In the vast landscape of global geopolitics, China’s presence in Africa has never failed to raise eyebrows and provoke speculation.
The African continent has long been a theater of controversy, with accusations hurled at the Asian giant, ranging from resource exploitation to debt entrapment and even challenges to sovereignty.
However, amidst this cacophony of concerns, one recent development stands out as particularly sinister and perilous: China’s potential involvement in the ongoing conflict in Somalia.
Recent investigations by Kenyan police have unveiled a startling revelation—the main source of smuggled military equipment into Somalia can be traced back to none other than China.
This illicit channel of weaponry, masterminded by a controversial Kenyan-Chinese tycoon named Zakariya Kamal Sufi Abashiek, allegedly supplied arms to the notorious Al Shabaab terrorist group.
It’s a plotline straight out of a thriller, but it’s unfolding right before our eyes.
Who is Zakariya Kamal?
Picture this: Zakariya Kamal, was arrested on June 27th, 2023, as Somali authorities intercepted one of his containers at the port of Mogadishu.
What did they discover within its steel confines?
An alarming cache of military gear, comprising rifles, grenades, rocket launchers, bulletproof vests, night vision goggles, and drones.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
Two other containers believed to be part of this treacherous shipment had already reached their destination, now in the hands of Al Shabaab.
Zakariya Kamal, in a stunning admission, confessed to procuring this equipment from China, utilizing his dual citizenship and an intricate network of contacts.
He was charged with several offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, including belonging to a terrorist group and providing property for the commission of terrorist acts.
However, he was released on a Ksh.1 million bond on July 28th, 2023, after spending only one month behind bars.
His release raised questions about how a man who was accused of such serious crimes could be granted bail so easily.
Were strings pulled, palms greased, or strings attached to high-ranking figures in the government or the judiciary?
But that was not the end of his scandalous saga.
Zakariya Kamal soon won a tender to supply drones to the Kenyan government.
The tender, numbered AE-MOTI-281723-GO-RFB, was issued by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, and is worth Ksh.2 billion.
Documents seen by cnyakundi.com show that Zakariya Kamal’s company, ZK Technologies Ltd., was registered in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China.
The documents also reveal that the drones he offered were manufactured by DJI, a Chinese company that is the world leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology.
How did Zakariya Kamal manage to pull off such a brazen move?
How did he get access to Chinese military equipment?
How did he pass the security clearance and the due diligence process?
How did he win the tender so quickly and convinced Kenyan authorities that he was a credible and reliable supplier?
The answer lies in China’s involvement and influence in this shady deal.
China has been expanding its presence and power in Africa for decades, through trade, investment, infrastructure, diplomacy, and military cooperation.
But China’s role in Africa is not only economic or strategic, it is also ideological and political.
China has been promoting its model of authoritarian capitalism as an alternative to Western liberal democracy.
This is where Zakariya Kamal comes in.
Could China’s involvement in selling military equipment to individuals like Zakariya Kamal be part of a broader strategy to achieve its strategic and economic goals in Africa while avoiding the scrutiny of the international community?
Is China using Zakariya Kamal as a convenient middleman and scapegoat to distance itself from direct involvement and responsibility in the arms deal?
Could China be leveraging Zakariya Kamal’s dual citizenship and connections in both Kenya and China to facilitate the smuggling and delivery of weapons to Al Shabaab?
What might China stand to gain from Al Shabaab receiving this equipment?
Could it be using the terrorist group as a proxy to destabilize Kenya and its allies in the region?
Is Kenya perceived by China as a rival and a threat due to its close partnership with the United States and other Western countries in Africa?
Does China view Kenya’s influential role in the African Union as an obstacle to its policies and practices on the continent?
Could China’s significant investments in Kenya’s infrastructure, its substantial loans to the Kenyan government, and its growing trade and cooperation with the Kenyan private sector be part of a broader strategy to expand its presence and power in the region?
Is China’s establishment of a military base in Djibouti, near Kenya’s border, a strategic move to monitor and influence the security situation in the region?
Is there evidence to suggest that China has established relationships with both Zakariya Kamal and Al Shabaab, even if not publicly admitted?
Could China’s business dealings with Zakariya Kamal through his company ZK Technologies Ltd. in Hong Kong be connected to the arms supply chain?
Does China’s involvement in arming groups like Al Shabaab in Africa risk damaging its reputation and credibility on the global stage by violating international laws and norms?
Could China’s actions in Africa, including its alleged support for armed groups, jeopardize its own interests and investments on the continent, potentially leading to instability that affects both Chinese citizens and projects?
Is China’s approach undermining its relations and partnerships with African nations by showing a disregard for their sovereignty and dignity?
What lies ahead?
These questions are not mere conjecture; they have real implications.
China’s actions in Africa, particularly its involvement in arming groups like Al Shabaab, could jeopardize its own interests and investments on the continent.
Such behavior could lead to instability affecting both Chinese citizens and projects in the region.
The enigmatic saga of Zakariya Kamal and his shadowy dealings with China has exposed a shocking and disturbing reality: China could be arming terrorists and using them as a proxy to destabilize the region and advance its interests.
The story has revealed the complex and sinister interplay between global powers and individuals caught in the crossfire.
What drove Zakariya Kamal to become a central figure in this tale of intrigue and conspiracy?
Was he a willing pawn in a larger game, or did he harbor his own ambitions and motivations?
How did he establish a relationship with both China and Al Shabaab, two seemingly incompatible entities?