Privatisation and its impact on human rights : a case study of the Zambian privatisation programme, 1991-2001.
Kongwa, Susan Lungowe.
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The study also provides an overview of the impact of privatisation on human rights. To accomplish this objective, case studies of Zambia were undertaken within the concept of the social and economic impacts, seeking to answer six basic research questions posed: What were the objectives of the Zambian privatization programme? Was the privatization process executed according to the provisions of the Zambian Privatization Act of 1992 and 1996? How is the outcome of the privatization process perceived by Zambians, success or failure, what are some of the social and economic consequences of privatisation programme? What are the human rights implications of the privatization programme undertaken in Zambia? Mainly qualitative data collecting methods, involving semi-structured interviews, document analyses and direct observations of activities of the privatised companies were employed, to answer these questions. The study examines Zambia's background to privatisation, posits implications of privatisation on the realization of human rights, looks at the case study of privatisation of the ZCCM and the outcomes of privatisation. The study has been influenced by a number of conflicting divestiture evaluation outcomes: for some the Zambian privatization process represents a model programme, the 'most successful in Africa', which serves as an example for other developing African countries to emulate whilst for others, it is a "deeply flawed experience", resulting in negative social and economic consequences which permitted the withdrawal of the provision of social services, massive human rights violations and job losses. Based on evidence from these outcomes, the principal findings from the study suggest that Zambia's privatisation programme has had both negative and positive results. In reviewing the outcomes of the privatisation process, the intent is neither to justify nor reject privatisation, but rather, on the basis of past experience, to highlight key elements of outright failures and success and provide recommendations for future use.