NEW HERITAGE Party president Chishala Kateka says it is disappointing to note that appointments based on political patronage have continued.

In an interview, Kataka said many people had been sent in the diplomatic service as a reward for helping a party.

“Do we stop to think about those that are coming up ​​​​​professionally through the rank and file? Knowing that no ​​​matter how hard they work, they can only rise so far. What ​​​message are we sending to them? We, at the New Heritage Party, are disappointed with the continuation of the practice of appointments based on political patronage. We expected appointments by the Government to be on merit. New Heritage Party, once in government, will seek to only appoint career diplomats into the foreign service,” Kateka said.

“However, we wish to congratulate all those that have been appointed into the Foreign Service. Even as we offer our congratulations and recognise that some of our best talent needed to be employed in the Diplomatic Service, we ask the question, how many on the list of those appointed are career diplomats? How many have risen through the ranks and are well equipped ​to handle the rigorous demands of being a 2022 diplomat? Many of our people have been sent in the diplomatic service as a reward for helping a party ascend to power. This works for the individual, it works for the party, but is this the best that we can do for Zambia?”

Last week, President Hakainde Hichilema swore in former UPND national chairperson Stephen Katuka as High Commissioner to Namibia, Colonel Panji Kaunda as High Commissioner to Malawi, Paulo Kosita as Ambassador Extraordinary to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Duncan Mulima as Ambassador Extraordinary to Saudi Arabia and Eunice Luambia as Ambassador Extraordinary to Geneva, Switzerland.