Vice President Inonge Wina says reports that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has sold its state owned enterprises (SOEs) to the Chinese are false.
Mrs. Wina said allegations that government has sold its enterprises are being peddled by some opposition leaders who want to gain political mileage by making people rise against Government.
The Vice President was responding to Guinea President, Alpha Conde who wanted to find out, the truth about the media stories circulating that Zambia is experiencing demonstrations as a result of government’s move to sale its state owned enterprises to the Chinese.
This was during an informal meeting on the sidelines of the 11th Extraordinary Summit of Heads of States and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Vice President explained that state owned enterprises are intact and operating under the statutes of Parliament.
She further emphasized that government has no intentions of selling any of the state owned enterprises.
Mrs. Wina also clarified that the protest that was on the Copperbelt was necessitated by a statement from an opposition leader who misled the citizens that ZAFFICO, a state owned enterprise that deals in timber was being sold to the Chinese when in fact the shares of the company where being floated on the Lusaka Stock Exchange for any person to bid, giving first preference to the workers and Zambians in general.
She also stressed that Zambia is a Sovereign State and Government has an obligation to protect that.
The Vice President further dismissed reports on social media as fake and urged Zambians not to be misled by selfish politicians.
And responding to the Vice President, Guinea President, Alfa Conde said he is not surprised that Zambia too like other African countries, is experiencing the same negative publicity about Chinese investment.
He said the careless use of social media to peddle lies is a problem in many African states, and governments should be alert to this threat.
With particular reference to Guinea, President Conde said some of his citizens had gone to an extent of creating false pictures with a view of misleading people.
The two leaders agreed that the African Union should be concerned about fake news circulating on the continent as this might frustrate Member States and Africa as a whole as the continent makes progress in efforts to develop in all areas of human endeavor and in tandem with the African Agenda 2063.
Citizens are urged to discern between fake and worthy news so as not to be misguided and taking actions that may work against the will of the people.
This is contained in a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today by First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Inutu Mwanza.