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Are Zambian Voters Being Disenfranchised?; South Africa Maintains Cultural Pride

Aired January 5, 2002 - 12:30:00   ET




ANDERSON MAZOKA, LEADING OPPOSITION CANDIDATE: We're not accepting these results. We want a change.

LEVY MWANAWASA, ZAMBIAN PRESIDENT: In my (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I have not given any particulars as to the basis of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) these elections over the week.


MAKGABO: A new government, but an old debate. Are the people of Zambia being denied their choice of leader? We'll take a look at the controversy surrounding the presidential elections. We'll hear from both sides and review the changes ahead for this fledgling democracy. Plus, maintaining cultural pride by taking one step and one beat at a time.

Hello and welcome to INSIDE AFRICA. As we look at the news and life on the continent, I'm Tumi Makgabo.

It's been a momentous week for the people of Zambia as they experiment with democracy. Though a new president has been inaugurated, the coming weeks could be crucial to the future of the country. The opposition plans to push for the election results to be overturned while the new president vows to fight back. Caught in the middle, a divided electorate. CNN's Jeff Koinange is in the capital, Lusaka.


JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Tumi, Zambia has turned out unusually large numbers on election day, in part, to send a message to the ruling party that enough was enough and that it was time to usher in a new era in multiparty democracies. But by the time the final vote was counted more than a week later, in the words of one election observer, "the more things change in African politics, the more they remain the same."

(voice-over): It was supposed to be a straightforward presidential election -- 10 candidates, one office, large turnout. It seemed certain the opposition was headed for a landslide victory as the years of stagnant growth, rising unemployment and rapid government corruption.

And even when the vote counting began, it looked like the winds of change had finally blown over Zambian politics. Some much so that the leading opposition candidate, millionaire businessman Anderson Mazoka was confident enough to declare himself the winner. But it turned out to be a little premature when the votes began swinging in the direction of the ruling parties handpicked candidate, Levy Mwanawasa. Allegations of vote rigging and ballot stuffing ensued. And election observers agreed there were major flaws in the electoral process.

Zambians usually docile and nonviolent were stunned by the sudden change of events and took to the streets to vent their displeasure, accusing the ruling party of stealing the election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are asking for a rerun. The MMD has ridged massively. They have stolen from the people. We should not allow it. The time is now.

MAZOKA: We are not accepting these results. We want a change. We want to go forward, Zambia.

KOINANGE: A last minute injunction by the opposition to annul the elections and postpone the inauguration were defeated and the new president was quickly sworn in, leaving Zambian spit on the fences of the electoral system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were not free and clear. As you can see this week, people celebrated for money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think the elections were fair and I'm happy that all my (UNINTELLIGIBLE) won.

KOINANGE: Others are content to move on and let history take its course.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we mustn't cry over split milk. I think what's important is for Zambians to forge ahead and the people of the oppositions to accept the results as they stand and work with the government party because we must look at the interests of our nation and not government interests.

KOINANGE: But others still aren't convinced Mwanawasa has what it takes to take the nation forward.

ANTHONY MUKWITA, ZAMBIAN JOURNALIST: The fear on the minds of most people is that: how will this man, who since 1993 has never been actively involved in party activities? Will he be able to command as much respect in the party now just by becoming the presidential marking?

KOINANGE: In the meantime, the opposition insists they'll continue to petition the election outcome, unwilling to concede what they call a manufactured victory.

(on-camera): The opposition has 14 days to contest the electoral result, failing which Mwanawasa becomes the country's third president since independence. But if they succeed, Mwanawasa could down in recent African history as the first president to have served the shortest term in office.

In Lusaka, Zambia, I'm Jeff Koinange for INSIDE AFRICA.


MAKGABO: Well, the new president, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, is determined to serve out his five-year term. He's vowing to fight back, saying he's ready to face the opposition in court.


MWANAWASA: In my opulence, I have not given any particulars as to the basis of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) these elections have over this week. And if they feel that the elections have been rigged, I'm very, very prepared to defend myself in the high court or the Supreme Court. And I will -- and I'm certain that I'll prove the futility of the allegations.


