Sata Zambia’s new President; white Vice President

Chitenges (wrap skirts) are a popular pre-election gift. These women are all wearing the MMD Chitenges, from then President Rupiah Banda.

Chitenges (wrap skirts) are a popular pre-election gift. These women are all wearing the MMD Chitenges, from then President Rupiah Banda.

On September 20, Zambians elected a new President in peaceful and apparently quite fair elections. Within three days Mr. Michael Sata was inaugerated as the new President with the incumbant President Rupiah Banda bowing out gracefully. This is twice in the last ten years that Zambia has ousted a president in peaceful elections. So some things are moving ahead. Anyone who follows African politics at all knows this is something to be commended.

What surprises me is that Sata has appointed a white Vice President, Guy Scott. This is something virtually unheard of. I am encouraged that politics are going beyond race.

In his first week of office Sata has made some important moves. The newly appointed cabinet is a downsized one, which Zambians welcome. The three international airports of Lusaka, Ndola and Livingstone have been named after prominent freedom fighters, to keep Zambia’s history alive for generations to come. This was another popular move with Zambians.

Some speak of an ‘African Spring’. I think it is far too soon to think like that. Too often a nation has elected a new President, hoping for change, only to be disappointed. But along with most Africans, I still have hope. Maybe this time things really will change. Let’s hope they change for the better.

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