Zambian diplomats recalled

A number of Zambian diplomats have been recalled ostensibly because their contracts had expired.

It is not clear what criteria is being used to determine which diplomats will return or stay.

However, among those recalled is Zambia’s High Commissioner to Kenya Mumbi Phiri who was appointed last year from Malawi where she was deputy High Commissioner.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary George Zulu confirmed that Ms. Phiri was coming back to Zambia but explained that her contract expired and that she had since shown interest in renewing her contract.

Ms Phiri has served in Kenya for less than three years.

Mr. Zulu named former ZNBC director of programmes Ben Kangwa as among those who have been recalled.

He explained that according to the Foreign Service Regulation, the contract to serve in foreign mission was only for three years and it was only the President that could renew it if the diplomat applied for renewal.

He said government was also considering renewing contracts for other diplomats whose contracts expired because it would be costly for government to repatriate them all at the same time.

Mr Zulu confirmed that contracts for all Zambian diplomats that had served foreign mission for three years had expired.

“It is not only Mumbi Phiri that needs to come back, she is not the only one, there are many others. The Foreign Service Regulation is clear and it is not automatic that one can continue without applying for renewal,” he said.