MAKGABO: Multiparty democracy returned to Zambia in 1991 following (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of protest. Former president Frederick Chiluba, who swept victory of that year, was seen as the man responsible for restoring democracy. Now, he accused of undermining the very system he fought to establish 10 years ago.

The opposition accuses Chiluba of handpicking his successor and manipulating the process to ensure Mwanawasa wins.

Well, they are planning a series of protest marches in addition to court action, but President Mwanawasa is warning them not to go too far.


MWANAWASA: I have won lawfully elected president of Zambia. And anybody seeking to disrupt that process of law is guilt of treason. And he can be prosecuted and if convicted, it carries a death sentence.


MAKGABO: The European Union was one of several groups that observed the election. On Monday, the EU said some of the figures announced by the election commission were questionable. That statement angered the new president.

MWANAWASA: It was a gross interference. We invited them here, to come and observe the elections not to supervise or not to pass judgment. They can't decide or know as well the elections passed on the 58 constituents, any of -- between the -- be fair.

We are certain to protect. And we are not going to be a clan state. This must be clearly understood. Yes, we value the support, which the international community has given us and I'm happy that that support will continue. We need it for the development of this country. But that does not mean that we have to dance the tune of whatever they insulted -- we should be saying, "yes, sir." Now, I refuse that.


MAKGABO: New Zambian President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa. And when INSIDE AFRICA continues, we'll talk with one international observer who was in Zambia for the elections and we'll tell you why medical researchers might be interested in the sands of the Egyptian desert. Stay with us.


MAKGABO: And welcome back. The Carter Center based in the United States was one of several organizations in Zambia to observe the elections. David Carroll headed the Carter Center team and earlier this week, we asked him for his analysis.


DAVID CARROLL, CARTER CENTER: We have several areas of concern. We're still gathering our information from our observers and from Zambian observers who are coming back from the field. But primarily, our concerns at around the transparency of the vote tabulation at 150 tabulation centers around the country and the relaying of those results to the commission in Lusaka.

MAKGABO: We've also heard from people who have said that they found it unusual or really strange that there was voting continuing in some areas even after the 27. Was that in accordance with some of your findings?

CARROLL: The Elections Commission at some point on the 27, when it became clear the turnout was going to be very large. It issued instructions that -- it's not clear if it made it all the way around the country -- but their instructions were that voting would continue until all people in line were able to vote. And that left people voting well into the 28, sometime up until late in the morning or noon on the 28. And in some cases, polls that did not open on the 27 for lack of materials didn't start voting until the 28 and I believe in some cases, the 29. So there was voting going on for several days.

MAKGABO: Considering the concerns being expressed from so many sides, why is it then that the results were indeed upheld and the inauguration of the new president allowed to proceed?

CARROLL: Well, my understanding is that according to Zambian law, there's a very short timeframe from when results are received at the Elections Commission and until the new president is to be sworn in. And unfortunately, as it currently exists, it does not allow very much time for independent observers, both Zambian political party representatives and international observers, to have a chance to check the accuracy and verify the official results.

MAKGABO: If we can then talk about the opposition right now, they have said that they will continue to fight until Mr. Mwanawasa is removed from government. What sort of environment is this creating and allowing to perpetuate in the country at this point?

CARROLL: The legal situation in Zambia has been very confusing for many people in the international community and I think even Zambians as well. But my understanding now is that there is a period up to the 21st of January, I believe, to file petitions challenging the results. So there is a window where evidence can be brought to bear and challenges can be made through the formal process. And I think it will be very important to see that that opportunity is fully exploited.

MAKGABO: If it is indeed found that there were some grave irregularities that could adversely affect the results, can Mr. Mwanawasa be removed from office?

CARROLL: My understanding is that that's a -- you know, a formal petition that can be brought to bear. So yes, I would think that the results could be overturned. And I'm not sure if that's a very likely outcome, but it certainly seems to be an opportunity for that to happen.

MAKGABO: We've heard Mr. Mwanawasa saying that he will indeed be cracking down himself on any of the protesters who continue to disrupt the peace in Zambia. What exactly does all of this mean for the opposition?

