By Chishimba Kambwili
Today President Edgar Lungu lined up a number of Chinese and AVIC Supervisors in a supposed meeting with local Zambian contractors on the Copperbelt. A video was made and posted on the PF Facebook Page Smart Eagles.
It was a stage managed public relations act trying to portray an image of Lungu as tough on the Chinese when he’s not, seated next to him was Stephen Kampyongo, AVIC’s champion and enforcer.
President Lungu now seems to understand that Zambians are very resentful and dislike the cozy relationship he has had with the Chinese and AVIC in particular for 5 years. He’s worried about his dwindling political fortunes on the Copperbelt but it’s way too late now. The people of the Copperbelt have moved on from PF.
Why did it take Lungu 5 years to know that AVIC was not complying to the rule of giving 20% of contractual work to locals?
Where has he been when Zambian youth and contractors have pleaded with him to bring AVIC under control?
The biggest issue in that supposed meeting
was the lack of Zambian contractors on the construction of thousands of Zambia Police housing units. Seated next to Lungu was Kampyongo.
Why didn’t Lungu castigate Kampyongo right there and then?
After all Kampyongo boasted in a phone conversation with NDC President Dr Chishimba Kambwili that he would have him arrested and thrown in prison for interfering in his AVIC police housing projects, remember that?
Where was Lungu when hundreds of AVIC workers in Luanshya were crying out for government intervention due to poor working conditions?
Infact the PF government arrested those AVIC employees and Dr Chishimba Kambwili and charged them for unlawful assembly.
It was also interesting that President Lungu castigated an AVIC supervisor for saying that ‘we have the president in our pocket’.
The Chinese man is right, he knows what he has given them, they just want to censor him now not to say that again.
The meeting between President Lungu and AVIC today therefore was just a stage managed act out of political desperation. Behind closed doors PF and AVIC are one and the same, they are married and tied together.
The loss in the Roan by election has woken up the President, he now understands that the Zambian people can’t be taken for granted. But Zambians want more than words, they need concrete action to whip the Chinese into line.