Zambia Approaches Elections Amid Repression, Amnesty Says

Zambia is on “the brink of a human rights crisis,” Amnesty International said, alleging that President Edgar Lungu is using repressive tactics to win another term in elections set for August 12.

Zambia has established a good track record of holding scheduled elections since the re-introduction of multi-party democracy in 1991 by founding president, the late Kenneth Kaunda, who had presided over a one-party system for over two decades.

Kaunda accepted defeat after 27 years in power and retired. When Kaunda died aged 97 earlier this month, he was widely hailed as a statesman and a revered fatherly figure.

Zambia, a country of 18 million people, won a reputation as a stable democracy in a continent where elections often lead to conflict.

Now, Amnesty International is accusing Lungu of trying to reverse those gains.

This will be Lungu’s last term in office if he wins, and Amnesty International is alleging that he is using repression to ensure victory.

Zambia, Africa’s second biggest copper producer, is battling an economic crisis worsened by the outbreak of COVID – 19 which has resurged in recent weeks.

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