A South African organisation that was supposed to help with infrastructure development in Zambia has withdrawn from coming into the country following remarks by Vice-President Guy Scott that the country is backward. Paragon Architects director Henning Rasmuss, who was invited to Zambia to meet Vice-President Scott and other government officials, was expected in the country this month to discuss infrastructure development and financing of modern markets considered to assist vendors.
Rasmuss was also organising workshops for district commissioners for infrastructure development. He said in a message to the Refugee Help Desk, a Zambian organisation based in South Africa that was facilitating his visit, that his company would not carry out its infrastructure development plans in Zambia after the remarks by Vice-President Scott. “We have been going ahead with the planning of the workshop in Zambia. However given the ill-timed comments of the Vice-President of Zambia Dr Guy Scott, it would be a complete waste of time to come to Zambia under these conditions and until the political storm has died down,” Rasmuss said. “We can certainly not promote South African development solutions. Politicians always play their own games but this storm will pass.”
And Rhoda Nsama, who is the ambassador for the Refugee Help Desk and an associate member of Amnesty International which is helping 20, 000 Zambians living in that country as asylum seekers said Vice-President Scott’s remarks had derailed the good relationship between Zambia and South Africa. “The remarks by the Vice-President have really derailed the good relations that the two countries have enjoyed for a long time.
Economically we know that the powerhouse of the Southern African economy right now is South Africa. So if he had a problem with the country, he should have dealt with it at a diplomatic level,” said Nsama who received the message from Rasmuss. “If you look at the message that Mr Rasmuss sent, it’s almost like they are questioning the position of the Vice-President. It does not augur well. He has raised a lot of doubts on the relationship between Zambia and South Africa.” The UK Guardian reported that Vice-President Scott said South Africans were backward and that the country was the cause of the much trouble on the African continent.