Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Postcard from Zambia

Today we went up north, to the copper belt. We were given a tour of a copper mine, which was fascinating. Baffling in places, but fascinating none the less. Back in the capital, Lusaka, we met with representatives from Zambian civic society, to talk about democracy, accountability and media freedom. Transparency International said that they'd marked the previous President 70% for his anti-corruption stance. The new guy, elected in October, gets only 20%. But it's early days.

Tomorrow we're heading down to the Zimbabwe-Zambia (or Zim-Zam as it's known) border to see how Zambia copes with desperate people crossing the border from Zimbabwe. And we're meeting the Electoral Commission, the Auditor General and the Minister of Finance at some point too... or is that Friday?


Guthrum said...

Was this one owned by the Peoples Republic of China ? The last time I was in the area, the owners were sorting out labour relations with guns

Kerry said...

No, was Zambian but just been taken over by Indians - KCM. Had breakfast with a couple of Brit documentary makers yesterday, who are making a film about China in Africa, with Zambia as a case study, so they've been to the new Chinese mine. No mention of guns from them.

Zambia is actually very well-unionised. At KCM they have a workforce of 12,000+ and more than 10,000 are in the union.

Guthrum said...

Safe Home

I am going the other way shortly, my colleagues in the region are telling me that Chinese Managers are just abandoning some of the mines.