“So called” Professor Nic Cheeseman causes Zambia controversy

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A recent article by DiA’s Nic Cheeseman made front page news in Zambia, and was subsequently denounced by the Patriotic Front government. Click through for the story, and the denunciation.


A recent article by Professor Nic Cheeseman about the state of democracy in Zambia under President Edgar Lungu that was originally published in The Conversation was subsequently reproduced on the front page of The Mast, one of the country’s most prominent independent publications. In the piece, Nic discusses the democratic backsliding that has occurred under President Edgar Lungu, including the arrest of opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema on charges of treason.

The piece appears to have struck a nerve, as the ruling party, the Patriotic Front, quickly issued a response that attacked “so called” Professor Cheeseman’s credentials, conveniently omitting the fact that he wrote his PhD on Zambia and has published a number of pieces on the country in peer reviewed journals. Also missing from the claim that Professor Cheeseman’s remarks reflected a lack of knowledge of the country and its politics was any reference to the fact that he had discussed these very issues with the late Michael Sata – former PF leader and president of Zambia – after inviting him to speak at Oxford University.

For the original article, click here.

For the PF’s denunciation, click here.

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