United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1993 - Zambia, 30 January 1994, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa5630.html [accessed 29 November 2015]
This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Zambia is a republic governed by a president, a unicameral national assembly, and a constitutionally independent judiciary. Free and fair multiparty elections in October 1991 resulted in the victory of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and the election of President Frederick J.T. Chiluba. With one exception, the more than 30 opposition parties generally operated without government interference in 1993. On March 4, President Chiluba invoked his constitutional powers to declare a state of emergency in response to a purported plot by members of the former ruling party, the United National Independence Party (UNIP), to destabilize the country. The security forces detained without charge and interrogated 26 persons, most of them UNIP members. The Government revoked the state of emergency on May 25 and charged eight detainees with offenses ranging from treason to possession of seditious documents. It released all other detainees without charge. By late 1993, a Lusaka magistrate had convicted one of the eight of possession of a seditious document and sentenced him to 9 months in prison. He remained free on bail pending the outcome of an appeal to the High Court. The remaining detainees were also free on bail as their cases were tried in the courts. In May the Government established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights abuses under both the current and the previous governments. The Zambian police, divided into regular and paramilitary units and operating under the Ministry of Home Affairs, have primary responsibility for maintaining law and order. Police often ignore procedural requirements and engage in abusive and brutal behavior, including beating and at times killing criminal suspects and detainees. After steady declines in per capita gross domestic product, Zambia in 1992 was redesignated a least developed country by the United Nations. The Chiluba Government remained committed to a free market economic reform program, but high inflation had a serious impact on the poor, the middle class, and business, eroding public support for the reform policies. Beginning in August, the inflation rate dropped dramatically, the first sign that tight monetary and fiscal policies were beginning to have an effect. After the drought of 1992, agricultural production rebounded with record harvests of many crops, but the Government's tight cash budget policy limited its capacity to purchase the crops. The key copper industry maintained production levels, but depressed world prices kept revenues at lower levels. Zambia's major human rights problem, police brutality, continued unchecked in 1993, resulting in extrajudicial killings of persons in police custody and torture, as exemplified by the torture of three detained UNIP leaders at the hands of security forces. Other significant human rights abuses occurred, including arbitrary detentions under the State of Emergency and government efforts to curb press freedom with a concomitant increase in self-censorship by the press. The Government's commitment to constitutional and legal reform remained unfulfilled, abysmal prison conditions continued to threaten health and life of inmates, and women continued to experience both de jure and de facto discrimination. Wife beating and rape remained common.
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Fredom from:
a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing
There were no known political killings during the year, but police brutality and use of excessive force continued to result in extrajudicial killings. According to reports in the Zambian press, the police killed at least 19 criminal suspects between January 1 and September 15. So far as is known, the police undertook no serious investigations to determine possible police use of excessive force in attempting to apprehend the suspects. In November a Chingola High Court judge convicted a police officer of manslaughter and sentenced him to 3 years' imprisonment for the accidental shooting death of a man during a melee in a town market. At least two criminal suspects died in police custody. In one case in January, two police officers reportedly beat the victim to death. In the other, police alleged that a young suspect in apparent good health died suddenly of pneumonia. The authorities investigated neither case to determine possible police culpability. In another case, a police officer was arrested in connection with the December 1992 death of a suspect while in custody. No information on the disposition of the case was made known during 1993. Responding to public concern about police treatment of suspects, Home Affairs Minister Newstead Zimba said in January that officers guilty of abuses would be subject to legal action, but there were no reports that offenders were prosecuted.
There were no known cases of government-inspired disappearance.
