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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The 'Zero Option' Controversy in Zambia: Western Double Standards vis a vis Safeguarding Security?
Author:Ihonvbere, Julius O.ISNI
Periodical:Afrika Spectrum
Geographic term:Zambia
Subjects:political conflicts
state of emergency
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Abstract:In the 1991 elections in Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda and his party, the UNIP (United National Independence Party), which had ruled the country since independence in 1964, were defeated by the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) led by Frederick Chiluba. It was the inhospitable environment inherited by the MMD, and its apparent inability to deal with the endemic crises, that made it possible for some elements in the UNIP opposition in 1993 to consider the possibility of seizing power, as outlined in the document 'Radical Programme of Action for UNIP' (RPAU) or 'Zero Option Plan'. The government responded by imposing the state of emergency. The declaration of the state of emergency caused a lot of uproar and debate within the government, the country and the international community concerning the viability of Zambian democracy. The author argues that the fact that a government is pursuing a democratic agenda does not mean that it should tolerate threats to its security or pay more attention to the feelings of foreign governments and donors. Bibliogr.