CARROLL: I think tough days behind and ahead for the opposition. You know, they were very, very fragmented. And I know there was an effort to try to bring about a coalition up before this election, which was ultimately unsuccessful and in part, as one of the explanations for their defeat.

And instead of two or three parties opposing the ruling party, there was, you know, six or seven or eight opposing the ruling party and they split their vote terribly. And I think they're obviously very frustrated with the result. And with, you know, reports of irregularities. And again, I hope that the next several weeks can be used by all sides to try to clarify exactly the results.


MAKGABO: David Carroll the head of the Carter Center observer team to the Zambian elections. Now, if you'd like more analysis of the situation in Zambia, go to our Web site at AFRICA and while you're there, remember to take part in our quick vote and post your thoughts on our message board.

Time now for us to take a look at some of the other stories making news inside Africa. First to Sierra Leone where those responsible for civilian atrocities during the civil war could soon face justice. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan has approved a war crimes tribunal for the country. A U.N. legal team will arrive in Freetown next week to begin preparations for the court. The imprisoned, revolutionary United Front leader, Foday Sankoh, could one of the first individuals to be tried by the tribunal.

In Zimbabwe, the main opposition party says government supporters are stepping up attacks on politicians ahead of presidential elections set for March. The Movement for Democratic Change or MDC says youths loyal to President Robert Mugabe attacked one its officers during the week. The MDC says government loyalists also damaged the home of an opposition legislature.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai accuses the government of using a militia trained under the guise of the Youth Training Service to terrorize the opposition. The government denies these allegations.

A real and amazing story out of Blaufontein, South Africa, a three- year-old boy who was missing for 21 days has been found alive. Mike Rolwa (ph) disappeared December 10 while playing with his 2-year-old cousin. He's believed to have survived on his own during the three weeks that he was missing. The local community calls his ordeal a miracle. And Michael was able to recognize his mother when she visited him in the hospital.

Now, time for us to change focus and turn to the world of business. With us, we join Zain Verjee -- Zain.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Tumi. In Kenya, the Central Bank is taking steps to shore up the economy. Its announced a slight increase in interbank borrowing rates from 10.85 percent to 10.95. Rates on the 91-day Treasury bill also went up 0.04 percent at the close of 2001. The Bank says the hikes were intended to help solve the liquidity problems in the domestic money market.

Hoping to improve efficiency, the Ghanaian government says it's opening the telecommunications market to all investors. Presently, only two groups, Ghana Telecom and Western Telesystems Limited, have the right to operate as the national telecommunications companies. But the government says it won't renew the contracts with these companies when they expire in February. Ghana's trade minister Kofi Apraku, who says this could help improve services and reduce high tariff charges.

Trying to restore sky power, Nigeria airways officials have begun the process of revitalizing the failing airline. One thousand employees were laid off during the week. Officials say those affected will receive the equivalent of three months salary and other benefits. They say cutting the staff will ease the financial strains on the company. The government of President Olusegun Obasanjo is seeking to privatize Nigeria airways, hoping to restore its reputation as the "sky power of west Africa."

Now, a check of this week's closing numbers.

I'm Zain Verjee and those are your business headlines. Tumi, back to you.

MAKGABO: Zain, thank you very much and there's much more ahead on INSIDE AFRICA, including, maintaining the tradition of the people by going dancing in Capetown. Don't go away.


MAKGABO: Hello once again. Now, we couldn't let of INSIDE AFRICA go by without Femi Oke so let's go straight to her now and find out what she has in store for us this week -- Femi.

FEMI OKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello there, Tumi. I'm taking you into North Africa and into Egypt. Most of the country's actually desert land, but apart from the area of around the river Nile, which runs along the eastern side of the country, but hidden beneath much of the desert sand are amazing treasures. Here's the story of one recent find.


OKE (voice-over): Searching to a cave, archaeologists sifting through the sand in Sakkara, Egypt have found the tomb of the chief physician to a ruler from the fifth dynasty.

