Thursday, September 12, 2013

PF govt will never accept aid tied to governance - Kabimba
By Gift Chanda
Sat 24 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT

JUSTICE minister Wynter Kabimba has warned foreign diplomats who tend to blackmail the government with assistance to keep their aid. He said there was a drift in culture where aid was now being used by many donors "to govern our country".

"We are now drifting into a culture where you have a carrot and a stick from many diplomats. They are saying unless you do A there will be no aid for you on this side," Kabimba said at a farewell dinner for Indian High Commissioner to Zambia, Ashok Kumar on Thursday.

"Aid is being tied to the question of how we govern ourselves as a country."

Kabimba, who is also PF secretary general, said the ruling party would never accept aid tied to governance.

"Those that think that they can use aid to govern our country, they can keep their aid because I do not see the correlation myself between the two," he said. "We would like to have allies like India that relate with us with mutual respect."

He said High Commissioner Kumar stood out as a diplomat who knew Zambia's financial needs but never used the political stints of aid to arm-twist the government.

"These are the genuine friends of Zambians, and it is for that reason, Ashok, that we are solemn you are leaving," he said.

High Commissioner Kumar, who resigns from diplomatic service at the end of this month after 33 years, said he would greatly miss Zambia because his stay in the country had been wonderful.

He said even his daughters did not want to leave Zambia because they had come to love the country.

"After 33 years in diplomatic service I have ceased to think that I represent one country - India," High Commissioner Kumar said.

"Zambia is my 9th country as a diplomat, we have been to developed countries and developing countries but here in Zambia, my family want to stay. My daughter keeps crying that I don't want to leave Zambia."

First Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda, who also graced the event upon arrival from Zimbabwe, where he had gone to witness President Robert Mugabe's inauguration, gave tribute to India's support to Zambia.

Dr Kaunda said India had been Zambia's all-weather friend.
The farewell dinner was organised by the Indian Business Council of Zambia (IBCZ).

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