7478 percent. The government has spent over 2 percent of the nations gross domestic product in supporting maize production and subsidising inputs for farmers. So, why is it that maize production has increased so impressively without making a serious dent in rural poverty? And how should the new PF government be measuring success in agriculture?

A disaggregated picture
This analysis uses data from the 2010/11 Crop Forecast Survey to show how maize production has varied according to farm 22 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

size. The Crop Forecast Survey is a nationally representative survey conducted annually by the governments Central Statistical Office involving roughly 13,500 small- and medium-scale households. From this survey, annual crop production estimates are produced each year by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (now Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock). Column A of Table 1 shows the number of farmers in five farm size categories. Overall Zambia has an estimated 1,471,221 small- and medium-scale farmers (smallholder farmers), defined as farmers cultivating between 0.1 and 20 hectares. Approximately 42 percent of them are cultivating less than one hectare of land; 33.3 percent of the smallholder farms are cultivating 12 hectares; 2.9 percent are cultivating 510 hectares, and 0.5 percent are cultivating over 10 hectares (column B). Farmers cultivating less than 2 hectares accounted for 75 percent of the total number of farmers in Zambias smallholder farm sector. Column C shows the estimated total maize production within each of the farm size categories over a baseline period (the three years covering the 2005/06 to 2007/08 crop seasons). Column D shows the estimated maize production for these five farm size categories in the 2010/11 crop season. Overall, maize production increased from an average of 1,383,735 tonnes in the baseline period to 2,786,896 tonnes in the 2010/11 season. Column E shows the change in maize production over this period for each farm size category. Farmers cultivating less than one hectare contributed an additional 96,989 tonnes to national maize production in 2010/11 compared to their average maize production during the 3-year period 2005/06-2007/08. By dividing the additional maize production in column E by the number of farms in each category as shown in Column A, we derive the additional maize production per farm for each of the farm size categories, as shown in Column F. When expressed on a per farm basis, it is apparent that farmers cultivating less than one hectare produced 157.2 additional kilograms of maize

Economic Analysis

per farm in 2011. Farmers cultivating 12 hectares contributed 326,145 additional tonnes of maize in 2010/11, which amounts to 666 kilograms of additional maize per farm. Farmers cultivating 25 hectares contributed an additional 640,425 tonnes to national maize production in 2010/11, or 2.03 additional tonnes per household. The 2.9 percent of the farmers cultivating 510 hectares contributed an additional 297,871 tonnes to national maize production in 2010/11, which amounted to 7.04 tonnes of additional maize production per farm. And lastly, the 0.5 percent of farmers cultivating 1020 hectares increased their maize production in 2010/11 by 6.3 tonnes per household in compared to the earlier baseline period. The data in Table 1 show that very little of the increase in national maize production in 2010/11 came from the bottom category of farmers (less than one hectare cultivated) even though they account for over 40 percent of the smallholder farms in Zambia and are among the poorest of the rural poor. Given that their maize output increased by an average of just three 50-kg bags per household between 2005/06-2007/08 and 2010/11, the national maize bumper harvest is unlikely to have resulted in significant reductions in hunger and poverty among this group of farmers. The main increase in national maize production (column E) came from farmers in the 12, 25 and 510 hectare cultivated area categories. When expressed in per farm terms, however, the major increases in maize production were enjoyed

by farmers cultivating over 5 hectaresfarm households which constitute only 3.4 percent of all the smallholder farms in Zambia. Table 1 clearly shows that the increase in maize production per farm is strongly related to farm size. However, the relatively small increases in average maize production among the smallest farms is likely to have improved their food security status substantially as a result of their harvesting even a few more 50-kg bags of maize in 2010/11 than in the earlier period. Table 2 uses the same Crop Forecast Survey data to examine the amount of subsidised FISP fertiliser received during the 2010/11 crop season by farmers within the same five categories. The number and percentage of farms in each category in 2010/11 are shown in columns A and B, respectively. The percentage of farms receiving FISP fertiliser in each category is presented in column C. Slightly over 14 percent of the farmers cultivating less than one hectare received FISP fertiliser in the 2010/11 crop season. The average quantity of fertiliser they received was 168 kg. Therefore, across all 596,334 households in the category, the average household received 24.1 kg of FISP fertiliser (column D). By contrast, over 50 percent of farmers in the 1020 hectare cultivated category received FISP fertiliser in 2010/11, receiving 657 kg per farm. Therefore, the average amount of FISP fertiliser received by farmers in the 1020 hectare category was 346 kg, about 14 times more per farm than those in the less than one hectare category. Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 23

Image: Kawambwa District Farmers Association

Economic Analysis
Table 1: Smallholder maize production growth from the baseline period (2005/20062007/2008) to 2010/2011, by farm size category Average no. of farms 2005/20062007/2008 & 2010/2011 (A) 00.99 ha 11.99 ha 24.99 ha 59.99 ha 1020 ha Total
Sources:

Total area cultivated (maize & all other crops)

% of farms

Annual mean 2010/2011 baseline period of (MT) 2005/20062007/2008 (MT) (C) 212,335 381,293 490,102 196,848 103,156 1,383,735 (D) 309,324 707,438 1,130,527 494,719 144,888 2,786,896

Absolute change (MT) (DC) (E) 96,989 326,145 640,425 297,871 41,732 1,403,161

Change per farm (kg per farm) (E*1,000/A) (F) 157.2 665.7 2,030.1 7,036.6 6,298.4 953.7

(B) 41.9% 33.3% 21.4% 2.9% 0.5% 100%

616,867 489,937 315,459 42,332 6,626 1,471,221

MACO/CSO Crop Forecast Surveys, 2005/20062007/2008, 2010/2011

Column E shows the percentage of households selling maize. This ranges from 22.2 percent among the smallest farm size category to 86.8 percent among the largest. In terms of quantities of maize expected to be sold, column F shows that, on average, about 135 kg of maize will be sold for every farm in the less-than-one hectare category, compared to 1.7 tonnes per household in the 25 hectare category, and over 15.1 tonnes per household in the 1020 hectare category. Clearly, the benefits of the FRA maize support prices are disproportionately enjoyed by the relatively large farmers over 5 hectares, even though they constitute only 3.8 percent of the smallholder farm population.

