The suspicions of a Chinese invasion of the African continent and a subsequent colonization is not far-fetched as there is an almost complete takeover of the economy of several African countries by the Asian giant through loans and infrastructural development.
It is obvious that Zambia is in the firm grips of the Chinese communist government than any other African country as they have been embroiled in a series of events that gave away their rights to their own country and their people.
Just last year, there was tension in the country after the police swore in new reserve officers who were Chinese and had rights to arrest. The eight officers were outdoored wearing the Zambian police uniforms. An outcry forced the police department to remove them from duty.
It was reported by Africa Confidential that the country was on the verge of losing its electricity company ZESCO to China after defaulting on loan repayment. The report further indicated that the national broadcaster ZNBC was already being run by the Chinese. The government denied the allegations and vowed to take legal action.
These suspicions sparked protests in the country against the seemingly Chinese invasion. It didn’t end there. Here are some subsequent events that convinced the public.
Kenyan law professor and Pan-Africanist, Patrick Loch Otieno (PLO) Lumumba denied entry into Zambia to lecture on China-Africa relations.
Popular Pan-Africanist speaker PLO Lumumba was denied entry into Zambia last weekend by immigration authorities who were acting on orders of Dora Siliya, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and Chief Government Spokesperson.
She said in a tweet that PLO Lumumba was denied entry “due to security considerations”. He was sent back after he landed at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka where he was due to deliver a public lecturer at Eden University under the topic: “Africa in the age of China influence and global geo-dynamics.”
The government’s decision was clearly a move to end the protests that were ongoing at the time against the growing Chinese presence in the country and the fear that China will soon control the affairs of the country.
Chinese men caught offering military training to Zambians.
Two Chinese nationals were caught last week in Livingstone for taking nine Zambians wearing military fatigue through an illegal military training.
The 11 suspects were in possession of one pistol, seven shotguns and one big air gun with a box containing shotgun ammunition, reports local media Lusaka Times.
The nine Zambians were reported to be members of a private security firm and were wearing uniforms that looked similar to those of the National Parks and Wildlife Authority.
The Southern Province Police Commissioner, Bonnie Kapeso said in a statement that the Chinese trainers had imported the military fatigue from China.
The police said they didn’t have any authorization to conduct training without clearance from the police and the matter will be investigated.
Zambia’s state-owned newspaper publishes an article in Chinese language Mandarin.
State-owned Times of Zambia newspaper made matters worse when they published an article in the Chinese language Mandarin for its millions of readers who speak either English or the over half a dozen official languages of Zambia.
The Chinese article was titled ‘We’ve still got it’ and it was written by one Steven Zande. It is reported that the article was a translation of the English version of a story on the front page about President Edgar Lungu’s vow to uphold national interests in his dealings with foreign investors.
The article created the expected uproar and outrage especially when the public was dealing with the fear of a takeover.
The Information Minister and chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya quickly explained on Twitter that the Chinese story was a business strategy to increase revenue and tap into the Chinese advertising market.
“Times of Zambia aiming to increase revenue by targeting Chinese market. Today’s edition has a Chinese version of top story. They want to tap into Chinese advertising. Who moved my cheese? Times of Zambia responding,” she tweeted.
This is a bit unsettling as African independence leaders invited the Chinese to invest in the continent when the Asian giant was also struggling at the time. Their recent massive interest in Africa is showing how weak the continent is and the massive losses that will come from some of the partnerships.
If the media goes in that direction, then the Chinese will control information, education and entertainment as their government does in Beijing and all of China.
This article written by Ismail Akwei was first published on face2faceafrica.com