Guy Scott: Reason for Anglo-American optimism in Zambia?


Guy Scott Zambian Vice President
 Zambia saw a 93% rise in investments; my eyebrows went up. The explanation that we are given is the ‘peaceful transition to power’ theory. Correct if I am wrong but when was there no peace in Zambia? The very last conflict I can recall was the war of liberation from colonial rule.
“It is tempting to see him as a symbol of a continent no longer trapped in its past, but is it true?” BBC asks. Really ?? BBC why would a radio station with such influence even ask such a question?Just because Zambia elected a white Vice President we are no longer trapped in the past? This is the same small mindedness that states that because Obama is President of America, we are now in post-racial America.

Perhaps the only silver lining is that Intra-African investment by South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria has grown in the last four years. Good news Africa owned by Africans.

“Zambians nostalgic for standards we saw in colonialism” Guy Scott

We always want to believe in a post-racial Zambia but when Scott made the comment that Zambians are nostalgic for the efficiencies that colonialism brought such as medicine in hospitals and books in schools. As an African my eyebrows went up because it presents an untrue picture of the horrors of colonialism. We want three or four generations from now to view colonialism through the eyes of those who survived its dreadfulness. Black Zambians had no access to state hospitals during colonial times. That’s what the point of colonialism right was; the whites had access to the best resources financed by the Zambian copper mines while black languished in poor conditions.

Taxation & reversal of privatization

Royalty tax is important to protect local industries. If outside investors do not want to come to Zambia, Zambia does not need them because Zambia should be owned by Zambians, if Europe doesn’t want to invest in Zambia there is always other Africans. Chinese mining companies are being accused of inhumane treatment of Zambians. Why are Zambians silent on this issue?

Reversal of privatization of Zamtel a telecommunications company was seen as a deterrent to foreign investors. Who exactly are these investors because statistics are saying otherwise? Perhaps these are ideologues who are bent on privtization whether it makes sense or not for the Zambian people. Zamtel was headquartered in the tax evasion capital of the world Cayman Islands and was clearly not benefiting the Zambian people neither did it have Zambian interests as its core values. It is certainly a fallacy to believe that all privatization is positive and that all nationalism is the solution to Zambia’s problems. In this case the government’s decision was justified after all why should some investors or foreigners enjoy most of the wealth of Zambia?

* Analysis based on Interview on BBC’s HARDtalk’s Stephen Sacku with Guy Scott Vice President of Zambia*


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