Zambia’s police force has scrapped plans to employ eight Chinese nationals barely 24 hours after it unveiled the scheme, following a public outcry.
The new reservists were commissioned in the capital, Lusaka, on Monday.
But the decision prompted widespread anger, especially in light of a ruling taken earlier this year that bans police officers from marrying foreigners for “security reasons”.
Not even Zambians with dual-nationality are allowed to join the police.
Dickson Jere, a lawyer and former presidential spokesman, said the constitution was clear on the matter.
He told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme that the entire incident was an “insult” – to others in the police, but also other Zambians.
“When we see a uniform of the police, it signifies our identity. It signifies our sovereignty,” Mr Jere said. “How would we be feeling to see a police officer and be saluting a Chinese [national] in our own country?”
The appointment of the Chinese reservists had left many other people scratching their heads particularly as the government had previously removed other nationals from the security services