President Edgar Lungu is phoning other African heads to force South African president Jaob Zuma to attend an emergency meeting over xenophobia, according to Zambian government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili.
Kambwili who is also information minister told the Voice of America that Zambians are very upset with South Africa because Zambia helped black South African leaders fight against white apartheid rule.
“Zambians are extremely upset. Most of the prominent politicians in South Africa were resident in Lusaka. The ANC [African National Congress] headquarters was here in Lusaka. People like Thabo Mbeki lived here in Lusaka and worked here in Lusaka. And up to now, the office which used to house the ANC is still here in Lusaka,” said Kambwili.
He added: “so the Zambians are saying, ‘Look, why should our brothers in South Africa be beating foreigners when we did so much to try and help them to fight apartheid?,’ and it hasn’t gone [down] well with the Zambians.
Kambwili said president Lungu is surprised that South African leaders do not appreciate.
“We’ve been very worried about the happenings in South Africa as far as xenophobia is concerned. There have been killings and beatings of foreign nationals in South Africa,” said Kambwili.
“Our president has been speaking with fellow presidents who are members of SADC [Southern African Development Community] to try and call for an urgent SADC meeting,’ Kambwili said.
Kambwili said the attacks on neighboring citizens as well as other African nationals were unfortunate and unacceptable.