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The 1991 Constitution prohibits torture but members of the police and security forces regularly used excessive force when apprehending, interrogating, and holding criminal suspects or illegal aliens. Beatings and other mistreatment by police were in most instances not subject to serious investigation, and offenders were rarely disciplined or prosecuted. There were credible reports that during March and April police, security service, and military interrogators severely mistreated three of the persons detained under the State of Emergency. In the course of interrogation between March 13 and 16, one detainee was repeatedly struck, required to perform exhausting physical exercises, and forced to kneel on small stones that caused pain and swelling. Interrogators also reportedly pulled his hair and dunked his head in a dirty toilet. Interrogators systematically abused a second detainee during interrogation by forcing him to sit in a chair with his hands tied behind him and his buttocks raised off the seat, striking him when he tired and lowered his body to the seat of the chair. This person became ill during interrogation, was hospitalized, and then was returned to prison for further interrogation. A third detainee was observed to have marks on his back from beatings. In response to the allegations of torture and to growing public criticism, the Government stated that it opposed torture and claimed that any mistreatment of the detainees was not the result of policy but rather, of the actions of individuals. The Government permitted delegations from the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) to visit 10 of the detainees at 2 separate prisons on April 5. None of the 10 who did not include the 3 reported torture victims alleged mistreatment. On March 22, Legal Affairs Minister Chongwe said that law enforcement officers found to have abused detainees should be fired and prosecuted. There were no reports, however, of disciplinary or legal action against any of the security force personnel involved. The Government continued to sponsor a series of human rights training seminars for police and other officials, but there were no signs of an impact on actual conditions. In further response to the allegations of torture, the Government on May 5 announced the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights abuse under both the current Government and the previous one. The terms of reference of the Commission, chaired by an eminent lawyer, included recommending measures to the Government to prevent human rights abuses by government personnel. For several months the Commission toured the country taking witnesses' testimony, most of which detailed abuses under the previous Government, but which also produced allegations that torture and "torture chambers" continued to exist under the MMD Government. As the year ended, the Commission continued to hold hearings. It was to submit its findings and recommendations to the Government early in 1994. Conditions in Zambian prisons continue to be harsh and life threatening. Tuberculosis, anemia, dysentery, malaria, chest infections, and other maladies are rampant due to low protein diets, lack of clean water, severe overcrowding, and poor sanitation and medical facilities. In June, for example, a Zambia prison services official confirmed that a food shortage at prisons had forced inmates to live on one meal per day. Similar conditions are found in police holding cells. According to the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), three prisoners at Singogo Remand Prison in Ndola died within a 6-week period in July and August. Because of the poor conditions in the prison, an Ndola magistrate subsequently ordered the release on bail of many prisoners awaiting trial. In January the LAZ petitioned the Home Affairs Minister to permit access to prisons and police cells, but the Government denied the request. However, the Human Rights Commission of Inquiry toured provincial prisons and police cells, including juvenile facilities, pursuant to its terms of reference. The Government did not allocate nearly enough resources to ameliorate the poor conditions in most prisons and police cells.
d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile
On March 5, President Chiluba invoked powers granted to him under the Constitution to declare a 90-day state of emergency in response to the so-called Zero Option Plan involving members of UNIP. The plan, which had circulated among UNIP leaders for weeks, advocated fomenting widespread civil unrest in order to make the country ungovernable, thereby paving the way for UNIP's return to power. President Chiluba and his Government were concerned that the plan represented an immediate threat to national security. The National Assembly ratified the President's declaration on March 12 by a vote of 114-23. Imposition of the state of emergency automatically activated the provisions of the 1960 Preservation of Public Security Act (PSA), under which the President and law enforcement authorities have wide powers to curtail civil liberties. In particular, the PSA permits the Government to arrest persons without a warrant and to detain them without charge. After declaring the state of emergency, the Chiluba Government amended some sections of the PSA to restrict its scope and limit the potential for abuses. For example, the period for which a detainee could initially be held without charge was reduced from 28 to 7 days. Authorities detained 26 UNIP members and supporters in March under the provisions of the PSA. The President signed orders authorizing the detentions after consultation with the Attorney General and other legal advisers. Family members and attorneys were usually