Former Zambia Agency for People with Disabilities (ZAPD) Workers resident at Kang’onga Blind centre in Ndola have appealed to President Edgar Lungu not to drop Community Development Mother and Child Health Minister Emerine Kabanshi from her position.
The 244 former workers who stormed ZANIS offices in Ndola this morning observed that Ms Kabanshi had a heart for the disabled and must continue in her position.
Kang’onga Centre Chairman Emmanuel Chibesa explained that the former workers were happy with the changes that President Lungu was making to the Cabinet but were asking him to consider Ms Kabanshi for the same position that she held in the previous regime.
“We are happy with the changes the President is making but we are asking him not to change our Minister Ms Emerine Kabanshi because she is a person who has a heart for us as disabled people, so please President Lungu don’t remove our Minister from our Ministry she cares for us as disabled people and she is hardworking,” he said.
The chairman further alleged that people with disabilities have been sidelined by all previous Ministers in their Ministry and that Ms Kabanshi was an exception.
“All the Ministers that we have had before have never cared for us, it’s only Ms Emerine Kabanshi who has looked at us as her fellow people therefore the President should not change her because we also voted for him and our interest should be looked into,” he said.
Another former ZAPD worker Annie Kasonde said Ms Kabanshi was effectively handling the issue concerning the outstanding redundancy packages involving the former workers and added that removing her from the Ministry would derail the process as a new Minister would have to start all over again.
“Ms Emerine Kabanshi is currently working on the issue concerning our redundancy packages so if she is removed the new Minister will come and start telling us stories of understanding the cases and it will prolong the whole issue, so the President should not change our Minister,” she said.
And another former worker Annie Chilonge explained that in her vision Ms Emerine Kabanshi had plans to revamp the Centres which were currently not operational and that if she were to be dropped that vision would go with her.
“Ms Kabanshi has plans to revamp the Centres, which are not operational right now, so if she is changed that vision will die because its only her who cares for people like us,” she said.
President Lungu has taken a 7-day retreat at Mfuwe were he is expected among other things to complete selecting members of his cabinet.