By Mwansa Mwape
Several diplomats in Zambian embassies abroad are afraid that they will be sacked and sent packing back to Zambia after the August elections in a wave coined “Diplomatic Kolopa.” With this looming behind their minds, they have found an ingenious way to remain abroad wherever they are currently posted. However countries require diplomats to return home when the assignment ends otherwise they will become illegal aliens like many Zambians in the diaspora. But these diplomats are saying its better to be illegal in America than to have no employment in Zambia. Especially some have children that are accustomed to America life so going to Zambia with no job will be a mental shock for these children.
It is known in the diplomat circles that whoever wins in August will unleash a mass exodus of diplomats. If UPND wins they will all be recalled back and replaced with trusted UPND sympathisers and those to be rewarded. But if PF wins these diplomats will still be recalled because they were not Lungus choice and are Satas relatives. So irregardless, these embassy people will all be replaced soon after August elections. “We are not waiting for Diplomatic Kolopa, we will prepare today,” said a diplomat.
It is also a known fact that most diplomats are not qualified for their posts so they will be replaced for lack of performance. America is the most expensive embassy but with zero investment going into Zambia so it is number one on the target list. So the only way for a diplomat to remain in America is to marry an American for papers. So these diplomats are getting engaged to Americans and even to Zambians in the diaspora who have obtained legal papers.
Recently a diplomat in Washington DC embassy displayed her engagement ring on social media receiving great praise and admiration from her social media friends and fellow diplomats. It is expected that she will have a quick marriage in order to secure her place in America.
Like many Zambian women in the diaspora, a source says that the man that this diplomat plans to marry is a “John Solye Ubwali” or “kept man” just to get papers and many are expected to follow in her steps. However, those who are already married to Zambians from home are in a dilemma so some are planning to divorce on paper in order to engage in a sham wedding. Then after obtaining paperwork they will divorce the sham marriage and remarry the original spouse. This is a common practice among the diaspora abroad called “chikwati cha ma papela.”