Monday, June 24, 2024

Conundrum of Zambia’s Foreign Policy

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By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/Social Analyst

President Hichilema has always taken a flak from his bitter critics and opponents alike for apparently taking a 360 degrees about turn and tilting our foreign policy towards the West, away from the predatory grip of China as was case during the PF brutal regime! .

Ironically, some of our citizens have blindly elected to jump into the bandwagon and joined the chorus of condemning and ridiculing the New Dawn Administration for what they consider “Muzungu anikonde” (Uncle Sam) without carefully weighing the merits and demerits of aligning ourselves with the West or indeed the Eastern block.
What we know for a fact is that when you maintain strong ties with the West, they shall surely hold you accountable in the manner you administer the affairs of the land while the East will pay a blind eye to human rights violations, corruption or plunder of national resources and pamper you with so called foreign aid as long as they’ve access to natural resources.

In countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Zimbabwe that choose to rebuff the West and align themselves with the East for instance, corruption is entertained or celebrated while a plethora of significant human rights abuses abound: unlawful or arbitrary killings by government forces, including extrajudicial killings; forced disappearance; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by government agencies; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest or detentions. The main opposition leader in Uganda Bobi Wine and his party have been perennial victims of the cocktail of such violations.

There are equally two other examples that immediately cross our minds: Paul Rusesabagina who shot to fame after being portrayed as a hero of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in the 2004 film, Hotel Rwanda was arbitrary arrested and detained in unpleasant conditions for the simple sin of criticizing the Rwandan government! He actually won his freedom recently obviously after pressure from the West or behind the scenes negotiations.

Not so long ago, many of us got captivated by the documentary that got aired on Al jazeera TV revealing the money laundering syndicate involving the entire Zimbabwean government and one of the country’s diplomats Urbert Angel, a popular charismatic Televangelist that storms our small screens every now and then preaching the prosperity gospel!

During it’s hey days, The Post Newspaper once intercepted a conversation between the then Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda with some top official, in which he ( Chikwanda) conceded that Chinese corruption was ” irresistible.”

What do we make of this?

Would we rather go to bed with those who condone petty or grand corruption and turn a blind eye when our leaders come crushing down on us like a ton of blocks whenever we question them for their transgressions as was the case in the previous regime or those that would hold our leaders accountable?

Contrast this with countries that maintain strong ties with the West such as Botswana, Namibia or even South Korea; it’s rare that you will see such countries being mentioned in the news for all the wrong reasons unlike those that enjoy close relationships with the East.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Towards the West, away from the predatory grip of China as was case during the PF brutal regime! .
    China was there when Zambia faced blockades from the West supported Rhodesia and South Africa. Without Chinese help it’s doubtful that Southern Africa would be liberated.
    If PF was brutal, they did it openly. But you Upnd is more brutal and you are not complaining because either because you are a member or you don’t see it because it is being done subtly.

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  2. What about the Samsung corruption case in south Korea which involved politicians and the family dynasty of Samsung. The case involved billions of dollars.

  3. Why did Kamala meet a Zimbabwean businessman opposed to the Munagagwa regime on the Zambian soil?

  4. Ba Kapinga, your argument here is flawed. China treats us like adults. They want our resources, and they give us money, what we do with that money is upto us. The Chinese don’t give condition. Any responsible government should know what her priorities are and should spend money reasonably.
    Your statement that we need to be told what to do by the West with their conditions is assuming we are a 10 year old boy who needs to be guided all the time.
    There is no sovereignity with aid from the West.

    • You think it’s right for the Chinese to prop up brutal dictators with money against their people just because they get access to minerals ?????

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    • Spaka, lol. You are amazing. How many dictators has the US put into power within Africa? From the Mobuto Sesekos, the murder of Sankara Thomas, the civil war in Angola which ended with the death of Savimbi and solidified the dictatorship of dos Santos.
      All these had backings of the US. When you look at the situation in Liberia and fighting over diamond, who was arming these rebels? The US has made more dictators in Africa than any one. Show me a dictator who has been funded by China.
      Your insistence that we should go the West and they should give us conditions shows you are a man who lacks historical knowledge and you are also ashamed of your intellectual abilities and you need the West to function. You are a disappointment to Zambians in the UK and Zambians at home.

  5. This man’s articles are too shallow and lucks intellectual analysis.UPND is the worst government in terms of good governance. They might not show their brutality openly but most of them are silent belligerents.They throw someone in prison on trumped up charges just to punish an innocent soul.Without China, Zambia would not have achieved a lot of economical strides.The west has no economical plan for Africa apart from stripping our resources.

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  6. HH is alive today because of the intervention from and protest from the West. Where were the Chinese, then? They turned a blind eye. So why should he not deal with the West?
    Also, the President believes in responsible and democratic government and human rights, which the Chinese do not.
    Saying all that, the President is pragmatic enough in not picking sides, East/West politics is nothing to do with him or should it be of any concern to Zambians. HH just deals with any country that can offer the best deal to Zambia providing they show respect and negotiate fairly and do not deal in a corrupt manner.

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    • When Kaunda (a man coached by Zedong, Chairman Mao), in 1998, was thrown in prison by a West allied Chiluba, his “all weather friends”, like China chose not to meddle. It took Nyerere, the Tanzanian panAfricanist, to bail him out. Why must we assume it was the Chinese duty to help release president Hichilema and continually blame them for their inertia?

  7. Our selective amnesia makes us believe that China condones graft when that country has frequently convicted for corruption many citizens at home. Falsehood practices are widespread and can’t be localised to China only. Glencoe’s dishonesty rocked the West in recent past. Other graft cases have made US and Euro banks (corporations) go under. It is a global phenomenal.

  8. The Chinese who you abhor are going to build your solar energy. Contract signed by no other than HH himself. Kamala Harris spent $50m to fly to Africa of which $16m was change and like a rich uncle visiting his village, she left it behind for you.

  9. These PF and clique supporters are illusionists…………..

    They just open their mouths , and crap comes out………..

    you ask them to back up their statements, they scatter and take cover only leaving a thumbs down to your question

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  10. Why are all the comments above similar to debates during the Cold War — choosing the West over the East, or vice versa? Why have we assumed the Cold War mentality in the 21st Century? It is history repeating itself, so to speak, spearheaded by Fred M’membe, the Socialist Party, and other latter-day socialist ideologues …

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