The Young African Leaders Initiative says it supports the creation of new Ministries if the gesture is meant to improve service delivery to the people.
YALI executive director Andrew Ntewewe explained that since the amended Constitution has abolished the positions of Deputy Ministers, the creation of new Ministries as the President can now only a point up to 30 Cabinet Ministers.
He said his organization sees nothing wrong in creating new Ministries if the move will enhance efficiency and professionalism in the public sector.
He said what the people in the country will be looking for is service delivery in an expeditious manner so as to improve their lives.
“First of all government has a responsibility to find means and ways of reducing excess recurrent expenditure. No doubt with the coming in of the IMF package the government will have to tighten it’s policies and ensure fiscal discipline. The fact that the current situation where recurrent expenditure levels are too high can’t be denied as it gobbles more than 55% of our annual budget.
“However, the YALI wishes to underscore the fact that to reduce poverty and enhance national development it is crucial that public service delivery has to improve. So if the President is increasing the number of ministries to improve efficiency and professionalism in our public service then he has to be commended.
“Ultimately what the Zambian people will be looking for is to have government services provided in an expeditious manner. Note must be taken also that to make certain ministries efficient some of the activities of the ministries have to be realigned, hence it may be prudent to increase the number of ministries.
“We support this decision to increase the number of Ministries on an understanding that the position of deputy Ministers has been abolished and that President can only appoint up to 30 Cabinet Ministers. We recognise that there has a been a significant reduction in the outlay of financial resources to government Ministers especially with the abolishment of the deputy ministerial position by close to 50%. We are alive to the fact the last session of government business had a combined total of 78 Cabinet and Deputy Ministers,” he said.
He also said those in positions of responsibility should ensure that they put the interest of Zambians first.
He added that his organization recommends an effective implementation of the ministerial code of conduct as it is critical for the promotion of accountability and transparent use of public resources.
“Those entrusted with these positions of responsibility, must ensure they represent the interests of the people of Zambia. We call on the President to sound another warning against corruption. In this regard we call the effective implementation of the government appraisal system and that it should be extended to ministers so that those that do not perform are quickly replaced. We also recommend the effective implementation of the ministerial code of conduct. This is a critical for promoting accountability and transparency in the utilisation of public resources,” he said.