Zambia sends advance team to racism conference

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- An official Zambian delegation to the world conference against racism which starts Friday in the South African city of Durban left Lusaka Tuesday, armed with papers on the Zambian experience to be presented to the meeting.
The delegation includes legal experts from ministry of legal affairs, activists from the Permanent Human Rights Commission and media workers.
President Frederick Chiluba is also expected to travel to South Africa before Friday to attend ceremonies marking the official start of the landmark conference slated for 31 August and ending on 7 September.
Prior to the departure of the delegation, the Permanent Human Rights Commission, with the support of the UN Development Programme, had mounted a series of workshops in most major centres of Zambia - including the countryside - with a view to mobilising a common position based on grassroots testimony.
Commission chair Judge Lombe Chibesakunda acknowledged that the country's position papers have already been taken to the conference by a representative.
During the meetings, it was noted that there was evidence that there are pockets of racism in the country perpetrated mainly by white foreigners in the mining and commercial sector.
Much of the discrimination being experienced in Zambia is to do with discrimination on jobs that included unequal pay for equal work and qualifications.
Biggest culprits in this respect are the new owners of copper and cobalt mines in the mineral rich Copperbelt Province where artisans, engineers and fitters holding similar qualifications are paid differently and enjoy different conditions of service purely as a result of ethnic differences.
Also being accused of racism are the shopkeepers from Arabs from Lebanon and Greeks who have set up shops in major centres of the country.

28 august 2001 14:15:00




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