Thursday, April 26, 2007
By KASUBA MULENGA
PRESIDENT Mwanawasa has cautioned ministers against engaging in illegal activities and making populists decisions that were against national interest. Mr Mwanawasa said there was a tendency by some ministers to only act on decisions that they thought made them popular to the public. “I want to caution you that when you are appointed minister, there is a tendency by certain people to always try to do things which will not make them unpopular to the people. Now, your function is to make decisions which are pleasing to the people of Zambia but only if it is necessary," Mr Mwanawasa said.
The President said this at State House yesterday during a swearing-in ceremony. Those swore in were Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Mike Mulongoti and his Gender counterpart, Patricia Mulasikwanda. Mr Mwanawasa also swore in Deputy Minister of Lands, Nassim Hamir and Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet in charge of finance and economic development, Likolo Ndalamei.
The President said ministers should not hesitate to act on decisions that looked unpopular when in the long run they would be remembered as having been good leaders. "There should not be a situation where your children will come and condemn you for causing perpetual difficulties. If it means cleaning the City of Lusaka where there are illegally built buildings, ministers should go ahead with such a decision because this might seem unpopular today but will be a blessing in future,” Mr Mwanawasa said.
He said it was important that the people in decision-making positions took note that the City of Lusaka was ugly. Mr Mwanawasa urged ministers to acquaint themselves with the constitutional provisions and avoid illegal acts. On Mr Ndalamei, the President hailed him for his hard work when he was managing director of the Zambia National Commercial Bank and for the role he played in the process of selling 49 percent shares to Rabo Bank of Netherlands.
He asked Mr Ndalamei to help provide answers to the many economic challenges in the country because Zambians were in a hurry to see development. On Mr Hamir, Mr Mwanawasa said there were many scams at the Ministry of Lands and advised him against getting involved in vices.