Nice obit

Michael Sata, who has died aged 77, was a populist president of Zambia who denounced China’s role in Africa and promised to stop his country from being a “dumping ground for their human beings”.

Prickly, irascible, intolerant and notably inept at the business of administration, Sata had to wait until he was 74 before winning the presidency on his fourth attempt.

Notably inept at administration being just what an abjectly poor country needs of course.

12 thoughts on “Nice obit”

  1. A little story from the Kuanda era (One Zambia; One Nation, China is our Best Friend):

    KK was up for Re – election. To help those who couldn’t read, the candidates were represented on the ballot paper by animals, KK by an eagle; opponent by a baboon. Our house boy (I’m sorry for the title, I really am) went off to vote. He decided to vote for the baboon ( don’t ask me). When the police checking ballot papers saw this they gave him a kicking and ripped the paper up. The UN observer, an Austria gentleman who had a wartime record so to speak and later became UN Secretary General, declared the election free and fair and subsequently gained Zambia’s vote in his own election.
    Happy days.

  2. So Much for Subtlety

    Notably inept at administration being just what an abjectly poor country needs of course.

    It hasn’t worked that well for the US or the UK either.

    But hey, at least we are not responsible any more, right? Better thousands of Africans die early due to African incompetence than one African suffers at White hands.

  3. I can’t offhand think of a government on any continent which is noticeably ept. If Sata was noticeably inept, then his efforts to interfere with the lives of the Nation’s citizens probably came to nought and his interference minimised.

  4. @Lohse: Switzerland?

    It keeps the bins empty, the roads clear, the hospitals running, the taxes moderate, and otherwise keeps out of sight.

  5. LiG:
    It does all those things in a useless bungling manner at exorbitant cost–extracted under threat of violence. And as for keeping out of sight–trying having a ciggie in a UK pub and see how out of fucking sight they are.

  6. “an angler was prosecuted for taking too long to land a pike”: I like the sound of that. Tell us more.

  7. I’m deeply confused at the idea of not being an anarchist, or at least from the wilder fringes of libertarianism making one a leftist.

    I’m sure most things most governments do are done pretty inefficiently, and that most governments make plenty of daft laws. Like all of life, having a government is a trade off – they will do things you don’t like and they will do most things relatively (or even grossly) inefficiently, which is why it’s a good idea to restrict the core functions of government to things that wouldn’t otherwise get done. If you really don’t like any kind of government and would prefer to assert your liberty and property rights by means of a private army (rather than by giving up some of it to not have to bother with defending the rest of it), there are places like Somalia to go and live in. Personally I’d say Switzerland offers a better trade-off than most free and wealthy countries, even if their speed limits are too low, speeding fines draconian, and enforced with absolute zero-tolerance.

    If this, rather classically liberal position, is considered leftist from the anarcholibertarian fringe, so be it.

  8. dearieme: Here‘s the story.

    “The day ended with the monster fish being devoured by Giger and his friends at a local restaurant, but just a few months later Giger would face, on the instructions of the state prosecutor for the canton of Zurich, criminal prosecution for causing excessive suffering to the animal after boasting to a local newspaper that he had spent around 10 minutes, and exerted considerable physical effort, landing the fish.”

  9. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in Germany – “I note the accused was found not guilty.”

    I quote Mark Steyn – the process is the punishment

  10. In Switzerland it really isn’t. This isn’t the USA we are talking about. You don’t get remanded for 6 years with a gang of 250lb prison gays and anyone well-off enough to be made to pay their own defense costs probably has legal insurance.

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