Who benefited?
The past two years are a tribute to Zambian farmers: they have responded admirably to government efforts to promote maize production. Being the most important staple food in Zambia, maize surpluses contribute to food security and benefit the nation. But the smallest farmers in Zambiathose cultivating less than 2 hectares who account for over 70 percent of all the smallholder farms in the countryparticipated only marginally in the maize production expansion of 2010/11. These farmers received relatively little FISP fertiliser and sold very little maize, hence they were unable to benefit from the FRA producer price of 65,000 kwacha per bag. The farmers benefiting the most from the governments expenditures on supporting maize prices were clearly those selling the most maize. 24 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

This disaggregated picture of Zambias maize production expansion may reveal why rural poverty rates remain so high despite the record maize harvests in the past two years. The benefits of the two main poverty reduction programmes have been enjoyed disproportionately by the larger smallholder farmers who received more subsidised fertiliser per farm and sold substantially more maize than the 73 percent of farmers cultivating less than 2 hectares. In fact, about 30 percent of the relatively poor smallholder households actually had to purchase more maize and maize meal than they produced to meet their families food needs and hence were adversely affected by a support price policy that raised maize prices in the countryside. What to do? Future efforts to reduce rural poverty could focus on targeting subsidised FISP fertiliser to the smallest farmers. This would provide them with greater opportunities to produce a surplus and benefit from FRA support prices. Targeting subsidised fertiliser in this way would have a greater likelihood of reducing rural poverty. Of course, there are other government programmes that have attempted to target inputs to poor farmers. However, their budgets have been small compared to the FISP, and the number of poor households in the less-than-two hectare category needing support is so large that some reallocation of poverty reduction funds from targeting better-off farmers to targeting poor farmers will be necessary to make serious progress in combating rural poverty. Evidence from the Crop Forecast Survey shows that the

Economic Analysis
Table 2: FISP fertiliser received (2010/2011 crop season) and expected maize sales, 2011, by farm size category No. of farms % of farms % of farmers receiving FISP fertiliser (C) 14.3% 30.6% 45.1% 58.5% 52.6% 28.6% kg of FISP fertiliser received per farm household (D) 24.1 69.3 139.7 309.7 345.6 77.1 % of farmers expecting to sell maize (E) 22.2 47.7 64.0 82.1 86.8 42.7 Expected maize sales (kg/farm household) (F) 135 609 1,729 6,613 15,144 950

Total area cultivated (maize & all other crops)

(A) 0-0.99 ha 1-1.99 ha 2-4.99 ha 5-9.99 ha 10-20 ha Total


Source:

(B) 39.6% 33.1% 23.5% 3.3% 0.5% 100%

596,334 499,026 354,116 49,410 6,999 1,505,885

MACO/CSO Crop Forecast Survey, 2010/2011

smallest farms use fertiliser slightly less efficiently than the larger smallholder farmers. In 2011, farmers cultivating less than two hectares obtained about 9 percent less maize per kilogram of fertiliser applied than farmers cultivating 520 hectares. Hence the targeting of subsidised fertiliser to poorer farmers would be expected to have a small impact on the size of Zambias national maize production, which may not be such a bad thing in a year in which the country is struggling to find export markets even at a major financial loss to the Treasury. Although the timing of the national maize production expansion coincides with the ramping up of FISP and FRA activities, empirical evidence indicates that unusually favourable weather, not FISP/FRA activities, was the main driver of higher maize output levels during the last two crop seasons. Overall, favourable weather was responsible for 42 percent of the growth in total production from the 2005/06-2007/08 baseline period to 2010/11.2 In the era of climate change, there is increased risk of unfavourable weather. The dominant role played by weather in determining Zambias maize production levels underscores the countrys high level of vulnerability to shifting weather patterns. A broader conclusion for the new PF government is that the FRA and FISP are very blunt tools for reducing rural poverty. Clearly a more holistic strategy is needed, one that involves raising on-farm productivity so that Zambian smallholders can profitably produce maize and other crops without government output price supports and input subsidies, promoting

crop diversification, educating farmers in improved agronomic management and marketing practices, improved seed generation systems, livestock promotion programmes, and improved health and education programmes. A more holistic approach can be designed to raise the productivity of Zambian farms cultivating less than two hectares so that rural poverty can be more effectively tackled at its source.
The Food Security Research Project is a collaborative program of research, outreach, and local capacity building, between the Agricultural Consultative Forum, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and Michigan State University. The project is funded by USAID and SIDA. Comments should be directed to the Food Security Research Project Director, 26A Middleway Road, Kabulonga, Lusaka, tel. +260 (21) 1 23 45 39, fax +260 (21) 1 23 45 59, email: kabaghec@msu.edu

1 2

According to Central Statistical Office, Poverty Trends Report, 1996-2006, Lusaka: CSO, 2010. According to N. M. Mason, W. J. Burke, A. Shipekesa, and T. S. Jayne, The 2011 Surplus in Smallholder Maize Production in Zambia: Drivers, Beneficiaries, & Implications for Agricultural & Poverty Reduction Policies, Lusaka: Food Security Research Project Working Paper No. 56, 2011.

Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 25

Policy Analysis

Is Zambias GMO policy changing?


