|November 2, 2007
China donates K20bn for Matero Water
Local Government and Housing Minister, Sylvia Masebo has disclosed that the Chinese government has injected K20 billion in her ministry to improve water and sanitation in Matero Constituency in Lusaka. She said Government was aware of the water problem in the township and said although the population had grown, there was inadequate infrastructure development. "This is not a time for talking but action. The Chinese government has injected money to help us improve water and sanitation. Currently they are working in Ndola and soon they will come to Matero and improve water and sanitation at a cost of over K20 billion," she said. She warned that action would be taken against people who have built structures under Zesco pylons and over water utility facilities posing a health risk to the residents. She wondered why people in the township preferred to build taverns than have schools constructed especially in the current era when children needed to be educated. Masebo also reminded the residents that cleanliness begun at household level hence the need for them to be proactive in matters of water and sanitation.
Before, opposition Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata was once again speaking against the Chinese "invasion" in Zambia. Sata said he was not against investors either from China or anywhere in the world but the way the Chinese investments were failing to benefit the indigenous people. He advised Government to seek investors that would benefit the citizenry. "I want any investment but not Chinese human beings, why should China have development zones? Why should China be given another province in Zambia?" Sata asked. "I don't hate Chinese I hate the way they are invading Zambia. God has stopped creating countries and this is the only country that we have, I will continue with the fight for the protection of Zambia," he said.
On the other hand, Chief Government spokesperson George Mpombo, had emphasised that Government would work at protecting the favourable investment climate prevailing in the country and would therefore defend attacks from opposition leaders aimed at any nationalities and not only Chinese. "Allegations that Government is protecting the Chinese are hollow and baseless and amount to political hogwash. It is the responsibility of the Government to respond because Mr Sata is poisoning the economic environment which Government has a duty to protect," Mpombo noted. As a result of the favourable prevailing economic environment, he said that many investors were coming into the country and were offered equal incentives as those offered to Chinese. He wondered why Sata was not attacking such investors but perpetually condemned the Chinese. Mpombo stressed that the Multi Economic Facility Zone (MEFZ) would not be only offered to Chinese but other investors as well. China was one of the countries that had shown willingness to help Zambia's economy grow but that Government appreciated the assistance rendered by other countries as well, he added.
(The Times of Zambia, Ndola)