Outgoing Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Muyeba Chikonde has called on Zambians living in South Africa to create a “Diaspora Fund” which can be used to help address welfare challenges of foreign nationals.
Mr. Chikonde urged the Zambian community in South Africa to take advantage of the on-going consultative process on the diaspora policy initiated by government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when the exercise is extended to that country in the course of next month.
The Zambian Envoy observed that the mission is faced with repatriation of the deceased destitution including other needs of Zambia when there are in south Africa.
The High Commissioner said this last night at a farewell party organised for him by Zambian community living in South Africa. The event was also in honour of Zambia’s Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa, Joe Kaunda and Second Secretary in Charge of Finance, Mr. Mulenga Kachela.
“I call upon you that the spirit you have exhibited must be institutionalised so that we can create a diaspora fund from which we could tap in times of need.” He said.
This is contained in a press statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today by Press Secretary at the Zambian High Commission in South Africa, Nicky Shabolyo
Mr. Chikonde, who is relocating to the United Kingdom, said he focused on ensuring that the Mission was well positioned by initiating administrative transformation during his tenure of office the Zambia Embassy Mission is the first port of call and the last line of defence for its distressed citizens abroad, investors and trading companies.
He noted that he was glad that the Yellow Fever certificate requirement for travellers between Zambia and South Africa was resolved.
He bragged that the Mission initiated the Durban – Lusaka air route with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Investment office that would assist Zambians engage in vehicle and spares trading.
He also cited the successful establishment of the South Africa-Zambia Business Chamber of Commerce under which a number of business and investment seminars in infrastructure, mining, energy and tourism were conducted.
The Zambian Envoy thanked President Edgar Lungu for showing trust and bestowing confidence in him in marketing Zambia abroad.
And both Mr. Kaunda and Mr. Kachela thanked the Zambian community for the support in achieving the milestones over the years they served at the mission.
Chairman of the Organising Committee Johnstone Chikwanda said the farewell party was historical in that it was the first time that the Zambian community was hosting such an event for their out-going diplomats.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Association in South Africa (ZASA) has hailed Mr. Chikonde’s administration which it closely working with.
ZASA President Ferdinand Simaanya said that the collaboration with the Mission has seen the formation of branches across South Africa.
Mr. Simaanya disclosed that the Association has created branches in Johannesburg, Benoni, Kempton Park, Midrand, Pretoria, Westonaria, Randburg, Berea, Hill brow, Pietermarisburg and Durban thereby reaching out to all Zambians staying in that country.
The ZASA President said his Association in collaboration with the High Commission assisted in repatriating Zambian deceased persons, Zambian prisoners as well as donated household goods to Zambians in distress and settlement of medical bills for terminally ill Zambians.