….. As he advises Zambians against murdering foreign nationals
By Scoop Reporter
FOREIGN investors must respect local labour laws but our people must also refrain from taking the law into their own hands, Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary General Davies Mwila has said.
In a statement obtained by The Scoop this morning, Mr. Mwila says when Zambians are laid siege in very trying environments by their foreign employers and their contact with the outside world restricted for weeks without even having an opportunity to see their families, the ruling party feels their pain.
Mr. Mwila says when foreign Investors reportedly begin to engage in racial discriminatory practices that remind citizens of what their forefathers went through during the colonial period, their pain turns into a passionate defense of their proud African identity.
He however says citizens’ passion should not turn murderous and that in defending the pride of “our Africanism, we lose our basic human identity when we take the life of another human being- not matter the race”.
He says the ruling party’s hearts equally bleed when the lives of investors are taken in senseless cold blood by our people.
“It is against this background that we call on our brothers and sisters; our sons and daughters – the workers not to take the law in their own hands but follow laid down procedures to report any labour related matters.
“We call for investors to respect the country’s labour laws and the traditional values they have found in our country. By the same token, we call on all investors to respect the country’s labour laws as well as our cultural and traditional norms,” he said.
He says when in Zambia, the Zambian way overrides the foreign way and that this is the bedrock of our co-existence as a people.
“Patriotic Front recognises the importance of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to our economy. However, the said FDI should not be a curse on our dignity. It must always remain a win-win blessing. It should therefore not be at the expense of the dignity of our people or the sovereignty of any nation, including our nation.
“Ichalo bantu. The Zambian nation is its people. Any racial abuse of any Zambian by any foreigner on Zambian soil is an affront on our entire nationhood. It is inexcusable anywhere in the world. While we strongly call on our people not to be violent against any foreign investors, we are equally calling upon all foreigner nationals to treat our citizens with dignity while striving to co-exist in unity,” he said.
He said our co-existence must never be characterised by derogatory and racial double standards on either sides and that Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry must come out clear on businesses reserved for Zambians.
“Let me take this opportunity to our Ministry of Commerce and Industry to clearly state which businesses are categorically a preserve of the Zambian people. If it means amending pieces of legislation, this must be done as a matter of urgency.
“It is unacceptable that investors should travel hundreds and thousands of miles within and across continents to come and compete with Zambians in cutting hair and selling chickens and airtime at the market. This must never be the case as it is detrimental to the growth of local businesses,” he said.