Dear your excellency ambassador Mulonda,
I don’t have your direct email as I didn’t find it on the embassy website so I hope you get this from the other emails I sent to at the embassy. I am writing to you as a concerned member of the Zambian diaspora here in America and a child of mother Zambia.
Please forgive me, I cannot share my true name or identity for fear of being attacked on social media, especially on Facebook by the people that I mention in this letter.
I didnt want to say anything until I read a facebook message by Mwangala Jo that she is meeting Minister Kalaba to discuss the diaspora.
I have being living in America with my family for some years. Me and my spouse are employed full time and our children are in school. We have been doing business in Zambia. We buy used trucks and send them to Zambia to be contracted with the copper mines. We also send women beauty products, building supplies and clothes. Our next idea is to try and import Zambian products to America. It has been difficult sometimes but we are trying.
We live in a state with a lot of Zambians and there is a Zambian association. I am not a member of the association because it has a limited focus. Its focus is only about parties while me I am focused on business and education. Me and my spouse are both legally staying here and we plan to go back to Zambia one day. One of my biggest interests is Zambian politics so I try to keep up with what is happening back home. I want to gain from America and then go and benefit Zambia.
But Ambassador, I was very disturbed and worried when I saw the article in the Zambia Daily Mail and the Lusaka Times that a group here in the diaspora is saying that they represent every Zambian individual and Zambian business in the whole of America. The group I am talking about is the Society of Zambians in America or SOZA. When I saw the articles I wanted to do some research first to see what this is about. So I started asking people and also reading the comments on Facebook by these individuals who met with you at the Embassy. I also read on the Facebook fan page and I was very disturbed. My biggest worry was that you as the Ambassador who should represent all Zambians is endorsing this group. I don’t know under what authority some people can just make a group and claim to represent everyone and then a whole government embassy believes them. To me this is dangerous.
I was not going to write to you got today I see a Facebook message from the president of SOZA saying that all Zambians in the diaspora should complete a survey because she has a meeting with the minster of foreign affairs in DC and she wants us to speak with one voice. What is going on here?? Who are these people to speak for us to the minister. Please I beg you ambassador, put a stop to this nonsense. We don’t know these people and they are speaking for the whole diaspora. When is the minister coming to America? Is the minister going to visit us in the diaspora? Why didn’t the invitation come to all of us? Please these individuals do not speak for us.
I looked at Facebook comments and some things I found are disturbing. For example,
The president of this SOZA was publicly on Face book insulting our current president especially during election and also saying disrespectful things about our late President Sata and PF Party. These are her exact words:: (1)”Be careful who you Vote for fellow Zambians!! You have seen all the signs. Does this look like a man capable of leading Zambia?! EdgarLungu has not even articulated his vision and how then are we ever going to hold him accountable?”(2) “Dear Zambians, as January 20th draweth nigh, Don’t forget how the ruling Party nationalized Zamtel and filled up all key positions with PF cadres. Don’t forget how they reversed the sale of finance bank and handed it back to Rajan Mathani who had been found in breach of the banking regulations. Don’t forget how in PF government, out of 23 cabinet ministers, 15 are from the same province, and it should be a no brainer which province that is. Don’t forget how the diplomatic mission was filled with relatives, girlfriends, and former receptionists. Don’t forget how Sata called his ministers useless. Remember EdgarLungu is running on Michael Sata’s vision. its time to say NO to a PF vision of corrupt practices and nepotism. Say NO to tribalism. Say NO to useless leaders! Vote for the economic development of Zambia.”(3) “Dear Zambians, today you get a chance to rectify the Michael Sata disaster. Get up and go and Vote wisely. Vote.out PF! Vote HH! Happy and peaceful ELECTION DAY Zambia!”
Also on the Facebook of the SOZA President Mwangala Jo (I don’t know if that is her real name), she is telling Zambians to get passport forms from her. Is this woman now authorized to get involved with issuing government documents? Isn’t there a person at the embassy who was sent here and paid by the Zambian government who is supposed to do that?
Another question, have these people been checked to see if it is safe for them to be handling them government documents? Are they Zambians or Americans or illegals? Isn’t this a security issue? Some may have criminal backgrounds, some may even be here illegally but issuing government documents. Some are involved in 419 deals here. Some months ago in an article in the newspaper the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Kalaba warned Zambians in the diaspora about getting involved in illegal activities while abroad so I think the embassy should make sure it is not risking itself. Is the minister aware of the group he will be meeting? Yes even an illegal Zambian is still a Zambian but for the embassy to be giving them government documents it is not safe for the country.
How can someone insult the President of Zambia one day and then go and visit the embassy saying they represent every Zambian and Zambian organizations in the diaspora? I was also told that SOZA President Mwangala had association with a Zambian who was here illegally and involved in Nigerian 419 scam and was deported. They are also Zambians in our state here who did tax fraud and they are in jail. Do you know the status of these SOZA as you provide them with government documents?
