President Edgar Lungu receiving credentials from Newly appointed Defence Minister Richwell Siamunene  during the swearing in Ceremony at State House
President Edgar Lungu receiving credentials from Newly appointed Defence Minister Richwell Siamunene during the swearing in Ceremony at State House

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has directed newly appointed Defence minister Richwell Siamunene to ignore baseless criticism and concentrate on transforming the operations of the defence forces.

President Lungu said this yesterday when he swore in Mr Siamunene and Transport, Works, Supply and Communications deputy minister James Kapyanga as State House in Lusaka.

Mr Siamunene is opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) Sinazongwe Member of Parliament (MP).

Mr Lungu said Mr Siamunene should ignore those that were criticising him over his appointment and work on transforming the defence forces.

He said the new minister was joining the Ministry of Defence at a critical time when the ministry was transforming its operations to suit the needs of the country even in the times of peace.

“Lucky for you, you are taking over from me and below you, you have competent staff that will help you in your work. Ensure that you transform the defence forces,” President Lungu said.

He said the Zambia National Service (ZNS) has already started transforming by providing services in road rehabilitation.

ZNS was working with the Rural Roads Unit to rehabilitate roads in rural areas.

President Lungu said leadership was lonely especially that most people spoke negatively about leaders.

“Especially for you, Mr Siamunene, many people want to be where you are. They are not saying nice things about your appointment because they are just full of envy,” he said.

Mr Lungu said Mr Siamunene should take heart because some people spoke negatively about him (President Lungu) as well but he responded by working hard.

He said the best way to shame critics was by working hard.

Richwell Siamunene being sworn in as Defence Minister by President Edgar Lungu during the swearing in Ceremony at State House
Richwell Siamunene being sworn in as Defence Minister by President Edgar Lungu during the swearing in Ceremony at State House

On Mr Kapyanga, President Lungu said the deputy minister was a good example of what could be achieved by working hard silently.

Mr Lungu said Mr Kapyanga was a hard worker and a veteran in labour matters, politics, governance issues and party matters.

“You are a good example of how one can move from the back bench, not by talking too much but by working hard,” he said.

The President said Mr Kapyanga should explain and defend Government’s position in Parliament well.

Meanwhile, Mr Siamunene said he was grateful to President Lungu for appointing him as Defence minister because he was a youth who had been given a huge responsibility.

He said his appointment was proof that Zambia was a united nation.

Mr Siamunene said he was not going to pay the detractors any attention but instead pledged his loyalty to President Lungu.

He said Mr Lungu had shown a lot of trust for youths which should encourage them to work for the country and not for other reasons.

He said he was still an MP even though the UPND president Hakainde Hichilema was reported to have said that his appointment wrong because he was an expelled member of the party.

Mr Kapyanga said he would work to encourage commitment from civil servants in his ministry because commitment and unity was key.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Chief Sinazongwe, ministers, permanent secretaries and family members.

Chief Sinazongwe said later that the chiefs in Southern Province had mandated their chairperson to engage President Lungu over their demand for an apology from PF Secretary General Davies Chama on some remarks he allegedly made against people of Southern Province.

President Edgar Lungu and Vice President Inonge Wina, newly appointed Defence Minister Richwell Siamunene (r) Deputy Minister of Works,Supply and Transport James Kapyanga at State House
President Edgar Lungu and Vice President Inonge Wina, newly appointed Defence Minister Richwell Siamunene (r) Deputy Minister of Works,Supply and Transport James Kapyanga at State House
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17 COMMENTS

    • The poverty level under PF is scary, look at the last picture… Presidents and its ministers uluse mwee. If you compare that picture with Chiluba times pictures.

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    • you will never understand anything you cheap, Scottish, stranded, over-utilized moma. Siamunene’s case is in court and the court process takes long.

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  1. Mushota, the little fellow ran to the courts following his expulsion from the party, there is a court injuction retraining UPND from taking further action on this chap, UPND respects the law unlike the overzealous speaker who ruled on a matter which is still in court, you feel me now?

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  2. The second photo, awe sure, someone looks malnourished, kamimba monga nikamwana ka njala.

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  3. Lazy Bum Edgar appoints an opposition MP to the top position in his cabinet who happens to be a certificate holder in a country with unemployed UNZA graduates and Parliament filled with majority PF MPs what does that say either he has no trust for them or they are just useless and he has handpicked a stooge….its no wonder MPs vote for increase in their salaries whilst the masses wallow in poverty if this is the calibre that is in there.

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  4. I believe it’s a big crime to be prejudiced. And here I am, I know very little about this Richwell chap. only what I’ve read in the media really. But I still find it hard to see how such a numskull can be qualified to be defense minister.

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    • By your own admission you know very little about this guy; how and why you call him a numskull is baffling.

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  5. The only reason Lungu has appointed this chap is that he knows he is going to fail miserably to run the defense ministry and when that happy Lungu will fire him and say these are the UPND failures. Honestly there must be some seriousness apples in the appointment of ministers. As Jay Jay had pointed out, how may high-graduates Zambians are roaming the streets without jobs? This appointment was just made to appease the Tongas and the unprincipled Siamunene knows that.

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  6. Critics are important people they help you check your performance. You ignore them, you become doomed. Consult critically.

    Congratulations Minister serve wisely it may be your only opportunity

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  7. This backward mindset being displayed by UPND cadres belongs as far away from Zambia as you can get it.

    As the old chestnut goes ‘When you are in a hole stop digging ” but UPND continues not only to keep digging but to use a backhoe.

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  8. Richwell is qualified by virtual of being an MP, to be appointed to any cabinet position. What UPND chaps must now is that its a strategy ECL is using to show that PF is not and will never segregate any one on account of ethnicity, or any dividing rode. an like UPND PF is has an inclusive leadership strategy. For UPND presidency is exclusive the southerners only. Kwamana!

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  9. Good morning class, its history time. You see as Africans we are not very good at recording events. So each time something happens, it would look knew to those of us who were not there at the time. Well, I have just decided to let you know that 25 years ago KK had another Defence Minister who hailed from where Richwell comes from. His name was Dodson Siatalimi. The “climate” in Zambia was somewhat similar to what we have today but the temperatures were a bit higher I believe. I might just bring a question on this particular topic in the exams, so study it.

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  10. Being a graduate does not mean deserving being appointed minister. Being a Zambian is the qualification as president is mandated under the constitution to appoint from both nominated and elected MPs. This is the qualification not a license of certificate, diploma or degree or PHD in whatever. I wonder why someone should be deserving to be appointed to a job yet he cannot use his degree to uplift him or herself if that degree is worth it. This is the problem of failures. They expect to buy certificates of all kinds from degree millers masquerading as universities in UK, USA, Australia, Kalingalinga, Copperstone, Rusangu, Lusaka university, Eugene etc and more of their calibre keep flooding streets of Zambia but hiding in so called in partnership or accredited to so and so university in…

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  11. Is Kambwili and his friends seeing this game changer? Already 70% of current PF Mps are earmarked for discard. Top on the list is Kambwili, Mutale of Kwacha, Musenge and all those noisy Bemba MPs. Dora will arrange clever guys from Eastern and Southern Provinces to stand in Luapula, Muchinga and Northern. PF believes that as long as you are PF, those Bembas will vote for you because PF is Bemba and Bemba is PF.
    Kambwili and team might just start preparing forming UPP.

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