Government has requested Cuba to recall its Ambassador to Zambia Nelson Pages Vilas for breach of diplomatic practice.
Briefing the press in Lusaka today, Special Assistant to President Lungu for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said Ambassador Vilas breached diplomatic practice by openly supporting the newly launched opposition Socialist Party.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Chanda said President Lungu has since directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to effect all procedures for the recall of the Cuban Envoy.
The Cuban envoy Nelson Pages Vilas, the Special Assistant to the President said, spoke at the launch of the socialist party on Saturday where he is reported to have wished it well and offered support to the newly formed opposition party to attain its mission.
Mr Chanda explained that the Cuban Envoy’s involvement in partisan politics is totally in contravention of established diplomatic practice.
“Diplomatic practice prohibits that kind of behaviour,” said Mr. Chanda adding that: “an Ambassador is accredited to the government of the Republic of Zambia and never is it accredited to any political party nor the ruling party. “
Mr Chanda said Mr Nelson Pages Vilas presented his letters of credence to the President to establish and present himself as a representative of the Communist Republic of Cuba accredited to the Republic of Zambia not anywhere else in the country.
He said the Cuban envoy’s comments at an opposition political party was that he will support the opposition and that is totally unacceptable from a diplomat.
The Presidential Spokesperson said the Cuban envoy did not communicate that he would attend the launch of the opposition party and that even if he did the diplomatic hand book forbids him from speaking and offer open support to an opposition political party.
He added that, “It’s quite extraordinary that of all people, the Cuban Ambassador knows that in Cuba, the opposition is not just resented but it is totally absent.”
Mr Chanda however stated that diplomatic ties with Cuba would be retained.
Ambassador Nelson Pages Vilas who recently presented his credentials to President Lungu last Thursday March 29, was among the notable figures present during the launch of the newly formed Socialist Party led by defunct Post Newspaper Limited Proprietor Fred M’membe.