ZAMBIA’S High Commissioner to Malawi Colonel Panji Kaunda says he will justify his appointment by producing results which will benefit Zambia.

And Zambia’s High Commissioner to Namibia Stephen Katuka says his appointment has come at the right time, committing that he will do his best to achieve President Hakainde Hichilema’s vision and that of the new dawn government.

Responding to people’s reactions that he was too old for the job in an interview, Col Kaunda said critics would always be there.

“In Bemba they say ‘wende ubwamba cibi ceka, ufwale, cibi ceka’. So in whatever you do, there are others who will say yes and no, that is part of life. We must accept that because critics are part of us. Those who are for us, we thank them. Those who criticise us, we listen to what they are saying and improve. So it is not a problem. Anybody can be appointed. That is why we are thankful to the President. There are so many people in Zambia that could have been appointed. I am not the best of the best but I just happen to be in that place at the right time. So I must justify my going there by the results that I am going to create in that country to benefit Zambia,” he said.

Col Kaunda said he would improve the bilateral relationship between Zambia and Malawi.

“This is not a holiday we are going to. We have got to go and work on improving the economy. Malawi and Zambia are like sisters and brothers. We speak the same language, we eat the same food and our culture is the same. So in my view it is one of the most important countries that one can go to. We cannot afford not to have a good relationship with Malawi when we have a relationship with China or the USA. So really, my job is to improve on whatever my colleagues have done in the past to make our relationship stronger,” said Col Kaunda.

“Malawi, especially in Chipata, Eastern Province and Lilongwe, there is a lot of trade there but sometimes there are misunderstandings from both sides where people are even killed because they want to go and sell some of the products into Malawi and vice versa. So we must put that one straight and see that our people trade freely and openly because their livelihood is in agriculture. The President has emphasised on single border opening that must be done with the rail line from Chipata to Lilongwe up to the port. So we must work hard so that that port is opened to Zambian trade. So a lot needs to be done in that country and we need to apply ourselves to the task.”

Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Katuka said his appointment had come at the right time.

“I receive this with open arms. It is a very serious appointment and a serious duty. It is a call to duty. You see, we are many Zambians and to be among the many to be picked is a blessing. I want to thank the President for the appointment that it has come at the right time and we are the vision carriers of his vision. So I promise that I will do my best to achieve the vision of the President and for the new dawn government. As he rightly says it, now it is economic diplomacy. We have to go and establish linkages that will benefit the Zambian people,” said Katuka.

“Initially, we were thinking that when you are in the foreign service it is time to go and relax but there is a lot of work to be done for the good of this country. I know too well that Zambia was initially considered land locked but we believe it is not land locked. There should be an advantage. The position where Zambia is, is an added advantage to us. So we should establish the linkages so that it produces economic benefits for the Zambian people. I think that should be the first task we were told to look at and see how we can work with the neighboring countries and bring economic development to our people in the country.”