Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Zambians riot against pro-business regime

RIOTING has broken out in Zambia against suspected vote rigging by the corrupt regime.

The Daily Nation reports electoral materials burnt and almost 10 vehicles damaged in the capital Lusaka over delayed opening of polling stations.

It adds: "The situation is still tense in the city with sporadic riots reported in Kanyama and other townships."

Bloomberg Businessweek reveals that neoliberal president Rupiah Banda "has won praise from investors and the International Monetary Fund for reducing taxes and continuing policies that opened up the industry to investment, helping to boost copper production to more than 700,000 metric tons last year.

"He has reassured investors that his government won’t follow the lead of neighboring Zimbabwe and demand stakes in foreign companies."

His 73-year-old populist challenger Michael Sata claims his party will seek more revenue from mining companies with operations in Zambia, including Barrick Gold Corp., Vale SA, Vedanta Resources Plc and First Quantum Minerals Ltd, reports the website.

"The promise has attracted jobless youths and helped boost interest in the vote: the number of registered voters jumped to 5.2 million people from 3.9 million three years ago, according to the elections commission.

"Zambia may become the fifth-largest copper-mining country in the world by 2013, according to Sophie Chung, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie unit Brook Hunt in London. Producers are planning more than $6 billion in investment over that period, she said."