The Chinese managers of Zambia’s Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) agreed on Thursday to reinstate 500 workers who had been sacked, their union said.

“They have assured us that everybody will get back to work and we hope normal operations will resume on Monday,” National Union of Mining and Allied Workers (Numaw) general secretary Albert Mando told Reuters.

“We will then start our salary negotiations again.”

CCS employees went on strike and rioted on Tuesday over pay and work conditions, injuring a Chinese manager and a Zambian.

The incident highlighted tensions between Zambian workers and Chinese managers in the mining industry.

Chambishi Copper Smelter is the first of 50 Chinese companies that plan to invest over $800 million in a tax free zone in Zambia within the next five years, Zambian officials said.

The growing presence of Chinese firms in Zambia has prompted an anti-Chinese backlash in some parts of the country, with the main opposition party accusing Mwanawasa of allowing the Asian newcomers to exploit workers.

Earlier , the Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) asked Chambishi Copper Smelter to reconsider its decision to fire 500 workers, for riotus behaviour.

The FFTUZ also appealed to government to immediately intervene in the matter.

FFTUZ National Executive Secretary, Lyson Mando, said in a statement to ZNBC news that government should help the two parties, resolve the matter amicably.

Mr. Mando also called for the release of seven workers detained by police, in connection with the riot at Chambeshi Smelter – Tuesday.

He said there is an urgent need for the union and management at the smelter to resume negotiations to resolve a number of concerns raised by the workers.

However, Mr. Mando has warned that his union will not condone unruly behavior from its members.

On Tuesday, Zambian workers at Chambeshi Smelter fought with their Chinese colleagues, in an incident sparked by demands for better conditions of service

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56 COMMENTS

  1. why even ask to reconsider them,stupid zambian you should have instructed the chinese to get the zambian back to work or else pack and go.Hope their salary negotiation wont be for centuries or that it wont be a mockery increament.
    Why should also babuju detain the miners when everything was done for a noble cause.Problem ba buju bakaona muzungu,ni yes bwana.

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  2. We have moved a step further. This is good news. It’s also gratifying to know that negotiations for better salaries will continue.
    Though I don’t support civil disobedience, it seems to have worked in this case. Our people need work and reasonable pay must be awarded for their labour.

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  3. The Union Leaders should still be fired for misleading other workers, Zambian should found out how much Sata an pays his staff at PF-P Offices. How much does he pay his servants at home.
    As Zambians we should not follow blindly, Lets start to reason.

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  4. It is sad that the workers are being reinstated. They behaved badly and need to be punished for doing so. We need law and order in Zambia. I was hoping they would be fired forever to make an example of them. I agree with asking Sata to declare what he pays his workers. Sata has beeen soley responsible for the shallow and silly racism against the Chinise in Zambia. Any way what do you expect from a primary school dropout. Show me a country which is developed as is run by a primary school drop out. The examples we have of his likes running a country is Idi Amin and the collapse of Uganda.

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  5. I think it is time we Zambians started addressing the issue of violence. There was no need for the workers to behave as they did. They should have just withdrawn their labour as the only lawful cause of action. Destroying property is not acceptable. They may think that it is alright to damage Chinese property, but this is infrastructure which will be left behind in other hands should the Chinese owners decide to leave. There is too much racism against Indians and Chinese. If we do not like these people why do we work for them? They may be bad employers but they do not force anyone to work for them.

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  6. In our country, violence has become the norm. Politicians pay thugs to beat up their rivals, workers beat up their employers, school children damage their own schools and University students riot as a matter of routine. Where will it all end? It is time to adopt smarter ways of forcing change.

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  7. I think we should learn to respect the investors that we have, coz we have been told stories that investors from europe, germany and america etc. are coming but nothing has happened so far, hence these guys from china heard our call and they have responded accordingly, in bemba they say `akanani katu kali panbale` so these are the only guys we have on our plate so let us just accept this fact and live with it.

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  8. The problem wiv zambians is that they think they too smart. Zambia is poor a job is a job and is better than nothing. may be these workers want to go and be farmers in the villages. one need to think sensibaly…………. even in China there are people working for next to nothing salaries. but atleast it keeps them goin. these workers shud have been fired and not to be reinstated!!!!

