News / Africa

    Zambia Ruling Party Warns Supporters Over Possible Divisions

    FILE - Zambia President Edgar Lungu attends the opening ceremony of the 24th Ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 30, 2015.
    FILE - Zambia President Edgar Lungu attends the opening ceremony of the 24th Ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 30, 2015.
    Peter Clottey

    Zambia’s ruling Patriotic Front party has warned its members that it is the prerogative of incumbent President Edgar Lungu to choose his vice presidential running mate before the August 11 presidential and legislative elections.

    But the Patriotic Front says it is not against party members who aspire to higher position, including becoming the vice presidential nominee to partner with Lungu.

    Some of the aspiring candidates have met with chiefs and other stakeholders, while a few threatened to quit the party if they are not chosen to be the vice presidential candidate. The Patriotic Front warned members not to engage in acts that could divide the party.

    Selecting running mates

    “The problem we have is that some of the people nominated as a running mate are doing it in a manner that is exposing [a] notorious appetite for power. That is exposing greed and thirst for power in a manner that makes us fear that such characters would be a danger working as vice president to our beloved president. That is the main concerns that we have,” said Father Frank Bwalya, deputy PF spokesman.

    “It is this dangerous [quest] for power that we think is wrong, and therefore anybody who is engaged in this kind of lobbying, which is unacceptable in our party is effectively disqualifying himself or herself.”

    Bwalya says the party is against scenarios in other countries, particularly in Africa where friction between the president and the vice president caused a rift within the party and adversely affected the smooth running of the respective nations.

    Some party supporters have urged President Lungu to choose a new vice presidential candidate, while others say current Vice President Inonge Wina should be maintained as the running mate.

    “The president is going to choose his running mate freely without any blackmail, without any coercion from anyone. And we condemn anyone who is lobbying in a manner that we think is wrong and in a manner in fact these ambitious people are having dangerous ambitions for president,” he said.

    Constitutional amendments

    Zambia recently adopted new laws, after President Lungu signed a constitutional amendment bill passed in parliament. Among the amendments is a provision to allow the incumbent president to choose a new running mate, if he so desires.

    But opposition and civil society groups say the government “cherry-picked” provisions in the constitution, while those the party is against are being put to a referendum. They contend that Zambians had overwhelmingly demanded a referendum on the draft constitutional amendment bill before the president signed it.

    But PF deputy spokesman Bwalya says more than 80 percent of the public approved of the adopted constitutional provisions, which he says were backed by the opposition parties. The other new provisions, Bwalya says, would have deep financial implications that could make their implementation difficult.

    “Civil society, the church and our development partners agree with us, and Zambians agree with us, that we have taken on board 80 percent of what Zambians wanted to see in the new constitution. It is not the PF party that sought to do that, it was done in parliament,” said Bwalya.

    “All the 80 percent that we have taken onboard Hakainde Hichilema and his party were championing the same clauses in the new constitution. But because 20 percent had not been taken onboard and for good reasons for that matter, they want to say the whole process is a sham, and they were part of the process.”

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora