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Recalled diplomats warned

CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka
THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given recalled diplomats an ultimatum of up to January 31, 2017 to surrender diplomatic passports and vehicle registration number plates coded CD (Country Diplomat) and obtain Zambian registration plates.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs public relations officer Dorcas Chileshe warned that failure to do so will be tantamount to committing an offence of evading payment of road tax as required under the Zambian laws.
Mrs Chileshe said in an interview yesterday that the recalled diplomats are stripped of diplomatic immunity upon being recalled and that this applies to the vehicles which also benefit from immunity in light of the CD number plates.
She said the immunity covering the vehicles in the respective countries where the diplomats served is not valid in Zambia and urged relevant authorities to be alert and query such vehicle owners in cases where they claim diplomatic immunity.
Mrs Chileshe said the move follows a recent caution by Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba to recalled envoys against the continued use of CD number plates and diplomatic passports after being recalled from the Foreign Service.
“The ministry has noted with concern the continued use of foreign CD number plates by recalled diplomats who have been in the country for more than six months since their return from the Foreign Service thereby committing an offence of evading payment of road tax.
“In light of the above, the ministry wishes to reiterate that all recalled Zambian diplomats are required to obtain Zambian number plates within a period of six months after their return in Zambia and to surrender diplomatic passports to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Mrs Chileshe said.
She said all former diplomats have been urged and are expected to adhere to the ultimatum as espoused by Mr Kalaba. READ MORE

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