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  9. I agree with Zambian says. These workers should have been fired. They are lazy and do not want to work. They are not happy that they have jobs. It is primitive to behave the way they behaved.

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  10. hmmm. no wonder slavery will never end? it is a pity that individuals like cheese and zambian have no consideration for a “decent wage.” These are hard working family men with children to feed.

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  11. There are too many Zambians without human souls – mmd leaders, chinese, Cheese and so called Zambian. We must place human dignity above everything else. There cannot be social justice in abusing fellow citizens by paying slave wages when we all know mineral and commodity prices have not been this high in the history of the world. Grow up fellows.

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  12. This is some how unconditioned and un reason, we need great trade unions who are supportive to the workers. You crazy people you will see when one in three to come will enter in the office Zimbabwe will be better by now

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  13. I have to agree with Zambian and Cheese. These workers should have been made examples of. This is what you get when you listen to dull, stupid uneducated politicians like Michael Sata. We need educated leaders to run this country and LPM has shown what an educated leader is capable of doing. The economy is growing at 5.6%. The kwacha is one of the best performing currencies in Africa. You saw for yourselves when KK came into power, he chased the white men (the people who where giving the jobs to the Africans) and the people started to starve. We now need to fix the scars KK left behind by voting for leaders who at least hold a Bachelors degree.

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  14. I have a question for “MOB JUSTICE, JOSEPH SHISHI AND ZAMBIA PATSOGOLO”. Since you guys complain so much about fare wages, how much do you guys pay your maids or Gardeners??? Whatever it is im sure its lower than what these “Chinese” investors pay there workers. An educated teacher who works at a gov’t school gets at most K250,000-K350,000. A worker who has no education and works for the chinese gets at most K450,000-K500,000. Who is better off there. If you chase the chinese like you did the white men do you honestly think this country will develop. Think things through unless you are going to give these people jobs.

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  15. LT pliz give us accurate & confirmed stories.The papers(Times of Zambia) r saying only 100 have been reinstated.
    Whatever the case let us learn to follow the law wen we r aggrieved or else we may lose out due to blind loyalty.

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  16. #s 3,4,5, and 14 hae raised serious issues. While I do not agree with some of the language used to express their points, I personally feel that Sata must declare how much he pays his workers and what conditions of service he provides for them.

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  17. Ba cheese na ba so called Zambian you pipo are blind and unwise you think education is everything look at your friend mugabe with 7 degrees how he has messed up Zimbabwe. wake up

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  18. #1,10&11 should realise that at one time Chambishi Mine was non-functional and the Chinese picked up the pieces of what remained of it and built what you see today. Don’t argue because i was there when one of the former VeePEEs officially opened it. On that material day, the Chinese never forced people to join the mine as workers. They simply advertised and voluntarily, people joined the work force. Likewise, if those workers feel they are now being enslaved and are not happy, they are free to resign and leave the Chinese to their fate. How about that?

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  19. #14 honestly you have to be realistic. we all want to live normal lives by enjoying good food, health, social, good education for our children i mean taking them to better schools. Surely if you are paid K450,000 what can you do with this amount of money. If you do not a house of your own, rent is on your head to think of. Ba Northern Rhodesian why do teachers go on strike every now and then is it not bcoz of the salaries that they get?. I for one would even be happy to hear that all the miners are back at work and their salaries are increased to atleast about K1.5 take home. Kulila amasuku pamutwe. Its not fair.

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  20. WHAT WE ZAMBIAN NEED ARE TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT SKILLS IN DEVELOPING OUR COUNTRY, AND THOSE CHINESE INVESTORS BRING IN NOT ONLY THE CAPITAL BUT ALSO ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, WE SHOULD LEARNE FROM THEM AND USE THESE TECHNOLOGY TO SET UP MORE INDUSTRIES TO MEET PEOPLE’S NEED INSTED OF USING LARGE FOREIGN CURRENCY TO IMPORT THE GOODS WHICH ARE EASY TO MAKE DOMESTICALLY.
    BE POLITE TO THOESE CHINESE INVESTORS, MY DEAR FELLOWMAN, DO U KNOW THAT CHINESE GOVERMENT HELPED US TO BUILD RAILWAY,ROAD,BUILDINGS AND ALSO SEND MEDICAL TEAMS TO AFRICAN COUTRIES MOSTLY WITHOUT CHARGE. WHY WE TREATED THEM IN THIS WAY, CHINESE PEOPLE ARE VERY GOOD, KIND AND HARDWORKING, IF YOU GUYS HAVE CHANCE

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  21. You inteligent and industrious Zambians abroad come and invest your money home. why are you blaming the chineese for what they are doing when you can come and invest here. Ifyou wait for foreigners to do what you can do that is the result.

