Friday, December 28, 2012

Coming late to work is dismissible - Sata

Coming late to work is dismissible - Sata
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 28 Dec. 2012, 14:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata yesterday said that reporting late for work at State House was a dismissible offence. And President Sata says millers selling a 25-kilogramme bag of mealie-meal above K50,000 risk having their licences revoked.

Meanwhile, Consumer Unity Trust Society (CUTS) says there is need for stiffer market regulation so that prices of commodities such as mealie-meal do not sky-rocket.

Speaking when he swore in Kabompo East MMD member of parliament Danny Chingimbu at State House as lands, natural resources and environmental protection deputy minister, President Sata told Chingimbu that he was allergic to reporting late for work.

"If there is one thing which I am allergic to, it is coming late to work. Here at State House, coming late is a dismissible offence because when you are coming to work late, you are stealing money for the poor people. All of us who are here we are getting taxpayers money, what are we doing for the taxpayers?" he said.

President Sata urged Chingimbu to emulate finance minister Alexander Chikwanda, whom he said reported for work at 07:00 hours.
"Show a good example at home to your children, madam and at work. Because some people they think because you are a minister, you go to work at 16:00 hours. Behave like Minister of Finance. If you go to Ministry of Finance at 07:00 hours, you find Mr Chikwanda is in the office.

You must be an example. The biggest problem we have in this country….when I was a young man and when there was Northern Rhodesia government, we were far much richer than all the countries in the region. We were even richer than South Africa, that's why the Europeans forced us to go into the federation because they wanted to steal our riches. But today, we don't work. We are too lazy. Our currency is very weak, even if it has recovered by two cents but it is not what it used to be," President Sata said.

He warned Chingimbu against using his position to organise the MMD.
"We welcome you. You are MMD and a member of parliament. We have picked on a member of parliament because the Constitution says ministers will come from members of parliament. When you find that people from PF are keeping a distance from you, the choice is yours.

The only thing I want from you is to be a leader. Don't use your ministry position, cars, office and telephone to organise MMD. If you want to organise MMD go and ask jail master Nevers Mumba to give you the money to organise MMD. We will always relieve you," he said.
Meanwhile, President Sata said Kabompo could only become the provincial capital of North Western Province once the people in the district were united.

"The capital of North Western Province is supposed to be in Kabompo but you the people in Kabompo must be united. Once you are united then the sky is a limit. I know North Western Province very well because from Kabompo it is very easy to get to Yambezhi Zambezi, Chavuma, Mwinilunga, Mufumbwe and Solwezi.

But you people yourselves you have to work hard, " he said. "You know that Kabompo and Mwinilunga, we need to do that road, I have driven on that road, some of you don't even know where it is. Even Mrs Inonge Wina does not know where Kabompo is and we need to put a bridge to go to Manyinga district. There is a new Manyinga district, we need the roads."

On the mealie-meal prices, President Sata said the price of the commodity had continued to go up uncontrollably and warned the millers that the government would not hesitate to re-introduce price controls if the trend continues.

"I would like to warn the millers, we as the government, we can re-introduce price controls if they want to exploit the people in the villages and townships who don't work. And then you say mealie meal can cost K80,000. Any retailer…miller who is selling mealie meal for more than K50,000, they have their licence hanging," he said.

But CUTS-International Zambia executive director Simon Ng'ona said much as the President has the right to impose such market controls, the forces of demand and supply should be the order of the day.

"The problem which is there in this sector is lack of regulation. What the President should be doing is challenging the ministers or the regulators in the market to ensure that there is effective regulation so that prices don't sky rocket," Ng'ona said.

He said the other problem that could be there was the holding of maize by millers, saying the government had not done a thorough forensic audit of the maize stocks.

"These are some of the issues which should be looked at not the issue of taking us to the price control. The government should allow more private sector participation in the value chain of maize production, maize buying and I think it will bring about efficiency and effectiveness," said Ng'ona.
And President Sata said MMD president Nevers Mumba would be the next person he was going to swear in.

He said the only problem was that he did not know which job to give Mumba.
While walking outside for the photo shoot, President Sata mockingly told justice minister Wynter Kabimba that it was nice to be in government as he could afford to bring people from other political parties and make them ministers.

He said all MMD members of parliament would soon join PF.
"Mr Wynter have you seen how nice it is, we can even go to other parties and bring people and make them ministers," said President Sata as Kabimba responded: "I wish I was MMD, I would have been sworn in."

President Sata then said: "the MMD are coming, all of them. Tomorrow today it's 'Nerves' MMD president Nevers Mumba who is going to come but the biggest problem, is what job to give him."

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