President Edgar Lungu yesterday sworn in he Minister of Gender Nkandu Luo and 29 Deputy Ministers at a swearing ceremony which was attended by First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda, vice President Inonge Wina, some cabinet Ministers, Secretary to Cabinet Roland Msiska and senior government and party officials.
President Lungu urged newly appointed Deputy Ministers to work hard and prove their relevance in government during their two-year term of office.
The head of state also implored Deputy Ministers to work closely with Cabinet Ministers to ensure that they clearly understand their roles so that they could step up to the position of Minister in the absence of a substantive minister.
The President stated that deputy Ministers should be aware that their role is to deputise cabinet Minister hence the need for them to understand the positions of their senior Minister in their respective Ministries.
He noted that due to lack of coordination between Ministers and their deputies, some deputy Ministers are unable to respond to questions in parliament because they work in isolation.
He said his government will take advantage of the parliamentary reforms to look at modalities of having parliamentary the standing orders amended to enable deputy Minister represent Cabinet Minister in the house in their absence.
President Lungu stressed that he will also consider integrating deputy Ministers in his cabinet so that they can share responsibilities with cabinet Ministers by attending cabinet.
The President urged his Ministers to be proactive and give conclusive answers in parliament so that the opposition members of parliament and the public can know what government is doing.
He said he would like to see more ministerial statements presented to parliament including his trips such as the recent trip he undertook to Angola for people to understand why he travelled.
He further encouraged them to believe in themselves and wait for the right time for them to succeed stating that he himself never knew he would be president of Zambia but he had faith and waiting for the right time.