Despite uncertainty surrounding the outgoing governments position, Zambia retains its restrictions on genetically modified organisms. Emma Broadbent investigates the evolving debate on GMOs and how evidence has been used in the policy debate.

In blocking food aid containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in 2002, Zambia adopted a precautionary stance on GMOs that has lastedostensibly at leastuntil today. Zambia continues to be seen as one of the more solidly anti GMO countries in Africa. The supporters of GM technology herald it as a solution to food security problems of lesser developed countries and as a way for poor farmers to enter the export market. Nowhere could the alleged benefits of GMOs be more greatly felt than in Africa; by the same token, nowhere could potential risks to agriculture, health and the environment spell more harm. While there is hardly any more consensus on the potential impact of GMOs on than there was ten years ago, biotechnology is developing quickly in practice: an estimated 130 million hectares of GM food now being cultivated across 25 countries, and developing countries are thought to account for half of this. GM technology has its supporters and opponents in Zambia. Supporters include international biotechnology companies and agencies whose objective is to support foreign interests abroad (such as USAID), international donors concerned with food security issues (such as the WFP), the leaders of the national farmers union (ZNFU) and farmers whose yield would be enhanced (notably cotton farmers). The anti-GMO lobby includes parts of

the farming community, environmental groups such as PELUM Zambia, NGOs advocating on behalf of small farmers such as Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), plus the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre and the Organic Producers and Processors Association of Zambia. Critically, the outgoing Zambian governments position has been difficult to gauge. Some believe that the governments position relaxed under President Rupiah Banda, who adopted a less vehement tone than his predecessor President Levy Mwanawasa. The ban remains in place for the time being, but the lack of clear signals from the MMD government made for unstable conditions for debate.

Developing a policy
The watershed moment for Zambias position on GMOs came in 2002 when, faced with food shortages and widespread starvation, the government chose to reject 35,000 tonnes of food aid from the US because it included GMO maize. The move was starkly criticised by the WFP, FAO and USAID on stark grounds that it endangered the lives of starving people and was based on a lack of evidence. President Mwanawasa maintained an uncompromising position in defence of the ban, later calling GMOs

Biotechnology is any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use. Genetic modification allows the transfer of genetic material (in the form of DNA sequences) between unrelated organisms that would not naturally breed. This entails removing segments of DNA from one species of an organism, modifying that DNA and then inserting the modified DNA segments into the genomes of cells or embryos. The cell or embryo is then allowed to develop to a new organism, out of which a genetically modified line (commonly called a genetically modified organism) or transgenic line is derived. Genetic modification is currently used only to introduce a single new trait, which might be based on the activity of a single gene, or a small number of genes.

26 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

Policy Analysis

poison and toxic and refusing to allow Zambians to be guinea pigs. The ban was not made without advice and deliberation. The decision to go beyond banning the aid shipment and ban all GMO imports came after intense debate and serious attempts to weigh up existing knowledge. After a number of research institutes advised the government against accepting GM maize, a team of Zambian scientists and civil society representatives was sent on a US-funded international study tour and concluded that GMOs could be a health hazard. Fear of potential negative health impacts led Zambia to ratify in 2004 the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which is part of the UN Convention in Biological Diversity. The Cartagena Protocol is underpinned by the precautionary principle which case means that, in the face of scientific uncertainty, a country should not take action that might adversely affect human and animal health or the environment. The precautionary approach is embodied in the Zambian governments National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy, ratified at cabinet level in 2003 and accompanied by legislation in 2005. It states that approval for the transfer, use and release of GMOs shall not be given where there is reason to believe that harm or damage may result, even when there is lack of scientific evidence or certainty. Yet, while maintaining the ban, the policys stated objective is framed rather more open-endedly, being to guide the judicious use and regulation of modern biotechnology for the sustainable development of the nation, with minimum risks to human and animal health as well as the environment, including Zambias biological diversity. The very existence of a policy of this nature signals something other than the steadfast anti-GMO position suggested by the events of 2002. Aside from a precautionary stance on environmental and health concerns, the governments position was certainly marked by concern about how accepting GMO maize and exposing Zambian crops to cross-contamination would affect maize

exports to the EU, which prohibited (and still prohibits) the buying of GMO produce to the European market. The US openly blamed the EU for Zambias decision and officially complained to the World Trade Organisation that the EUs moratorium contravened international trade rules. The European Commissions terse response was that food aid should not be about trying to advance the case for GM food abroad. This spat serves to underline how the GMO debate is an arena in which politico-economic rivalries between the EU and US are played out. The internationalised nature of the debate, however, has meant that national sovereigntyand indeed the concept of food sovereigntyhas been at the fore of the debate.

The regional debate


The GMO issue cannot be understood purely as a national debate, but rather one that spans the membership of regional organisations such as the AU, SADC, and COMESA, all of which have advocated a role for GM technology in Africas development. COMESA has provided much impetus to the debate through its attempts to draft and implement a regional policy on GMOs, despite most countries in the region maintaining a broadly antiGMO stance. Its member countries differ widely, with Egypt and South Africa most advanced in developing and exporting GMO crops. In July 2011 the debate entered a new phase when the Kenyan government cleared the importation of GM maize to resolve the countrys food shortages. All COMESA countries seem to have bought into the idea of developing a regional approach, which has been overseen by COMESAs Alliance for Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA). Headquartered in Lusaka, ACTESA is responsible for leading the development of the biotechnology and biosafety agenda in the region. It is the second COMESA body to be set upon the issue, following the establishment of the Regional Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 27

