President Edgar Lungu pose for a group photograph with Sinoma members before the official opening of the China National Building Material Zambia Industry Plant in Chongwe District
President Edgar Lungu pose for a group photograph with Sinoma members before the official opening of the China National Building Material Zambia Industry Plant in Chongwe District

Citizens wary of the dragon, Chinese President understands the fears

(Note to readers: In Chinese mythology, the dragon is the most powerful creature but can be benevolent. In imperial China, the Emperor used the dragon as a symbol of power and strength. This article is longer than usual as the topic to me, as an analytical patriot, is Zambia’s number one national interest issue for the short, medium and long terms and is likely to impact future generations and therefore requires urgent attention)

By Kalima Nkonde

Zambia has one of the longest relationship with China among African countries dating back to five months after independence in 1964 but it can also be used as a case study of what can go wrong if a country allows China uncontrolled access to its resources by over borrowing and by allowing Chinese nationals unfettered emigration.

To many intelligent observers, it is apparent that there is some subtle and informal colonization of the Zambian economy taking place. Unlike the formal colonization, which occurred through the Berlin Conference of 1884 when European imperialist bandits partitioned Africa in a formal agreement, China is doing it informally and deceptively; but the motivation is the same which is: access to raw materials, providing markets for their goods, providing a home for their citizens to settle through emigration, as well as a long term strategy for achieving geopolitical power and influence which China feels it deserves given its population. This strategy appears not to be so apparent to naïve African leaders or if they do, they decide to look the other way for a few pieces of silver and for short term personal gain instead of safeguarding future generations’ interests.

As the Nigerian Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi openly admitted in his article in the London Financial Times in March, 2013, “China takes our primary goods and sells us manufactured ones. This was also the essence of colonialism.”
In order to understand this article properly, one has to understand the variables at play in the Chinese economic colonization equation which form the basis of this analysis. The issues addressed involve the Chinese government with its State Owned Enterprises, the Chinese private sector (entrepreneurs) and Chinese ordinary citizens who include criminals involved in smuggling and illegal mining and logging of Mukula trees, who have migrated to Zambia in thousands and in a few years’ time, at the current rate, we will be talking of millions.

The article is meant to be an objective one in the sense that it is written by a person who has been exposed and understands what it takes to work, invest in and own a business in a foreign country. It was motivated by his patriotic duty as a Zambian, given his experience in the three foreign countries that he lived in for close to three decades, so as to highlight the fact that what is happening in Zambia does not happen in those countries or in most foreign countries.

It is meant as a wake up call to our leaders about the consequences of the current trajectory we are on as Zambians with regard to foreign investment and immigration. It is also meant to remind our Chinese friends and their Government, as well as other foreign investors that, they should not expect Zambia to allow them to do what themselves do not allow foreigners and foreign investors in their own countries. No investment is safe in the long term if the majority of citizens are unhappy.

The unprecedented and uncontrolled influx of the Chinese has escalated and accelerated since 2015 following the death of President Michael Sata. In the long term, it will threaten the sovereignty and security of the country. There is a misconception that the influx of Chinese in Zambia is Chinese government driven; this is far from the truth and does not tell the full story of Chinese emigration into Zambia.

Although there are, indeed Chinese immigrants that have come under the Chinese Government State enterprises as workers on construction projects and do not go back after their projects finish, there are thousands more who are coming on their own as contractors, traders, wholesalers, farmers, manufacturers, importers and exporters as well as criminals who want to seize the immense economic opportunities in Zambia and who see the country as heaven on earth which provides them with an escape route from poverty .This is the helicopter approach the article has taken.

Zambians’ economic grievances against the Chinese

The issue of slow colonization of Zambia is based on Zambians complaining about the current Government allowing the Chinese to do in Zambia what they themselves do not allow foreigners and foreign investors in their country. In Zambia today, critics have coined a phrase regarding the silent policy of the Zambian government in practice towards China: “China first and Zambia last”.
The concerns of Zambians about the Chinese influx and their negative impact are numerous but the major ones are over land, loss of employment opportunities, lawlessness, and corruption, crowding out Zambian SMEs by the Chinese, lack of benefits by ordinary Zambians from Chinese foreign direct investment, environment degradation and racism by Chinese nationals.

