Foreign service appointments are on merit – Lungu

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says appointments in the foreign service like for many others in the civil service are on merit.

President Lungu yesterday swore in Major General Jackson Miti as the new High Commissioner to South Africa, replacing High Commissioner Emmanuel Mwamba who has been appointed as Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Lt Gen Paul Mihova as new High Commissioner to London replacing Muyeba Chikonde who was recalled and former information minister Mwansa Kapeya who heads to Botswana.

“Congratulations once again to the three of you on your respective appointments into foreign service. These appointments, like for many others in the civil service, are on merit,” he said.

President Lungu said he was confident Maj Gen Miti would utilise his skills to enable Zambia gain maximum benefits from the various trade protocols in a competitive regional environment, like SADC and COMESA to which Zambia is member.

President Lungu said Maj Gen Miti had an inspiring curriculum vitae having held senior positions in the Zambia Army.

“You served with discipline, hard work and loyalty for 36 years, earning yourself the second highest position of deputy army commander and chief of staff from 2016 to 2018. This is no mean achievement. In this regard, I urge you to apply your rich background in the execution of duties as a diplomat for the mutual benefit of the governments of Zambia and South Africa and peoples,” he said. “I am confident that you will utilise your skills to enable our country gain maximum benefits from the various trade protocols in a competitive regional environment, like the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), to which Zambia is a member.”

He said he looked forward to Maj Gen Miti exploring new and progressive initiatives which will help improve trade imbalances between Zambia and South Africa.

And President said Lt Gen Mihova was a seasoned and accomplished public servant who rose through the ranks of the Zambia Army to the highest position of Army Commander.

“During your tour of duty in the 40 years that you served in the defence force, you had the privilege of serving as defence attache at the Zambian missions in Mozambique and South Africa. This gives you an advantage of understanding the expectations of the government from our people privileged to work in foreign service. Therefore, I have no doubt that you measure up to the task of being our top diplomat in the United Kingdom needless to say, I expect you to explore more areas of investment between Zambia and the United Kingdom,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Lungu said High Commissioner Kapeya had vast experience in the public service which spans over 40 years.

“I have no doubt therefore, that you will use your skills to improve further the existing relations between Zambia and Botswana. You are going to Botswana at a time when the two countries are exploring new trade opportunities in both traditional and non-traditional exports. I am, therefore, certain that you will employ your skills to market Zambia’s potential in the area of trade and investment. Finally, as you take up these new positions, I appeal to the three of you to make an effort to understand the contents of the Seventh National Development Plan currently under implementation. This document is a blueprint to guide you in explaining Zambia’s development agenda at bilateral level,” said President Lungu.

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