Briefing from ROAPE Volume 19 Number 53
Zambia: Problems for the MMD
Five months after the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) government in Zambia took power with over 80% of the popular vote, the first cracks in broad support for the new government may be about to appear. Rifts are apparent below the surface, symbolising a society likely to be increasingly polarised with opportunities extending for the few, but overall standards of living rapidly declining. The MMD party is not well organised, as the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing, Valentine Kayope admitted. There is internal dissension, particularly in the Southern Province, and many of the best organisers have been ‘kicked upstairs’ to Lusaka. Public opinion appears to recognise this with poorly attended post-victory rallies. The elections for the newly-democratised local government structure in April may well show an upturn in support for Kaunda's United National Independence Party (UNIP) or even other parties. Interestingly enough, illegal street vendors being rounded up in Ndola in late January shouted pro-UNIP slogans as they were being tear-gassed by the police.