There is a serious under current and bitterness among Zambians that the Chinese and other foreigners are being allowed to acquire large tracts of land so easily in Zambia both on the primary and secondary markets. It appears that at the rate things are going there will be little land left for indigenous Zambians. This is a genuine concern and the earlier it is addressed the better. One does not have to carry out research about what is going on, as the evidence because it is so apparent.

The other concern is that the Chinese have started depriving Zambians jobs as they are engaged in activities which in normal societies should be reserved for locals. The Chinese are involved in street vending by selling second hand clothes, rearing Chickens, selling roasted maize on the streets and a myriad of other activities thereby competing with Zambians and depriving them of self employment opportunities. The recent threats by Zambians in Chifubu market in Ndola against Chinese trading in their markets and those in Kabwe’s Kasanda market, are cases in point. The situation has gone so much out of hand that the Minister of Justice, Given Lubinda had to complain to the new Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Li Jie when he paid him a courtesy call.
“Investors should come to provide jobs and build the economy beyond what the Zambian people can do, and not come to Zambia to sell chickens and roast maize. There is need to maintain quality economic existence in terms of goods and services between our two countries by encouraging genuine products t enhance cooperation,” Lubinda said, as quoted by Lusaka times.

Another major complaint by Zambians is that ordinary Zambians are having very limited benefit from the Chinese multi billion dollar projects. The current construction boom as a result of the so called “ massive infrastructure projects” taking place, which in normal circumstances should have a multiplier effect and be the driver of other economic activities thereby create jobs and earn revenue for government, is simply not happening.

The Chinese Government has invested heavily in Zambia through its State owned companies like Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), Sino Hydro Corporation, China Jiangxi International, China Henan Cooperation, China Sichuan and others but these companies do not form Joint Ventures with Zambian companies but they also come chockablock with skilled and unskilled Chinese workers. China on the other hand, does not allow multinationals to do that. It is mandatory in China to enter into Joint Venture with a State agency or local Chinese company if you are a multinational company.

According to the Harvard Business Review, China has other strict conditions apart from Joint Venture partnership, for Multinationals who want to invest in China such as the transfer of technology which is a must.
“The government is forcing multinational companies in several sectors to share their technologies with Chinese state-owned enterprises as a condition of operating in the country; just as securing natural resources often drives China’s foreign policy, shifting the origination of leading technologies to China is driving the country’s industrial policy”, The Magazine said in one of its editions.

The ideal situation, therefore, is that Zambia as a host country is supposed to benefit through gaining access to advanced technolo¬gy through skills transfer; creation of quality employment opportu¬nities; contribution to the tax revenues, promotion of local business¬es to supply inputs and/or render servic¬es needed by Chinese companies to support their opera¬tions; develop¬ment of technical and manage¬ri¬al talent. It very apparent that there is very little benefits accruing to Zambia in this regard. In addition, Chinese companies do not even comply with the current contractual requirement of sub contracting 20% of their work to Zambian companies and nobody is able to do anything about this non compliance.

The former Minister of foreign affairs, Harry Kalaba lamented this state of affairs in an interview with the MAST newspaper where he stated that the current administration is pro Chinese rather than pro Zambians.

“The initial PF that president Sata was spearheading was a pro-poor government [but] this one is a pro-Chinese government. It is more interested in ensuring that foreigners benefit more than the local people and that’s why you see that the levels of poverty keep [on] growing. But the leadership can’t see the levels of poverty growing because they are living in their own world and our people keep on struggling for the basic necessitates every day,” Kalaba lamented in an interview with the MAST.

Zambians are also concerned by the lawlessness of some the Chinese nationals and companies as they have no regard for Zambian laws. Zambia immigration laws, labour laws, environmental laws and tax laws are flouted with impunity by the Chinese and nothing happens to them. There is a perception among Zambians that our Government is captive to the Chinese nation due to the loans we have acquired and cannot, therefore, enforce anything against Chinese nationals or companies.

The Chinese nationals’ penchant for corruption is also another major concern among decent Zambians. Zambians are accusing the Chinese to have exported massive corruption to Zambia while they are stamping it out at home ruthlessly. Corruption has escalated in Zambia in the last couple of years to pandemic levels. The scourge, it is argued by some analysts, is positively correlated to Chinese immigration and escalated debt contraction by government. The flouting of laws alluded to earlier in the article, has also to do with the generally corrupt relationship that exists between some Zambians in authority from top to bottom. For example, how does one explain trading permits, work permits issued to some none deserving Chinese or the failure to comply with Zambia Environmental Agency directives by Chinese Multinationals?

