Designate to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba, has urged Zambians in that country as well as in other territories under the Mission’s representation to take advantage of the upcoming consultative forum on formulation of a national diaspora policy and make submissions that will help address their challenges.
Mr. Mwamba said Zambians living is South Africa, as well as Lesotho and Madagascar, which also fall under the Mission in South Africa, should ensure that they attend the consultative forum to be held in Lusaka from 7 – 9th October, 2015.
The High Commissioner was speaking when he met representatives of the Zambian Catholic Community in South Africa at his office in Pretoria yesterday.
“We are inviting Zambians living in South Africa and indeed in our other territories of Lesotho and Madagascar to attend the diaspora forum. It is an opportunity for you to voice out your concerns, express your hopes, your desires and your challenges. That forum is key to us just as it is to you as it could, maybe eventually allow us to provide certain services for our citizens, which we are not empowered to do at the moment,” Mr. Mwamba said.
He told the group that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lusaka could have easily asked diplomatic staff to attend the event and make submissions on behalf of the citizens but had opted to invite the intended primary beneficiaries so that it could get information first hand.
The High Commissioner also encouraged the group to join and work with the Zambia Association in South Africa (ZASA).
The group also offered to be part of the preparations for the national day of prayer and fasting for Zambians in South Africa which the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria will hold to coincide with President Edgar Lungu’s proclamation of 18th October, 2015 as a day of national prayer, and fasting for reconciliation, forgiveness and generally to encourage the nation to seek the face of God.
The Zambian Catholic Community in South Africa will also hold an independence mass celebration on 25th October, 2015 to which Mr. Mwamba has been invited.
Chairperson of the group, Mr. Chimwemwe Mtonga said a lot of Zambians in South Africa have always wanted to contribute to the development of their country but had failed to find avenues through which to do so.
“Some of us have done great things for South Africa and it worries us that we have not been able to do not even a small fraction of these things for our own country. We have not been given that chance even when we have offered to help,” Mr. Mtonga said.
He pointed out that the Zambian Catholic Community in South Africa had consolidated itself into a formal body and operated under a constitution.