…with Austria G to G help says Amb. Anthony Mukwita

Sunday Interview 22.12.19 Lusaka

The number of babies dying needlessly at birth in Zambia could drastically reduce once government engages fully with Austria said Ambassador Anthony Mukwita.

Ambassador Mukwita said the ‘positive slash’ in infant deaths could apply to the cancer  and maternal mortality  that leaves a similar trail of misery in Zambia annually.

The envoy who represents Zambia in Germany  and Austria was speaking during Sunday Interview on the state broadcaster ZNBC anchored by influential interviewer Grevazio Zulu in Lusaka.

“We stand a chance to slash the number of babies and mothers dying needlessly at birth through financing from Austria on a Government to Government basis which is zero rated, concessional and not commercial,” Ambassador Mukwita said on the side lines of the interview.

Official data shows that Zambia has positively reduced maternal and infant mortality deaths, the numbers could drop further once the wards are rehabilitated and upgraded, including of course the deaths of cancer once engagement with Austria’s AME International is a reality.

“One good thing about the Cancer Centre ran by Dr Kennedy Lishimpi is that after an upgrade, it will earn enough own money and become a regional hub for both treatment and training. The positive story also extends to the children and mothers wards,” said Ambassador Mukwita.

The Sunday Interview with Grevazio Zulu was on the side-lines of a meeting with Vice President Mrs. Inonge Wina who met a high-level delegation from Austria Ambassador Mukwita brought to Lusaka on 3 December 2019 that are seeking escalation of economic diplomacy with Zambia.

Ambassador Mukwita lauded the Vice President VP Wina for finding time to meet the Austrian delegation led by Foreign Affairs Secretary General Dr Johannes Peterlik and honorary consul of Zambia Mr Heinz Messinger that opened up discussions for closer diplomacy.

Austria with a population of about 8 million people has a GDP of US$500billion and is eyeing immediate investment in Zambia’s energy sector and health, including diplomacy.

Grevazio Zulu also asked Ambassador Mukwita to speak on the diplomacy standing of Zambia on contemporary issues such as human rights of sections of Zambians which the senior diplomat declined to discuss as they have been discussed by President Edgar Lungu already.

Ambassador Mukwita, however, said Zambia’s diplomatic credentials abroad remain highly favourable and optimistic:

  • We have held polls without bloody conflict more than five times since independence already
  • We have transitioned from one President to another without conflict
  • We have enjoyed undisrupted peace and stability for 55 years
  • We have a President H.E Edgar Lungu who once gave up power in order to win it back peacefully
  • We open doors for refugees without sending them back at our borders, we have done so for 55 years
  • President Lungu continues enjoying a good name of being a humble and Christian leader like it or not
  • Many political and other freedoms continue to exist unlike other countries
  • We still enjoy best ratings in ease of doing business on the continent
  • President Lungu discourages early marriage of young girls
  • President Lungu refuses to kill death row in mates and instead commutes sentences to life

Ambassador Mukwita urged Zambians to ‘embrace’ the fact that they are citizens of a peace-loving stable country and a good President Lungu compared to others in the region: “sometimes you don’t know how good you have something until its gone. It’s  called standing too close to the elephant…you have to step back a little to see beyond the grey skin. Also remember no country is perfect on the globe.”

Zambia, nevertheless, remains a huge business destination according to Ambassador Mukwita who gave an example of the huge number of flights landing and taking off in Zambia daily at KKIA.

Ambassador Mukwita thanked Vice President Inonge Wina and the Austrian delegation of Dr Peterlik, hon consul Messinger and,  of course Foreign Affairs officials in Lusaka for making the meetings possible at such a high level.

Of special note is Administration Permanent Secretary Ms. Kakulubelwa Mulalelo at Health Ministry with her entire team at UTH.

For the full interview follow the Zambian embassy in Berlin Facebook link and website or ZNBC website.



Caption: ZNBC Sunday Interview Anchor-Man Grevazio Zulu with Amb. Anthony Mukwita from Berlin Germany during the interview in the newly refurbished ZNBC studios in Lusaka.