Zambia is headed for a serious diplomat spat with the Nigerian government after embattled Labour minister Fackson Shamenda ordered authorities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to suspend issuing visas to Nigerian nationals in a desperate bid to arm-twist the Embassy into stopping a lawsuit filed against him by Dangote Industries Zambia (DIZ)
Shamenda in another of his highly suspicious moves, allegedly under the instruction of Lusaka businessman Rajan Mathani, is plotting to make another raid on the $400 million dollar Ndola DIZ cement plant with immigration and police officials to further antagonise the firm into shutting down as they are deemed serious competitors to Mathani’s limping Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) plant.
ZPC has a capacity of only 450,000 metric tons per year compared to DIZ which when operational early in 2015 will hit 1,500 million metric tons per annum.
And Attorney General Musa Mwenye told sources that he was not employed to defend individual ministers over their personal battles but instead was there to advise the government, adding that he would not be drawn into such battles.
In the latest Shamenda diplomatic blunder which has infuriated the Nigerian government, which also intends to enforce reciprocal measures, the trouble prone labour minister who has been making headlines in the news, but all for the wrong reasons, has now influenced home affairs officials not to issue Visas to Nigerians until further notice.
By Andre Musonda