JESUIT Centre for Theological Reflections (JCTR) director Leonard Chiti and National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo have welcomed President Lungu’s proposal to integrate deputy ministers into Cabinet meetings for them to effectively discharge their functions in the absence of substantive office holders.
Reacting to President Lungu’s announcement on Tuesday that he is working on modalities to integrate deputy ministers into Cabinet meetings, Father Chiti said in an interview yesterday that the JCTR welcomes Mr Lungu’s proposal.
“As JCTR, we have always wondered what role deputy ministers play when they cannot act as cabinet ministers in the absence of substantive holders of the office,” Fr Chiti said
He said President Lungu’s decision is well intended and JCTR looks forward to the amendment of the law.
And Mr Chipimo said in a separate interview that deputy ministers currently do not serve a useful purpose and President Lungu’s proposal to give them more powers is a very good idea.
“If deputy ministers are to be made useful, something has to be done to the law and President Lungu is spot-on,” Mr Chipimo said
He said in other countries like the United Kingdom, deputy ministers act when the substantive office bearers are absent.
“We have always opposed the idea of deputy ministers because they don’t improve the process of administration and so to give them more powers will be a very good idea,” Mr Chipimo said.