Economist Lubinda Haabazoka has charged that China is buying off all strategic positions in Zambia’s economy whilst Zambians are busy fighting ourselves on tribal and political lines.
Dr Haabazoka who is also a Lecturer in the School of Business at the Copperbelt University warned that by the time Zambians finish fighting and reconcile, there will be nothing to share.
He said the blame is not on government only but that most of it is on greedy citizens.
“When you are selling property, you just look to sell at high prices to the Chinese forgetting the implications! Your children and grant children will be relegated to shanty compounds,” Dr Haabazoka said.
“Look at Zambians seriously cutting down the Mukula and other hard wood selling it to the Chinese!!!!! Why can’t they cut the trees in Asia?”
He said government banned the chopping down of the Mukula and its Zambians who rushed to the media to blame government.
“Who does that? Operation Mitengo or whatever it is called has come at the right time!!! Let security forces man our forests!!! You can chop down our sources of oxygen to go and make beds in Asia!!!! I am not anti-Chinese,” he said.
Dr Haabazoka clarified that he is just saying that the trade is unfair.
“It’s impossible to get permanent residence in China or let alone citizenship but they have it all easy in Zambia!!! ZRA and ACC busy following small Zambian businesses leaving the Chinese to flourish. Just near the stadium, Honourable Bowman Lusambo ordered the demolition of a Chinese car wash!!!”
He added, “I have nothing against the Chinese. I actually think that they have really helped in building infrastructure for African countries but their new model of expansion into Africa is alarming. As Africans we have totally got it all wrong!!!! Look at Zambia for example, the Chinese have strategic positions in all sectors of the economy. Media (Topstar), Mines, construction sector (mei mei etc), agriculture sector (small scale indigenous Zambians can no longer compete), Land (These guys are buying our land and properties in strategic places with impunity), etc.!”
“Why am I worried? President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has proclaimed that Indians are now an indigenous tribe in Kenya. He did this just before elections. His calculation is basically to get the Indian vote coz most Indians have Kenyan citizenship! I have nothing against Indians.”
He continued, “We suffered together during the colonial times, we were oppressed together but can Africans be given the same status in India? Where did all this start?”
“After changing to a market economy in 1991, we lied to ourselves that we needed to privatize all public entities. Zambians at that time had no money because for 27 years it was a crime to even own $1. So foreigners came in and bought us off. If we controlled 90% of businesses in Zambia, today we control less than 10%.”
Dr Haabazoka charged that Zambians have been relegated to just owning Tuntembas and small real estate even though the Chinese are busy build large estates to rent to us.
“After 15 years, it will be difficult to negotiate with them. They would own most land, most property and businesses. I hope they wouldn’t have bought Zesco or Zamtel then!!!”
He charged that Zambians themselves are to blame.
“Who is to blame??? Ourselves!!!! Look at how patriotic Russians are? Generally Russian citizens had no money prior to 1991 but after they liberalized their economy, they sold property to themselves creating oligarchs. These guys heavily invest in Russia and have helped keep wealth locally,” he said.
“The Russian government also chose commercializations against privatization that’s why you have huge companies like Gasprom that are able to fund huge government projects like hosting the Olympics and World Cup. Trump in the USA has realized that his country is being looted, hence the America first program! What is happening in Zambia,” he asked.
“We are busy fighting ourselves on tribal and political lines whilst China is busy buying us off! By the time we finish fighting and reconcile, there will be nothing to share!!! Let us develop a sense of patriotism. Even this article will attract negativity from Zambians even though it’s for their own sake but if I write this in the U.K., I was going to be knighted!!!By the way, the U.K. Has lost its identity because of the same open door policy.
Dr Haabazoka has since urged Zambians to take up strategic positions.
“Let us stop fighting!!! ZRA should concentrate on foreign businesses especially those that issue invoices in foreign languages!!!! I mean then how does ZRA tax them??? The Post was closed for taxes but I haven’t seen that enthusiasm against other foreign players!!! The mines who pay peanuts to ZRA should not be spared!!!”
“Let’s learn from Putin and put our house in order!!!! Let us unite Mwebantu!!! In reading this statement, do not politicize it!!! It’s not meant for politics but to protect that which I inherited from my father and grandfather I.e. Zambia.”
He said, “Very soon the only right we shall be able to exercise is the right to vote coz we have forgotten about Zambia and are busy looting it!!! God bless and unite us!!!! I love this country from Nakonde to Shangombo!! It can’t be a failed project.”