There is also concern by Zambians that the country’s level of indebtedness to China is rather astronomical
. It is a basic rule in financial management that in order to reduce risk, one has to diversify one’s portfolio. Borrowing too much from one source is not smart economic management because sooner rather than later, one will be at the mess of the creditor and start dancing to their tune. Although there is excitement about the so called “ massive infrastructure development” and being in a hurry to develop, it is at the back of debt. The question is: at what price? The gut feeling of some Zambian intellectuals is that these Chinese loans are indirectly secured on our resources. When we fail to pay, the writer’s beloved, unspoiled fresh water Lake Bangweulu ,its white sandy beaches and its accompanying swamps may be taken over by future Chinese generations who will then exploit its tourism and agriculture potential by growing rice in the swamps to feed China.

Chinese President and government aware and understand the fears

As usual, there will be those Zambians who are benefitting from the status quo, who will be up in arms against this article because of ignorance as they are busy enjoying the gravy train with no time to read and research on what is going on the ground. The reality is that the problem does exist and even the Chinese Government at the highest level of the Presidency recognizes this. They are aware that Africans in general, and Zambians in particular have fears of economic colonization which is killing jobs and slowing down the country’s industrialization due to cheap Chinese imported goods and the structure of the infrastructure loan deals.

In 2013, the New York Times reported that Chinese President Xi Jin ping, while addressing a crowd in Dar –es- Salaam, Tanzania, admitted that his government would take corrective action regarding African continent’s complaints concerning the lop sided economic relationship. He promised aid, scholarships and technology transfers in an effort to counter those fears.
“China frankly faces up to the new circumstances and new problems in Sino-African relations, China have and will continue to work alongside African countries to take practical measures to appropriately solve problems in trade and economic cooperation so that African countries gain more from that cooperation. We will strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation with African countries in agricultural, manufacturing and other spheres, helping these countries convert their resource advantages into developmental advantages,” President Xi Jin ping said.

It is crystal cry that China is prepared to give a good deal to those countries that will put up a good case for their Citizens, but it will not do so on its own without individual African country lobbying and negotiating for the same. The onus is, therefore, on the Zambian government, to negotiate better deals for Zambians . Zambia should refuse some of the proposals which are not in national interest like those by the Octopus Chinese State owned company Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) which has spread its tentacles in most sectors of Zambian economy and being accused as having captured the Zambian State like the infamous Gupta family did in South Africa, until their recent downfall.

Chinese friction incidents in Zambia

There should be no pretence about the fact that the relationship between ordinary Zambian citizens and Chinese nationals is fraught with suspicions and mistrust in recent years unlike in the past. Zambians view Chinese as coming to take over their country. Zambians working for Chinese companies complain about low wages, poor working conditions of service, general mistreatment and racism. The cause of the friction is mainly due to the crash of two cultures, lack of political will to enforce Zambian laws and the arrogant attitude of Chinese due to what most refer to as suspected Capture of the Zambia.

In his well researched book, “China’s Second Continent-How a million migrants are building a new empire in Africa”, Howard French states in his interviews with Chinese settlers in Africa, that the racist feelings are so apparent in their mouths and minds. He states that the Chinese describe Africans as lazy, dishonest and stupid and unwilling to work hard for eventual reward.

In order to demonstrate that there is friction between Chinese and the Zambian community, there are a few incidents that come to mind which may only be the tip of the iceberg.

In 2005, 52 Zambian workers died at Chambeshi explosive factory due to lax safety practices by the Chinese company. In 2010, two Chinese managers were charged with attempted murder after they opened fire on protesting Zambian workers and were charged with attempted murder. It would interesting to know how such a case ended up.

In June, 2017, Zambia detained 31 Chinese on suspicion of illegal copper mining. The Chinese government bitterly protested about the arrest of their nationals.

“The government has always asked Chinese companies and citizens to respect the laws of the countries where they operate and does not shield illegal action… But China opposes selective law-enforcement actions against its citizens” China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a news briefing.

This month, July, 2018, a 16 year old boy of Chambishi town ship was shot at by the Chinese nationals whilst collecting fire wood in the area of the Chinese owned Bolo Mine. Police reported that the ten Chinese who runs the Bolo Mine was arrested for causing bodily harm and 8 were released on police bond.

