Ex-Chiluba aide's murder raises questions

CAPE TOWN, JULY 6. The killing of Mr. Paul Tembo, former campaign manager of the Zambian President, Mr. Frederick Chiluba, who had recently made a break with the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy, is likely to cast a cloud on the coming summit of African Heads of State and Government - the last Organisation of African Unity summit and the first one of the African Union which has replaced the OAU - due to be held in Lusaka next week.

According to an SABC radio newscast, Mr. Tembo was killed at his home in a pre-dawn attack this morning by unidentified attackers who shot him in the head, with his wife being forced to watch the killing.

Mr. Tembo, who had recently joined the newly floated opposition party, Forum for Democracy and Development, was due to give evidence later today before a tribunal inquiring into allegations of corruption against three Ministers, including the Finance Minister, Mr. Katele Kalumba, a supporter of Mr. Chiluba.

Among the allegations the tribunal is looking into is that $700,000 were diverted from funds meant for road repairs to finance the MMD's Congress in April this year. Other allegations of corruption that have recently made news are that $8.4 millions from the government's sale to a Libyan company of 50 villas built for the OAU/AU summit has been found missing; and that the Government has incurred a loss of over $17 millions because of illegal off-loading of fuel meant for Zambia in Zimbabwe and other countries.

Mr. Tembo, who was a deputy minister of finance and deputy national secretary of the MMD, fell out with Mr. Chiluba in May. The break was unexpected for he was among the staunchest followers of Mr. Chiluba. During the extended meeting of the National Executive Committee of the MMD in March this year, at which the central issue was Mr. Chiluba's controversial attempt to secure a third five-year term as President by amending the party's constitution, Mr. Tembo was among the most vocal of the so-called third-termers.

In the event, though the NEC and later the MMD Congress endorsed a third term and the MMD duly amended its constitution, the party itself was deeply split over the issue, with 21 senior members, including the country's Vice-President, Mr. Christon Tembo, and eight ministers, being expelled from the party. The expelled members formed the Forum for Democracy and Development which Mr. Paul Tembo joined in May. Mr. Chiluba has since said, apparently under pressure from some of his colleagues in the Southern African Development Community, including the South African President, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, that he has no intention of seeking another term, though not very categorically or convincingly.

Presidential and parliamentary elections are due to be held before the end of this year, the last elections having been held on held on November 18, 1996.