President Edgar Lungu says there is an upswing of nepotism in the Zambian civil service.
Mr. Lungu said nepotism is as bad as corruption and tribalism and does not want to lead a nation that is polarised.He was speaking when he swore in Obby Chisala and Sidney Mushanga as Deputy Ministers for Community Development Mother and Child Health and Education respectively.President Lungu said he will endeavor to play a fatherly role in uniting the nation by stamping out the two vices.
President Lungu also swore in Chief Policy Analyst at State House, Henry Lumbeta.He has since urged the appointed officials to help curb the vice.
Mr. Lungu challenged the two deputy ministers and Mr. Lumbeta to prove their ability to serve the Zambian people.President Lungu further challenged Mr. Chisala and Mr. Mushanga to help Vice President Inonge Wina explain and articulate government policies and programmes in parliament.
“I’m a good example of loyalty so those championing nepotism and tribalism should wait until the right time comes,” President Lungu said.
He said he does not want to preside over a nation that is polarised but wants a united Zambia.
‘I want to build, I want to forge ahead with all of you as One Zambia, One Nation,’ he said.
And President Lungu says he has information that some PF Members of Parliament who were not appointed in his administration are planning to frustrate the party in Parliament.
‘As you go back into Parliament, obviously this afternoon you will see that the sitting arrangement has changed, those that were in front have moved back,all that is in my quest to see whether we can forge ahead as One Zambia One Nation with the same vision that the President left,’ he said.
He added, ‘There are some critics who are planning to make it difficult for Madam Vice President and others, they will debate contrary to what we stand for to make you appear as if you are not fit for the job, so it is up to you to articulate our vision move the agenda forward, some of them have already resolved that they will move to the opposition as soon as Parliament is dissolved. I will be watching them and I will not hesitate to fall on them like a ton of bricks when it is appropriate to do so. If you have been left out, either you toil the line or you get out, that is what democracy entails.’
President Lungu continued, ‘I have meticulously picked members of my government, I will support you so that we forge ahead as political party as a government. For those that are aggrieved I didn’t appoint them, they should just wait and toil the line and support the party, I remember in 2006, I was not adopted in Chawama despite standing in 2001 on the PF ticket and I didn’t protest, I went on and supported Sampa Bredt and we won in Chawama. She failed us along the way and the party saw it fit to bring me back and here I am, am a good example of loyalty.’
On violence, President Lungu regretted that one person died in Lusaka’s Mtendere compound last week as a result of alleged violence.Mr. Lungu however cautioned Zambians against politicizing death because the country was founded on the One Zambia One nation motto.
‘Let us learn as Zambians not to politicize, everything, we lost a life in Mtendere am told and some people want to politicize that unfortunate death. If a Catholic Church member dies at the hands of a Muslim or a Jehovah’s Witness or any other member of any religious group, we can’t say that this was religious war,’ he said.
‘The loss of life is regrettable and police are dealing with the issue. Let us not politicize events that have not political connotations at all. Those people were drinking and the circumstances leading to that death are unknown. So how do you claim that the deceased person was a PF cadre?”, He asked.President Lungu has since directed the Zambia Police to deal with the matter ruthlessly to save innocent people from dying at the hands of others.
The media should also not over play these things by creating an impression that there is civil strife, the media should be careful when reporting these violent attacks.’
Mr. Lungu observed that some stories written by Journalists have got the power to influence anarchy in the nation.He called on media personnel in the country to be careful by being accurate and put facts correctly through responsible reporting.
And President Lungu has left for South Africa to hold bilateral talks with that country’s President Jacob Zuma and returns this evening.He will tomorrow hold bilateral talks with his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete who is expected in the country for a two day visit.