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  22. TO VISIT CHINA, TO SHANGHAI, BEIJING, GUANGZHOU AND OTHER CITIES, WE WILL SEE WHAT CHINESE GUYS LIKE AND WHAT CHINA LIKE. WHEN I WAS IN CHINA, I WAS RESPECTED BY CHINESE PEOPLE THOUGH CHINA IS A DEVELOPED COUNTRY. MOST CHINESE PEOPLE DON’T SPEAK GOOD ENGLISH AND IT MAY CAUSE MISUNDERSTANDING AND STRONG CULTURE SHOCK, BUT IF WE TRY TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM, YOU WILL FEEL THEY ARE GOOD PEOPLE NOT LIKE THE WHITE.
    I BELIEVE THAT OUR MOTHERLAND WILL BE THE RICHEST AND MOST DEVELOPED COUNTRY IN AFRICA BECAUSE WE HAVE SMALL POPULATION BUT LARGE LAND, WE HAVE RESOURCES IN ABUNDANCE AND SMART PEOPLE IF WE MAKE GOOD USE OF THESE STRONGPOINT,SO LET LEARN FROM THESE INVESTORS AND TREAT THEM AS

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  23. OUR TEACHER, LET THEM TEACH US HOW TO PLANT LAND, MANUFACTURE GOODS, BUILD HIGHWAYS. CHINESE ARE DESERVED TO BE RESPECTED.

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  24. a chainese is not a muzungu even if were we don’t hav to papatela them in our own country, ZED IS FOR ZEDIANS AND ONE ONE ELSE NOT EVEN A CHAINA MAN if aposa let him go back why should they be allowed to make orders on who to arrest and buju agrees to that nonsense

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  25. #13 you are just too narrow minded, instead of supporting the chambeshi workers you are supporting the chinese, i wonder if your father was working for chambeshi and getting ameagre salary what you would have said. You foolish chap remember that those workers have children to who must go to school and need to feed

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  26. #26 you have a mind of a cadre. Dont support blindly. Tell me, how much were the workers paid after the riot? ZERO! Instead they risked losing their only source of livelihood. Let us all condemn violence where it rears its ugly head.

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  27. It’s hightime every Zambian lived a decent life. There is no way a member of the royal family will be allowed to live on grumbs, Why? God has blessed us with everything and we deserved a right share from would be investors. Gone are days when everything was yes boss. There is also NO when its not right. So, Chmbishi saga is just a light of what others are suffering. Check of security firms it is horrible to hear that some have not received their increaments for past 7yrs. Butv they have built a tree at work and screen your face to get underneath the tree shodow for fruits. So guys viva for change.

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  28. Imagin if all the investors drove back home, how we live a decent life?if the chambeshi factory closed, more than 500 workers would lead dog’s life. to be realistic guy. I support workers to ask for their right, but not use voilence

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  29. its heart warming to note that most of the comments on this thread highlight condemnation of the savage behaviour exhibited by these workers.they should consider themselves lucky to win a repreive.whilst we all sympathize with their plight…beating up your employer is not a solution.i once again blame the union leadership and i doubt their competency in the modern environment to represent their members.Even unionists must keep pace with advancements in labour relation mgt.

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  30. 30#, U R NOT REAL BIZMAN, COZ FROM UR WORDS, YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT INVESTMENT,IF YOU HAVE CAPACITY OF DOING SUCH BIZ, YOU WOULD NOT WILLING TO SEE UR WORKER LIKE THEM, JUST CLOSE UR MOUTH,U CAN DO NOTHING, JUST SPEAKING

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  31. Let’s see how you will solve this one mates! For those fools that would side a china man before his own country, MAN! I’d say wake up! Chinese do not respect you and will never respect your children childrens children, fact is Zambian biggy’s must see to it that the Zambian peoples priority comes before any foreigners, cuz that’s how it is outside Zambia, If not in Zed where else would we enjoy life! Look at black african “kwere kweres” (foreigners) in South Afica being insulted by fellow black men and cheated of their earnings do we need that in our own country? Like in S. Africa a firm in the EU would never dismiss its workers in their own country over some sleazy foreigners. NO BWANA!!!!!

