PRESIDENT Mwanawasa says he will only appoint people in the public service on merit and not because of their tribe.
And Mr Mwanawasa said there was a lot of misuse of public funds and warned erring officers that they would be punished accordingly.
He said this during a swearing-in ceremony at State House yesterday.
â€œAll appointments I make, especially those where I directly superintend, will be done on merit and in good faith. I am not so backward or primitive like some people are, that I should engage in acts of tribalism.
â€œI do not believe in segregating somebody on tribal lines. All the appointments that I make are done on merit, so no one can say that Bembas are being marginalised,” Mr Mwanawasa said.
Mr Mwanawasa said this when he swore in former Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development, George Chulumanda, as Zambia’s Ambassador to Mozambique and Mr James Mulungushi as Permanent Secretary for Planning and Economics in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.
The President also swore in Mr Emmanuel Ngulube as Permanent Secretary for Budget Affairs in the Ministry of Finance.
Mr Mwanawasa explained that in exercising his duty of appointing people to various offices, he looked for experience from all over the country and that it was, therefore, in bad faith for anyone to insinuate that some tribes were marginalised.
ministers to submit monthly reports to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning detailing how funds released for projects were being used.
He also directed that the Ministry of Finance should inform members of Parliament when money is released for a specific project in their constituencies.
â€œAny public officer who pocketed such monies should be prosecuted or reported to my office so that I can retire them in the national interest.
For the time being, I will refrain from saying that my government is zero-tolerant to corruption, until all those culprits who thought they were more important than the people they were appointed to serve by stealing public funds are caged,â€ he said.
Mr Mwanawasa urged Mr Ngulube to ensure that every ngwee was accounted for.
He told Mr Mulungushi that he believed that he was the best person to manage the new division at the Ministry of Finance and wished him well in his new appointment.
On Mr Chulumanda, he said he worked well with him both in MMD and in government and that he was satisfied that he was capable of executing his duties well.
He said Zambia enjoyed good relations with Mozambique and urged Mr Chulumanda to represent the country well in all aspects of development.