Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo says it is regrettable that there have been incidences where some Zambian trucks have been burnt to ashes in South Africa.

And Mwamba says there are some “little foxes” in the vineyard that are trying to spoil the bilateral relations between Zambia and South Africa.

Speaking in Pretoria, South Africa, when he paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s High Commission to that country Emmanuel Mwamba, ahead of the scheduled bilateral engagements between his Ministry and that country’s Ministry of Police, Kampyongo said government was committed to facilitating trade and strengthening relations between the two countries.

“In facilitating trade, how do we ensure that security is not compromised? How do we ensure that those ingredients in facilitating trade are not frustrated by law breakers, and you have had incidents where property, such as trucks, and those trucks that carry certain goods, especially the Zambian trucks, have been caught up in activities to the extent where some of these trucks have been burnt to ashes. So, these are matters of concern and those that drive those vehicles, it’s also a concern to them. And so on both sides, we need to make sure that the investments that are coming from South Africa into Zambia are protected and it is a responsibility of law enforcement of the Zambia Police to ensure that…so sum it up, you know that, the Zambia Police is now chairing the SARPCCO (Southern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization), which is an organ of police chiefs in the region,” Kampyongo said in footage captured live on Smart Eagles.

He stressed the need for the two nations to collaborate more in order to deal with certain issues.

“And further, we are now, Zambia, chairing the Troika of SADC, which deals with matters of politics, defence and security. So, it is very important that we collaborate. And for South Africa and Zambia, now we have had the bi-nation agreement done and so each nation will have to interface in between nations for us who are in the security cluster we have to make sure that we start collaborating a little bit more with our counterparts in the Republic of South Africa,” Kampyongo added.

And Mwamba said there were some “little foxes” in the vineyard that are trying to spoil the bilateral relations between the two nations.

“You are aware that South Africa is our largest trading partner and for South Africa, Zambia is the largest regional trading partner and with that volume of trade and movement of people, there will be a lot of issues, and before we didn’t have mechanisms in which to resolve the issues. So, the bi-national commission sets the stage to resolve the issues, but, however, His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has sent Honourable Stephen Kampyongo, Minister of Home Affairs, to come and resolve some of these urgent issues. They are like little foxes in the vineyard that are spoiling these relations and they relate to migration issues, issues of security and the Minister will attend to these issues because they are threatening these good relations. Honourable Minister will meet his colleague at the Ministry of Police and his colleague at Ministry of Home Affairs and we hope that some of these urgent matters that we have can be resolved even before we have the bi-national commission in November,” Mwamba said.

And asked about the ban of Zambian-made honey into the South African market, Mwamba said there would be a high-level meeting between technical officers from both nations.

“We are engaging South Africa at a bilateral level [and] we will call for an emergency meeting between the technical officials at the Department of Trade and Industry and the technical officials at Ministry of Agriculture to come and meet with our officials at Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Agriculture. We have also written a strong letter to indicate that the disease they purport to have banned the honey on, doesn’t exist in Zambia. Zambia was declared a free area of that disease, the American full brood (paenibacillus larvae), it doesn’t exist in Zambia. So, we think that this is a matter of aggregate maybe from the traders who like to aggregate honey from all over the world and they mix it. We hope from the excellent relations that we enjoy with South Africa, that this matter will be resolved quickly and urgently,” replied High Commissioner Mwamba.

Last week, the South African government imposed an export ban of Zambian honey to South Africa on allegations that the consignment was found to be contaminated with the named disease.