Zambia: UN chief praises Zambia's democracy, warns against graft
Zambia's President Michael Sata
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that Zambia had deepened its democracy with a peaceful handover of power following the election of ex-opposition leader President Michael Sata last year.
"Last September, once again you conducted free and fair elections. Once again you managed a smooth and dignified transition of power," said Ban.
"From far away we have watched great transformation. The sun shines on Africa and you the people of Zambia know this well. You have deepened democracy and set a high bar for the continent and indeed the world," he told the Zambian parliament.
Ban is on his first visit to the copper-rich southern African state. He is set to meet Sata and independence leader Kenneth Kaunda on Saturday, before jetting off to Angola on Sunday.
The UN chief also warned against corruption, urging Zambia not to shy away from the fight against graft.
"Corruption is a cancer. Unchecked it strikes at the very heart of democracy and the very ability to deliver to those in need," he said.
"In this fight there can be no sacred cows," he added.
Since taking office, Sata has embarked on an anti-corruption crusade, with senior former ministers in Rupiah Banda's government being investigated.
Banda's wife and son as well as several members of his inner circle are being probed for corruption.
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