Senior Chief Mwata Kazembe of the Lunda people of Luapula Province has advised Government to maintain Permanent Secretaries a longer period in the Province for them to have the required insight to foster meaningful development.
The Senior Chief said there was a high turnover of Permanent Secretaries in the Province which he claims was responsible for the dismal economic performance of the region.
He said the Province has remained at the bottom in development in comparison to other provinces because of the high turnover of Permanent Secretaries who change the developmental focus each time a new one is appointed.
The Mwata disclosed this when the newly appointed Permanent Secretary Boniface Chimbwali paid a courtesy call on him yesterday.
He said there was a leadership crisis for the province because from the time he came to Luapula in 1998, he has seen 17 Permanent Secretaries in the province which could be averaged at one year per permanent secretary which has hindered the development of the region.
He explained that in some provinces, PSs stay in Office the entire three year contract period and some even renew in order to ensure the developmental focus is not changed prematurely.
He said leadership should not be changed like shirts because it distorts the developmental focus.
He added that every Permanent Secretary comes with his new way of thinking and doing things which has crippled continuity in the developmental planning and focus.
He gave an example of his palace which was built in 1945 and the structure looks modern because the people were forward thinking and looking and should have done more but the leadership crisis at the provincial office has cost the region the opportunity to develop.
The Mwata said there was need to have a longer stay of Permanent Secretaries in Luapula for the region to have a sustained developmental focus in championing projects aimed at improving the living standards of the people.
In the health sector, the Mwata said his chiefdom lacks adequate health staff and the few who were working in the clinic were working under intense pressure because they were overwhelmed with work and had no adequate time to rest.
He appealed for more staff to be posted to Mwansabombwe to ease the pressure on the few health staff who were currently serving in the district as they were sacrificing a lot.
He added that his chiefdom was densely populated and needed more health staff to provide care for the increasing number of people.
He called on Government to start a nursing school in his chiefdom because in the previous years, the Christian mission was running a nursing school at Mbereshi Mission which has since gone under.
He said the hostels of the former nursing School at Mbereshi mission were still there which should be revived to train nurses for the province.
He said he will make land available for the nursing School in his chiefdom so that the health sector could have enough staff to provide care for the people in the region and beyond
He also appealed for a district hospital and another hospital within his chiefdom so that his people could have medical care and services closer to them.
He said he would make land available for the construction of the hospital in his chiefdom because the issue was close to his heart so that his people could access medical facilities within their reach.
He appealed to the PS to work for the people and ensure that the developmental focus and agenda for the province continues so that projects should be completed on time to benefit the people.
And PS Chimbwali said when President Lungu appointed him to head the civil service in Luapula, he was instructed to work with chiefs in the province to foster development in the region.
He said he had come as a servant of the people who will work with the chiefs in the province.
Chimbwali added that Luapula was close to President Lungu’s heart and he would like all the projects in the province to be completed in fulfilling all the electoral pledges that the president made when he was canvassing for the votes in the province.
He promised the Mwata that he will always keep him posted on all the issues affecting the developmental agenda in the region.