Disagreement over a new constitution characterized the
domestic policy debate during the year. The most contentious
issue in the new constitution concerns changes in the
president's power. The opposition accused the government of
delaying the process and directing the work too much.
CountryAAH, President Levy Mwanawasa wants the new
constitution, after referral work and public debate, to be
adopted by a referendum. He threatened those who oppose a
vote of treason.
In May, a court in London sentenced former President
Frederick Chiluba and a number of his associates for
embezzling the equivalent of nearly SEK 300 million. He was
required to repay 85 percent of the sum to the Zambian
state. That a civil case against Chiluba could be raised in
London was explained by the misappropriated money, which
should have been used for luxury consumption, was passed on
through British bank accounts.
Shortly after the verdict in London, the Lusaka trial
resumed against the ex-president. The trial has been ongoing
since 2004 but has been delayed due to legal technicalities
and Chiluba's failing health. The indictment in Zambia is
for a much smaller amount than he was convicted in London;
just over three million kronor.
Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Zambia in February,
promising new investments for the equivalent of about half a
billion SEK in the copper industry and debt amortization.
With the help of Chinese, an economic free zone will also be
set up around the mining town of Chambeshi. However, the
Chinese visit was not uncontested. Shortly before Hu
Jintoo's arrival, the Chinese owners closed Zambia's largest
textile factory after profitability problems. More and more
complaints are being heard about poor working conditions in
the many Chinese-owned companies.