Government says it will remain committed to the ideals of the African Union and fully subscribe to the idea of pan Africanism and the ultimate establishment of the African Union government.
Foreign Affairs minister Kabinga Pande, however, said the points of contention in the whole debate over the union government are the nature of the union government and the time frame for its establishment.
The Ministers remarks follow recent media publications following the firing of Zambia’s Ambassador to Libya Mbita Chitala by President Mwanawasa after he published a controversial article on the formation of a Union Government.
In a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Mr. Pande explained that like most member states of the African Union, Zambia subscribes to the gradual and incremental approach as opposed to the immediate establishment of the AU as advocated by some members.
He added that currently there are no established structures or mechanism for the establishment of the Union Government, which have to be worked out and agreed upon by all member states.
Mr. Pande said government is of the view to first attain political and economic regional integration adding that it is also critical to strengthen the regional economic communities as building blocks of the future union government.
He noted that since the union government is people driven, African governments need to consult its people and popularize the concept of the union government in order to carry them along the enterprise.
Mr. Pande also explained that governments stand point does not in any away run counter to the concept of pan Africanism, which, he described as the bed rock of the African Union.
He also pointed out that Ambassador Chitala’s utterances were not only his personal opinion but were also contrary to the terms and conditions of service for public service officers.
Mr. Pande added that the utterances were a breach of foreign service regulations and conditions of service, which regulate the conduct of officers in the Zambian Foreign Service.
He observed that Mr. Chitala’s attack on African states that advocate a gradual approach had obviously caused a dent to the relations of the countries singled out, which Zambia will have to repair.
Mr. Pande added that officials cannot therefore continue to serve in a government position while holding opposing views to those of the government they serve.