*WE NEED CHINESE INVESTORS NOT INFESTERS*
I may be a politician, but the situation I have brought forward is not political. It’s just what’s happening.
I have no problem with Chinese people coming to Zambia as investors in whichever sector they want. I have no problem with Chinese people acquiring jobs here in Zambia and staying in Zambia as long as they want. However, the problem comes in when they start exploiting the good hospitality rendered unto them. When they start mistaking our love for peace for being stranded and dumb. When they start mistaking our readiness to intergrate them into our society for stupidity. When they start undermining our government offices and officials by breaking the laws of our land in terms of corruption and abuse of labour laws with impunity, without fear or respect with intent and at will.
There are about two thousand Corporate Chinese companies in Africa and five hundred of them are in Zambia. At the moment there are about ninety thousand Chinese in Zambia and the number keeps on increasing. The thing is their country is filled up and before they find means and a suitable planet to expand to, they are first expanding to Zambia. So these people are here and here to stay.
The rate at which they are acquiring both commercial and residential land in our country is alarming. If they continue with the same trend, ten years from now there will be no more land for a Zambian to buy. Them acquiring land may not even be the problem. The biggest problem is the means they use to acquire the same pieces of land. These people are willing and ready to use whatever means out there to get any piece of land they want. They don’t care whether it’s state owned or owned by an indigenous Zambian because they know that with the huge sums of money they bribe government officers with, they can acquire them at any time. We have seen situations where there are disputed claims of ownership by a Chinese and a Zambian, and the Chinese emerges victorious when the case is settled. When our country has been trying so hard to fight corruption, these Chinese people are at the fore front of instigating it.
The other thing is their conditions of service for Zambian employees. Zambians have always been complaining of 1. Low wages despite long hours of work 2. Their lack of respect towards them, regardless of being reported to authorities, they are almost always favoured because the government doesn’t want to injure the relationship between the two countries, and with the formation of the Zambia Chinese Association, am foreseeing a situation where non of these culprits will be brought to book. So we are just suppposed to brace ourselves for harder times. Zambians will continue to suffer from abusive employment conditions that fail to meet domestic and international standards and fall short of practices among the copper mining industry elsewhere in Zambia, poor health and safety standards, including poor ventilation that can lead to serious lung diseases, hours of work in excess of Zambian law, the failure to replace workers’ personal protective equipment that is damaged while at work, and the threat of being fired should workers refuse to work in unsafe places, Injuries and negative health consequences, although many incidents are not reported to the government, contrary to Zambian and international labor law. The troubling situation stems largely from the attitude of Chinese-owned and run companies in Zambia, which have tended to treat safety and health measures as trivial.
Another thing is that they bring in the lowest grade and substandad products but at the same time killing business for the locals by selling them at cheap prices. For example in Kitwe Racecourse, local Zambians rear chickens which take a month atleast for them to be ready for selling, and sell them at least at K45 each. But the Chinese rear Chickens which grow in only 2 weeks and they sell them at K35 each. They even sell eggs whos outer shell never hardens. These products are substandard, full of chemicals which has got a lot of serious health implications like cancer. No one even pays attention to this kind of inhumane evil. I am sure their country back home cannot allow them to sell such kinds of products.
Another aspect is they are taking over every aspect of business. In the mines, most of the Chinese companies are state owned, which means they have all the operational resources they need, there by disadvantaging other firms. Maybe thats okay, but outside the mines and on a smaller scale, now we even have Chinese doing car washing, selling chickens, selling phones as street vendors and are going as far as selling maize.
My fellow afflicted country men and women, labour and regulation policies are too lenient on these Chinese infesters. We need organized and united efforts to counter this scourge because they say “justice will never be served untill those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.
Spread the word and let everyone know the bad state in which we are, probably its going to reach relevant authorities which may take action.
RAINBOW PARTY COPPEEBELT PROVINCE YOUTH VICE IPS