Image: Thomas F. Aleto

Policy Analysis

Policy guidelines Aside from the national policy and participation in drafting the COMESA Member States Policy and Guidelines on Biotechnology and Biosafety, Zambia is subject to a number of relevant policy and legislative mechanisms and guidelines. First and most important is the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (1993), invoked by the Government of Zambia in 2002 and which became an obligation after its ratification in 2004. At base, the protocol respects the right of a sovereign countrys right to regulate bio-engineered organisms, and provides a framework to enhance the capacity of developing countries to protect biodiversity through the regulation of biotechnology, including though certain labelling and documentation requirements. Second is the African Model Law on Biosafety, ratified by the AU in 2003. Based on a recognition of the role biotechnology could play in the continents development, the Model Law was drafted to provide for a harmonised approach to biotechnology on the continent as well as a framework for national governments to draft their own domestic legislation on the issue. Third are SADCs Guidelines on GMOs, Biotechnology and Biosafety, made available in 2004 and covering the handling of food aid, the development of national policy and regulatory mechanisms, and public participation and awareness-raising on biotechnology and biosafety issues. Finally, the Zambia Bureau of Standards is developing drafts standards for the labelling and advertising of food and feed to support the national Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy.

Approach to Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy in Eastern and Southern Africa (RABESA) in 2001. Such wider regional developments appear to be pushing Zambias decision-making remit increasingly into the shade. In this way, the discussion appears to be running away from the confines of a nationally-owned debate, if indeed it ever was.

Changing contours of debate


The Zambian GMO debate has since 2002 shifted away from whether Zambia should accept food aid which contains GMOs to whether and how Zambia should implement a framework for regulating GMOs and biotechnological development in general. The stark dilemma of the early yearswhere the government was portrayed as either letting people starve or be exposed to GM hazardsis less conspicuous. One reason for shift in the debate is the improved food security situation in the region due to a number of good harvests and availability of different foods, which has reduced pressure on maize supplies. Another is the accelerated move towards regional mechanisms and approaches for biotechnology and biosafety. The debates major fault line now runs between two camps: on one side are those who view the governments formulation of a national policy and its participation in regional processes as a welcome sign that it is implicitly accepting the reality of biotechnology; on the other are the opponents of GMO who fear creeping change in the governments position, as well as those 28 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

who believe that formulating regulatory mechanisms is in no way tantamount to accepting GMOs. Many in the former camp believe that biotechnological development is now a global inevitability. The GMO debate, in this view, is no longer if biotechnology should be introduced, but how it can be harnessed for development. GMO opponents reject this, seeking to bring the debate back to fundamental questions about impact and suitability to Zambias agricultural context. In other words, they are not ready to discuss the how of biotechnological development until the why and should have been adequately addressed. Nevertheless, ZNFU and ZARI have drawn on the inevitability argument, expressing the fear that Zambian farmers will somehow lose out if Zambia fails to keep pace with technological change. Representatives of ACTESA and RABESA have also spoken explicitly in these terms. The Zambian governments policy and its participation in regional discussions can arguably be seen as implicit recognition of this. A game-changer in the Zambian debate was the death of President Mwanawasa. President Banda, who called for the reopening of the GMO debate in February 2009, was perceived to be at odds with ministry officials who hold fast to the policy spearheaded by Mwanawasa. Bandas suggestion met with an angry reaction from environmental activists and academics who remain keen to speculate on the existence of secret deals between the private sector and politicians. In truth, though, little is known about the influences on the outgoing presidents thinking. The GMO issue remains shrouded in secrecy at this level.

Policy Analysis The national policy recognises the role of biotechnology and provides for the development of research and industrial capacity and a new National Biosafety Authority and Biosafety Advisory Committee. Officials at the science and technology ministry (MSTVT) are adamant, however, that the policy does not indicate any acceptance of GMOs and that the governments position is not changing. Certainly, Zambia maintains a total ban on the importing of GMOs which are crops of strategic importance, despite not having explicitly rejected GMOs in principle. The widespread uncertainty around the governments current thinkingand who influences ithas created unstable conditions for a debate: that is, what needs to be debated and who needs to be influenced? The debate is framed, as might be expected, by a consideration of evidence, but in the absence of either evidence specific to Zambias agricultural context or adequate communication from the government, it has reached something of a stalemate. effectively constitutes a Catch-22 situation: the government will not allow GMOs due to a lack of evidenceand moreover lack of Zambia-relevant evidenceyet no research into the GMOs in question is permitted. The MSTVT holds that this situation is temporary and there is consensus on the need to increase Zambias research capacity. It does not help matters, however, that responsibility for agricultural research lies between three ministries: as the US academics Cooke and Downie observed, agriculture is not the priority of the MSTVT, research is not the top priority of the Ministry of Agriculture, and neither agriculture nor research is the priority for the Ministry of Education. The policyyet to be fully implementedcommits the government to building the capacity of a number of research institutions, but it is not clear exactly what support they are currently getting.

Evidence and the impact of GMOs


To explore how evidence on the impact of GMOs is used, it is worth briefly summarising its deployment in relation to five areas: food security; small-scale farming; environment and health; trade; and finally ethical considerations. GM technology is presented as something as a magic bullet for alleviating food insecurity. Opponents argue that studies that show GM crops having higher yields than non-GM crops use evidence selectively, and point to other studies showing no such higher yields. Much of this counter-evidence, it must be said, is not particularly recent. A more important opposing argument is probably that food insecurity is not just a problem of production, but about complex issues of supply and access. In 2001 Argentina was the worlds second-largest producer of GM crops but failed to prevent widespread hunger among its own people. It may not make sense to introduce GM technology to fill a gap in the market when it is the distributive aspects of the agricultural value chain that must be addressed. The common argument that GMOs impact on small-scale farmers would be positive thanks to greater crop yields is countered by one that says they would become more dependent on external inputsGMO seed controlled by foreign corporations. Studies and counter studies have purported to prove or disprove the adverse affects on small-scale farmers livelihoods. The debate on environment and health risks (such as erosion of local maize varieties, cross-contamination, crop toxicity, resistance to herbicides and pesticides, and allergenicity) is Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 29

