By Staff Reporter
THE Zambian Government has expelled the Cuban Ambassador to that country for undiplomatic conduct after he expressed support for an opposition political party.
The Cuban ambassador has since been given seven days to leave Zambia.
Zambia’s Presidential Spokesperson, Amos Chanda, said the President has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to start the process of recalling Cuban Ambassador, Nelson Pages Vilas.
The Presidency expressed shock on such conduct from a Cuban Ambassador noting that in Cuba the opposition is not just resented but is totally absent.
Speaking to journalists Sunday in Lusaka, Chanda said a diplomat of seniority of an ambassador ought to have known that diplomatic practice prohibits indulgence in partisan politics.
“I called to brief you on one important matter regarding the decision the President has made which regards to the conduct, the behaviour of the Cuban Ambassador to Zambia; the President has directed that the Cuban Ambassador be recalled,” he said.
“Foreign Ministry must effect all the procedures today to start the process of the recall of the Cuban Ambassador. That is the sending State must recall the Cuban Ambassador for behaviour unbecoming of a diplomat.”
Meanwhile, Chanda disclosed that the ministry of foreign Affairs has been instructed to inform the Ambassador of government’s decision.
“So the President has made this decision and has instructed the Permanent Secretary (Ministry of) Foreign Affairs to call in the ambassador and inform him of the decision”
The presidential spokesperson stated that the decision was purely based on the ambassador’s involvement in local partisan politics.
“This relates to his involvement in partisan politics, which is totally a contravention of the established diplomatic practice,” He said
“It’s quite extraordinary that of all people, the Cuban Ambassador himself knows that in Cuba the Opposition is not just resented, it’s totally absent. You will expect that the Cuban Ambassador will know that diplomatic practice prohibits that kind of behaviour. A diplomat of seniority of an ambassador ought to have known that that is clear red line.
He said that the behaviour of the ambassador was contrary to the conduct that was expected of a diplomat adding that the Zambian government was going to officially inform the Cuban government of the decision taken.
“A decision has been made for Zambian government to request the Cuban government to recall the Ambassador for behaviour that is contrary to that which is expected of a diplomat. A conduct unbecoming of a diplomat is the official reason for which the Zambia government, particularly the President has taken this decision.”
The Cuban Ambassador who presented his letter of credence to President Lungu – Thursday last week, attended Fred M’membe’s socialist party launch where he assured the opposition party of his unwavering support.