PRETORIA – Sunday, 31st August, 2014 – PRESIDENT Michael Sata has urged Zambians living in the diaspora to support the Patriotic Front Government’s agenda of transforming Zambia into a middle income country by the year 2030.
President Sata has noted that the country is poised to achieving significant social and economic development and that Zambians in the diaspora needed to be an important part of the process.
This was announced by High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Muyeba Chikonde, when he conveyed a special message from the President to Zambians living in South Africa at a cultural dance and family fun day in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Mr. Chikonde conveyed the President’s greetings to the crowd pointing out that the President had asked that everyone remain patriotic and continue supporting government’s efforts to move the development agenda forward.
He noted that all those who have been to Zambia in recent times could attest to the fact that Zambia was poised for greatness and that this was the reason everyone needed to be proud of the country which would be celebrating its Golden Jubilee.
The High Commissioner said the Golden Jubilee theme was carefully crafted so that it could stand as an embodiment of how much Government acknowledged God’s Favour in the country’s aspirations and achievements over the last 50 years.
“You will note that this theme has been carefully crafted by Government and I urge all of you to reflect on it. As a country and government we have not taken this success for granted, but have dedicated and attributed the peace, political stability and prosperity to God’s favour. This is what must unite us in this universe and as Zambians in particular,” Mr. Chikonde said.
The High Commissioner pointed out that the High Commission has already started working with the Zambia Association in South Africa (ZASA) to ensure that this year’s 50th Independence Celebrations were a memorable event.
He was pleased that most Zambians in South Africa and, Lesotho and Madagascar, to which Zambia has extra-accreditation through its Mission in South Africa, have continued to be a law abiding and united citizenry.
He said the event, organised in partnership with ZASA, was testimony to the collaboration that the High Commission was striving to build and strengthen with all those represented by the executive committee of the association.
Mr. Chikonde hoped that ZASA would co-exist with other nationals, particularly South Africans, with whom they should stage future events.
Hundreds of Zambians living in Johannesburg turned up for the event. The High Commissioner later took time to go round the tables to individually greet the families.
A number of those who attended commended the High Commission for reaching out to Zambians in South Africa noting that this made them realize that their Government still cared for them even when they were not in Zambia.
And ZASA vice-president, Mr. Ferdinand Simaanya noted that there was a lot of negativity about ZASA in the past pointing out that there was now need for all Zambians living in South Africa to join hands and make the association a success.
Mr. Simaanya said ZASA will next month introduce the Zambia Welfare Fund, a member-contributory scheme, meant to help members in times of funerals and other calamities while in South Africa.
“Death is real, we cannot avoid it, but we should be ready to help lighten the burden for the people that remain behind. Let us bring to an end the practice of asking for donations every time there is death. Let us mourn each other in a more organised and dignified manner,” Mr. Simaanya said.
Mr. Simaanya also noted that the new South African immigration laws have become a challenge to most Zambians and that his association will soon engage the High Commission before advising the membership accordingly.
The event was graced by the Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia (PPAZ) Dancing Group based in Kasama. The group had made a stop-over in South Africa on their way from Europe to Zambia.
The group was discovered last year after being invited to perform at the UNWTO General Assembly in Livingstone. It was later selected from among other African countries to go and perform at the European Union traditional festival which was hosted by France and Spain this month.
Leader of the group, Michael Chimponda said the group was the only one from Africa with others coming from Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Russia, China, Spain and France. Mr. Chimponda said the audiences were impressed with the performances and the organisers have asked them to perform at the 2016 event.
He said all the 18 members of the group were in school and that proceeds from the performances were meant to take care of school fees and buying a bus to help ease their movements.
HIGH COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA IN SOUTH AFRICA