CHIEF Government spokesperson Ronnie Shikapwasha has said the statement by Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba that President Rupiah Banda’s recent trip to China was a tourism stint showed arrogance and cheap politicking by the PF.
Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha, who is Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, described Mr Kabimba’s statement as cheap and part of the PF’s orchestrated anti-China campaign to undermine the positive accomplishments being made by President Banda in accelerating Zambia’s economic development.
He said President Banda was the first African head of State to be invited by President Hu Jintao to China this year, and that his delegation included businessmen who took the opportunity to establish contacts in China.
The minister said the PF secretary general needed education on the role China was playing in the global economic development.
He said Zambia had undertaken to diversify its economy from copper, and the delegation to China took advantage to sample the tourism potential in that country.
Gen Shikapwasha urged Mr Kabimba to focus on addressing the many problems the PF was facing in the face of its leader’s recent declaration as the sole candidate for the pact with the United Party for National Development.
He urged Mr Kabimba to do more research as a lawyer before issuing any statement as he was a learned person.
Meanwhile Agriculture and Co-operatives Minister Peter Daka has said PF leader Michael Sata was exhibiting politics of hatred and ignorance on issues that he does not understand.
Mr Daka said Mr Sata’s condemnation of President Banda’s official visit to China, was a clear indication that the opposition leader had wrong ideas on politics because there was no way he could attack the president when he did not know Zambia’s benefits from the China trip.
He said in an interview yesterday that President Banda went to China to solicit for support in many sectors of the economy.
Mr Daka said agriculture was one sector that would benefit from the projects on electricity that President Banda solicited in China.
He said Mr Sata’s attacks showed that he was now panicking because he had no future in Zambian politics.
The minister also said that Zesco held talks with China Export Bank for assistance to expand Kariba North Bank power station, which would raise the power generation capacity by another 360 megawatts.
The idea was such that if power generation was increased, farmers would have water throughout the year to use in irrigation farming that would help ensure food security.
He said many institutions benefited from the trip and cited a local entrepreneur who signed a US$3 billion partnership with a Chinese company to produce electricity from bio-mass.
Mr Daka said Mr Sata was practicing retrogressive politics by going to Luapula Province, flying and driving round Eastern Province only to talk about him (Mr Daka) and Education Minister Dora Siliya.
He said Mr Sata showed that he could afford to hire a plane but when he went to Eastern Province he wanted to show people that he was poor and went round radio stations condemning President Banda and the two ministers.
Mr Daka said President Banda’s Government was on course and, for the first time in 30 years, the country had achieved $1.8 billion international reserves and saved 1,700 jobs at Luanshya Copper Mines.
Times of Zambia