Zambia surrenders sovereignty to Western powers, PF’s Acting President Given Lubinda laments
Zambia surrenders sovereignty to Western powers, PF’s Acting President Given Lubinda laments
Wednesday 25th May, 2022
Today, Zambia and the rest of Africa is celebrating African Unity Day, also known as Africa Freedom Day. The Day is meant to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now known as the African Union (AU).
We observe this Day to mark the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolise the determination of the people of Zambia in particular and the people of Africa at large to free ourselves from foreign domination.
Fellow countrymen and women, let us use this Day to take an honest introspection of how Zambia, 58 years after independence is fairing economically, socially and politically. For we only truly make progress as a country when we cast away trivial partisan interests and make an honest analysis of the trajectory our country is taking.
58 years after independence, Zambia is slowly but surely surrendering its sovereignty and territorial integrity to foreign Western powers. Today our Government is flirting with the idea of introducing foreign, unZambian and unnatural customs and practices disguised as ‘human rights’. On May 17th, 2022, twenty seven member states of the European Union in Zambia flew Flags at their embassies in support and commitment of Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgender Queer and Inter-sex (LGBTQI) ‘rights’ under the caption “LGBTQI are human rights – always and everywhere”.
As a Party that is the immediate past government of the Republic of Zambia, we found ourselves with the duty to register our deep concern and displeasure with the stance that has been taken by these named embassies to openly support the agenda that they very well know does not have support from any section of our society. We found their actions as a deliberate attempt to undermine the sovereignty of our Nation having regard to the fact that the esteemed offices represent the Sovereign relationship between our respective countries. As a responsible political organisation, we formally protested our displeasure in writing to the named embassies.
Shockingly but not entirely surprising, up to date, the UPND Administration has remained mute on this matter. What is really their stance on LGBTQI? Anyway, we leave it to the people to conclude and judge.
Fellow countrymen and women, our nation finds itself in a very delicate and precarious national security situation with the imminent opening of an AFRICOM command centre at the American Embassy in Lusaka. All well meaning citizens and institutions ( both local and regional) have voiced out their grave concerns at the risk and jeopardy that this undertaking is causing to our national sovereignty, territorial integrity as well as the security challenges it posses to the African continent as a whole.
Instead of hearkening to legitimate counsel from concerned citizens and organisations, the UPND Government has stubbornly dismissed the people’s concerns on this matter. In fact they have issued threats, threatening to arrest and jail anyone who continues to talk about the issue of AFRICOM opening a command centre on our soil.
We want to once again remind our colleagues in Government that President Mwanawasa, President Banda, President Sata, President Lungu, SADC, ECOWAS, and the AU were not unwise to refuse to allow AFRICOM to set up a command centre on the Zambian and/or African soil. They were fully cognisant of the risk and jeopardy such an action would pose to Zambia and Africa at large.
It is never too late to do the right thing. UPND must listen to Zambians, SADC, ECOWAS and AU and rescind their decision to allow America set up a military command centre on our land.
What really is the driving motive behind this action by the UPND Government, what are they getting in return to surrendering our sovereignty and territorial integrity to the Americans? We are really in trouble!
Freedom is not just the absence of war; it is rather the presence of a just society that guarantees the basic needs for its people and the protection and promotion of the people’s human rights, respect and adherence to the rule of law.
Today more Zambians are living in squalor and dehumanising poverty; the cost of living is far beyond the reach of most of our people. The disposable incomes for many Zambians is fast shrinking amidst rising costs of basic commodities and services such as fuel, food, rentals, transport, water, electricity etc. The economy is broken, there is no enough money in circulation and youth unemployment is quickly rising.
Instead of coming up with a clear Economic Roadmap that would reduce the rising cost of living, create jobs, enhance private sector growth and participation, eliminate hunger and disease and reduce poverty, our Government is hellbent at silencing its critics and political opponents by arresting them on trumped up charges and detaining them for a long number of days without bail.
What happened to the so called 10 Points Plan? What happened to the famous President’s Formula he posted on Facebook which was purportedly supposed to be used to reduce the price of fuel? What happened to removing the so called middlemen from the fuel procurement chain? What happened to not giving business and government contracts to foreigners and foreign owned companies at the expense of Zambians and Zambian owned enterprises?
Instead of reducing the cost of doing business in order to encourage the growth and participation of the private sector and in turn create jobs, reduce poverty and youth unemployment this Government has worsened the situation by raising the cost of fuel, water and electricity among other costs being incurred by businesses. Instead of giving relief to Zambian employees by reducing PAYE and other taxes, this Government has given transnational mining conglomerates hefty tax holidays.
If we are to go by the revelation and admission of the Minister of Finance, Hon Situmbeko Musokotwane in his National Budget presentation in Parliament last year, Zambia is going to lose a colossal sum of $12 billion by the end of 2026 in taxes from the mines due to the tax holidays that this Government has given the mines. This amount does not include the billions of dollars the country is losing in illicit financial flows and externalisation of the hefty profits foreign mining companies are minting. Why rush to get a meagre $1.4 billion loan from the IMF which is coming with very bad and punitive conditionalities on the poor masses when they can easily gain double that amount from taxing the mines fairly and correctly? Is it payback time to the foreign business interests that have been bankrolling UPND for the last 20 plus years it had been in Opposition? What price will the Zambian people pay in order to appease and reward the UPND’s financiers?
We should be pushing to increase ownership or shareholding in the mines through ZCCM-IH and ensure that Zambia and Zambians have a final say on what goes on in the mining sector. This is the only way to ensure increased job creation and enhance business opportunities in the mining sector through value addition.
At a time like now when our economy is broken and the cost of living is rising, we expect a rational and caring government to reduce taxes on its people and introduce a tax regime that will ensure that giant conglomerates such as large foreign mining firms pay a FAIR share of their taxes.
Is it really freedom when a Government is persecuting it’s political opponents, arresting them on flimsy charges without first concluding investigations and producing credible evidence before the competent courts of jurisdiction. What about the shady $50 million dollar fertiliser deal given to a friend of the UPND wholly single-sourced?
Is it really freedom when a Government resort to silencing its critics by arresting them on politically motivated frivolous charges and denying them bond or bail on bailable offences? Is it really freedom when ruling party cadres, including their national party leaders forcibly storm our courts of law to intimidate judges and officers of the court and to try to lynch and harm Opposition leaders in full view of the press and the police?
Government must protect the weak not oppress them; it must help the vulnerable not ostracise them. The harassment of street vendors and our poor mothers eking a living out of Kachasu trading is a further indictment of just how this UPND Government favours the rich and powerful over the poor and the vulnerable. We urge the government to quickly find alternative and better trading places for street vendors instead of treating them like criminals in their own land. All citizens deserve government protection and provisions.
When we formed Government we left the street vendors alone as we commenced constructing alternative trading spaces such as Tokyo Way and the famous Lumumba-Mwewa market because we are alive to the fact that our people vend from the streets not out of their own volition but because of circumstances and the inequality that exists in our society thus as a caring Government we gave them an alternative not a punishment.
Countrymen and women, once again, let us commemorate this year’s Africa Freedom Day by honestly reflecting on what is currently obtaining in our country on the social, economic and political fronts as well as the direction this country is taking. Are we heading in a direction of unity, peace and economic prosperity for all or we are sliding back to an era of tyranny, abuse of power, poverty, high cost of living, division and regionalism?
Long live Zambia. Long Live Africa.
Hon Given Lubinda
Acting Party President