PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has recalled over 50 diplomats from Foreign Service.
But Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Chalwe Lombe declined to explain why most of the recalled diplomats are female, saying it was not a matter for the public consumption.
He however said movements of staff was within the functions of the ministry and did not in any way constitute news.
“I can’t answer that. That information is not for the public. The ministry functions like any other ministry, movements will take place differently but that’s the ordinary function of the ministry; nothing news worthy and don’t even make it news worthy. Movements of staff are perfectly within the function of the ministry and I do not in any way see news worthiness,” said Lombe.
According to government sources, some of the diplomats that have been recalled include Edith Mutale from Sweden, Barbra Chilangwa who is in Angola and Timothy Walamba from Ghana.
Others are former first lady’s sister Miriam Mwape Mulenga who is resident in Turkey, Dr Kasese Botha from New York and Zambia’s Ambassador to Mozambique Paul Lumbi.
Also recalled is former Clerk of National Assembly Mwelwa Lombe Chibesa Kunda. Ambassador to Zimbabwe.
“Ambassador Susan Sikaneta in Addis Ababa who is also heading the Zambian mission at the African Union, begged to be kept there another two years. This was after the President went there for the AU summit,” the source explained.
The President has also recalled secretaries and first secretaries for press including Chibaula Silwamba from New York, Chansa Kabwela from Malawi, Nick Shabolyo from South Africa, Patricia Litiya from Washington DC, among others.
According to the foreign service regulations and conditions of service: (77) [i] An officer posted from Zambia to a foreign mission station shall be entitled to a one by forty-foot container for the transportation, by surface, of personal effects which may include a motor vehicle.
(77) [ii] An officer transferring from one foreign mission station to another or recalled from foreign service shall be entitled to two forty-foot containers for the transportation by surface, of personal effects which may include two motor vehicles for a married officer or one for a single officer.
(60) On transfer or recall to Zambia, an officer shall be accommodated in a hotel for five nights prior to departure and shall be paid subsistence allowance to meet the hotel expenses.
The officer is also entitled to fly in business class and is entitled to hotel accommodation on arrival.