Zambia has taught us a lesson in democracy. Let’s learn it

Ideas

Zambia has taught us a lesson in democracy. Let’s learn it

In local elections, and soon in national elections too, the opposition parties do not have to be SA’s only alternatives

Executive editor: opinions and analysis

My first trip to Zambia was more than a decade ago when newspapers had the sort of budgets that allowed political reporters to chase news beyond borders.

I remember marvelling at Lusaka and its endless roundabouts, vibrancy and electric nightlife. But I was not there to write a travel piece. I was covering a summit of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) heads of state and government. The same summit President Cyril Ramaphosa is attending in Malawi.

The region was different back then. Thabo Mbeki was president of SA; Armando Guebuza ran Mozambique. Levy Mwanawasa, now late, was Zambian president and incoming chair of Sadc. His country was experiencing relatively good economic growth, having disentangled itself from the kleptocracy of Frederick Chiluba.  ..

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