• Short Summary

    Only a few days after he announced there had been an attempt to overthrow him, the Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda has called for economic reforms in his country, to rid the nation of what he calls the lingering effect of Zambia's colonial past.

  • Description

    SV Zambian President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda speaking in English to newsmen and officials in Lusaka (3 shots)

    SVs AND GV Ruling United National Independence Party, Mr. Mainza Chona leading pro-Kaunda demonstrators in"one nation, one leader" chant

    LV AND GV Zambian Prime Minister Daniel Lisulo crosses re-opened Victoria Falls Bridge to greet Zimbabwe officials (3 shots)

    SV Train loaded with copper crossing bridge (2 shots)

    LV AND GV Refugees carrying belongings arriving at checkpoint to go home to Zimbabwe (2 shots)

    GVs National milling company premises in Lusaka

    CU Sign reading "National Milling Company"

    GV Trucks driving out of Zambian Steel and Building Supplies (2 shots)

    GV Unemployed men outside commercial motors works (3 shots)

    GVs AND SVs Workers unloading vegetables at Lusaka depot. Tomatoes and cabbages unloaded (5 shots)

    SV zambian Agriculture Minister, Alexander Chikwanda, inspecting crops with EEC Director-General Mr. Maurice Foley at Mpongwe and looking at maize

    GV Maize fields irrigated with high-pressure hoses

    TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: KAUNDA: "Intelligence reports were being received that there was a gang here of foreigners that was preparing to topple this government and that this gang was hired by certain Zambian elements. Thanks to the real, extremely effective good work of our defence and security forces, thanks to the co-operation of our people, especially those in the Shibange area, party militants and ordinary people there in the Homumba area, we have now captured more than forty of these people."

    Ruling Party officials met trade union leaders on Tuesday (4 November) to discuss their differences, under a threat of a possible purge of the labour leadership. But the meeting appeared to diminish the prospect of a confrontation. The unions had threatened to call a general strike before the end of the year if worker's pay and conditions didn't improve. The President, Dr. Kaunda suggested the strike threat was linked to the plot to overthrow him.

    Initials SW/


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Only a few days after he announced there had been an attempt to overthrow him, the Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda has called for economic reforms in his country, to rid the nation of what he calls the lingering effect of Zambia's colonial past. Addressing the 15th National Council meeting of the United National Independence Party (UNIP)--Zambia's only legal political movement, Dr. Kaunda warned Zambians of "destructive indiscipline" which he said was everywhere in the nation. He said the only thing that would pull Zambia through its current economic difficulties is self-discipline. It was Dr. Kaunda's first public speech since he announced on October 27th that security forces had thwarted a coup plot by Zambian dissidents and foreign mercenaries. A dawn to dusk curfew continues.

    SYNOPSIS: In April, Dr. Kaunda accused dissidents, influenced by former government ministers, of plotting a coup to overthrow his administration. His supporters took to the streets chanting the familiar "one nation, one leader". But Dr. Kaunda's popularity is said to be falling as the country's grave economic problems continue.

    The end of the war in neighbouring Zimbabwe led many Zambians to hope for greater economic stability at home. The seven-year war took a great toll on the Zambian economy, cutting off vital transportation routes like the Victoria Falls Bridge. In February, Prime Minister Daniel Lisulo presided at the opening of the repaired bridge. The occasion meant that cooper--Zambia's major foreign exchange earner--could once more be transported by rail.

    The burden of feeding thousands of Zimbabwean refugees was lifted when they returned home after independence. Their presence in Zambia aggravated the already high unemployment and frequent shortages of basic commodities.

    The Kaunda government's belief in the nationalisation of industry has come under criticism by people the President calls the "Zambian elite." They advocate the dismantlement of state-owned industries, because of what they call an over-centralised state apparatus. The war in Zimbabwe took its toll on industry as investment fell and plant equipment and spare parts became scarce.

    Unemployment is high, especially in Zambia's urban centres, which are bigger than most African cities. And it is the urban population that is said to be most critical of the Kaunda administration.

    But the government has pledged to build Zambia's agricultural sector so it can regularly export food again by 1990. In June, residents of Lusaka welcomed the return of vegetables and fruits to the market-place, after years with only a sporadic supply. Crops this spring were so plentiful that some surpluses were exported.

    But for several years now the maize crop has not satisfied national demand. And financing maize imports has been difficult since falling copper prices have left Zambia desperately short of foreign exchange. So Dr. Kaunda has appealed for self-discipline--the "only magic", he says, which will pull Zambia through its current economic difficulties.

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