Article from ROAPE Volume 19 Number 54
Rise & Fall of Multi-party Politics in Zambia
The overwhelming victory of the MMD in November 1991 restored multi-party politics to Zambia and ended the UNIP monopoly of government which had existed since 1964. A coalition of forces disenchanted by economic decline and resentful of authoritarian one-party rule, the MMD has moved swiftly to reduce the economic role of the state and to promote market restructuring in line with IMF conditionalities. An alliance of trade union leaders and local capitalists, and the MMD also committed itself to political reform which encouraged hopes that stable democratic institutions can be forged. However, after only a few months in office, criticism of presidential authoritarianism and the widespread use of patronage in appointments raises doubts that such promises will be delivered. The question is posed of whether MMD replaces UNIP or simply reproduces it. Discusses: The fall of multi-party politics; The fall of the one-party state; Characterisation of the Zambian political system; Who is the MMD? The MMD programme; To the victors the spoils? Conclusion.