‘Drunken driving’ diplomat recalled

Headquarters of the United Nations, New York City
Headquarters of the United Nations, New York City


GOVERNMENT has terminated the contract of second secretary of communications at Zambia’s Mission to the United Nations (UN) Langford Banda, who was arrested for drunken driving in the United States (US).

Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary George Zulu said yesterday that the move was aimed at promoting a culture of discipline among the diplomats representing Zambia abroad.

“Mr Banda has been recalled in national interest as our aim is to protect the cordial relations that we enjoy with the US. At the moment, the office is vacant but someone will soon be recruited to fill the gap,” he said.

Mr Banda, 41, rammed his 2006 BMW into a vehicle belonging to the New York Police Department (NYPD) in Queens injuring two police officers but escaped a charge due to his diplomatic immunity.

Mr Zulu also said investigations in the case where former deputy high commissioner to London Eva Fundafunda is alleged to have stolen title deeds, are ongoing.

“Those documents are a precious property of the Government as such, emphasis has been placed on recovering them and ensuring that the culprit is traced and brought to book,” he said.

Mr Zulu has since urged Zambian diplomats abroad to be exemplary.

Meanwhile, Mr Zulu said Zambia would this year open an Embassy in Australia to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Permanent Secretary said Australia and Zambia had over the years embarked on joint ventures in areas of commerce and trade; hence it was relevant for Government to open an Embassy, Down-Under.

“Australia has large investments in Zambia and it is also home to many Zambians living in the diaspora.

“We will, therefore, be opening an Embassy there to ensure that the existing ties are enhanced further, he said.

Mr Zulu said the move would also enhance skills transfer between Zambians and Australians. -Times of Zambia