Zambia goes to the polls today to select its sixth president. This was brought about as a consequence of the death of President Michael Sata on October 28 2014 – right after the country celebrated its 50th year of independence. The constitution in its current format dictates that elections be held within 90 days of the demise of a president. This is the second by-election to be caused by the death of a president (President Mwanawasa in 2008) in Zambia’s young history.
Bank of Zambia raises policy rate by 50 basis points
The central bank raised the policy rate by 50 basis points to 12.5% until their next monetary policy committee meeting on 8th February 2015. They cited elevated inflationary pressures likely to last into the beginning of 2015 and material deterioration of the external sector (Balance of Payments deficit of $123.2 million in Q3 compared to a surplus of US $740 million in Q2) relative to conditions in August i.e. at their previous meeting. I’m pretty sure uncertainty over presidential elections was also baked into their decision but they didn’t mention it directly!
Guy Scott U-turns on firing of party Secretary General Edgar Lungu
Patriotic Front (PF) interim president Guy Scott dismissed Secretary General Edgar Lungu then quickly reversed his decision as protests broke out in various parts of the capital and pressure increased from Cabinet and the PF Central Committee. The PF Central Committee will convene sometime after the burial of late President Michael Sata next week to hash out any positional conflicts.
Trying to decipher this puzzle that is Zambia by using a variety of publicly available data (structured and unstructured) in conjunction with my own skill/experience. * * *