Zambia President Weakening Opposition with Gov’t Appointments, Says Opposition

Posted July 27th, 2012 at 2:50 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A Zambian opposition leader says President Michael Sata is giving cabinet-level positions to members of his rival political party in an effort to weaken it.

Nevers Mumba, the leader of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, tells VOA that President Sata hopes the appointments will influence the new cabinet ministers to vote in the government's favor.

“We believe that Mr. Sata and his government have continued to take members of parliament from our party without any regard or dialogue with the Movement for Multiparty Democracy concerning the movement of our members. It is also true that the moment our members become deputy ministers they switch voting in the House from voting with the opposition to voting with the government, and that also injures the very emerging democracy of our country.”

Mumba says Mr. Sata and his Patriotic Front are particularly looking for support on the Constitutional Bill, which will soon be put before the house.

President Sata, who was elected last September, has dismissed the claims, saying he is trying to build a government of inclusion.

Thursday was the deadline for MMD to expel members who have accepted deputy cabinet level positions with Mr. Sata's government. Two MMD members have resigned, but the president immediately replaced them with two more MMD supporters.