Lungu overreacted – VJ

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VJ Mwaanga

Veteran politician and former Foreign Affairs Minister Vernon Johnson Mwaanga a.k.a VJ has described the expulsion of the Cuban Ambassador to Zambia as an extreme overreaction by President Edgar Lungu.

The Cuban Ambassador on Saturday was among the notable figures at the launch of Fred M’membe’s Socialist Party.

Addressing members, the Ambassador said the Socialist Party of Cuba was wishing the Socialist Party of Zambia all the best.

This seem not to have gone well with President Lungu who hours later through his Spokesperson announced that the Cuban Ambassador had gone beyond his duty and the Zambian government was expelling him.

But Mwaanga who is also a seasoned Diplomat says this is not the first time a diplomat was attending a political party event saying President Lungu has overreacted.

“When i first heard about the expulsion from the country of the Cuban Ambassador, for attending the launch of the Socialist Party and for the general public remarks of support, attributed to him, i thought it was a 1st April fools day joke,” stated Mwaanga.

“It has now turned out to be true and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been directed to work out the diplomatic channels to put this Presidential decision into effect. I hold no brief for what may have happened or said at the launch of the Socialist Party on Saturday 31st March and my views on Socialism in Zambia, are a matter of public record.”

Mwaanga said President Lungu’s decision is not consistent with past events, pointing to the fact that several diplomats attended the PF convention in 2011.

“This decision is ill advised, extreme and inconsistent with what happened in the Past. Just in case memories have conveniently faded, in 2011 when PF held its Convention at Mulungushi Rock, they formally invited the then American Ambassador to Zambia, Mark Storella to attend, accompanied by a political affairs officer from the US embassy and while there, he announced that the United States of America, supports democratic developments, when ever they occur. I was then a member of the MMD government of then President Rupiah Banda and no issue was made of Ambassador Storella’s attendance or remarks he made there. This decision to expel the Cuban Ambassador is extreme and uncalled for. At the most, he should have been summoned to the Foreign Ministry and given a demarche. It does not augur well for our relations with Cuba, a country which has been supportive of Zambia in good and bad times.”

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7 Responses to Lungu overreacted – VJ

  1. Lungu is very dull. He can’t think on his own. i’m very sure he was just told by a cadre to carry this action and he did that without thinking through it and the consequences that will follow.

    Mulubwa
    April 2, 2018 at 9:57 am
    Reply

  2. Niba Koswe government, they have a shot memory, they can’t remember what happened in 2011. What an embarrassment

    John chabe
    April 3, 2018 at 12:34 am
    Reply

  3. PF thinks Cuba will support the new party materially. That is there fear and nothing else.

    Monze
    April 3, 2018 at 7:52 am
    Reply

  4. The fact of the matter is that the Zambian Govt overreacted in a manner consistent with a bunch of scared insecure people. Pure and simple.

    Cuba has unreservedly supported the Zambian people massively, particularly in the health sector, in our darkest hour. Cuba never needed Zambia. Zambia needed Cuba.

    So, jumping to such extreme punitive measures without covering the middle ground, the instant their official makes the first mistake is clearly overreacting.

    And why deport the other Officials for merely attending? This is stup!d.

    BRABUS
    April 3, 2018 at 10:35 am
    Reply

  5. When one is said to have ‘graced’ the occasion, what does it mean? If the Ambassador was just in attendance without saying anything, that is his representational right. But, if he addressed the gathering, and promised support to the new party, then he crossed the red light.

    M.M.
    April 3, 2018 at 11:55 am
    Reply

  6. But, whether the Ambassador’s action called for an expulsion is a matter for official judgment. Depending on the weight of the case, a demarche is an option available to States, while ensuring that the option taken does not hurt the relations between the two countries.

    M.M.
    April 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm
    Reply

  7. Is VJ senile or what? This case is clear, the Cuban envoy should not have spoken to support a party in opposition publicly. Mmembe no doubt mislead the envoy who was only less than 2 weeks old in Zambia. The statement from Foreign Affairs is clear, protocol was not followed. VJ is not part of government so he can be forgiven regarding his lack of understanding how things work these days. This is not mvula zakale. If you do not know what you are talking about, it is better to zip it.

    Comedians
    April 3, 2018 at 9:22 pm
    Reply

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