given access to the detainees, except during interrogation. When questioned about the right of detainees to have attorneys present during interrogation, government officials gave conflicting legal opinions, but in most cases attorneys were not permitted to be present. Despite the 7-day time limit on detentions specified in the amended PSA, the Zero Option detainees were held without charge appreciably longer, some for 77 days. The Government never convened the special tribunal called for under the PSA to review and authorize additional periods of detention of up to 6 months. During March and April, most of the detainees were released from custody without being charged. On May 21, the Government revoked the presidential detention order against the remaining eight detainees and charged them with offenses under the criminal statutes ranging from treason to possession of seditious documents. All eight were released on bail, and their trials, which began in August, were continuing as the year ended. The first verdict came in October, when a Lusaka magistrate convicted UNIP leader Bwendo Mulengela of possession of a seditious document and sentenced him to 9 months's imprisonment. Mulengela appealed the judgment to the High Court. In March, 13 of the detainees petitioned the courts to review the legality of their detentions. Hearings before two Lusaka High Court judges began on April 6 and continued intermittently until the state of emergency was revoked by the President on May 25. The courts pursued the cases evenhandedly and took steps to safeguard the detainees' rights. High Court Justice James Mutale, for example, ordered the state to hold the detainees in the Lusaka area during the hearings (previously they had been held at various prisons around the country) and demanded that all mistreatment be halted. Ultimately, the detainees were released before the courts could rule on their petitions. In regular criminal cases, the law requires that a detainee be charged and brought before a magistrate within 24 hours, but there are delays at each step of the process, and deadlines are frequently missed due to police inefficiency or lack of transportation to bring a suspect before a magistrate. According to the LAZ, many persons are held in police cells and prisons for weeks and even months before being charged and brought before a magistrate. No statistics on the number of these detainees were available to the public. Foreigners, principally from neighboring countries, are regularly apprehended as illegal aliens and detained until they can be deported. At times these detentions last months or years. In February a high-ranking prison official told a Lusaka judge that 51 "prohibited immigrants" were then detained in Lusaka prisons, some of them since 1991. The official also admitted that Lusaka prisons held many Zambians who had been detained for long periods without trial. One of these, according to the official, had been detained since 1987. Katiza Cebekhulu, a South African national detained at Lusaka Central Prison in 1991, was released from custody on December 15. At year's end he was residing at the Maheba refugee camp near Solwezi.
e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
The MMD Government respects the independence of the judiciary. At the apex of the judicial system is a nine-member Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice and members of the Court are nominated by the President and confirmed by Parliament. The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction for all legal and constitutional disputes. The High Courts have authority to hear all criminal and civil cases and appeals from lower courts. The 55 magistrate courts have original jurisdiction in criminal and some civil cases, while 431 local, or customary courts handle most civil cases at the local level. These local courts employ the principles of customary law, which vary widely throughout the country. Lawyers are barred from participating, and there are few formal rules of procedure. Facilities are often rudimentary. Presiding judges, who are usually prominent local citizens, have great power to invoke customary law in rendering judgments regarding weddings, divorces, inheritances, other civil proceedings, and minor criminal matters. Judgments are often not in accordance with the Legal Code; for example, they tend to discriminate against women in matters of inheritance and other issues (see Section 5). In ordinary criminal cases, the law provides a number of protections for defendants, including protection during interrogations. Trials are public and defendants have the opportunity to confront accusers and present witnesses. Members of the legal community maintain that if a lawyer can be obtained, defendants can expect to receive a fair trial. However, many defendants are either too poor to retain a lawyer or unaware of the few nongovernmental citizen advocacy groups that might help them. The Government's Legal Aid Department is severely understaffed, and Zambians entitled to legal aid often find that it is unavailable.
f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence
Respect for privacy and the inviolability of the home is provided for in the Constitution and is generally respected in practice. During the state of emergency, however, the homes and offices of dozens of UNIP member and supporters were searched. All of these searches took place without a warrant, under the provisions of the Public Security Act, and in some cases authorities forcibly entered premises. Roundups of suspected illegal aliens in the home or workplace continued during 1993. According to the Government Commissioner for Refugees, immigration officials are empowered under the law to conduct these roundups without a warrant.
