ormer Finance Deputy Minister in the Levy Mwanawasa Administration Jonas Shakafuswa has refuted claims made by Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe and the Chinese envoy that the government of China has written off $70 million which the Zambian government used in construction of Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on the Copperbelt.
Shakafuswa said the stadium was a good will gift by the Chinese to Mwanawasa’s adminstration.
He explained that Mwanawasa was asked what China can gift Zambia and he opted for the building of a stadium near the site where the Dag Hammarskjold Stadium in Ndola once stood.
“If I recall very well this stadium was not a loan at all, but one of the gift from China to Africa after the African Conference in China. I remember Mwanawasa telling the Nation that he was asked by the Chinese leader what project they could donate to Zambia as a gift, and he chose the replacement of Dag stadium as a gift for the people of Ndola”Shakafuswa said in a statement.
Yesterday, Mwakalombe and Chinese ambassador to Zambia Li Jie both announced that China has forgiven Zambia of the $70 million debt which was acquired to construct the stadium. This was when Jie paid a courtesy call on Mwakalombe at the provincial office in Ndola.
The stadium which is mainly used for football matches has a capacity of 49,800 people and is situated along the T3 High-way well known as Ndola- Kitwe dual carriageway.
The stadium was constructed by the MMD government and was opened on June 2 2012 by Late President Michael Sata who christened Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in honour of Zambia’s 3rd president, the late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa who negotiated for it.
Meanwhile several Copperbelt residents have wondered how China has become more charitable towards Zambia.
Mwangala Imwiko, a resident of Ndola said Zambians must be wary of the Chinese government who seem so much good at a point in history when our biggest mine needs a new investor.
And Ackson Phiri of Chingola said Konkola Copper Mine is being bought in a secret way through the cancellation of debts and other incentives.