Zambia. In February, about half of the ministers were
dismissed or relocated to new posts by President Edgar
Lungu. Among other things, Minister of Trade and Industry
Margaret Mwanakatwe was appointed new Finance Minister.
However, this was not the first shift of the year on a heavy
ministerial post. Foreign Minister Harry Kalaba resigned in
early January. As a reason for the dismissal, he cited
growing corruption within the government and neglect of the
state finances. A few days later, he was succeeded by Joe
Malanji, who represents the opposition party Movement for
Multiparty Democracy (MMD).
Countryaah.com, a former minister, Chishimba Kambwili, who was excluded
from President Lungu's party Patriotic Front (PF) in 2017,
was arrested by the police in March. Kambwili has become one
of Lungu's sharpest critics and has accused the president of
corruption. Now the minister was accused of having come
across property by criminal means.
The corruption charges against the government continued
during the year and in September Sweden suspended its aid
payments to Zambia because of this. Britain, Finland and
Ireland also froze their aid. The day after, Zambia's
Minister for Social Development, Emerine Kabanshi, was
fired. According to Karin SverkÚn, head of bilateral
development cooperation at the Swedish embassy in Lusaka, it
had been established that the problem of aid money falling
into the wrong pockets was extensive. Swedish aid would go
to a form of cash social assistance to poor Zambians. In
2016-18, Sida would pay SEK 165 million to Zambia. Of these,
130 million had already been disbursed when aid was stopped.