How come any Zambian government official who goes to China will not return without profusely thanking China for constructing a rail line in Zambia?
We have heard this gratitude over and over again. In fact, the Chinese themselves make it a point to make sure that the beggars from Zambia are reminded every time they show up that side.
President Michael and Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda who were recently in China took turns to thank China and Chairman Mao for the Tazara.
Kenneth Kaunda who procured the loan without consulting us did the same. We are not sure about Fredrick Chiluba. Probably Chiluba saw the economic conmen for who they. Levy Mwanawasa was also full of gratitude.
At least Rupiah Banda managed to negotiate for the reduction of 50 per cent of the debt we owe due to Kaunda’s reckless politics of appeasing foreigners.
It looks like we shall forever remain enslaved to the Chinese for that 1975 loan. We are not even told clearly how much the loan is. Sometimes we hear the loan was US$500 million when it was given in 1975. Sometimes we are told it was $150m. But of course whatever the amount was, most of this money went to pay China foremen. Zambians were labourers then as they are now in Chinese companies.
The rail line itself was constructed by China meaning the money was paid to the Chinese in essence. All we got was a rail line that was used to ferry our copper to China. And for that we should be thankful forever from generation to generation.
Why should we only be thankful to China in perpetuity when other countries have helped us? Japan built us Massmedia complex which the PF is using for propaganda but do we hear them demand appreciation?
What about the schools and roads and other infrastructure like dams which the Western countries built for us through the World Bank?
Didn’t the Western countries write off the $7 billion which Zambia owed them under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries programme?
So who is our friend and who is our exploiter under the guise of friendship?
How come China only became our friend in 1975 when it was safe for them to do business with Africans?
And why did China really build TAZARA if not to move copper from Zambia to China?
Please pay the bloody loan and save us from the shackles of these people.
US$500 million is not enough to get our country colonised by people pretending to be our friends when they are just after our resources.
Let them cancel that debt if they are our real friends. If other can cancel $7 billion, what is US$500 million for a country which claims to be the second biggest economy in the world?