Milenge PF member of parliament Mwansa Mbulakulima says reports that China plans to colonize Zambia are just propaganda because that country was there for us when the West wasn’t.
And Kabwe Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube says China has helped Zambia in many ways and citizens should give credit where it is due.
Reacting to Monze UPND member of parliament who described President Edgar Lungu’s ceremonial address to Parliament last week as uninspiring and unstimulating during a debate which was initially moved by Chama North member of parliament Darius Mumba, Mbulakulima said the leader of opposition’s concerns were unwarranted, adding that China was Zambia’s all-weather ally.
In his debate, Mwiimbu had also complained that China had taken over all the jobs that were meant for Zambians whilst government was just quiet.
“There has been a lot of talk and hullabaloo on this topic. But for me, although people have said Zambia is being colonised, it doesn’t scare me. The fear of colonisation doesn’t scare me of this propaganda, I believe that it is too late. If China was to colonolise Zambia, it would have been done a long time ago, especially at the time of independence. But I believe that today there are a lot of checks and balances globally where even slavery cannot take place now because the world has become united. Locally, we have got very enlightened citizens and democracy and the concept of sovereignty if entrenched in our constitution. So I don’t see the fear of any country conlonising us. It is unfounded and it uncalled for and it should not scare anyone,” Mbulakulima said.
“For us as Milenge, we don’t want to be part of the trade battle between China and the Western world. We know what is going on between Europe, America and China. But of course we do understand where we are coming from, China at the time of Zambia’s independence was not even rated among the top 20 [prosperous] countries in the world. But today, it is the second largest economy in the world. So the threat that is had actually posed to the first world is understandable and for us in Milenge and in Zambia, we believe genuinely that it is there battle. But again Mr Speaker there is historical background to the Zambia – China relationship.”
Mbulakulima China was there for Zambia when the west wasn’t.
“Dear colleagues, it was tough for Zambia. It was tough militarily and economically. That time who came to our rescue? We have to find out, what comes to my mind are two countries, either Russia or China. But China gave us both moral and material support, I now ask a question, where were they when Rhodesia blocked us and when we didn’t have a route to Tanzania? China came to our rescue. You know what they did? It is China which built the Tazara to rescue us from the bondage of Rhodesia. It was China that put up the TAZAMA pipeline to liberate us economically,” he said.
Mbulakula also said the help that China had given Zambia in its few years friendship was more than what Britain did in its 70 years of colonising Northern Rhodesia.
“Some of us from Northern Zambia will recall, it was hell to pass through the pedical and we did ask the Western world, help us find the solution… KK actually said we would have link up Serenje to Luapula. We asked Italy, we asked UK but they said it was not economical to do that. But who came to our rescue? China. Today we boast of the longest Bridge in Central Africa, Tuta bridge which is four kilometers. One of the smoothest roads, Tuta road. This is a friend and if they had to colonise us, why didn’t they colonise us during that time? So where is the fear coming from? It is propaganda. We are looking for tangible development, tangible infrastructure,” said Mbulakulima.
“All of us today can attest, if you look at Zambia, moving away from the olden days to the current situation, when you look at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, you feel good. When you look at levy hospital you feel good, when you look at Kariba North extension, you feel good. Look at KK Airport, look at the urban roads. This (China) is a friend, who else come to your rescue? The nearest that comes to my mind if this country stayed longer, it should have been Israel. You can go to UTH, it was put up by Israel, UNZA it was put up by Israel, which other country can talk of infrastructure today in Zambia? It took UK 70 years to colonise us but they put up less than 30 secondary schools.”
And in his debate, Wednesday, Ngulube also defended Zambia’s collaboration with China.
“China has helped Zambia in many ways. Right now, if you drive around Lusaka, you can see all this infrastructure coming up. Let us actually give credit where it is due. Propaganda will not develop this country. No matter how much the international media demonizes Zambia, we, as Zambians, should not be seen to be in the forefront propagating hate speech against our own country,” Ngulube argued.
He said if one had evidence that Zambia had been “sold,” they should bring the evidence to the table because they were scaring away investors.
“If you have evidence, for example, that this country has been sold, bring the evidence on the table. But not just standing up and saying, ‘Zambia has been sold,’ ‘Zesco has been sold,’ ZNBC has been sold’. Let’s be objective; let us also make sure that we are factual in our debates, we are scaring away investors,” Ngulube said.
“If there is anything that we should do right now, let’s thank the President for that stance. The whole world is now rushing to China. The Chinese are here to develop Zambia.”
And Ngulube said the withdrawal of donor support for the Social Cash Transfer should be everybody’s funeral and no one would be allowed to celebrate that.
“Mr Speaker, allow me also to talk about the Social Cash Transfer. I’m aware that some people are celebrating that the funding has been withdrawn! It is on the floor of this House that some people were dancing! Let us be factual. The withdrawal of donor support for the Social Cash Transfer should be everybody’s funeral. All of us in this House must actually be sorry that has happened. We will not allow people to celebrate the withdrawal of the Social Cash Transfer,” said Ngulube.
“I’m also aware that some prophets of doom have been castigating government for each and everything that government does. It’s the same people who are crying that they want Monze-Mazabuka road or Mazabuka-Kafue road to be done, yet you don’t want Chinese support! I want to find out, how are we going to do that without any donor funding? You are accusing government of being broke, yet you want government to deliver a road? So, can we be positive in our approaches. We must never allow the propaganda I have seen on international media to be called facts and we come to this House and say; ‘this is what has happened.’ We will not allow any propaganda to tarnish this country.”