NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has called for an end to misuse of funds in Zambiaâ€™s foreign missions, as raised in the Auditor-Generalâ€™s report.
He has directed heads of missions to ensure that reckless expenditure is stopped.
Mr Lungu said this at State House yesterday when he swore in Emmanuel Mwamba as Zambiaâ€™s high commissioner to South Africa and Humphrey Chibanda as Zambiaâ€™s ambassador to France.
â€œI have been studying the Auditor-Generalâ€™s report on foreign missions and the issues tackled show that there is a lot of reckless spending which I think you should bring to an end by guiding the mission staff accordingly,â€ he said.
The latest Auditor-Generalâ€™s report for the financial year ending December 31, 2013, cited several financial irregularities in 11 missions abroad.
President Lungu said the two envoys are the window through which Zambia sees the world and should market the country.
â€œIt is what you see which will have a bearing on whether Zambia will develop in the direction we want it to and it is through you that we will be able to see the trends out there,â€ Mr Lungu said.
The President said it is important for the new appointees to do that which will be the best for the country.
â€œYou should be able to alert us on that which is not good for the country because we cannot be everywhere,â€ he said.
He called for impeccable conduct.
â€œWhat you are carrying is not just your family name but the Republic of Zambia, so fly the flag high and do the right thing,â€ Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu said the two have support from him and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
And in an interview with journalists, Mr Mwamba said he will work to continue enhancing the relationship that Zambia and South Africa have shared over the years.
â€œThe bulk of our foreign investment is from South Africa, hence the need to ensure that the relationship continues to grow so that we bring more,â€ Mr Mwamba said.
He said the issue of reckless spending in foreign missions is unacceptable and requires serious attention.
â€œIt is unacceptable and the President has alerted us on this matter and it is our duty to ensure that we spend to the requirements of the mission and ensure that all procedures are followed. I will ensure that this matter [reckless spending] is brought to an end,â€ Mr Mwamba said.
And Mr Chibanda said it is an honour to be sent to France, which is one of the biggest economies in Europe and an influential country in the world.
â€œThe bias will be towards investment and I will ensure investment from France comes to Zambia,â€ Mr Chibanda said.
He said prudent financial management will be a priority as the country has limited resources which need to be spent wisely.
NANCY SIAME, Lusaka