The observation and monitoring of elections and referenda has become a ‘growth business’ in Africa since external and internal pressures have forced the leaders of one-party states to test their political legitimacy. The closely monitored 1991 presidential and parliamentary elections in Zambia heralded the first peaceful transition from a single to a multi-party system of governance with a change of leadership in English-speaking Africa. It marked the beginning of an era of confidence in the possibilities of democratic change, and confirmed the positive influence that international observers can have on such processes. Their presence was henceforth considered an essential pre-condition for acceptable transitional multi-party elections. The hopes that Zambia would indeed ‘set a standard for Africa’, and offer encouragement to nascent democratic movements on the continent have, however, remained elusive. More recent elections have been replete with controversy, intimidations, and violence. Despite being certified to varying degrees as free and fair by observers, the losers have contested the results—in Angola with arms, in Kenya and Ghana with threatened and actual boycotts.