Mucheleka to China: Give us trade deals not debts

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The United Party for National Development UPND has called on China to strive at improving its international trade agreements with Africa and other developing countries instead of giving loans.

UPND Deputy Secretary-General for Politics Patrick Mucheleka says it is not fair and unsustainable for China to continue giving Africa and Zambia in particular debts in forms of loans as that will only create more problems than solutions to the continent’s challenges.

Featuring on the Lusaka Star Program in UNZA radio this morning, Mucheleka said China is not doing Africa any good.

“Why should China continue giving us loans which are not sustainable.Even at household level,it is not prudent to incur debts whose payment plan will leave you more indebted than before.What we need from China at this point is not Nkongole as the PF and Edgar Lungu seem to think.What we need to ask China is to improve its trade deals with Zambia and the African continent,”he said.

He added that it was a shame that the entire African continent would parade itself in China to accept a $60 billion debt that the communist nation intends to pump into Africa in the next two years without questioning the motive.

The deputy Secretary-General urged the Zambian delegation led by Edgar Lungu to emulate the position taken by the Botswana delegation which has turned down the debt but has instead asked for improved trade with China which they feel is more sustainable.

“Look China says we shall pump $60 billion investment funds into the African continent in the next two years.And all the leaders at tge China-Africa summit including Edgar Lungu clap their hands.But Botswana says hold on. Instead of giving us debt,let us negotiate for improved trade deals.We have rough diamonds which you desire.Come and get it at a better price than giving us nkongole.That is how a responsive and focused leadership manages it’s affairs,”he added.

Mucheleka who is a Development specialist said the debt burden that the PF is placing the country into will have untold effects on the nation’s future prospects resulting into debt swap as was the case in Madagascar.

He revealed that the current borrowing trend is not healthy and the sooner Zambians realised that the better saying the PF and Edgar Lungu are slowly mortgaging this country over to China and very soon the Chinese will take over this country for failing to pay it’s debt.

“Former Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana took the Indian Ocean Island through a similar debt contraction path as Zambia.The country became too indebted to a level where it failed to pay prompting China to Swap the debt with land.The people got so upset and chased him from the country and is now hiding in South Africa.This is the path the PF is taking this country.Very soon people will have no inheritance as the land would have been mortgaged to the Chinese as part of the unsustainable debt swap,”Mr Mucheleka added.

“It is very surprising that Lungu would shameless go to China, and together with other African Heads of State parade for US$60 billion when we can harness the potential in our country such as the massive virgin land, the youthful labour force, the fresh water bodies and capital. But all Lungu wants is to be touring the country on the pretext of looking for loans. Recently, his Minister of Finance, Margaret Mwanakatwe told us they will be cutting on spending and travels, yet there he was with more than ten (10) Cabinet Ministers in China for seven (7) days accumulating allowances at the expense of the suffering majority Zambians,” charged Mucheleka.

He said the UPND calls on China to behave like a real big brother and conduct fair trade with Zambia unlike always giving Aid which will leave future generations more desperate as they will be required to pay for the PF’s careless borrowing and spending.

*UPND MEDIA TEAM*

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