Zambia opposition calls for recount

Fears mount of a political crisis in what was once a stable country.

    Banda has vowed to continue the late president's economic policies [AFP]

    Zambia has been one of the most politically stable nations in Africa. However, a prolonged election dispute and anti-government riots has caused fears of a political crisis in the southern African country.

    Banda is due to hold a news conference on Friday at 1230 GMT and is expected to announce a cabinet reshuffle and outline economic policies.

    Protests 'banned'

    A police official has said that a permit for PF supporters for a protest scheduled for Saturday was cancelled.
       
    On Thursday, Zambian police had arrested 38 people after violent protests over the arrest of a priest and radio presenter in Kitwe, the country's second-biggest city, a police spokesman said.
       
    Rioters attacked a police station, caused damage at a milling company, barricaded streets and set cars alight in Kitwe, 350km north of Lusaka, the capital.
       
    Police also said that the arrest of Frank Bwalya, a priest and manager of Catholic-run Radio Icengelo, which has been critical of Banda's government, sparked the riots.

    Levy Mwanawasa, the former presidnet, died in August, two years into his second five-year presidential term.

    Mwanawasa was praised for his conservative economic management and anti-corruption campaign.

    Banda had vowed to continue his policies, which kept growth at an average five per cent per year since 2002.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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