Rainbow Party General Secretary Wynter Kabimba says it is an exaggeration to say that the Chinese nationals are taking over Zambia.
And Kabimba has charged that the West is using African intellectuals like Kenyan law Professor Patrick Lumumba in their anti-Chinese crusade.
Speaking when he featured on Prime Televisions’s Oxygen of Democracy programme, Monday, Kabimba said Zambians were exaggerating their concern over the presence of Chinese nationals in Zambia.
“Zambia and China share a very strong bilateral relationship from way back. The Chinese did stand by us during the apartheid regime when the West had gone to bed with Boers in South Africa. But to say that China is taking over Zambia? No I think that is an exaggeration. What I do not agree with is to give preference to a Chinese over me in my country, that I do not agree with and I think that’s ridiculous,” Kabimba said.
“But on issues of land yes I do agree. But on issues of contracts, that money is coming from China and the Chinese want that money to go to Chinese contractors. So we are a poor country, we can’t decide. The Chinese government does not want their money to go to a British company. This is their money and they choose who their money should go to and we can’t complain. But on the issue of land, the Chinese own more land in this country than you and I and that what’s I am saying.”
And Kabimba charged that it was possible that Prof Lumumba was being used by Western countries to promote the anti-China crusade because he was speaking their language.
“That’s why am saying I wish Lumumba had been allowed to come and deliver the lecture, we missed an opportunity, I wanted to attend myself. [But] let me tell you, it is easy for an African intellectual to be used by the West in this anti-China crusade. The guys are very clever, they select intellectuals, that’s why tomorrow he’s appearing on CNN, on Tuesday he will be BBC. He’s speaking their language, he’s running the crusade on behalf of the West. So they are in love with him…,” Kabimba charged.
“So I am hoping that tomorrow (Wednesday) as he appears on CNN in America, since he’s a Pan African and Pan Africanism is about justice across the continent, I hope he’s going to talk about black lives matter in America. How black Americans have been gunned down by white police officers in America. So I hope he’s going to take on the American government about all the injustices going on there as he features on CNN. I hope he’s going to condemn the American President [Donald] Trump for having referred to African countries as shit countries if he’s a Pan African. If your actions or your words are going to cause anarchy or disorder in the country or to disrupt the unity then you may be labled as security risk… and how is Lumumba our interest? He was coming into Zambia, so what? What was he bringing to Zambia that would have changed the price of oil in Zambia?”
Kabimba said he wished Lumumba had been allowed entry into Zambia so that he could debate with him
“I don’t know Prof Lumumba personally. I started reading and hearing about him from social media in the last three or four months. Before that, I didn’t know there was a Prof Lumumba so I can’t vouch for him, I can’t vouch about his character, even his international reputation. I received an invitation from Eden University last week where they said ‘he’s a good orator, he’s eloquent, he’s an intellectual’ and that kind accolades. So I have not met him personally, he’s not like old [Professor] Ngugi wa Thiong’o whom I have met personally and I have interacted with him. I remember when I was Secretary General of the Patriotic Front we invited him here under the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) to come and deliver a public lecture. So I have met Ngugi wa Thiong’o , I have not met Professor Lumumba, so am limited in what I can say about him. I wish I knew the reasons for the denial of entry by the Zambian government. I watched a clip yesterday (Sunday) evening on ZNBC and the Honourable Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo said ‘we have the right to refuse entry to anybody as a sovereign nation’. I don’t think that was enough explanation, I didn’t hear him talk about security aspects,” said Kabimba.
“So I actually do not have any facts, I wish he had been allowed to come and present the lecture. If it were the time when I was government, I would have told President Michael Sata ‘allow him to come in’ and we will take him on, we go and debate with him. That would be the right thing to do, you don’t kill an idea! Ask the guy to come in. Don’t kill an idea by deciding not to listen to it, because sometimes you will just be promoting a guy who is going to say nothing really. You just give them credit for nothing. Just because the guy has been described as an orator, as eloquent… I wanted to come and listen to how eloquent he is because the fact that you are eloquent does not mean that you are making sense. The fact that you are an orator does not mean that you are making sense. And in fact, from the invite that I have, the guy (Professor Lumumba) was not going to come and talk about the relationship between Zambia and China. I think his topic was ‘China – Africa challenge’ or something like that ‘and the due dynamics’ so he had a very broad topic about the relationship between China and Africa, except that he was to deliver that lecture in Zambia.”