Section 2 Respect for Civil liberties, Including:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
The broad public debate of issues that characterized the first year of the MMD Government continued during 1993. Public discussion regarding the state of emergency and other controversial government actions was vigorous and constituted a significant change from public reaction to similar events under the previous government. However, the press and other media continued to run afoul of legal restraints on freedom of expression and suffered political reprisals for expressing independent views. The Constitution provides for freedom of expression and of the press, but these rights can be circumscribed by laws deemed to be in the interest of defense, public safety, public order, public morality, or public health. In practice, the MMD Government generally respected freedom of expression during 1993, but in a few cases individuals were either denied this right or arrested for expressing views deemed to be contrary to the law. The Penal Code lists various prohibited activities that restrict freedom of expression and the press, including defamation of the President, expressing or showing hatred or ridicule, publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public, publishing a seditious document, uttering words with intent to wound religious feelings, and trafficking in obscene publications. In May authorities prevented former Finance Minister Emmanuel Kasonde and others from addressing a rally because the authorities believed speakers would make defamatory comments about President Chiluba (see Section 2.b.). In another instance, authorities arrested and convicted a UNIP supporter for having "defamed" the President, and in a separate case arrested a businessman for allegedly making comments critical of Mrs. Chiluba. The appearance of three additional nongovernment weekly newspapers, the announcement of a process for licensing private television and radio stations, and the publication of a set of recommendations for media reform that endorse democratic free press ideals, all marked appreciable if tentative progress toward real freedom of the press during 1993. The Government continued to refrain from enforcing the more draconian of the press restrictions in the Legal Code, but made no perceptible move to amend or repeal them. Such laws include the President's power under the PSA, which came into force during the state of emergency, to prohibit the publication, sale, supply, distribution, and possession of information deemed prejudicial to public security. In addition, under the State Security Act, journalists are subject to prison terms of up to 20 years for receiving leaked government documents and information. The Media Reform Committee made specific recommendations to reform the Legal Code, but as the year ended these recommendations had not been approved by the Cabinet or enacted into law. Despite indications of progress towards genuine press freedom, government officials continued to distrust the press and often attempted to control the dissemination of stories critical of government policies or high-ranking officials. Reporters and editors, especially in the government-owned media, reported receiving calls from senior officials threatening their livelihood over critical stories they had run or that were being written. Police briefly detained the managing editor of The Weekly Post, the most prominent independent newspaper, following publication of a story linking a Cabinet minister with drug trafficking. Also, the President sued The Weekly Post for libel as a result of its reprint of a story, originally appearing in the South African press, that alleged that Chiluba had benefitted financially from an arrangement to allow South African conservationists to conduct studies in Zambia. The Government's dismissal of the much-respected Director General of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation ostensibly for irregularities in his hiring, but in reality for exercising independence in programming demonstrated the limits of press freedom in 1993. The firing left its mark on reporters, editors, and managers of all government-owned media, who became less willing to investigate, write, or publish stories critical of the Government. The Government took no action to restrain academic freedom during the year.
b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
The Constitution provides for freedom of peaceful assembly and association, but on occasion the Government ignored these provisions. Under the Public Order Act of 1955, persons or organizations wishing to hold an assembly, public meeting, or procession must first apply for a permit. In almost all cases during 1993, authorities routinely issued such permits. Normally, grounds for denial of a permit involve concerns over a threat to public order and security, which is provided for both in the Public Order Act and the 1991 Constitution. On May 24, however, Northern Province Deputy Minister Daniel Kapapa ordered police to revoke a permit for a political rally organized by two former cabinet ministers, because, Kapapa told the press, the ministers had not paid a courtesy call on him and because they were likely to make insulting remarks about the President. On August 18, the Home Affairs Minister ordered police not to issue permits to MMD Members of Parliament who had resigned to form the National Party (NP). He warned that the former MMD members would be arrested if they attempted to address public gatherings in their constituencies. Three days later Vice President Mwanawasa announced that the Government had reversed the Minister's decision. During several parliamentary election campaigns late in the year, the NP experienced no significant difficulties in holding campaign rallies and other public meetings. All organizations must apply formally for registration to the Registrar of Societies. In most cases these applications are routinely approved. For example, there are now more than 30 registered political parties. The National Party, led by prominent breakaway MMD leaders, was registered within days of having filed its application in early September. In April, however, the Government refused to register an Islamic party formed by the youth and student wing of the Islamic Council of Zambia. When the Registrar of Societies rejected the application, the group appealed to Home Affairs Minister Zimba to intercede. The Minister responded that the Registrar had made the correct decision, as the Constitution did not allow for the formation of religious parties. However, Article 21 of the Constitution provides that "no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association... and in particular to form or belong to any political party....." The same Article provides for the registration of political parties but says that only "reasonable conditions" may be established for the registration of parties and that it is unconstitutional to impose conditions "shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society." During the state of emergency, the Government took no action to curtail the rights of political parties, including UNIP and other groups, to hold public meetings and assemblies.
c. Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religion is provided for in the Constitution and is respected in practice. Although President Chiluba has declared Zambia to be a Christian nation, other religions are practiced without interference.
d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation
The Constitution guarantees citizens the right to move freely throughout Zambia, to reside in any part of the country, and to depart from and return to the country without restriction. The authorities generally respected these rights during 1993, but police roadblocks to control criminal activity continued and police often extorted money and goods from motorists. According to UNIP, the Government seized the passports of 39 party leaders in connection with the state of emergency and the subsequent investigation. By year's end all of these passports had been returned to their holders. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that there were approximately 142,000 refugees in Zambia in 1993, up slightly from 1992. The majority were Angolans, with significant numbers of Mozambicans, Zairians, Somalis, and South Africans. The repatriation of the approximately 15,000 Mozambicans proceeded slowly, while repatriation of approximately 125,000 Angolans stalled due to the renewed fighting in that country. In July approximately 1,500 minority Kasai from Shaba Province in Zaire fled into Zambia and requested refugee status. They were fleeing both attempts by the Shaba Government to remove them forcibly from the province and restrictions that made it impossible for them to earn a living there. After some hesitation, the Zambian Government agreed to let the Zairians proceed to a UNHCR refugee settlement in the northwest. A steady trickle of Zairians continued to cross into Zambia during the year. The alleged criminal activities of many Zairians in the border region was of considerable concern to the Government, and roundups, arrests, and deportations of Zairians and other illegal aliens continued throughout the year. With respect to illegal aliens, these actions are lawful. However, Zairians and others who have been accorded refugee status by the UNHCR are sometimes picked up and held for varying lengths of time before being released.
Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government
Zambian citizens exercised the right to change their government in free and fair multiparty elections in 1991 following years of one-party rule by the UNIP. However, under the 1991 Constitution the President wields broad authority. Although Parliament ratifies major appointments and has other powers, in practice it is an ineffectual check on executive authority. While President Chiluba kept his promise to limit the scope and duration of the state of emergency, coming so soon after the advent of multiparty democracy, it constituted an ominous precedent. Constitutional reform to increase the power of Parliament, a prominent plank in the MMD election platform, continued to proceed at an extremely slow pace, although in September the Government announced the formation of a constitutional commission to draft a new constitution. The 24-member commission represents a broad spectrum of Zambian society. It is expected to complete its work in 1994. The ruling MMD controls the executive branch and the Parliament. With one exception, noted in Section 2.b., the MMD Government allowed opposition parties to operate freely. Several parliamentary byelections were hotly contested. These elections, using the secret ballot, were generally free and fair. In many constituencies turnout was low, continuing the pattern of 1992, but in others a considerable percentage of registered voters participated. Though adult suffrage is universal, an outdated voter register requires revision in order to enfranchise new voters. In August prominent MMD members, including former cabinet ministers, resigned from the party to form the National Party (NP). After a brief delay, the Government permitted these politicians to operate freely and approved the registration of the new party. The number of influential women in politics and government is increasing; it includes cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, Members of Parliament, the Interim Chairman of the opposition National Party, ministerial permanent secretaries, and numerous elected local government officials.
Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights
A number of human rights and civic organizations operate without hindrance. These include the LAZ and FODEP. The latter, along with the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), the Nongovernmental Organization Coordinating Committee (NGOCC), and other groups was active in promoting women's civil and political rights. In general, the Government continued to be receptive to criticism from such organizations, but individual ministers sometimes became confrontational. In September, for example, the Home Affairs Minister said that human rights advocates critical of government policies should "shut their mouths." In September the Inspector General of Police complained that the actions of human rights monitors led to an increase in crime. The Government was receptive to inquiries or visits by international human rights organizations.
Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, Language, or Social Status
The population of about 8 million comprises more than 70 Bantu-speaking tribal groupings. Economic and social needs are met on a generally nondiscriminatory basis. The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinion, color, or creed. Members of the Asian community, which includes many shopowners, continued to complain in 1993 of hostility from other Zambians.
Under civil and constitutional law, women are entitled to full equality with men in most areas. In practice, Zambian women are severely disadvantaged compared to men in formal employment and education. Married women who are employed often suffer from discriminatory conditions of service; allowances for housing and children and tax rebates to which they as employees are entitled often accrue to their husbands. Similarly, women have little independent access to credit facilities; in most cases, they remain dependent on husbands, who are required to sign for loans. As a result, few women own their own homes. Under the citizenship laws, a Zambian man who marries a non-Zambian woman can transfer "resident rights" to his wife, but a Zambian woman who marries a non-Zambian man has no right to have her husband reside in Zambia. Customary law and practice also place women in subordinate status with respect to property, inheritance, and marriage, despite various constitutional and legislated provisions. In some areas, women are not allowed to hold land under customary tenure, and what they produce on land can be appropriated by the "rightful" holder, usually a male relative. Under traditional customs, all rights to inherit property rested with the deceased man's family. The Intestate Succession Act, passed in 1989, guarantees widows a 20-percent share and children a 50-percent share in the inheritance of a deceased man's property. Despite increasing efforts by nongovernmental organizations during 1993 to publicize the law, it remained generally ineffectual because of ignorance, apathy, fear, and lax enforcement by the police and the courts. According to the YWCA, however, there were indications that increasing numbers of widows in urban areas were aware of their rights under the law and sought assistance and protection from NGO's or legal authorities. Violence against women remained a serious problem. Wife beating and rape were commonplace, although there were no statistics available to document the precise extent of these abuses. Domestic assault is a criminal offense, but in practice police are often reluctant to pursue reports of wife beating or other forms of abuse. The Government mounted a publicity campaign to discourage wife beating, but there was no information about the campaign's effectiveness. Authorities evinced serious concern in an apparent increase in rape, and offenders have been arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to jail terms.
There was no pattern of discrimination or societal abuse against children, but scarce government resources and ineffective implementation of social programs adversely affected the welfare of children and adults alike.
People with Disabilities
Persons with disabilities face significant societal discrimination in employment and education. The basic law covering the disabled is the Handicapped Persons Act (HPA). It established the Zambia Council for the Handicapped, a government organization, which provides rehabilitative and social service to the disabled. There are no legal provisions prohibiting discrimination or mandating accessibility for the disabled. In 1993 the Minister of Community Development and Social Services named a task force to study the problems of the disabled with a view to drafting a new law to replace the HPA and better safeguard the rights of the disabled.
Section 6 Worker Rights
a. The Right of Association
The Constitution guarantees the right of citizens to form trade unions, and Zambia has a history of strong labor union organizations dating from the establishment of the copper mines in the 1930's. Approximately 60 percent of the 300,000 formal sector workers are unionized. The country's 19 large national unions are organized by industry or profession. All are affiliated with the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). The ZCTU is democratically organized; it regularly conducts open elections to select its leadership. Like its constituent unions, it is independent of any political party and the Government. The ZCTU and other unions operated freely throughout the year and frequently criticized the MMD Government on such issues as economic policy, wages, and conditions of service. The ZCTU is a member of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. On April 26, Parliament passed a new Industrial and Labor Relations Act (ILRA), which superseded the controversial Industrial Relations Act of 1991. With the broad backing of labor, business, and government leaders, the new Act reestablished the principle of "one industry, one union" that had been abolished under the 1991 ILRA. While acknowledging that the one industry, one union rule restricts the right of individuals to freely associate, union leaders successfully argued that a proliferation of unions would weaken organized labor. Under the 1993 ILRA, therefore, a new union may be registered only if the Government determines that it represents a specific trade, profession, or category of employees who are qualified to form a union. A group representing a trade, profession, or category of employees already represented by an existing trade