8 February 2013

Zambia: Avoid Graft, Diplomats Warned

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has warned Zambian diplomats in the diaspora to represent the country with diligence and avoid indulging in corrupt deals.

Mr Sata said this at State House yesterday when he swore in former Education Permanent Secretary, Barbara Chilangwa as Zambia's ambassador to Angola and Ibrahim Mumba as ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

He urged the two diplomats to behave above board as they were under oath to protect and serve the sovereignty of the country.

He said Government would closely monitor their conduct.

Mr Sata told Ms Chilangwa that he wanted strong ties with Angola, a vast diamond-rich country with untapped trade potential with Zambia.

The President had a similar message for Mr Mumba as he assumed his ambassadorial role to the oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

"Angola and Saudi Arabia have similarities in wealth. Angola is rich in diamonds while Saudi Arabia is endowed with oil.

"Diamonds and oil are very tempting and remember that you are going there on oath. We shall know your activities and we will monitor you. We will use the governments where you are going to monitor you," Mr Sata said.

Ms Chilangwa, in an interview, pledged to work hard and increase trade opportunities with Angola.

"I have worked in Government before and my new role is to work hard with integrity and diligence and l have no worries about corruption," she said.

Mr Mumba, a Muslim by religion, also pledged to expand trade links with Saudi Arabia.

He said he would commit the country's efforts to woo more investments from the Middle East nation, especially in the area of reduced prices of crude oil supplies to Zambia.

"I am going there with a vision to help attract more investment especially in the areas of agriculture and mining. There is oil there, we need to have cheaper supplies for Zambia and encourage investors from there to come here," he said.

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