The problem of risk and evidence


If there has been uncertainty regarding the governments position, there is also much scientific uncertainty about the effects of GMOs on health and the environment. In the absence of scientific certainty, GMOs have been deemed a risk, but understandings of evidence and risk differ. Employing the Precautionary Principle means countries can err on the side of caution and scientists are obliged to communicate uncertainty to the public. In the view of its opponents, however, the Precautionary Principle represents a non-scientific attitude that impedes technological progress. The attitude prevailing in North America is less concerned with potential risks than potential benefits; in other words, agricultural biotechnology products are assumed innocent until proven guilty. The EUs precautionary approach, on the other hand, demands proof of innocence first, a stance that North American politicians have criticised as unfair and, given the continued lack of scientific evidence of actual risks, un-scientific. Either way, there is a recognised lack of scientific data concerning the effects of GMOs. There is no common unit of analysis, as some seek to prove negative effects, others positive ones. Most scientific evidence cited so far focuses on short-term effects, while there is a dearth of long-term studies of GMOs. There is also a complete absence of research findings specific to Zambia because no trials have taken place. Research into genetic modification of crops considered strategic is forbidden, although the newly-established National Biotechnological Authority has been given a mandate to undertake research in genetic engineering as long as due procedures are followed. This

Policy Analysis fought between those who claim no serious risks have been proven and those who defer to the Precautionary Principle. Both sides point the lack of evidence proving the opposing view. GMO supporters point to the lack of evidence of negative health effects, but this so far, so good argument is criticised by opponents who insist that there has not yet been enough monitoring and testing. The most one-sided aspect of the debate is over the trade impact of accepting GMOs into Zambias agricultural sector. Supporters of GM technology seem to have little to say in response to the charge that accepting GMOs may render many crops unexportable because of the EUs continuing moratorium on GM imports. Finally, opposition to GMOs had referred not only to scientific evidence but to ethical and religious-based reasoning. Brother Peter Henriot (ex-JCTR), for instance, developed arguments based on Christian social teaching and the theological principle that all Gods creatures have intrinsic value, in and of themselves. These arguments address not only questions of economic justice but also the transformation of one life form into another and the claim of ownership (through patents) over livelihoods. Religious-based arguments may have limited resonance with many GMO supporters, but may have more following among many farmers. In sum, a review of these five areas tells us is that there is a palpable lack of conclusive evidence to which to refer. Unsurprisingly, there is a zeroing in on certain evidence to support different arguments. For supporters, the evidence which is available persuasively indicates that GMOs are safe; for opponents, there has not been enough research into the negative impacts, while the existing evidence can be interpreted in different ways. The Zambian government, the somewhat silent locus of the debate, has adopted an approach which takes this lack of certainty surrounding GMOs as its modus operandi. As a result, the debate has reached something of an evidence stalemate. to bolster a government decision based on economic interests. Not all evidence in this debate is based on scientific trials of GM crops, but on an analysis of the economic and political environment. Such an analysis might have dictated that the loss of the EU market would have posed a significant threat to Zambian export incomes. It might also have been seen as a way to assert a degree of political independence and counter the perception that Zambia always follows the lead of South Africa or donors. The subsequent perceived softening of the governments position is subject to unsubstantiated speculation regarding how US and South African biotechnology companies have pressured or co-opted individual politicians. This tells us little about the evidence being used by the government, however. A major problem, touched upon more than once above, is that the government has not communicating much about the GMO issue. This would seem to constitutecombined with a lack of evidencea major barrier to participation in the debate: opponents of GMOs do not know what strategy to use, and those who support the development of GM technology in Zambia are scared to say so. The evidence stalemate is entwined with a communication stalemate, therefore, with some actors (for example, Hydratech, a South African-owned seed company) deciding not to enter the debate until the governments position is more clear-cut, while others have allegedly been waiting until after the recent election, which saw President Banda lose to Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front. For the outgoing government, killing the debate like this could have been a way to juggle its interests and bide its time while avoiding criticism while it focused on preparing for the elections. The arrival of a new president could feasibly be another game-changer for the parameters, dynamic, and visibility of the debate, however: Sata has in the past been a strong critic of the Zambian governments rejection of GMO food aid. Turning to GMO supporters, there is a widespread belief among their opponents that they represent the interests of the genetic engineering industry and its US government backers who bully poorer countries into accepting GMOs. Food aid and support for governments to build their capacity to introduce GMOs are seen as ways to expand markets or even conduct massive human experiments. The broad connections between transnational companies, international organisations such as the WFP and FAO, and the US government are somewhat opaque and not well elucidated by critics. COMESA and its agency ACTESA are particularly seen as being co-opted by international forces through extensive financial support from USAID. ACTESA representatives have responded that this might have been an issue if the funding was coming from GM companies, but that USAID is no such thing.

Vested interests?
Having characterised the debate and the role of evidence within it, we can also consider some of the proposed reasons different players in this debate may have adopted the positions they have, and how these can be perceived to be connected to their economic interests. In the case of the Zambian governments watershed decision to reject GMO food aid, evidence may have been used selectively 30 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

