According to the constitution of August 2, 1991 (last amended in 2016), Zambia is a presidential republic with a multi-party system within the Commonwealth. The President, who is directly elected for a period of 5 years (re-election possible), is the head of state, the chief executive officer (head of government) and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He appoints the members of his cabinet and the vice-president, who takes over the presidency in the event of a vacancy. The legislature lies with the National Assembly (156 members elected for 5 years; also 8 members appointed by the President and 3 members by office). In addition, there has been an advisory chamber for tribal chiefs (House of Chiefs; 50 members) since 2003.
The national flag was hoisted for the first time on Independence Day, October 24, 1964. The green cloth bears a floating osprey in the upper corner of the flying end, under which the colors of the independence movement are incorporated into the flag with three vertical stripes in red, black and orange. Green symbolizes the forests, which take up most of the land area, red the struggle for freedom, black the population. Orange is the color of copper, which forms an important economic basis for the country. The osprey stands for the will to be free.
The coat of arms was established on February 19, 1965. On a black sign it shows six white, vertical wavy lines (“wave piles”), the symbolic representation of the Victoria Falls of the Zambezi. A hoe and pick lie crossed on the shield, and an osprey hovers overhead. A man (heraldic right) and a woman in traditional costume act as shield holders. You are standing with the shield on a green background on which a corn cob is depicted in the center, a mine winding tower on the right and a zebra on the left. The tape at the foot of the overall representation bears the motto “One Zambia, One Nation” (“One Zambia, One Nation”).
The coat of arms of Zambia shows a black shield with white wavy lines as a symbol for the Victoria Falls of the Zambezi.
The national holiday on October 24th commemorates independence in 1964.
After the introduction of the multiparty system in 1991, numerous new parties emerged alongside the United National Independence Party (abbreviation UNIP; German United National Independence Party, founded in 1959; unity party until 1990), one of which was the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (abbreviation MMD; German movement for multi-party democracy, founded in 1991), the Patriotic Front (abbreviation PF; German Patriotic Front, founded 2001), the United Party for National Development (abbreviation UPND; German United Party for National Development, founded 1998) and the Forum for Democracy and Development (abbreviation FDD; German Forum for Democracy and Development, founded in 2001) have the greatest influence.
26 member unions are active under the umbrella organization Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).
The total strength of the armed forces is 15,100, that of the paramilitary forces (mobile police force) 700 men. The army, comprising 13,500 soldiers, is divided into three infantry brigades as well as a tank, artillery and engineer regiment; the air force has 1,600 men.
As a country beginning with Z according to Countryaah, Zambia is administratively divided into 10 provinces and then into 72 districts.
The state judicial structure consists of the Supreme Court as the highest instance and the High Court and the Magistrates’ Courts as subordinate instances. There is also an Industrial Relations Court that specializes in labor law. The jurisprudence is based on English common law and national laws. In addition, there is a case law based on customary law of traditional local courts (Local Courts). In practice, for minor matters, the traditional dispute decision-making bodies are much more important than the state courts.
The British school system is divided into a two-tier primary section consisting of pre-school and seven-year primary school and a two-tier secondary section. There is general compulsory schooling from 7 to 14 years of age, school attendance is free; however, only around 66% of the children in a given year go to seven-year elementary school. The language of instruction is English. In addition to the University of Zambia (founded in 1965) in Lusaka, there is the Copperbelt University (independent university status since 1987) in Kitwe.
Intimidation towards journalists, legal restrictions and state abuse hinder reporting. Most of the media with the greatest reach are state-owned.
Press: The largest daily newspapers are “The Post” (private) and the government-owned “The Times of Zambia” (Ndola) and “Zambia Daily Mail” (Lusaka), each with Sunday editions. “Monitor” (private) and “National Mirror” (Christian) appear twice a week.
State news agency: Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS, state).
Broadcasting: The public Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) broadcasts three radio programs in English and seven local languages, as well as one television program in English. There are also some private and church radio stations. Non-governmental TV channels include: “Muvi TV”, “Casat Television” (Pay TV) and “TBN Zambia” of the Christian American Trinity Broadcasting Network.