Shocking news…Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa passed away at age 59 in a hospital in France. From the little I know about him, Mwanawasa was a pan-Africanist, who even by the social limitations placed against him, attempted to stand up to various western powers, as well as other African corrupt minds. This is not to say he was not corrupt himself. However, there were attempts by him to be more unifying of Africans as he headed/chaired the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
What is most shocking and more relevant to this blog is that Mwanawasa was one of the few presidents who stood firm in favor of refugees from the Great Lakes region, and refused to comply with the forced repatriation attempted by the countries in the Great Lakes region through the UNHCR. He allowed refugees to remain in his country, despite various obstacles that were placed against them, but they could remain and attempt to rehabilitate their lives nonetheless.
Readers and refugees beware! With Mwanawasa’s passing, dark days may rest ahead for the refugees. It’s possible the immigration situation within the country will get progressively worse as in more aggressive and hostile for the refugees, and forced repatriation may be enforced. Rather, refugees may be simply forced out of the country, due to the already existing xenophobia within Zambia. Aslo, unrealistic living conditions may be imposed on refugees forcing them to flee once again, in search of better lives.
It is a very unfortunate occurrence, and a great loss for many. May he rest in peace.