Govt urges Foreign Mission staff to unite

PRETORIA, – GOVERNMENT has urged officers working in Zambia`s foreign missions to unite and adopt a culture of working together if the country is to achieve its objectives as outlined in its Foreign Policy.

Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, George Zulu, said this in Pretoria on May 10 at a dinner hosted in honour of a delegation of Zambian election observers under the SADC Electoral Observation Mission. The dinner, held at the residence of Zambia`s High Commissioner to South Africa, Mr. Muyeba Chikonde was also attended by Zambia High Commission staff. Mr. Zulu led the Zambian delegation to the May 7 South Africa national and provincial elections.

He said officers in Missions should realise that they were all Zambians and should not allow tribe to divide them.

“You should all unite so that we achieve greater things as a country. There should be no Tonga, no Bemba or Lozi; everybody is Zambian,” Mr. Zulu said.

He said Zambians should emulate President Sata and First Lady, Christine Kaseba, who have not shown segregation of any one based on tribe.

“Zambia is lucky to have a very nice President and a nice First Lady. I have never seen the First Lady angry. She is always smiling with everyone. That is the spirit of Zambians; always happy wherever they go. I am happy that the High Commissioner at our Mission in Pretoria has maintained this cohesion among the Zambian staff.”

Mr. Zulu commended His Excellency Chikonde, for inspiring officers at the Pretoria Mission to embrace high levels of professionalism. He said Pretoria stood out from among Zambia`s 33 Missions for not registering problems during audits.

He said Government was happy that the Mission has maintained good relations with South Africa`s African National Congress (ANC).

“There is not a single minister in today`s Government in South Africa that has not lived in Zambia. Everyone, including President Jacob Zuma, knows Lusaka. We are, therefore, happy that you have continued to maintain the good relations that existed from the times of UNIP.”

He advised other Zambian Missions abroad to match what Pretoria was doing.

The Permanent Secretary has also advised staff serving in Missions abroad to ensure that they were exemplary in their work if they were to avoid being recalled. Mr. Zulu said there has been a number of recalls recently because President Sata wanted people to work.

“Sometimes we recall ourselves because of what we do. Please, you should know why you have been sent out there.”

Mr. Zulu also took time to brief Zambian Mission staff on the PF Government`s achievements over the last two years.

He said Eastern Province has for the first time seen train services introduced while the road network was being worked on throughout the region. He said with the construction of the Luangwa road, people coming from Eastern province will no longer need to go through Lusaka when travelling to Chirundu or Zimbabwe while more routes are being opened up to have shorter routes into the northern region of the country.

Mr. Zulu said the Pave Zambia 2000 Project currently underway, will change the face of the country once completed.

Fuel storage tanks are also being constructed in strategic parts of the country with the latest one having just been completed in Mpika.

The Permanent Secretary said Government has also improved conditions of service for civil servants, who apart from getting salary increments, were now able to get loans from financial institutions, among other incentives.

Mr. Zulu advised Zambians abroad to join in the country`s 50 years independence celebrations adding that Government has made financial and material resources available for the event.

“We want Missions to engage Government so that you celebrate in a big way. Bring along other nationals from all spheres of life to join you as you celebrate this memorable occasion.” Mr. Zulu said.

The dinner was also attended by Foreign Affairs Director in charge of the Political Desk, Mr. Chalwe Lombe, his assistant, Mrs. Isabel Lemba and officials from various Government Ministries and Departments.


Nicky Shabolyo

First Secretary (Press)