Zambian President Promises Graft Crackdown

Posted October 14th, 2011 at 11:35 am (UTC-5)
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Zambian President Michael Sata is renewing his pledge to crack down on corruption.

Addressing parliament Friday, the newly-elected leader promised to reinstate an anti-graft measure that calls on public officials to account for their wealth.

Mr. Sata also promised to investigate alleged corruption by the previous government.

The 74-year-old Sata scored a decisive victory over former leader Rupiah Banda in the country's elections late last month, telling voters he would help the nation's poor and fight corruption.

Earlier this month, Mr. Sata replaced the country's top anti-corruption official — one in a series of moves ridding the government of anyone perceived to have close ties to his predecessor.

Mr. Sata had repeatedly accused Mr. Banda of tolerating corruption and not doing enough to ensure that more Zambians share in the wealth of the country's copper reserves.

President Sata also assured foreign investors that they are welcome in his country, Africa's biggest copper producer, but said they must improve conditions for their Zambian employees.

In the past, Mr. Sata has criticized China, which has invested heavily in Zambia's mining industry.