union will not be registered. Under the 1991 Act, a number of new unions sought registration, including those purporting to represent bankers, miners, secondary school teachers, technical college staff, and civil servants. Depending on the Government's interpretation of the new law, some of these new unions may be recognized as legal entities. The 1993 ILRA also abolished the provision in the 1991 law disaffiliating unions from the ZCTU. The new law automatically reaffiliated the unions with the ZCTU but also allows unions to leave the ZCTU through a simple majority vote of their members. All workers have the right to strike except those engaged in essential services, the Zambia Defense Force, judicial service, police force, prison service, and security intelligence service. Essential services are defined in the 1993 ILRA as power, medical, water, sewerage, firefighting, and certain mining occupations essential to safety. Strikes and work stoppages were commonplace throughout the year as workers' salaries and conditions of service were undercut by harsh economic conditions and, until the last half of the year, sharp increases in the cost of living. Strikes are permitted only after all other legal recourse has been exhausted, and in practice all work stoppages during the year were illegal. At various times from May through August, many teachers and civil servants went on strike to protest the slow pace of negotiations with the Government on a new contract. After a series of meetings between Government and union negotiators, the unions agreed in August to accept the Government's offer of a 50 percent salary increase. The ZCTU and individual unions may affiliate with a trade union or organization outside Zambia by a simple majority vote of the membership. Labor leaders travel without restriction to international conferences and to visit counterparts abroad.
b. The Right To Organize and Bargain Collectively
The 1993 ILRA prohibits antiunion discrimination by employers against union members and organizers. An employee who believes he has been penalized for union activities may, after exhausting any existing administrative channels for relief, file a complaint with the Industrial Relations Court. This court has the power to order appropriate redress for the aggrieved worker. The complainant may appeal a judgment of the Industrial Relations Court to the Supreme Court. The Industrial Relations Court has the power to order employers to reinstate a worker fired for union activity. Employers and unions in each industry negotiate collective bargaining agreements through joint councils in which there is no government involvement. Collective disputes are first referred to a conciliator or a board of conciliation. If conciliation fails to resolve the dispute the parties may refer the case to the Industrial Relations Court or, in the case of employees, vote to strike. In practice, the industry joint councils function effectively as collective bargaining mechanisms. There are no export processing zones.
c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor
Slavery and involuntary servitude are prohibited by the Constitution. Forced labor is prohibited, except in the conduct of communal or civic obligations.
d. Minimum Age for Employment of Children
By legislation, the minimum age for employment of children is 16. The Labor Commissioner effectively enforces this law in the industrial sector, where, because of adult unemployment, there are almost no jobs available to children under the age of 16. However, the law is not enforced for the vast majority of Zambians who work in the subsistence agricultural, domestic service, and informal sectors, where persons under age 16 are often employed. In urban areas children commonly engage in street trading.
e. Acceptable Conditions of Work
In 1991 the Government established a minimum monthly wage rate for all employees, except professionals, plus housing and transportation allowances. As of December 1993, according to the Labor Commissioner, this rate was approximately $7.50 or 4,500 Zambian kwacha. However, each industry may through collective bargaining set its own minimum wage rates above the legal floor, and in practice most formal sector workers receive salaries considerably higher than the minimum wage. As of March 1993, for example, miners generally received a monthly salary of at least $50 (30,000 kwacha), and construction and engineering workers received between $20 and $75 (13,000 and 45,000 kwacha), depending on position and seniority. In nonunionized industries and trades, however, the minimum wage is applied. This would include such positions as delivery assistants, general workers, and office orderlies. The minimum wage is insufficient to provide an adequate standard of living, and most minimum wage earners must supplement their incomes through second jobs, subsistence farming, or reliance on the extended family. The legal maximum workweek for nonunionized workers is 48 hours. Maximum limits for unionized workers vary. For example, the legal maximum for unionized guards is 72 hours per week. The minimum workweek for full-time employment is 40 hours and is, in practice, the normal workweek. Two days of annual leave per month of service are required by law. Zambian law regulates minimum health and safety standards in any industrial undertaking. Enforcement of industrial safety in the mines is the responsibility of the Department of Mines. Factory safety is handled by the Inspector of Factories under the Minister of Labor, but staffing problems chronically limit enforcement effectiveness.