Zambia: Regime change welcome

Zimbabweans have welcomed the election result from neighbouring Zambia where the 20-year rule of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy has ended.

Michael Sata
Michael Sata

Not many people know much about the new President, Michael Sata, known as the “cobra” – they are just glad to see a change.

“I am happy with the results from Zambia.

This is a sign that everything comes to an end. Even if you try to hang on to power the will of the people will triumph the end of the day,” said Winston Machiridza.

Edmore Sarati, a Harare resident, said, “I wanted Sata to win. Not that I know much about Banda – I just wanted to see a transition.”

For Zimbabweans who have endured the one-party rule of Zanu (PF) since 1980in 2009 it is not so much an issue of policies but the fact that power should be transferred and peacefully so.

The fairly peaceful election that saw Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front beat incumbent Rupiah Banda is an exciting and inspiring development for many who have found a peaceful election elusive in their own country, says Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.

The group’s regional coordinator, Dewa Mavhinga, commended Banda for honourably conceding defeat and handing over the reigns of power to President Sata without recourse to chicanery.

“Zambia’s security forces who yesterday saluted Banda will now salute Sata, that is the way of good governance,” he said.

Sata has, in the past, expressed pro-Mugabe sentiments. This could alter the dynamics within SADC.

Some analysts have warned his admiration of Mugabe could lead him to emulate Zimbabwe’s chaotic and destructive “land reform programme”.

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