Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya has found herself the target of outrage from some Zambians after photos of her posing with former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson emerged on social media.
Ms. Siliya who is currently on holiday is pictured smiling for the camera with Tyson in an undisclosed location.
The photos were first released by the PF Media team but do not show the details such as the date when they were taken and the occasion.
The Agriculture Minister has been away from the country for the last two weeks and his counterpart in charge of Livestock and Fisheries Michael Katambo has been acting in her absence.
The timing of her holiday has however riled some Zambians who have taken to Facebook to request that she cuts short her leave and returns to the office as the country battles ravaging army worms.
The outbreak of army worms which has been declared a crisis by Vice President Inonge Wina are threatening to wipe out the country’s planted Maize for the 2016/2017 farming season.
Some of the bloggers said it is unfortunate that the Minister in charge of Agriculture is on adventure in Los Angeles and taking selfies with Tyson when farmers are calling for intervention into the army worms eating their maize.
“We have a crisis as a country and she is nowhere to be seen, only seeing her posing with Mike Tyson. Whoever the admin is (the PF Facebook page) has brought this at a wrong time,” wrote Wanda Phiri.
And Chota Ngulube wrote, “You would expect the Minister to cut sort her holiday. Army worms are disaster in the making in relation to food security of our nation. Anyway, what can you expect when she announced that government will do away with Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP)”
“This is indeed comedy. There is an issue in her Ministry to do with army worms and she is away posing with people who do not even care what goes on in our country. Sometimes those in power must sit and think why all these army worms are coming to Zambia. Lack of seriousness on the part of leadership. Very shameful,” wrote George Lorain Kapi.
But Ms Siliya received some sympathy from some bloggers who defended her stay out of the country during a crucial planting season for most farmers.
Mwape Panda wondered whether people expected Ms Siliya to be in all the farms waiting for army worms.
“Where do you want her to be? If we all followed news in Zambia, you will agree with me that the issue of army worms is being treated with respect it deserves. Dora has done nothing wrong by posing with Iron Mike,” he wrote.