Sunday, December 15, 2013

'Hosting liberation movements helped Zambia forge bonds'
By Masuzyo Chakwe1
Mon 28 Oct. 2013, 14:00 CAT

ZAMBIA'S High Commissioner to South Africa Muyeba Chikonde says hosting liberation movements provided an opportunity for Zambia to forge historic bonds still reflected in the relations with South Africa, the SADC region and beyond.

And South Africa's deputy Human Settlements Minister Zou Kota says South Africa and Zambia will next year hold an inaugural Joint Permanent Commission (JPC).

Speaking during the 49th Independence celebrations hosted by the mission on Thursday, High Commissioner Chikonde said Zambia was always reminded of the humble role played as a home for most liberation movements in Southern Africa.
He said Zambians believed that the country could not enjoy the desired peace and unity if its neighbours and those beyond were not liberated.
"Living with our brothers and sisters in the struggle within our neighbourhoods had its own consequences of constant threats of attack from oppressive groups but it also provided an opportunity for us to forge historic bonds still reflected in our relations with not only South Africa but the SADC region and beyond," High Commissioner Chikonde said in a statement issued by first secretary for press and public relations at Zambia's High Commission in South Africa Patson Chilemba.

He said during the second quarter of 2012, South Africa maintained the first position as Zambia's top major trading partner with trade growing by 15.4 percent to US$956.1 million from US$828.4 million.

"In fact two of our partners today ARM-VALE and AFGRI have invested heavily in Zambia. In the case of ARM-VALE now known as Lubambe Copper Mine Limited completed ahead of schedule the construction of a modern world class mine and delivered the first copper concentrate in October, 2012 with production expected to exceed 45,000 tonnes of contained copper by 2015," said he said. "AFGRI has continued to provide support to farmers."

And deputy minister Kota said South Africa remained grateful for the sacrifice rendered towards the liberation struggles in South Africa and beyond.

She said Zambia was home to South African freedom fighters and helped greatly bring about freedom against apartheid.

Kota said the strong historical ties enjoyed between the two countries should lead to enhanced trade relations, adding that in this vein South Africa's department of international relations and co-operation minister Maite Nkoane Mashabane and Zambia's foreign affairs minister Wylbur Simuusa would lead the inaugural JPC in 2013.

She congratulated Zambia on making the region proud by successfully co-hosting the biggest ever United Nations World Tourism General Assembly, which attracted over 4000 delegates from across the globe.

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