Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Harry Kalaba (MP) has warned Zambian diplomats serving in Foreign Missions around the world that Government will not hesitate to re-call diplomats who are underperforming.
And Hon. Kalaba has demanded order in his Ministry and called on diplomats to stay focused, disciplined and follow the channel of command.
Speaking when the Minister addressed Diplomats at the London Mission at Zambia House, the Minister said Government has now moved from Political to Economic diplomacy and diplomats should endeavour to explain the various economic activities the Zambian government was engaged in as a country to the countries they are accredited to for the development of Zambia.
Hon. Kalaba said there was massive economic opportunities in the United Kingdom and implored diplomats in London to tap into the UK economic opportunities that Zambia could benefit from.
“As you are aware we are spending colossal sums of money to maintain the mission here in London. What this means is that every quarter, all of us we’ll have to work full throttle to account for the works that we have been assigned to here in the UK. Those who will fail to make the mark will have to be re-called,” he said.
Hon. Kalaba told the diplomats that it was incumbent upon each of the officers to present quarterly reports and each officer should have to account for the roles assigned to them at the mission respectively.
The Minister said that said President Edgar Chagwa Lungu wanted to see that the resources being spent on maintaining Foreign Missions was justified by the quality of output from diplomats.
He said President Edgar Lungu has directed that every quarter, he should be presented with quarterly reports on what benefits the country has accrued from various Zambian embassies across the global.
The Minister said there is a lot Zambia is expecting from the missions owing to government’s investments and diplomats should take advantage of the opportunities to market the country abroad.
And Hon. Kalaba said Agriculture is a key avenue for future investment and growth in Zambia adding that Agriculture, will be the main driver and focus while aiming to reduce dependency on copper and rain-fed agri- culture.
Meanwhile Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde assured Hon. Kalaba of hard work.
“We take this directive seriously. We would like to assure you of our commitment to remain relevant in the realisation of Government’s goal of developing our country,” he said.
The High Commissioner also told Hon. Kalaba that they were a lot of queries from Zambians in the UK on the diaspora policy and dual citizenship.
In response, the Minister said that the diaspora policy and dual citizenship issues remain the key interest to Government adding that Government had reached an advanced stage on the two critical subjects and would soon communicate with various embassies on the forward.
The Minister also said that following President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s pronouncement to establish a career Foreign Service in Zambia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started conscripting the Foreign Service bill in order for the Ministry to be focused and streamline operations and to give clear direction and standard of a career foreign service.
The Foreign Service bill is a constitutional document that will form policy on the implementation and management of career Foreign Service. The Bill, among other things, require that career diplomats are appointed into the Foreign Service. It will also sum up the structure, conduct and the means by which the country will conduct diplomacy and international relations.