Zambia held a ground breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of TAZARA memorial park that will commemorate the Chinese who died during the construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway.
The ceremony was attended by both Zambian and Chinese government officials, including Zambia’s first President Kenneth Kaunda and China’s Minister of Veteran Affairs Sun Shaocheng.
TAZARA memorial park
The memorial park will be constructed on a land about two hectares in Chongwe district of Lusaka Province. It projected to be a a history book for the younger generation of the two countries and that once completed, it will be a free park open to all and will also become a new landmark building to promote tourism.
According to China’s Minister of Veteran Affairs Sun Shaocheng, the decision of the two governments to embark on a joint project to construct the memorial park was a mark of genuine friendship between the two countries.
The minister commended the Chinese workers who sacrificed their lives and died during the construction of the project. About 50,000 Chinese workers at the time came to Africa to work in various projects and worked hard despite harsh conditions.
“Over 160 workers, including 69 Chinese nationals, sacrificed their lives during the construction of the 1,860-km railway line and deserved to be well remembered by the younger generation of the two countries. We highly value the gesture of the Zambian government and people to make this great project happen,” said Sun Shaocheng.
He added that Zambia and China have never forgotten the sacrifice of the martyrs, and that their sacrifice to duty will motivate the two countries to work harder to cement the ties and collaborate more in various areas for a shared future.
Li Jie, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, said in his remarks said that TAZARA deserves to be regarded as an enduring monument as it has made indelible, historical monument contributions to the anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggles and to the development and revitalization of eastern and southern Africa.