Opinion The existence of US economic interests in African GMO markets does not render pro-GM lobbys evidence invalid, but their production of evidence has been met with criticism over the allegedly selective use of data to prove GM technology works. Critics focus particularly on two problems: control over information and influence over research. On the first count, for example, ZNFUs and ACTESAs consultations and workshops with farmers and journalists are criticised for the selective representation of information. The second charge is that the biotechnology sector is responsible for a lot of the GM research conducted, and only findings which support the promotion of GMOs are accepted. The economic and political interests of GMO opponents have received much less speculation. The most common accusation against them is of irrational fear or anti-modernism, but the NGOs among them are also portrayed as doing the bidding of international environmental groups. Receiving money from donors, they engage in advocacy rather than research or open debate, encouraging each other to shout louder as they compete for advocacy space. Further, they put forward arguments to defend the political or economic positions of particular groups whose cause may be popular with international funderssmallscale farmers, for instancerather than being concerned with the science of food safety. The debate is a regional one taking place in a global context. The locus of the debate is itself debated: is it a technical one concerning the development of adequate infrastructure, or one that fundamentally addresses the impact of GM technology? While the debate is framed around a consideration of evidence, it has reached a stalemate over how evidence is generated and interpreted. There is a need for commonly-agreed research questions, the findings of which will be treated as Zambia-applicable. With the alleged existence of economic interests on all sides, informed policy analysis is essential if we are to understand the uses and abuses of evidence in developing policy.
Emma Broadbent is a research consultant based in Sierra Leone. This article is based on research conducted for the Evidence Based Policy in Development Network of the Overseas Development Institute, London, UK with support from Zambia Land Alliance

Pray with your eyes open


Religion and politics should keep a healthy distance, writes Owen Sichone

It has been almost 20 years since President Chiluba made his Covenant with God and declared Zambia a Christian nation. A nation, we should remember, is a cultural entity, while a state is a political one, which is why declaring Zambia a Christian state would probably have been unconstitutional. (Having said that, Chiluba was never one to shy away from changing the law if it did not suit his divine design, so it remains a mystery why he did not go the whole hog and make Zambia a Christian Republic.) But he didnt, and this is just as well, because we should know by now that religion and politics do not mixexcept explosively. Even in the USA, whose people also have a Covenant with God which provides the model for the Zambian one, whenever they have been presented with the opportunity to elect a

Pentecostal presidential candidate they have repeatedly expressed a preference for lawyers, especially left-handed ones. There is no doubt in my mind that Pastor Nervous Mumbas failure to become president of the Christian nation was not a fluke. A good pastor cannot be a good president because the Kingdom of God is incompatible with the republic of mortals. Though Zambians pray a lot (for rain and for peaceful elections) and celebrate their status as a Christian nation, like their American counterparts they know that religion and politics are too combustible to allow people who have a telephone to glory to preside over matters of state. Presidents need to be corrected when they err and those who rule with God never admit their mistakes. Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 31

Opinion The new administration of Zambias first Catholic president has also been steeped in religion, but from what we have seen so far, Mr. Sata has been too busy attending to nsima and ndiyo matters to make Latin mass his main concern. Indeed even President Chiluba was not a Christian activist as much as he was a Machiavellian schemer. One reason why Catholics may celebrate with Mr. Sata is that the late MMD administration tried very hard to identify an axis of evil comprising gay rights activists, Red Card activists, Caritas Zambia, the whole Catholic Church and the Patriotic Front. The PF victory is thus ample evidence that there was something seriously wrong with MMD rule. But it is obvious that Mr. Sata was elected by non-Catholics as well and that, whether he likes it or not, he is a president for all Zambians. Politicians have only one reason for wanting to mix religion with politics and it has nothing to do with Jesus. What the Chiluba Covenant and others like it are meant to do is ensure that God is made a card carrying member of the ruling party. Yet Jesus himself said his kingdom is not of this world. It follows therefore that the Chiluba Covenant is un-Christian. There is no way in the Judeo-Christian-Mohammedan tradition that God can be bound by a presidential decree. The Chiluba Covenant is at best futile and at worst may even be blasphemy. There is also something un-Christian about praying for rain instead of irrigating your maize with the abundant underground or river water. The biblical demand for hard work and sweat before harvesting makes sense. Praying for bread without work or electoral peace without electoral justice is more in line with millennial capitalism than Christianity. We have seen our leaders pray for peaceful elections while going all-out to determine the results through blatantly biased national broadcasters, emasculated electoral authorities and unaudited campaign funds. Let us do the right thing and respect the rule of law. Who are we fooling with our Chief Chipepo commandments: seven days of fasting and prayer while the advantages of incumbency are abused with impunity? If we follow the Christian teaching that we should judge the false Christians and fake prophets by their fruit then we have to admit that you cannot harvest Christian fruit from the Zambian tree. Have we not been stealing from the public and failing to retire imprest? Have we not been awarding tenders to friends and relatives? Have we not been sending our friends and relatives to good hospitals in South Africa while abandoning our fellow Zambians to bad hospitals run by the nurse from hell and the doctor who wasnt there? What is Christian about that? President Sata says he will be guided by the Ten Commandments but he has not said all citizens must abide by pre-Christian Mosaic Law. Zambians wouldnt be able to stand it, not 32 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011 being goat-herderstheir values are closer to those of the urban Nazarene who preferred forgiveness to revenge. But in any case Gods standards are infinitely higher than mans and impossible to live up to. Zambian law must reflect our human frailties and not impose the fiction of the Christian nation on our fallible population for the sake of clinging to power (which is sweet) or accessing state house envelopes (by the grace of God). Imposing the Ten Commandments on society, oppressing citizens in the name of God is strictly for the Joseph Kony type of Caesar, not the democratically elected one. Zambia is a political entity of the human kind, and thus imperfect. It is multinational, multicultural and multi-faith, led by men and women who must constantly be monitored by the electorate and its institutional watchdogs. We know from previous experience that when people close their eyes to pray, something usually goes missing by the time they come to. Why do Zambians bother with elections if it is Jesus who chooses their leaders for them? Rather, why do Zambians want so desperately to make Jesus a member of their ruling party when he has no interest in the politics of this world? The gullible are too quick to forgive the politician who took away their jobs, pensions, schools and hospitals and then went shoppingjust as long as he abuses them in the name of Jesus. There is only one way of running a democracy and that is with written rulesthe most important of which is the Constitution. There is no reason to doubt that people in countries like Liberia, Congo or Somalia pray as often as Zambians do. But what Zambia has that Somalia does not is a relatively healthy political state. What Kenya lost as it teetered on the brink of civil war was not its faith in Jesus but its respect for the law. State failure is the work of men, not the devil. Any politician will demand an unconstitutional third term if society allows him to. Voters need not pray for a better constitution when the people of Zambia have already drafted it several times and repeatedly seen it sabotaged by those who want to abuse the state for their own ends. The sooner Zambians realise that Jesus does not do Caesarian politics the sooner they will be able to start holding corrupt politicians to account. The sooner they shall be able to hold free and fair elections without the presidents grace and the sooner they will realise that it is impunity and not Satan that allows certain criminals to go about their business of looting the country. For the sake of freedom and democracy, the state must be kept out of the church and vice versa.
Owen Sichone <sichone@zambian.com> is a veteran political analyst currently based at Mulungushi University.

