PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is not happy with the misapplication and abuse of resources by ambassadors and high commissioners in various foreign missions and has directed for an immediate end to the vice.
President Lungu said he was concerned with the continued revelations by the Auditor General of wanton abuse and misapplication of public funds and directed that the trend should be brought to an immediate end.
President Lungu said he was not going to tolerate the abuse of public funds by ambassadors and high commissioners because the money that was being misapplied was meant to serve Zambians and promote economic diplomacy between Zambia and other countries.
The Head of State said this yesterday at State House when he swore in Humphrey Chibanda as ambassador to France and Emmanuel Mwamba as High Commissioner to South Africa.
He said ambassadors and high commissioners were the windows of Zambia and their conduct should therefore be above board and without blemishes.
President Lungu told Mr Mwamba and Mr Chibanda that their conduct should be impecable as they were the windows through which the country was going to see the trends of other countries.
He told the two diplomats that they were going to their respective countries of designation not with the family names but the country and should therefore endeavour to promote the interests of Zambians.
President Lungu said diplomats should always put the interests of their countries first in their duties and that it was his expectation that the diplomatic relations between Zambia and other countries were enhanced.
“The Auditor General’s report has continued showing that there is excessive expenditure in our foreign missions and as you go, ensure that this is brought to an end. Do what will bring desired results to the country”.
You are also the window through which we see the trends in other countries and your conduct must be impeccable,” President Lungu said.
And Mr Chibanda who is Ambassador designate to France said he was honoured to have been considered to represent Zambia in one of the world’s biggest economies.
Mr Chibanda said he was going to France to pursue economic diplomacy as because France was economically very influential in the European economy.
He said as soon as he got to France, he would embark on hunting for investors and attracting them to consider Zambia a destination of choice in terms of investment.
Mr Chibanda stated that President Lungu’s directive to end financial abuses in foreign missions was a serious matter and he was going to ensure that public resources were protected.
And Mr Mwamba said Zambia and South Africa had long historical relations and that he was going to Africa’s biggest economy to promote trade between the two countries.
Mr Mwamba said the bulk of trade investment was from South Africa which had invested in shopping malls across the country and it was therefore important that Zambia and South African continued enjoyinmg their warm diplomatic relations.
“We have to continue to enhance our relationship with South Africa. As you know the bulk of trade investment comes from South Africa and a lot of Zambians have been employed in chain stores such as Shoprite and Pick and Pay. We shall also have to promote investment in skills particularly for the young people,” Mr Mwamba said.
He also said he would avoid overspending and limit himself to the budgetary lines stating that the reports of abuse and misapplication of public funds was a blight on Zambia’s missions abroad.