By Dr. Nevers Mumba
President – New Hope MMD
I approach this subject in my three capacities. As a DIPLOMAT, as Former VICE PRESIDENT and as a PASTOR.
China has been a partner of Zambia since independence. As a young man growing up in Chinsali, we grew up with Chinese people as they built TAZAMA 1,700 pipeline from Dares Salaam to Ndola. (52 years ago)
They later built TAZARA from Dare-salaam to Kapiri Mposhi. They intermarried.
1. Relations should be based on Mutual benefit to both peoples.(Diplomat)
2. Must be based on equality as all men are created equal and justice must be for all.(Pastor)
3. Leaders must listen to the governed as they lead them.(VP)
Zambia / China policy must change now. Government is implicating the Chinese population in Zambia. When Zambians are attacked in China. The Zambian Government is mute. When a Chinese calls a Zambian a foreigner in his own country, the Govt is mute. When a Chinese ill treats a Zambian, the Govt is mute. When a Chinese kills a Zambian, the Govt is mute, but when a Zambian challenges a Chinese for ill treating Zambians, he is made to apologize.
In Public Policy this picture is lethal against a sitting Govt. It shows that the decision makers in such a government are eating off the hands of the Chinese. This perception must change now. The behavior of the PF government not only angers Zambians but puts the lives of Chinese in Danger. Once Zambians feel that their government is standing with foreigners and not them, they are tempted to take the law in their own hands.
Mr President, from a Public Policy point of view. The Zambians have concluded, rightly or wrongly that your government has been financially compromised by the Chinese concerned and in the process you have surrendered the entire Zambian population to Chinese domination. The statements from the ministers of Labor and local government have cemented this unfortunate position.
Last year, a Chinese national called Kenyans monkeys and within hours, the Presidency directed that the Chinese be deported within hours.
Having served as Pastor for 41 years, as a Diplomat and Vice President, I wish to propose as follows:
1. That the government immediately deports the Chinese national who used racist remarks against a Zambian.
2. That the government interrogates, in a public manner those Chinese accused of oppressing and abusing Zambians in places of work and thereafter take decisive steps to protect Zambians from further abuse.
3. Remove all notices written in Chinese from all public places and replace them with English.
4. Call for an emergency bilateral meeting with China through their embassy to discuss matters that could injure the future relations between our two countries. We must demand for mutual respect and equitable reciprocity.
5. Insist that only Chinese with needed professional qualifications be allowed to work in Zambia.
I call on all Zambians to send a strong message to the Government that our policy must be Zambians First.