Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rupiah drops 4 Cabinet ministers

Rupiah drops 4 Cabinet ministers
Written by Noel Sichalwe and Patson Chilemba
Saturday, November 15, 2008 4:23:37 AM

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has dropped three Cabinet ministers, including finance minister Ng'andu Magande. But Magande said he had accepted President Banda's decision, saying it was a sigh of relief. During the first press conference after assuming the presidency following the disputed October 30 polls yesterday at State House, President Banda dropped Magande, local government minister Sylvia Masebo, agriculture minister Ben Kapita and gender minister Patricia Mulasikwanda.

Magande was replaced with late president Levy Mwanawasa's special economic advisor Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane. Dr Musokotwane will be deputised by former National Airports Corporation (NAC) managing director Chileshe Kapwepwe who has since been nominated.

Masebo has been replaced by Benny Tetamashimba who was local government deputy minister while Mulasikwanda has been replaced by former agriculture minister Sara Sayifwanda.
President Banda appointed George Kunda as his Vice-President and retained him as justice minister.
President Banda also appointed veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga as parliamentary chief whip.
Other reshuffles included former Minister of Works and Supply Kapembwa Simbao who has been moved to health and replaced with former information minister Mike Mulongoti. Simbao will be deputised by Mwendoi Akakandelwa while Mulongoti's deputy is Mundia Ndalamei.
Former home affairs minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha will now assume the position of Minister of Information and chief government spokesperson while former minister of community development Catherine Namugala swaps with her counterpart from tourism Michael Kaingu. Lt Gen Shikapwasha would be deputised by Elijah Muchima while Namugala's deputies are Vera Tembo and Mubita Mwangala. Former finance deputy minister Jonas Shakafuswa has been moved to the Ministry of Science and Technology in the same capacity.
Kabinga Pande [foreign affairs], Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa [education], Peter Daka [science and technology], Dora Siliya [communications and transport], George Mpombo [defence], Kenneth Konga [energy], Daniel Munkombwe [Southern Province], Adonis Mufalali [Western Province], Lameck Mangani [Lusaka Province] and Ackimson Banda [Central Province] have all been retained in their ministerial positions while former Eastern Province minister Charles Shawa has been moved to Northern Province and will be replaced with Isaac Banda.
Former sports minister Gabriel Namulambe has been moved to presidential affairs ministry while former North-Western Province minister Kenneth Chipungu replaces him. Former Minister of Health Dr Brian Chituwo has been moved to the Ministry of Agriculture while Mongu Central member of parliament Joseph Mulyata has been appointed North-Western Province minister.
Former labour minister Ronald Mukuma is the new lands minister while former mines minister Dr Kalombo Mwansa is the new home affairs minister. Former mines deputy minister Maxwell Mwale becomes the new mines minister while former deputy labour minister Austin Liato has been elevated to the position of minister.
Other deputy ministers appointed and retained include Gladys Lundwe and former Northern Province minister Lameck Chibombamilimo [energy], Albert Mulonga and Daniel Kalenga [agriculture], Borniface Nkhata [mines], John Chinyanta and Friday Malwa [community development], Dr Kalilia and Angela Cifire [sports and youth], Lucy Changwe [gender], Mubika Mubika [communications and transport], Professor Fashion Phiri [foreign affairs], Clement Sinyinda [commerce], Stewart Chilembo [justice], Eustarckio Kazonga [defence], Misheck Bonshe and former information deputy minister David Phiri [home affairs].
President Banda said Inspector General of Police Ephraim Mateyo would go into foreign service and he has been replaced with commissioner of police Francis Kabonde in an acting capacity. All defence chiefs General Isaac Chisuzi [Zambia Army Commander], Major General Raphael Chisheta [Zambia National Service commandant] and Lieutenant General Samuel Mapala [Zambia Air Force commander] have been retained. Attorney General Mumba Malila and Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Joshua Kanganja and his deputy Robert Mataka have also been retained in their positions. Former energy deputy minister Gastone Sichilima becomes deputy minister in the Office of the Vice-President.
Others who have been dropped include former deputy minister of sports Richard Taima and home affairs deputy minister Grace njapa.
President Banda thanked the MMD and opposition parties that supported him in his election.
He said he was happy that the elections were declared free and fair.
He said the MMD deserved victory in the just-ended elections and pledged to work for the Zambians with all his energy and intellect.
President Banda said Zambia was facing serious challenges arising from the economic meltdown from the United States and other developed countries.
He said the country was facing the pain of falling copper prices
He said it was necessary to assemble to meet the economic challenges that had affected the world.
He said his focus would be job creation, reduction of poverty, improving the economy and overall development.
President Banda said he intended to push the ministers to ensure that they delivered.
He further said the government should not be forced to use extreme measures on its people in the aftermath of elections following some protests on the Copperbelt Province by Patriotic Front (PF) cadres.
He said those perpetrating the myth that there was no peace in the country should stop.
He said those that were disputing elections should go to court to determine their grievances.
"We must not allow any individual whatsoever to take the law into their own hands," he said.
President Banda hoped that the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) would not deteriorate further.
He said Zambia had always been helping neighbouring countries and that they would discuss the matter if there would be need to host any refugees.
President Banda also hoped that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other African leaders would resolve the Zimbabwean problem, which he described as serious.
However, he said people should not expect him to take a position that late President Mwanawasa took on Zimbabwe.
He also said information was important and that they could not allow some sections of the media to create confusion.
President Banda further said there was need to learn from the regional votes that people cast in the just ended elections.
He said the MMD was voted by many provinces countrywide while the opposition got regional votes.
He hoped that the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) would conduct its work thoroughly and hoped that things could improve.
President Banda said he was open to an open society where everything done was free and fair.
He urged the civil service to work harder and ensure that there was accountability in government.
President Banda was confident that the people he had appointed were suitably qualified and experienced to run the affairs of the country.
And after the briefing, Dr Musokotwane was happy with his appointment, saying it was a challenge.
Namugala also pledged to deal with environmental issues as a means of mitigating poverty levels in the country.
Mulongoti also expected to settle down and start working in his ministry.
But Magande said he was not bitter because his five years in office had helped him become an experienced consultant for Zambia's problems.
He said he did his best as finance minister to put the country on the current economic stride.
"I don't feel any sorrow at all. I just feel I am relieved to rest. It was just a bit too much. Now the budget vocabulary and HIPC is out. It's up to those appointed in the new position to continue with the programmes," Magande said. "I would be sad if I left government without any achievement. I feel extremely happy that I'm leaving behind government without having quarreled with anybody and without being accused of stealing a single ngwee."
Magande said he was glad that the two people who once served under him, Dr Musokotwane and Shakafuswa, had remained in government.
Asked if he was left out for having challenged President Banda in the MMD presidential race, Magande responded: "I think that question should better be asked to the President himself."
Asked if he would contest the presidency in future, Magande responded: "As far as I am concerned Zambia is still there and if the opportunity comes, I will try again."
Magande said being member of parliament, he would work with government in ensuring that MMD policies were implemented.
Mulasikwanda said she was happy at being left out from Cabinet.
Mulasikwanda said leadership was about going up and down.
She thanked late president Mwanawasa for having given her the opportunity to serve in government and that she would support President Banda in implementing programmes.
Earlier during the press conference, MMD cadres heckled at Reuters correspondent Shapi Shacinda after he asked questions pertaining to the rigging of elections. The cadres threatened that they would sort journalist out. After the conference, Shacinda was escorted by security personnel out of State House.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home