In December, 2017, in a daring and miscalculated move, Zambia Police recruited 8 Chinese as Officers in the Zambia Police Reserve wing and gave them ranks ranging from Assistant Police Commissioner to Superintendent. There was country wide uproar and the decision was “reversed”. The recruitment of police officers lent credence to Government critics who claim that the current Zambian government is captive and beholden to the Chinese.

Solutions and way forward

There is no denying the fact that Zambia needs Chinese trade and investment as the numbers do not lie. Zambia-China trade was last estimated at $2.6 billion in 2016, Chinese investment in Zambia is approximately $4billion; whereas Zambia is said to be indebted to China by a tune of $5billion.

China’s relationship with Zambia is very sound at government and ruling Party level but it is certainly not good at ordinary Zambian level as demonstrated in this article. The relationship is rather too lopsided at least in the short term. The benefits are not apparent to ordinary Zambians as it is not trickling down. The future does not look bright either, given the current uncontrolled influx of Chinese immigrants and taking over businesses, jobs, assets, left right and centre and virtually capturing the state.

The current situation is a ticking time bomb and good leadership is about anticipating problems and taking preemptive action in time. It is in both countries’ interests that solutions are found to the current problems. The steps outlined below could be a starting point.

First and foremost, Government should engage the Chinese government regarding the issues raised in this article and others so that Zambia’s relationship with China is properly recalibrated for long term sustainability. The Chinese Government needs to ensure that the behavior of their nationals whilst in Zambia is according to Zambian law and should not protect them once they fall foul of the law. In addition, they should facilitate repatriation of Chinese workers when their contracts of work expire. Also, Chinese nationals need to be told in no uncertain terms that they ought to respect their Zambian hosts if their security is to be guaranteed and they live in peaceful co-existence.

Secondly, one of the major problems we have is that we have acquired too much debt from the Chinese in a very short space of time. We should slow down or at least put a moratorium on Chinese debt contraction and stop accepting unsolicited projects from Chinese State owned companies. We need to dilute Chinese debt holdings by diversifying our debt portfolio ;better still Zambia should engage in aggressive domestic revenue mobilization by targeting multinationals including Chinese companies for tax collection as there is no doubt, there is massive tax evasion.

Thirdly, we should start screening and scrutinizing the type of private investors from China and only accept quality investor who will meet certain conditions such as joint venture with Zambians, giving us access to advanced technolo¬gy through skills transfer; create quality employment opportu¬nities; contribute to tax revenues, promotion of local business¬es to supply inputs and/or render services and develop¬ technical and manage¬ri¬al talent.
Fourthly, we need to enforce our laws without fear or favour and clampdown corruption. The Government should enforce and monitor the infrastructure contracts with the Chinese which stipulate that they subcontract 20% of their work to Zambians. To illustrate the positive impact of enforcing such policy and for simplicity, if Zambia has $5billion debt for infrastructure projects from China, 20% will be $1billion (K10 billion) cash flowing in the economy for Zambian contractors and multiplier effects on the economy will be massive.

Fifthly, as part of their role as providers of checks and balances in a multi party democracy and as governments in waiting, Opposition Parties should cease this as an opportunity to put pressure on government to ensure that Zambia and Zambians interests are safeguarded in their dealings with the Chinese. The issue of Chinese and the influx non value adding foreign migrants, can be a popular campaign issue among Zambians. The issue does touch on most of the problem areas that Zambia faces today like land, Jobs, debt, corruption, immigration and rule of law and any smart politician can make it as part his or her stump speeches.

The problem with our Opposition Parties is that there is more focused on fighting for their own jobs and getting power from the ruling Party as a sole objective rather than public service and public good. Instead of laser focusing on issues that can make them convince the electorate to enable them win power, they all want to be Presidents without clearly and unequivocally demonstrating what they will do differently especially with regard to revenue mobilization and job creation, which is the key to stop debt accumulation. The key issue should be to demonstrate to voters how Zambia can be self financing, stop borrowing and thereby bring back free education, give more subsidies to farmers like Americans and Europeans do and so on and so forth. No such strategies are communicated to voters. This partly explains the voter apathy and the lack of interest by independent Zambians who are normally objective and forms the majority of the voting block.

There is no doubt that China is contributing to Zambia’s development with regard to infrastructure projects in roads, bridges, airports, power, schools, hospitals but it should be recognized that China is not giving Zambia a free lunch and it is also benefiting from Zambia’s resources too. Inasmuch as Chinese trade and investment with Zambia is very important, the relationship needs to be properly recalibrated so that it is not only at political and government levels but also trickles down to ordinary Zambians and ordinary Chinese nationals. Zambians interests should come first and foremost. Zambia should avoid the master and servant relationship and go back to the colonial days.

