President Kaunda's announcement that Zambia will be a one-party state before the end of the year brings forward his plans by about six months.
President Kaunda's announcement that Zambia will be a one-party state before the end of the year brings forward his plans by about six months. His original announcement for a 'one-party democracy's came in February this year, and a commission began working on its implementation the following month. But it was then expected to be some way into 1973 before the National Assembly could pass the required legislation.
The Zambian leader's latest announcement came on Thursday (October 5) at a banquet in honour of visiting Indian President V.V. Giri, who was on a four-day visit there at the end of an African tour which had also taken him to Ethiopia and Tanzania. According to President Kaunda, who had the day before taken his visitor on a tour of the famous Victoria Falls on the Rhodesian border, Zambia would continue to have 'one-man one-vote' elections. Individual rights and the independence of the judiciary would be upheld, he said.
Zambia inherited its multi-party system from Britain at the time of independence in 1964. President kaunda's ruling United National Independence Party has 88 seats in the National Assembly (parliament) -- commanding the necessary two-thirds majority to alter the country's constitution. The opposition African National Congress, led by Harry Nkumbula and holding 20 seats in the National Assembly, has declared its opposition to the introduction of a one-party system. So has the unregistered new party, the United People's Party, formed in September (1972) by former members of the banned United Progressive Party of jailed former Vice-President Simon Kapwepwe.
In February, when he made the original announcement, President Kaunda said he was against a one-party state being introduced by legislation. But he also added that he was a democrat, and that a one-party state was 'the will of the people'.