Political Developments In Zambia


Published: November - 1997

Things are getting screwier by the week, politically speaking, in the important hunting country of Zambia. First, there was that apparent attempt to assassinate former president Kenneth Kaunda and the head of the opposition alliance, Robert Chongwe. Now, there has been a very strange sort of coup attempt in the capital city, Lusaka, that amounted to little more than the temporary seizure of the major radio station. The upshot is, a State of Emergency has been declared in Zambia and it is anyone's guess just where the spiral of events is going to lead. The Kaunda people are claiming the coup attempt was staged by the ruling Chiluba government in order to create a reason for arresting and possibly killing Kaunda. And that could lead to what they call "an explosion" in the country.

The Hunting Report is not a political journal and, having received threats in the past from assorted guerrilla groups that our offices were about to be blown up, we have learned to avoid creating even the impression of taking sides. Suffice it to say, we don't think "an explosion" is imminent in Zambia, and we don't see any reason right now to cancel a trip there. The US State Department agrees in its latest "Public Announcement" on Zambia. While noting that the newly enacted State of Emergency has put police and security forces on heightened alert, it does not think that will have "significant impact" on visiting Americans. The touchiest moment is going to come in early December when Kaunda returns from an extended trip abroad. Again, we don't expect an "explosion" or widespread violence, but we are watching the headlines closely and staying in touch with local contacts. If you are headed to Zambia any time soon, you should do the same. Certainly, looking toward next safari season, the political situation in Zambia is shaping up as a concern. We'll keep you posted.

........(continued)

 
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