Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hot new Zambia links

Short BBC piece about politics and music in Zambia (begins at 6:12) featuring reggae artist Michael Zulu. Also includes interview with Mathew Thembo. Some great messages and whatnot.

That said, I don't like the majority of Zambian reggae music. Like a lot of Zambian rappers who have fake American accents and appalling flows, a lot of Zambian reggae sounds like a mockery of 80s Peter Tosh.

A few weeks after news of the Lujo virus was splashed around the world Zambia has made the international news again.

“Going after big fish hasn’t worked,” he said. “The fish will not fry themselves.”

Zambia recently won rare convictions against former military commanders and Regina Chiluba, the wife of its former president, on corruption charges. Frederick Chiluba, president from 1991 to 2001, will himself face a verdict in July on corruption charges. His sumptuous wardrobe — Lanvin suits, silk pajamas and handmade Italian shoes of snakeskin, satin and ostrich — became an emblem of greed in one of the world’s poorest countries.

But anticorruption leaders say they sense less commitment to tackle corruption since the election of President Rupiah Banda. “I’m inside,” said Maxwell Nkole, who leads a task force set up to investigate the Chiluba-era abuses. “The tempo, the intensity to tackle corruption is dropping.”

The Banda administration vigorously denies that charge, and says it will prosecute officials who stole $2 million from the Ministry of Health. At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars in grants from the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corporation that Zambia is eligible for. On a recent afternoon, ambassadors from rich nations, the United States and Britain among them, mingled at a party on the lawn of Mark Chona, the first chief of the Zambian anticorruption task force. In welcoming them, he issued a sharp warning.

“Your money is being stolen,” he said. “Don’t sit silent. You don’t know how much influence you have.”

Unfortunately it's part of a trend article talking about corruption in Africa in general with lines like

The broader anxieties about Africa’s resolve to combat corruption have emerged from troubled efforts in several countries.

I don't understand how Africa can have "resolve" to do anything. As if "Africa" has a will-power problem that a little life coaching couldn't cure. Maybe a support group and a 12-step program is what's needed.

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