Books

Getting better
Improving the quality of life and achieving income growth are not necessarily the same thing, Chola Mukanga finds Getting Better: why global development is succeedingand how we can improve the world even more
By Charles Kenny (Basic Books, 2011)

The economics of underdevelopment is big business. Books increasingly litter our shelves advising donors and poor governments alike on the best way to address the blight of global poverty. It is usually the case that the more negative and radical the message, the higher the book sells. In recent memory we have become accustomed to negative views of the current state of global development, exemplified by such phrases as bottom billion or dead aid. The underlying narrative in many of these books is that current development policies are not working and something more radical is needed. Some extreme voices have even urged aid freezes to break perpetual dependency on foreign aid. Charles Kennys Getting Better is a refreshing departure from the current pessimism and offers a more grounded perspective on global development. According to Kenny, the developing world is making substantial progress. Those countries with the lowest quality of life are making the fastest progress in improving it across a range of measures. The progress is the result of global spread of technologies and ideas such as vaccinations and girl child education. This progress appears to have been ignored by leading development critics because existing approaches to understanding progress in the developing world has focused narrowly on income growth. Theres certainly bad news in terms of the growing divergence in incomes across countries and the

elusiveness of understanding the causes of economic growth. But even if one believes that income is the primary force behind improvements in quality of life, we simply know very little about what makes countries grow. Existing explanations for African underdevelopment, ranging from historical factors to aid dependency, have not yielded effective solutions on how best to move Africa forward. Taking the much trumpeted East Asian model for development as an example, Kenny shows that there is little agreement on what the East Asia model is, and even less hope that it can be easily replicated elsewhere. In short, the current preoccupation on growth is not only incomplete, but it is also a dead end in terms of coming up with appropriate policy prescriptions. Crucially, economic growth is not the same as development as demonstrated by the disparity between lagging incomes and the substantial progress being made in crucial areas of development. The world is a far better place to live in today than ever it was in the middle of the last century or the century before that. Children born in the developing world today are far more likely to survive to old age than those born fifty years ago. They are also more likely to be educated, especially girls. In both relative and absolute terms, life in the developing world is much better today than it was in the past. More remarkable is that better quality of life is becoming cheaper. New technologies and ideas have considerably reduced the cost of improving quality of life. Many poor regions are making substantial improvements in life expectancy and education at minimal costs. Historical comparisons of countries and people with the same income reveal markedly different outcomes in terms of quality of life and show that there is considerably more to quality of life than money. That is because the power of wealth to make a difference to quality of life depends hugely on the circumstance

in which its owners find themselves. The poor today are benefiting from the spread of cheap technologies and a vast wealth of ideas.

The implication is that the focus of development discourse should move away from income to quality of life. Developing countries have an opportunity to improve their quality of life at minimal cost by delivering services efficiently. For example, in health, governments should focus on the spread of cheap lifesaving habits and techniques. In education, there is a need to harness innovative ideas like supplier payments for increasing the number of students graduating. Similarly, targeted incentives in areas of civil rights could support progress in quality of life. In all of these areas, the international community has a role to play in helping to accelerate the worldwide trend toward progress in quality of life, as well as minimising the size and frequency of retrogressive steps. These roles include supporting the creation of technologies which can improve the quality of life at a given income as well as supporting the spread of ideas and institutions that underpin health, education and rights. The poor will still need some level of income support, and therefore packages should be appropriately developed that makes aid support conditional on improvement in quality of life measures. This calls for innovative thinking with an eye on appropriate incentive structures such as conditional payments Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 33

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Arts for school places delivered. It also means the global community need to continue pursuing trade policies which facilitate a much fairer and just world. To be sure, Getting Better has its imperfections. Although convincing evidence is presented for the importance of quality of life, it does not contain sufficient nuances on the complexity of its meaning. The concept of quality of life is a nebulous idea that may well vary from place to place. This in effect makes it difficult to make definitive statements not only on how much progress has been made but also on where quality of life fits in with local understanding of development and how such development is to be achieved. What is socially valued may differ across cultures, so a local approach is necessary. In short, Kennys approach remains unfortunately Western-centric. Similarly, there are one or two places where his evidence appears selective. Comparisons over time, for example, vary with respect to the point the author wishes to make, which makes placing weight on the evidence presented challenging. Ultimately these concerns do not distract from the books powerful message that we can be optimistic about the progress the world is making. Both the future and the present look bright and there is room to do more. It is that progress which we need to build on to ensure a better world. In the midst of negativity, Charles Kennys Getting Better provides a bold and refreshing vision for how we can build on the progress made so far.
Chola Mukanga is an economic adviser to the UK Government on issues of economics and international justice, rights and law. He is the founder of the Zambian Economist website, www.zambian-economist.com.