The writer is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a financial management expert. He is an independent and non partisan commentator/analyst. He has lived in the diaspora in England, South Africa and Botswana for over 25 years.

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39 COMMENTS

    • Lungu like his predecessors won’t change anything! It makes no difference who’s in power they are all the same. They don’t care for the people that vote them in, they are only interested in themselves and what they can get out of it if the truth be known. These Chinese are literally getting away with murder! What Lungu doing about it? You guessed it NOTHING. The Chinese are too smart for Lungu, they are plundering Zambia and no one can do anything about it.

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    • Lungu is not the sharpest tool in the box. Never has been, never will be.

      He is only good at accepting thick brown envelopes. He does not care about Zambia.

      Lungu takes full advantage of high illiteracy levels in Zambia to con masses to vote for him. He makes false promises every where he goes.

      The strange thing is that there are those that will defend this man to the death.

      Lungu is an enemy of progress.

      Zambia is living on borrowed time.

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    • PF was voted on the election promise that they would chase all Chinese in 90 days. Fast forward 7 years, zambia has the largest population of Chinese in Africa.

      All crooked Chinese who were in Botswana, DRC, Angola, Zim have all migrated into Zambia because of the fertile ground in corrupt & weak Lungu & PF den of thieves & weak immigration. For them as long as they have a block of flats & a range rover, then all is good.

      In Botswana & RSA, Chinese have failed becoz if you come as an investor, you can’t be found selling roasted maize cobs or salaula on the street. They can’t illegally fell endangered tree species or mine or trade without licenses. They are made to respect immigration laws or face arrest or deportation or both.

      It’s easy to sell land to a foreigner, but taking…

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    • CONT’D..
      It’s easy to sell land to a foreigner, but taking him off it requires a bulldozer. South Africa is painfully busy fighting to get back the land from white settlers. Imwe that’s when you’re busy handing it over to tu ma Chinese. The people who continue voting for PF need to have their heads examined.

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    • WE HAD NO OPTION BUT TO GO TO CHINA BECAUSE COUNTRIES LIKE BRITAIN WILL NEVER GIVE ASSISTANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO OUR ECONOMY EXCEPT GIVE US COSMETIC ASSISTANCE: FOR ISSUES LIKE GOVERNANCE SO THAT WE CAN ALLOW DIRTY AND IMMORAL GAY ACTIVITIES.
      CAN YOU IMAGINE THE USA OR BRITAIN GIVING US AID TO CONSTRUCT A POWER STATION??
      THE CHINESE WILL ALSO NOT GIVE US AID FOR FREE. THEY WILL WANT THEIR NATIONALS TO HAVE JOBS IN ZAMBIA

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    • @1.6 the biggest donor to Zambia currently is Not China, but Japan. The Americans are putting up a very huge drainage project for FREE. Please get your facts right. The only reason why we do not go so much to the western countries is our lack of transparency. Period. Not necessarily Gay rights or bla bla bla

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    • This is a tragedy. Especially the fact that clueless Lungu and his gang think that they’ve to get permission from China to enforce the country’s laws when dealing with the Chinese. Remember Lubinda complaining to the Chinese official that the Chinese companies are not obeying the 20% guideline? When China enforces its laws, do you think they’ll contact Zambia and complain to you that the Zambians in China are breaking their laws? No way. China has one of the most stringent law enforcement codes in the world, especially with regard to foreigners. They don’t play. Any foreigner living in China can tell you that. And yet African countries treat the Chinese like kings, even if they break the country’s laws. We currently have a spineless leadership in Zambia, and it’s not even funny. The…

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    • (Continued)… Chinese agenda for Africa is to take over the African countries economically, and then politically. Already Zambia seems to be hurtling towards a red line where it’ll be impossible to reverse the trend. Millions of Chinese will flood the country, and will have a lot of clout and influence in Zambia. As usual, the common black Zambians will be the ones to suffer, as they’ll be at the bottom of the totem pole in everything. In Kenya some Chinese companies are already mistreating the Kenyans to a point where the Kenyan workers feel enslaved. The workers get physically beaten at their place of work, with no recourse. It’ll be a form of colonialism for Africa by the Chinese. And this colonialism will be worse than the one we had with European countries. Because, unlike the…

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    • (Continued)… Europeans, the Chinese are coming to stay for good, and have no problem living under African weather conditions. The only chance for African countries to begin to reverse this frightening trend is to begin to strictly enforce the laws. Start by making it harder for the Chinese to get into the country. If a company brings Chinese workers into the country, the Zambian immigration should make sure that the workers go back to China at the end of the project. This has to be seriously and strictly enforced. Also check the ones already in the country. Send back to China anyone with no proper documentation, or the ones committing even minor crimes. This is your chance to put your foot down and save Zambia—before it’s too late.

