By Staff Writer
Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Muyeba Chikonde will on Monday December 10, be bestowed with the Freedom of the City of London, becoming an honorary citizen of the City.
He will be honoured for his contribution Diplomacy.
Freedom of the City is the highest honour that the City of London can bestow.
It is given to individuals who have made a significant impact in their field.
This includes Politicians, Diplomats, the Clergy, Actors, Sportsmen and Musicians among others.
The presentation ceremony will take place in the Chamberlain’s Court of the historical Guildhall building and is normally attended the Lord Mayor or representative, Aldermen, Common Councilmen and invited guests. For this occasion the Remembrancer of the City of London Paul Double will attend whose traditional role dates as far back as 1571 of being the channel of communications between the Lord Mayor and the City of London on the one hand and the Sovereign, royal household and Parliament on the other.
The award is also a demonstration of the existing good relations between Zambia and the United Kingdom. Since his appointment, Mr Chikonde has facilitated several high profile visits among them the Lord Mayors of the City London to strengthen business ties between Zambia and the UK.
In February 2016, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Jeffrey Mountevans, led a business delegation to Zambia in order to strengthen bilateral trade between the two countries.
And in February 2017, The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley visited Zambia.
The Lord Mayor’s visit marked the start of a new collaborative campaign the UK’s financial and professional services sector to build relations with international partners as part of a Commonwealth expansion programme.
Zambia and the UK have both benefitted from strong relationships bilaterally, which have deepened in recent years.
Mr Chikonde joins world leaders including; Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Late Princess Diana, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, The Queen, Actor, Morgan Freeman, Florence Nightingale, General Eisenhower and former American President Theodore Roosevelt and High Commissioner Anderson Chibwa among others.
The Freedom of the City of London is an honour conferred London City Corporation upon a valued member of the community, a visiting celebrity or dignitary. The City invites individuals who have made a significant impact in their field to take up the Freedom to acknowledge their particular contribution. The Freedom of the City of London dates back to 1237 where beneficiaries were able to undertake trade in the city.
Though, some of the traditional privileges associated with the Freedom, such as driving sheep over London Bridge, are not commonly practiced presently, the Freedom has maintained many other privileges in addition to providing the receiver a link with the historic City of London and one of its antique traditions.
This is according to First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambian Embassy UK Abigail Chaponda.