arts, my current employers, The Post Newspapers Ltd embarked on a project of purchasing art for the workplace in partArtists have received little financial nership with the Twaya Art Gallery. It now support or appreciation in Zambia, but has one of the largest corporate art collecthey are beginning to benefit from a tions in the country with works on display surge in art consumerism, writes Andrew through the front office, newsrooms, indiMulenga vidual offices and the boardroom. But my own survey of co-workers revealed that Something has been changing in the none had ever set foot in an art gallery Zambian art scene. It is getting easier to or visited an exhibition before. These are go and see exhibited art. newspaper staff surrounded Over the past ten years we by art every day, whose pahave seen an increase from per has a full page dedicated an average of one show to visual arts every other every two months to one week, yet all this does not every two weeks. But one stir an interest in art. The sitdoes not need to investigate uation in my workplace is to too deeply to find that the some extent a microcosm of essentially unsympathetic the landscape in which the conditions in which the Zambian artist exists. Zambian artist worksa Public grants to support lack of public artistic apexhibitions are as good as preciation, a depressingly non-existent. The National Art on display at the Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre, Lusaka muddled administrative Arts Council is grossly unatmosphere, and a severe lack of fund- apex of Zambian academia. derfunded, disenfranchised and not as inghas not changed a lot. The contemAt least some corporate institutions well-organised as it should be. Under porary Zambian artist remains a symbol have embraced art. In an effort partly this gloom and neglect fleeting subsistof heroic endurance. aimed at fostering an awareness of the ence from foreign granting bodies and

Consuming passion

Before we turn to what is happening, let us underline the problems. A major feature of the Zambian artistic landscape is the general lack of public appreciation of art. Even among the social and academic elite, who are supposed to be moderately versed in the arts, there is a high level of ignorance about the creative sectoran ignorance that has led to the notion that there is no place for art as a discipline in the University of Zambia, the

34 | Zambia Analysis, November 2011

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Arts embassies provide a glimmer of support, albeit for closely guided exhibitions. One example of these was the US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) exhibition of works by about 26 local artists at the American Centre in Lusaka in March 2008. The show was a culmination of workshops where the artists were shown photos of the US agencys activities in Zambia and given copies of the missions success stories to interpret into works of art. The results werefrom an artistic point of viewdisastrous, with most artists not stretching their individual creativity or thinking outside the PEPFAR box, stuck in the ruts of the sponsors guidelines. As for the paintings, some of the styles were so similar it was as if they were done as an art class stilllife exercise. The funders overbearing patronage had restricted the artists expression and, with sales being very poor, left them with empty pockets too. Another example was the Royal Netherlands Embassy sponsored exhibition entitled Zed-Arts4Sale featuring works by about fifty Zambian sculptors and painters in December 2010. The embassy issued a call for the submission of works for an exhibition, but it was not clear how the combined team of embassy staff and officials from the Zambia National Visual Arts Council went about with their selection process. The outcome was a gallery filled with works by beginners alongside those of established artists. Instead of seeing a well coordinated exhibition, we saw a gallery in which a $20 painting shared exhibition space with a $12,000 painting. A friend joked that Even in the motoring industry you wont find a Rolls Royce being sold in the same showroom as a Toyota Corolla. Of course, for an art fair or a Sunday craft market, having such a hodgepodge of artists of every calibreincluding no calibre at allin one place may be understood or even accepted. But for a high-profile show featuring some of the countrys best and highest grossing artists, one expects a certain measure of orderliness and curatorial ingenuity to be at play. For the participating artists, the business aspect was a disaster. By the close of the two-week exhibition only about 5 out of more than 100 paintings were sold (indeed, they were the $20 ones.) One wonders how official sponsors of this kind, coming from countries with a strong professional arts and cultural vibrancy, would choose to venture into an area in which they lack expertise, ignoring the need to engage professional knowledgeable people. For what purpose did the funders support the exhibition? Was it for the benefit of the artists or was it merely for the sponsors to be seen to be active in public domain and to adorn their newsletters and annual reports? In such marriages of sponsor and artist, exhibition content is a stillborn birth. If I were to be more explicit, this union is one in which the funder indulges in an act of self-gratification, leaving the artist aroused yet unsatisfied! As for a visual history of Africa yielded by such exhibitions, the world will only see what the sponsors wanted them to see. Fortunately, artists continue to produce work as if driven by some form of blind motivation without the concern of how and whether it will be received and consumed visually or commercially, without being held back completely by the limited infrastructure and lack of public support. And for all the problems, the growing frequency of exhibitions suggests the contemporary Zambian art scene is vibrant. But even this comes with its own inimical undercurrents. The exhibitions are becoming shallower, lacking in professional depth. There are less than a handful of professional curators, so quite often you will find artists hanging up their own work, which can sometimes result in well executed work being displayed in a chaotic manner. Furthermore, it is clear that less time is being devoted to preparing for shows. Exhibitions without catalogues, posters, invitation cards and sometimes even work titles are becoming an accepted norm. Then there is the content itself. On occasion, works are produced solely for the purpose of being sold, and sold cheaply.

Despite everything, we can at least take comfort in the upward swing in art consumerism, which has come about partly because a certain kind of person has developed a particular interest in personal portraits to adorn their newly built houses. Because they neither have the buying power nor art appreciation of the usual collectordiplomat, expat, aid worker and occasional corporate collectorthey negotiate for lower prices, resulting in a dual pricing system. Such are the circumstances that keep Zambian artists alive and developing in their own little vacuum with very little influence from the outside world, save for the occasional foreign workshop or visit by the off the wall diaspora Zambian who visits with an ill-received conceptually themed exhibition once in a very long while.
Andrew Mulenga is deputy editor of the Education Post and also produces The Posts Hole in the Wall arts feature.

Zambia Analysis, November 2011 | 35

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