Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo has assured drivers operating between Zambia and South Africa that their safety concerns have been attended to by both governments.

Kampyongo said this in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as he was transiting to Egypt to attend a Pan-African Forum on Migration being held in Cairo.

He said the South African government had assured that trucks would travel without hindrances or threats to drivers.

According to a statement from First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambia Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Inutu Mwanza, Kampyongo said that a recently reported case about four trucks which were hijacked was being investigated and that it could have been a mere act of criminality, separate from xenophobia.

“Government has ensured that the continued bilateral relationship between Zambia and South African will help curtail the acts of violence targeted at foreign nationals and their property witnessed recently. He said the recent reported case where four trucks were robbed is being investigated and could be a mere act of criminality separate from the matters that the two governments have been dealing with. He said in their bilateral engagements, the South Africa Government had assured the safety of Zambian truck drivers because of the understanding that South African drivers too needed protection as they traversed through the SADC region,” the statement read.

Kampyongo said government had accepted South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s apology and committed to welcoming envoys being sent to Zambia from that country.

“Meanwhile, Hon Kampyongo stated that Zambia had welcomed the apology rendered and regret expressed by His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa on the attacks on foreign nationals. He said Zambia has accepted the public apology rendered during the funeral of ex President, Robert Mugabe in Harare, Zimbabwe. He said Zambia would also welcome the special envoys that President Ramaphosa would send to meet His Excellency, President Edgar Lungu or government officials, on the same matter. He said the forum was important as it would address the myths that surrounded migration that in turn led to challenges such as xenophobic attacks. The Minister further said Zambia had performed well in embracing migration through mechanisms such as integrating foreign Nations in communities,” read the statement.