PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza has accused the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of relentlessly fighting China’s assistance to Zambia in order to please Hong Kong where they expect to get party funding.
And Mwanza says it is unacceptable and irresponsible for any political party to start a xenophobic campaign against the good people of China.
Mwanza was reacting to NDC secretary general Mwenya Musenge’s statement to News Diggers! in which he said it was clear that Zambia had been sold to China, judging from the Chinese loan projects that were riddled with corruption.
He told News Diggers! in an interview that the relationship between Zambia and China has been very good, adding that remarks to the effect that the country had been sold to the Asian economic super power only showed the extent of ignorance on the NDC official.
“Mr Mwenya Musenge’s statement that Zambia has been sold to the Chinese shows a deep gap of lack of information on the part of Mr Musenge and its a desperate attempt by Mr Musenge and his NDC so scandalise China in a bid to win kudos from Hong-Kong where they want to be collecting some few coins for party mobilisation,” Mwanza said.
“We are aware that Mr Musenge and the NDC have been fighting China in order to please Hong Kong so that they can start getting financial support from Hong Kong to use to mobilize NDC. Mr Musenge knows very well the relationship between China and Zambia and before I got to those details, I just want to put on record that it is irresponsible and a waste form of desperation for any political leader to start a xenophobic campaign against China in a bid to get some coins from Hong Kong. It is unacceptable that he wants to raise xenophobic sentiments against the good people of China and to create a wage between Zambians and the Chinese.”
He observed that Zambia that Zambia was the third largest partner of China in Southern Africa.
“It is not that Mr Musenge even cares about Zambia, he wants to use the fight against China in order to collect some coins from Hong Kong. That I want to tell you that it has got nothing to do with Zambia, it has got everything to do with his personal selfish agenda and the agenda of NDC to antagonize China so that they can get favours from Hong Kong. And that will not work. It also shows that Mr Musenge does not read hence he does not understand things. If you look at Zambia China relationship, you will realize that Zambia was the first country in the Southern region to establish diplomatic ties with China and the good people of China have contributed massively to the development of this country. Zambia is currently the third largest partner with China in Southern Africa and China is Zambia’s second largest source of imports,” he argued.
“Since July 2014, China has exempted up to 97 per cent of all exports from Zambia. They have been exempted from taxation. 97 percent of all export products from Zambia have been exempted from taxation which goes to China. And if you look at China’s non-financial direct investment in Zambia, it is over $3 billion. Now he talks about the focus which is the China-African Forum which His Excellency President Edgar Lungu attended. Mr Musenge must know that it was 53 African states who are members of China-African Forum who attended this forum and he cannot tell me that the entire Africa went to China because they are corrupt. China is the second largest economy in the world and everybody is doing business with China, from America to Syria, they are all doing business with China.”
He said Chinese debt was the most affordable debt one would ever get.
“In case Mr Musenge doesn’t know, America owes China a debt of $1.1 trillion. And for his own information, the Chinese debt is the most flexible debt that you can get. Not even the debt which you can get from the multi-nationals such as IMF and World Bank, because the Chinese will not give you punitive conditionalities for you to access. They will not ask you for structural adjustment programmes, they will not ask you to reduce your expenditure in the public sector such as education, health and others. Their laws are based on mutual understanding and there are no punitive measures that you get for collecting a loan from China. Secondly, the Chinese loans are the most flexible in terms of payment because these are financial loans which you can go and negotiate in terms of refinancing the debt. And they will be able to give you those conditions which are favourable. And then thirdly, in terms of repayment, the Chinese loans have been very flexible,” he said.
Mwanza said there was no corruption involved in the contraction of loans because Zambians were always involved through their representatives in parliament.
“Mr Musenge says that Zambia is being sold to China, I fail to understand how Zambia is being sold to China because the entire world has been doing business with China, they have been getting loans from China and there is no corruption involved when you want to get loans. These are transparent engagements. If Mr Musenge was able to read the Constitution of Zambia, he would have understood how loans are being contracted. The people of Zambia are represented through representation by parliament in the contraction of any loan. And the loans that Zambia has contracted from China have been used prudently to improve the lives of people of Zambia in various projects that Zambia has engaged itself in,” said Mwanza.