OVER 13,000 Chinese nationals living in Zambia were given employment permits by February this year. During the same period, 7,000 Indians and 4,000 South Africans were also granted work permits.
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Gerry Chanda told parliament on Thursday that 13,292 Chinese were given work permits in Zambia while 7,400 Indians and 4,308 South Africans were allowed to work in the country.
Col Chanda was responding to a question from Rufunsa Member of Parliament (MP) Kenneth Chipungu who wanted to know how many Chinese, Indians and South Africans were living in Zambia as of September last year.
Mr Chipungu also wanted to know how many Chinese, Indians and South Africans were given employment permits in the same year.
“As of September last year, 11,267 Chinese were given employment permits but the number has increased as of February this year,” Col Chanda said.
He said 19,845 Chinese, 8,034 Indians and 4,792 South Africans were living in Zambia by September last year.
Col Chanda said Chinese citizens working in Zambia are in large numbers because they are involved in various activities.
He was responding to a question from Mafinga MP Catherine Namugala who wanted to find out if Chinese residents possess special qualities that people from other countries don’t have for them to be in such large numbers.
And Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila has told parliament that Chinese nationals are very hard working and Zambians must therefore emulate their work culture.
He was responding to a question by Lukulu West MP Misheck Mutelo (UPND) who asked what government is doing about the Chinese’s work culture.
“Mr Speaker, the Chinese have a ‘boss-boss’ work culture. Our people working under the Chinese are made to work like donkeys. The Chinese like this ‘boss-boss’ way of doing things,” Mr Mutelo said
But Mr Mwila defended the Chinese saying that they are a people who put work first.
Monze Central MP Jack Mwiimbu (UPND) wondered why investors are allowed to bring workers without permits.
“We are seeing Chinese pushing wheelbarrows in our streets and some even sweeping. Are these investors?” Mr Mwiimbu asked.
Mr Mwila said the Chinese are multi-talented individuals.
“Some of those Chinese nationals you see pushing wheelbarrows are actually engineers. They are unlike us. They are multi-talented,” he said.