Saturday, January 24, 2009

It’s a scandal for rupiah to appoint cadres – Lubinda

It’s a scandal for rupiah to appoint cadres – Lubinda
Written by Chibaula Silwamba and Gillian Namungala
Saturday, January 24, 2009 9:02:57 AM

OPPOSITION Patriotic Front (PF) spokesperson Given Lubinda yesterday charged that it is a scandal for President Rupiah Banda to shamelessly appoint some MMD cadres as permanent secretaries.

And PF vice-president Guy Scott charged that the appointment of some permanent secretaries by President Banda was a reward for their work during last year's presidential election campaigns.

Commenting on President Banda's appointment of permanent secretaries for various ministries and provinces, Lubinda said most of the new permanent secretaries were being rewarded for campaigning for the President during the October 30, 2008 presidential election.

"The appointments of permanent secretaries are reminiscent of [former president] Frederick Chiluba's scheme when he wanted to go for a third term. He appointed MMD district youth secretaries as DCs [district commissioners]. And this is what Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda is doing; he has picked MMD cadres as permanent secretaries so that they can campaign for him in 2011," Lubinda said.

"One wonders why Rupiah Banda wants to compromise the running of the civil service by appointing MMD cadres to meet his own personal ambition to win the presidency in 2011."

Lubinda singled out MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) member Jazzman Chikwakwa, MMD losing parliamentary candidate for Kanyama constituency Mwalimu Simfukwe and former Lusaka district commissioner Stephen Bwalya, as some of the many MMD cadres who had been appointed as permanent secretaries.

President Banda appointed Simfukwe as new permanent secretary for Northern Province, Chikwakwa [Luapula Province] and Bwalya [Lusaka Province].

"Those people are known politicians who held political positions in the MMD. Simfukwe stood as a parliamentary candidate in Kanyama and lost. It's unfortunate that Rupiah Banda is politicising the civil service. This is a scandal and Rupiah Banda should be ashamed. We cannot have a civil service that is run by political cadres," Lubinda complained. "We want qualified civil servants who are non-partisan to run the civil service. We must divorce the civil service from political parties."

He said President Banda was practicing double standards by appointing MMD cadres into the civil service when in fact he had told Parliament last week that his government would be inclusive and not just for the MMD.

"There are a number of civil servants who are facing disciplinary charges on suspicion that they campaigned for the opposition but now Rupiah Banda is appointing MMD cadres into the civil service. Is this not double standard?" asked Lubinda.

And Scott said some of the people who had been appointed to serve as permanent secretaries campaigned for President Banda last year.

"The appointments are rewards so that they can campaign for him next time," he said.

Scott said people appointed as permanent secretaries ought to be qualified for the positions. He appealed to thegovernment to appoint qualified people to serve in administrative offices.

Scott said the appointments of the permanent secretaries were a clear demonstration of lack of seriousness by the government to find measures to mitigate the financial crisis.

"What government was supposed to do was to reduce [the size] but the appointment of 15 permanent secretaries shows how unserious President Banda's government is in addressing the global recession," he said.

Scott said the statement by Vice-President George Kunda that the government had no plans to reduce the size of Cabinet showed the government's lack of seriousness.

He said it was unfortunate that the government had decided to continue with the National Constitutional Conference (NCC), which only benefited a few individuals financially.

Scott said despite the hard times Zambia was facing due to the financial recession, the government had continued spending.

"We expected a holistic approach towards addressing this crisis but what we are seeing is continuous expenditure on travels and workshops," Scott said. "A number of people have lost their jobs in the mines and other companies but the size of government keeps growing."

President Banda on Thursday appointed 15 new permanent secretaries, retired four and promised to re-deploy six others.

Some new faces include former Clerk of the House of Chiefs Coillard Chibbonta [local government and housing], former chief immigration officer Ndiyoi Mutiti [Home Affairs] and former Lusaka district commissioner Stephen Bwalya [Lusaka Province].

Others are D. K. Mendamenda [lands], Goodwin Beene [mines and minerals development], Velepi Mtonga [Health], Dr B Msiska [finance and national planning], S. Kakoma [Office of the Vice-President] and Robinson Nkhonde [senior private secretary, State House].

The rest are Mwalimu Simfukwe [Northern Province], Eularia Zulu [Eastern Province], Ikanuke Noyoo [Western Province], Jazzman Chikwakwa [Luapula Province] and Villie Lombanya [Copperbelt Province].

President Banda has re-appointed Dr Nicholas Kwendakwema as permanent secretary for the Ministry of Defence.

President Banda transferred home affairs permanent secretary Susan Sikaneta to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, Davison Chilipamushi [community development and social services], Dr Simon Miti [science, technology and vocational training], Mukuka Zimba [transport and communications] and Buleti Nsemukila [education].

Others transferred are Dr James Mulungushi [commerce, trade and industry], T. Kasonso [tourism and natural resources], Bernard Namachila [agriculture and cooperatives, controlling officer], Isaac Phiri [agriculture and cooperative, livestock and fisheries], Bob Samakai [State House] and Dr Eustace Mambwe [North-Western Province].

President Banda will redeploy former Lusaka Province permanent secretary Elijah Chisanga, Clement Siame [Luapula], Jennifer Musonda [Copperbelt], Joel Ngo [local government and housing], Ngosa Chisupa [Labour] and Gabriel Kaunda [Northern].

Among those retired or whose contracts have not been renewed are Leonard Nkhata [mines and minerals development], Kelvin Kamuwanga [Eastern Province], Alfred Susiku [Office of the Vice-President, parliamentary business] and Jeston Mulando [North Western Province].

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