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  32. Guys,lets face the facts.
    Rioting was and is an evil.Thats true.I have been in China for 7 yrs now and i know .Their is no investor who ever mistreats a Chinese.Investors follow the laws or they might face consiquences.Chinese are good followers of the laws as well.How a common chinese treats a black skinned individual and why he is black is really disgusting but all in all,they treat us much better than the whites do.Sometimes we are called “HEI GUI”.Meaning black Ghosts.Anyway,they would call a white as a foreigner and a black as a BLACKMAN.Africa as a continent is named FEIZHOU.Evil,dark,useless continent.Thats what even is written on the MAP.Any questions?

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  33. globe trotter#34,even if the “infestors” were black the workers had no right to behave the way they did.read the submissions again comrade….most contributors condemn the poor working conditions and wages but the majority, and rightly so,condemn the savage manner in which the workers presented their grievances!!

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  34. Debate on issues that you are so clear of and not on an individual basis.I pray that the name feizhou changes on a chinese map.Its disgusting.Chinese are friendly,Zambians are friendly too.but lets respect humanity.Ulemu nikusinthana.U respect me,i respect you too.How much food can you buy from a 240pin?EVen a 900pin is not enough.If the gov can stand up to say Mines make alot,who are we to say ma Zambians ba pusa.A chinese man will fight you even when he doesnt know the reason you foighting with another Chinese.Chinese are peace loving and they support each other.Y not u and i?

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  35. 35#?I am a Zambian and have been living in Shanghai for many years, I am working for a local Chinese company and get paid as much as the local paid, but much higher than the local worker, cos in China, the well educated worker get much more than the uneducated man. I am very happy to work with my Chinese colleagues and we live in harmony, sometime they call me HEIGEMEN, means “black brother”,that’s for fun. The Chinese are not greedy at all, they are hard working people, sometimes they work till middle night without asking for extra pay. it is fact that before 80’s China was as poor as my country, but after the Dengxiaopin’s “reform and open policy”, China attracted lots of foreign investmen

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  36. 35#?I am a Zambian and have been living in Shanghai for many years, I am working for a local Chinese company and get paid as much as the local paid, but much higher than the local worker, cos in China, the well educated worker get much more than the uneducated man. I am very happy to work with my Chinese colleagues and we live in harmony, sometime they call me HEIGEMEN, means “black brother”,that’s for fun. The Chinese are not greedy at all, they are hard working people, sometimes they work till middle night without asking for extra pay. it is fact that before 80’s China was as poor as my country, but after the Dengxiaopin’s “reform and open policy”, China attracted lots of

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  37. Original Pundit, if nobody made noise, the Chinese would have gotten away with dishing out slave wages. Unfortunately it can to sticks and stones.

    Nalisa, your obvious bias is noted. We do not expect you to debate sensibly on this issue considering the unmentionables they are feeding you there

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  38. Ba Miner(40), their actions definitely caught everybody’s attention and put their families at risk of poverty from the potential loss of income as well!! the problem lies with the govt.& unions who have not done enough to protect the interests.the existing legislation has been overtaken by events and the opposition who can capitalise on this laxity in Parliament are too busy in-fighting or debating their gratuity!!

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  39. Valid points Ba Original Pundit. It was more of a nothing to lose scenario because miners are at the lowest level of the pecking (could easily be PEKING!) order. The levels of desperation Zambian miners are living under with these Chinese managers is very sad.
    I agree with you that because our misleaders are busy fighting over gratuity, existing legislation on minimum wage levels are outdated (1970s) and irrelevant.

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  40. During the 1950’s – 1960’s when the mines were dominated by “white bwanas” zambian workers were bullied, kicked and slapped in the face if they did something wrong at work this kind of intimidation should not repeat itself at the hands of the chinese, in Zambia… most pensioners from those days are still haunted by the ill treatment and low wages they had to go through for so many years only to end up getting “peanuts or nothing as a reward for the hard work they contributed to Zambias development. Today you can only read about who enjoyed the “BOOM” on Northern Rhodesia website… checkout the letter dated May 1952 from Lsk the site has 3790 members, you can get a glimpse of the truth.

