Lusaka Lawyer Maqueen Zaza has disagreed with former State House press aide Dickson Jere on Prince Harry’s gift to Zambia saying this country needs to preserve nature just as much as it need infrastructure development.
Recently, Jere issued a statement in which he criticized Prince Harry for pledging to donate 1,000 elephants for the Kafue National park, arguing that Western countries to wake up and restrategise their multi-lateral engagements with African countries or risk being overshadowed by the Chinese.
But in a response sent to News Diggers, Zaza argued that Chinese investment had in most instances failed to respect the Zambian environment and human beings, adding that such was not the kind of investment which Africa needed.
Zaza stated that Prince Harry’s offer to purchase elephants was a demonstration that there was need to conserve nature for the benefit of not only the current population but future generations as well.
“Allow me to contradict my learned brother Dickson Jere’s view on Chinese competition. Dickson Jere in his articles couched ‘why China wins!’, observes that the visit of Prince Harry has not brought any tangible investment and trade hope to Zambia but only elephants. He further observes that China on the other hand if given the high profile welcome Prince Harry was granted, would have taken advantage of offering tangible development to Africa in form of roads, bridges, schools and other infrastructure. According to my learned brother, Africa doesn’t really need elephants but roads, schools and other infrastructure. I beg to differ with my learned brother to some degree. To start with, Prince Henry was not in Zambia for an investment and trade expedition but to attend to specific assignments such as event commemorating the contribution of Zambia’s forces during the First and Second World Wars,” Zaza stated.
“Secondly, although he belongs to the royal family, he didn’t carry the mandate to discuss investment and trade deals. Such mandate is the preserve of the executive organ of the British government. Africa, indeed needs infrastructure development to ease trade among African countries and the world at large. However, infrastructure development should not be at the cost of environmental degradation as is the case with most Chinese investments. Put simply, we can not sacrifice human rights and the protection of the environment at the alter of infrastructure development. Chinese investment has, in most, instances failed to respect the environment and human beings in the areas of their investments. Such kind of investment is not the one that Africa needs. What Africa needs is sustainable development and respect for human rights.”
Zaza argued that Prince Harry had in fact sent the correct message to Africa, which was to encourage countries on the continent to care for the environment and nature.
“The British Prince has in fact scored greatly in offering to buying elephants for our country. He was communicating the need to conserve nature for the benefit of not only the now living but the generations to come. Elephants will not only bring about a boost in tourism but also foreign capital as a consequence. Besides, the donated elephants are free of any cost from the Zambian Government yet the benefits are enormous in the future. Chinese investment will not bring about such offers to our continent but destruction. Chinese are mostly aggressive to getting all our natural resources without the heart to care for our environment as did the Prince of Britain,” stated Zaza.
“All in all, I tend to support western kind of investment and trade as it respects human rights and cares for the protection of the environment. The eastern kind of investment or Chinese investment is nothing but a total disrespect of human rights and provides no care for our environment. Africa thus doesn’t need opportunistic kind of investment which does not have any human interface in it. We must promote investment and trade that promotes human rights and capacities; and gives proper care for the environment. In my view, Prince Harry has sent the correct message to Africa. The message is that Africa should care for its environment and nature.”