What has this group planning for Zambians in diaspora? Apart from a Facebook page of discussions we don’t know anything nothing else that they are standing for. From the SOZA team meeting with you Ambassador, they say they are fighting for dual citizenship. Is it not true that dual citizenship is already in the new constitution? At least President of the Zambian association in Atlanta sidique has been known to do a good job raising money when a family needs to send a dead body back home because most of us don’t buy life insurance so we need donations. If its not for people like sidique, some Zambians I don’t know where they would be buried.
Another risk with this group is they can support one political party, insult other parties and the leaders and then say that they are speaking for the whole diaspora. I don’t want someone speaking for me about politics especially if they are disrespectful to Zambian leaders and the government. But on the Facebook pages of these SOZA individuals they are saying a lot of disrespectful things (please look at the Facebook for Mwangala Jo). This lady, Mwangala Jo was encouraging Zambian diaspora to vote for HH. Its ok for anyone to select the party of choice but Ambassador you have endorsed someone who is telling us to vote for HH (please look at the Facebook for Mwangala Jo). I don’t want this woman to tell me who to vote for. I don’t want the people in Zambia to think that all of us in the diaspora are for one political party. Just to give you a good example of SOZA President Mwangala showing disrespectfulness to government, she said on January 19: “Dear Zambian, today you get a chance to rectify the Michael Sata disaster. Get up and go and vote wisely. VOTE out PF! Vote HH!. (please look at the Facebook for Mwangala Jo)” On January 16, Mwangala said: “Be careful who you vote for fellow Zambians!! You have seen all the signs. Does this look like a man capable of leading Zambia?” Ambassador Mulonda, are you not part of PF? How can you endorse someone who is insulting your boss and our President in public?
I also asked some counterparts about this SOZA group. One of them says he is also in SOZA. I learned from him that most of the associations even the association here has refused to join SOZA and this is the biggest in America. I also learned that this group was formed under your direction as ambassador sometime back and you have assigned 3 embassy people as representatives with SOZA. I was told that the person responsible for news and press affairs Patricia Litiya is the SOZA link to your office and she is the one who has been giving documents to SOZA.. She is a regular contributor on the SOZA Facebook. Its good at least she is connecting with the dispora. It appears that you and your staff accept the kind of behavior from this SOZA group. So I think its true that these are the links from the embassy to SOZA.
This morning, I just saw on Patricia’s Facebook that she was in Atlanta for a dinner party in official capacity. Is this not the same Patricia Littiya who got into a Facebook fight with a Zambian lady from Dallas called Cynthia Neal from dallas? We laughed here but we asked but how can government diplomat get involved into such drama. Its unprofessional. And now she was in Atlanta at a party as a Zambian government official.
I looked at the SOZA Facebook page and I admit it is a good social site. Many people discussing different topics and advertising functions and businesses. This is a good place for people to meet and discuss. It’s like the Facebook for Zambia Scorpion and Zambia Eye. But they shouldn’t be trying to represent every Zambian in America. It is fine as a social place. I see many people there are not in America. At least the Zambians in Dallas are putting the first Zambian Expo. Those are the things that the minister should be seeing not just taking to people who only work on facebook. The Expo was organized by the associatiin in Dallas but SOZA is put its name on the Expo as if its them.
Your Excellency Ambassador Mulonda it’s good that you are opening your doors to the diaspora. It’s good that the diaspora is forming associations and businesses and other groups but one group cannot just say it covers everyone even those who don’t agree with them. I believe that you Ambassador and the embassy should continue supporting all Zambians but not just a few individuals in one association.
Since the Zambia embassy put this information on the embassy website which is a government website and also in the Zambian newspapers, can you also publicly tell us in the diaspora with an official statement that you as the government has selected this group to represent and speak for every Zambian and Zambian owned organization in America? I am also wondering if there is a person at the embassy who looks at the legal and political issues. Because I think this has some serious legal and political risks.
I don’t know these SOZA people but the comments I have seen them make and the things that I have been told, I do not want them speaking for me.
The message I am getting is that if I do not sign up in SOZA then the embassy will not represent me as a Zambia in diaspora because the embassy wants to speak to one organization. I expect the Zambia Embassy to put out stories about progress, how to get houses in Zambia and not just pictures of Patricia Littiya and SOZA members.
Your excellency Mr Ambassador how about those zambians who are PHDs, medical doctors, business professionals? How come we don’t see them? Some are doing big things but you seem to be only supporting ba lumpen. I respect you as our ambassador but I beg you, this is going to be a big problem.
They say “ICHI KUPEMPULA ECHI KULYA”
Concerned Zambian in the diaspora