By Avinash Gavai (Defence Embassy)
The Zambian high commissioner says he is confused by Zambian newspaper reports of his involvement in alleged financial impropriety at one of his country’s Canadian offices that he says doesn’t exist.
According to a Nov. 16 report published by the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, a state-owned TV station and website, Nevers Mumba is in the crosshairs of Zambia’s newly-elected president Michael Sata.
“The president is concerned that information obtained so far suggests serious financial impropriety at the mission in Toronto, which is under the supervision of Dr Nevers Mumba,” reads the article.
“The president hopes that Dr Mumba’s impending visit to Zambia will provide law enforcement agencies an opportunity to engage him on the financial matters at the mission he supervised as high commissioner until his recent recall.”
Zambia does not have a mission in Toronto, said Mr. Mumba in an interview with Embassy, “so I don’t myself know what is happening and what information is being sent across.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade website, which keeps an up-to-date online directory of foreign representatives posted to Canada, does not list any Zambian consul general in Toronto or any other Canadian city. The country’s only diplomatic mission is in Ottawa.
Mr. Mumba says he has sent a request to the presidential office in the Zambian capital of Lusaka for clarification on the issue.
“Owing to the fact that this is an internal matter, I will not be able to make a comment until things clear up,” he told Embassy on Nov. 16.
Mr. Mumba is Zambia’s former vice president and a political appointee of the then-ruling Movement for Multi-Party Democracy. That party was in power in Zambia from 1991 until last September, when it lost a national election to Mr. Sata’s Patriotic Front party.
Consequently, Mr. Mumba announced that he would be leaving his post in Ottawa in December.
Zambian news media have reported a movement including an MMD youth wing backing Mr. Mumba to take over his party’s leadership. The nomination period for party presidency is ongoing this month.
Mr. Mumba, a well-known diplomat on the Ottawa circuit, has also been the Ottawa Diplomatic Association’s president since February.
In that capacity he organizes major parties, such as the Diplomatic Ball taking place Nov. 30, which will feature more than 300 diplomats.
He is also a pastor and founder of a string of churches in Zambia, called the Victory Ministries