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  1. This analysis of the Zambia-China relationship is an eye opener and spot on.We need not look at this current relationship with partisan lens but with the nations best interest at heart reflectively introspecting on the way forward to this lopsided engagement which is by far skewed towards China.

    We need to act now lest we completely mortgage our beloved country to China.

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  2. The articles this man writes are very educative but my only worry is that he is no where near the influence of political power. Zambia has alot of fine brains but the daft politicians are afraid of them.

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  3. Well somw goofs might think that China is colonising Zambia but in reality, China is not. A country is colonized when another country sends the militry into the borders of another country take the British empire for example they used to colonize countries, that’s called colonization. On the other hands Chinese never sent their armies even to the lands on which china lays claim.
    China’s economic strength has made Zambia to rely on its product. So, u can say that it’s a sort of economic dominance but still it’s not economical colonization as china never used the economic influence to impose her will on Zambia.

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  4. Good article, we have known this for a long time, it is time to wake up before it is too late. It is economic power which is of a concern. Saying that we have some scum bugs who are in power and are in it for the money, and it will only get worse.

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  5. Indeed, if we are not careful we will become slaves in our own country. Lungu is a lazy and weak leader who has failed to motivate and provide solutions to the masses. His only option is the Chinese, who have taken advantage of his laziness and callous approach to economic and security issues. Everyday he is opening Chinese companies and commissioning roads but what about Zambian companies? What’s there for them? Literally nothing and he thinks he is working. This is the sad state of our national affairs. We need to replace him with someone else even if he is PF.

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    • @Bamwene…Unfortunately clueless Lungu is already looking to 2021 and wants to stand again. And if Zambians fooooolishly puts clueless Lungu back into office in 2021, they’ll kisss Zambia goodbye. Because Zambia will become the first province of China in Africa. And the Zambians should have to prepare to be enslaved. What’s needed is a well exposed, well informed patriotic Zambian to run for office on the promise that he/she will deal with this Chinese problem. And like someone already said, the Chinese have discovered that Zambia has the most clueless, and corrupt leaders in Africa. That’s why they moved into the country in droves, and will continue to pour in if nothing is done about it. We really need a new leader who will put an end to this, shut the border to the Chinese, make…

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    • (Continued)… it harder for them to come into the country, and remove all who’re already in the country without proper documentation. Zambians should make that the number one issue to vote on in 2021, and certainly clueless Lungu is not that guy to solve this problem, since he has actually made it worse. He has failed the Zambians and most likely is already in the pocket of the Chinese. The opposition in Zambia will need to unite on this issue in order to save the country.

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  6. UNDER LUNGU WE ALMOST ENDED UP WITH A CHINESE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF ZAMBIA POLICE, IT WAS LIKE A COUNTRY WITHOUT A HEAD. BUT THAT IS NOT OVER YET, JUST WAIT AND SEE.

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  7. GOOD ARTICLE, Yes I agree with all contributors citing LUNGU as A PROBLEM. However, like the Author as observed, I think the MAIN PROBLEM is:”The problem with our Opposition Parties is that there is more focused on fighting for their own jobs and getting power from the ruling Party as a sole objective rather than public service and public good.” They LACK COHESION (COLLECTIVE APPROACH) and ARTICULATION OF AN ALTERNATIVE ECONOMIC AGENDA THAT WILL PUT ZAMBIANS AT THE CENTER OF OUR COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT!! Right now, they have failed to mount pressure to change the way work permits are given to these changes and indeed other nationals such as Labenese, Indians and Pakistanis, who come to do what Zambians are already doing, TRADING!!

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    • How can the opposition do anything here when they are not even given a chance to campaign freely? Matters taken to court by the opposition are never heard or ruled unfaily because of compromised judges.