DR. SAHI HAWASS, ANTIQUITIES CHIEF (through translator): Discovering the chief of physician of the royal...


HAWASS (through translator): It's considered one of the most important discoveries because it is the first time a physician tomb that is nearly 4,200 years old be discovered.

OKE: In alabaster order and statutes of Gods and Goddesses filled the tomb, while scenes of daily life in the fifth dynasty covered the walls in colors unique to the region. Archaeologists also found a wide variety of bronze medical instruments from ancient scalpels to needles.

HAWASS: We found 50 surgical tools. This is the first time that the tools of a surgeon can be discovered inside the tomb. All these tools that used for making the surgery and this really actually the tools that used to treat the king and his family.

OKE: It is hoped that the discovery will help scholars gain insight into the practice of medicine in the ancient world.

This is the latest in a series of tomb discoveries in Sakkara. Archaeologists are still working their way through the recently discovered tomb of a high priest (UNINTELLIGIBLE) studied 500 years ago. The discovery was made during exploration work on other tombs in the region.

HAWASS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) always reveals important secrets.


OKE: And that was the chief of antiquities at Cairo and Giza and I'd call him the Indiana Jones of Bones. He's a magnificent man. It's no wonder he's so excited, they find amazing treasures almost every day. For instance, earlier on this week in Cairo, a tomb was discovered as a block of high-rise flats was about to be put up and it was from the 26th dynasty. I'm sure we'll have so many stories to come from Egypt. I look forward to it. In the meantime, I'm surely looking forward to seeing Tumi this year.

MAKGABO: Oh, Femi, thank you very much. And finally, it's time for us to take you down (UNINTELLIGIBLE) lane. We'll be doing that.

When apartheid ended in the mid '90s, South Africa did away with racial classification that divided its population into whites, blacks and colors. But cultural pride within those groups remains very strong and as Charlayne reports, one of those groups is bent on preserving the tradition that helped them cope.


CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's called jazzing, a dance of mixed race, so-called Cape Coloreds say they created long before some of these young aficionados were born.

TERRENCE WANNENBERG, JAZZING VETERAN: They want to be on identity and we came up with a mixture of the jive, the rumba, but a lesson -- everything mixed.

HUNTER-GAULT: That I learned as I walked with one of jazzing's veterans along a barren windy hillside that was once home to Capetown's colored population. It was called District 6 and jazzing was how its coloreds packed up all their cares and woes, as the old jazz song goes, and danced the nights away.

Until the white ruled, apartheid regime packed them all up and shipped them out to more remote locations, part of the infamous faced removal aimed at creating and preserving all white enclaves in the most desirable parts of the country.

WANNENBERG: It was a tough time and people had to readjust their lives.

HUNTER-GAULT: They took their homes but not their soul. The Cape Coloreds kept on jazzing.

WANNENBERG: Later on, we forget the old world.

HUNTER-GAULT: Apartheid is now a thing of the past. Jazzing is not. Only in the country's almost 8-year-old nonracial democracy, they're singing a different song if not dancing to a different tune.

KURT MOSES, JAZZ DANCER: A different sense of freedom that is what I live for nowadays. The beat of jazz and the instruments of the youth. It uplifts me when I come onto the floor. It brings out the beautiful person within me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to do it again. I'm standing on my front foot.

HUNTER-GAULT: And as with any tradition, preserving it depends on...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't watch them. Watch here, watch here. Watch my feet.

HUNTER-GAULT: ... passing it on. It's here, twice a week; friends and neighbors bring their friends and neighbors and sometimes their neighbors' children for jazzing lessons. Joined this once by yours truly.

(on-camera): OK; now I'm going to have a private lesson. But guess what, you can't watch.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN, Capetown.



MAKGABO: Go Charlayne! Well, as always, the INSIDE AFRICA team always enjoys hearing from you. So if you have a comment about the program, e-mail us at INSIDE And we're still interested in your recipes to post on our Web site. We promise, we will try them out soon.

That's our look inside Africa this week. Be sure to join us at the same time next week. I'm Tumi Makgabo.





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