Ukutwala ubufi naku basungu! Umweni akaya!- Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

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Ambassador Emmanuel Mwamba

By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

Ukutwala ubufi naku basungu! Umweni akaya!

As USA, IMF and President Hakainde Hichilema seek a solution to the debt crisis, all eyes are on China, which is the single largest creditor to Zambia’s $14.8billion external debt.

So If China is key to unlocking the work of the creditors’ committee to restructure and obtain possibe debt forgiveness, why is it being attacked without provocation?

The shocking statement by President Hakainde Hichilema that the apetite to obtain these loans was driven by corruption is not true and is actually regretable.
The loan facilities extended to Africa were done under the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Further President Xi Jinping developed one of the most ambitious foreign policy intitiatives- the Belt and Road(BRI). Since 2013, the programme became the centerpiece of Xi Jinping’s reign for expansion, especially in Africa, and a defining policy of his first term.

This infrastructure-driven strategy saw a Belt and Road Initiative presence in nearly 138 countries that included Zambia.

Zambia was a mere beneficiary of financial facilities negotiated under the umbrella of the Africa Union/China Cooperation.

China offered preferential loans and export credit lines at every FOCA Meeting with the 2015 Johannesburg Meeting getting pledges of $60billion extended to Africa and another $60billion at the 2018 Beijing Meeeting.

To this effect, Zambia has since built schools. It built iver 110 new secondary schools and expanded by 14,000 new classrooms.

New hospitals; health centres, clinics, district hospitals, mini hospitals, teaching hospitals and nursing and midwifery schools were buuilt. Government also built new roads, bridges, and international airports. Dams and power stations were built that saw an increase in power generation capacity from 1,600 megawatts to 3,500 megawatts.

To therefore hear President Hakainde Hichilema claim that this policy was driven by corruption is sad and clearly a case of display of ignorance of international proportion. These were international programmes that Zambia tapped into.

These insults and diplomatic gaffes will not help Zambia’s case to resolve its outsanding debt with China and will not inspire diplomatic cooperation to resolve the case with the Creditors Committee as regards to China that holds a third of Zambia’s external debt.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Trying to mislead the masses. The statement of Zambia’s appetite to borrow is in no way an attack on the Chinese or their Belt and Road Initiative. It isn’t even to say some of the funds obtained were not used for infrastructure development. However, the corruption comes in on the Zambian side in two aspects- Did we have fair value for the money we borrowed or were there substantial over pricing and other forms of corrupt leakages? Did we borrow unsustainably i.e. knowing that we had no ability to repay and would default on the loans? If the Chinese were not involved in these two aspects, why would they feel attacked?

  2. EMMANUEL MWAMBA SAYS “The shocking statement by President Hakainde Hichilema that the apetite to obtain these loans was driven by corruption is not true and is actually regretable”. IF THE LOANS FROM CHINA BY THE PF GOVT WERE NOT CORRUPTION-DRIVEN WHY WERE THEY OBTAINED WITH NON-DISCLOSURE CLAUSES? HOW WILL HH AND THE UPND GOVT KNOW WHICH LOAN BUILT WHICH HOSPITAL, CLASSROOM OR ROAD? HOW DID THE PF GOVT END UP BUYING 40 REFURBISHED FIRE TENDERS AT US$1 000 000 EACH WHEN THEY WERE PLENTY OF AFFORDABLE ONES ELSEWHERE? WHY DID THE PF GOVT BUILT THE KAFUE LOWER POWER PROJECT OF 750 MW AT US$2.3 BILLION WHEN A SIMILAR ONE IN NIGERIA (700 MW) COST US$1.3 BILLION? THEREFORE THERE IS AN ELEMENT OF FACT IN HH STATEMENT TO THE IMF CHIEF.

  3. These vi PF chaps have low IQs you are busy sabotaging efforts being made by a person sorting out your stupid mess you left .In your own little crooked minds how other than what HH is doing can be done to sort out the mess you left??Imwe fi PF tamwaba normal.

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