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  41. One can see why Zambia is not developed from some of the comments. No one even knows whwther these workers were earning decent wages or not. The minimum wage is set by government. I am sure those workers are not paid below minimum wage. Supporting vadalism is not suporting human rights. People keep talking about let Zambian run the mines. I wonder who is stopping them ? The mines collapsed when Anglo left. Zambian failed to take over. Now the country has no generating capacity who is preventing Zambian from investing. The truth is that they have no money. People who have monety act and not talk. Empty drums make the most noise.

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  42. Ma guys, to be honest of yourselves pays. If you own children at home after knocking off from work find them that they will no longer sit your super table because it has been kalebwe and mulembwe. Instead, they say they ate from ba neighbour where fimbombo was served for them. Won’t you as parent be forced to make some kaloba for the sake of family harmony and waive shame that should come from your neighbour as to whether they will continue feeding your family or not? So, for how long will the Chmbishi Miners suffer shame from shylocks and neighbours? Of course no one advocates voilence, but bold and voice out iliche. Everybody should be reinstated without charge. Zambia are patient.

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  43. Cheese(44),
    Welcome to the hub of barking *****s.Zambia is endowed with many mineral deposits every where and GRZ has been busy pleasing for entrepreneurs to invest in the mining sector.These *****s cannot even raise money for the cheapest mining license to cut the story short.The few foreign investors there creating jobs are 100% efforts of GRZ and MMD loyalists in the Diaspora promoting and making connections for mother Zambia.

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  44. IT WAZ UNWISE FOR THE CHAMBISH MINE MANAGEMENT TO FIRE 500 OPERATIONAL WORKERS? IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT THESE GUYS ARE POOR AND UNREALISTIC STUPID INVESTORS.THEY HAVE GOT NO RESPECT FOR THEIR WORKERS.

    SMART MANAGERS UNDERSTAND THAT A FRUSTRATED INDIVIDUAL CAN DO ANYTHING 2 GET RID OF ANGER.THEREFORE IT IS IMPORTANT TO TRY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO MAKE WORKERS HAPPY–OFCOURSE NOT EVERYONE CAN B HAPPY.

    ABANTU NGABAFULWA TETI UBAKWANISHE.

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  45. CHEESE YOU HAVE A MIND OF A CHIKEN…. INFACT YOUR POSTINGS STINKS LIKE A KITCHEN GABBAGE CAN. NO WONDER YOU CALL YOUR SELF CHEESE BECAUSE YOU ARE A KITCHEN WASTE…

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  46. Those condeming the workers are shallow minded individuals. You really have to undestand the root cause and then sort out the mess. Zambia has got poor labour laws and the fact that there is high levels of unemployemnt in the country these INVESTORS take advantage to mistreat the workers. They tell the workers whenever they complain about poor pay to stop working since a lot are waiting to be employed. Remember the saying ” AKA NYELELE TAKA SUMA, LELO NGA WAKATIKISHA KALASUMA. President Mwanawasa has also contributed to this mess.He has given a deaf hear to complaining workers, always saying they have brought employment. Finshi Bamulisha Mwanawasa ama Chinese. they have become indispensible.

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  47. #50,a rather brainless contribution don’t you think ?? Ba #49 please refer to #41 +#42.

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  48. pipo. we all want them, but not to enslave us. let us share the cake. we have got the minerals and they have got the means.we should live together. give us good pay and will give you good service.

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  49. #13 Dont cheat yourself too much. Some times economic growth has little to do with the President’s qualifications. KK had no degree but from 1964 to 1970 he presided over an average 7 percent annual economic growth.The Kwacha was one of the best performing currencies then. Chiluba the bus conductor presided over growths of 4.8 and 5.4. And the Kwacha was rescued by him when he treated it with free market policies. In KK’s time growth in real GDP per capita hit 35 percent at one time. You dont have to be formally educated to run an economy properly. You just need to be wise in the way you appoint people and manage them.Above all you need to be ethical-which most of our leadership hasn’t been

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  50. The world knows it … everything is bad, everybody is bad, except China and Chinese!

    Who do you Chinese think you are? GOD! Let us tell you – our freinds – you will pay badly for your arrogance!

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