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    • @kubweka…they can still present a united front and be more vocal about this issue, in spite of PF shenanigans. If they did that relentlessly, they would begin to gather a large following. Apparently they’re not doing much to help redeem the situation. The problem in Africa is that people are like sheep. Extremely docile. It only takes one person in Africa to sell the whole country to foreigners. That’s how pathetically docile we are. And so corrupt, crooked politicians take advantage, and kick us around like a football. That must come to an end.

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  8. This is a good article no doubt about it. Michael Sata and many, many more leaders in our country have warned about this influx of choncholis today. It’s the Zambian him/herself to blame here and not Lebanese, Chinese, Indians etc. Let’s act quickly by propping up opposition parties in the country to TEAM up and remove the current PF thieves in government otherwise awe mwandi, we’are in real trouble especially for our young people.

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  9. “….Corruption has escalated in Zambia in the last couple of years to pandemic levels. The scourge, it is argued by some analysts, is positively correlated to Chinese immigration and escalated debt contraction by government……”

    Wrong ……the common denominator here is lungu not Chinese or anyone else but lungu.

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  10. The USA had a silent code of understanding with China that the USA produces high-tech goods like robotics , advanced chips, semiconductores and China produces most the other goods imported into the USA but China has reneged and insists on “China 2025” which aims to turn China into a high-tech producing country threatening US dominance in that area. China 2025 is what triggered trumps trade war with China.

    The Chinese have an unwritten code when dealing with Africa….dont invest in any manufacturing that takes away jobs from China like textiles….instead the Chinese will invest in any manufacturing that has local competition. Like the cement and brick new factory or shoe making.

    When Zambians realise this and insist on Chinese manufacture investments that target import…

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    • That target import substitutuon , zambia will have a better deal. That is how how sucsesffull countries are working with Chinese investment to avoid Chinese dominance. Insist on Chinese manufacturing investment that counters imports. Like manufacture of light bulbs. But the chinises will only grudgingly agree to this because it takes away jobs in china.

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  11. Dont tell me you Zambians you realise only now what happens to your country…..Have you been sleaping the last 50 years….This all started with KK,and in a few years you will have nothing to say in your own country…sorry you are already ruled by forreigners…….

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  12. Zambia is land of the free. Freedom here referring to the Rule of Law and Good Governance. To that extent, statistics alone cannot be used to justify attacks on any individual/s enjoying the exemplary hospitality of the of country. The China that you are talking about does not exist in the real world. Even a Chinese can invest. Even a German can invest. Nationality is not the issue. Investment is about business opportunities. Create a big business. Create a big bank. Create a big company. There are numerous members of the local community that have proved that entrepreneurship knows no national boundaries. It is sad that attacks are on many lips instead love, peace and harmony. Peace is the foundation of sustainable development. Xenophobia is not going to help local community. It will…

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    • Iwe private citizen,,,you’ re a fake doctor, sorry. We’re not talking about genuine Chinese investors, even though that has it’s own issues. We’re talking about the influx of Chinese citizens, who are pouring into the country with no evidence that they’re real investors. You call people selling roasted maize on the side of the road, investors? You go to China and tell them you’ll be selling roasted maize and chicken on the streets of Beijing and see how they welcome you as a great investor. Don’t be so narrow minded.

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  13. We have a dangerous situation on our hands. Problem is government officials are too easily bought.

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  14. Thanks Kalima for this informative article. Straight to the point and frank. I hope the powers that be will read it, and get something from it. The bottom line is that we dont the Chinese but they should change their modus operandus of doing business in Zambia. We want a win – win situation

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  15. Dont blame the Chinese. Blame the politicians who allowed this to happen. Its corruption and total blindness by the Zambian politicians. Chinese selling chickens! Why are not these people being forced to go back to China once their contracts are up. See how China has entrapped Sri Lanka with debt – such that that country had to lease its major port to China for 99 years on favorable terms (to China). Its colonization, surely and slowly bu another colonizer. The only difference its not the Muzungus. But the politicians are OK with that.

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  16. Zambians, Africans, are stupid, foolish, full stop!! Stop talking I’ll of the USA President Donald J. Trump when he calls us such! He’s right after all!!

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  17. We are good at fighting each other leaving the enemy free…what idiocy!!! No wonder silly fellows treasure tribe above nationality at the expense of the filthy Chinese nationals criminal activities. We are doomed until and unless we learns to love and care for each other as Zambians! Nonsense!!

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