Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda has said that the presidential decision to dismiss Emerine Kabanshi as Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare was actually an administrative change.
Mr. Chanda said that President Lungu has continued making administrative changes within the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, adding that Ms. Kabanshi was not therefore fired because of the £2.7 million which the British government has demand was missing, but because there was an inquiry much earlier.
Mr. Chanda noted that to this effect some junior officers have been asked to proceed on administrative leave to allow a smooth process of inquiry that is ongoing at the Ministry.
Mr Chanda said that there was currently no specific allegation of corruption against anyone as what has been established in the preliminary findings is that some monies meant for the poor were paid to retirees.
Mr. Chanda said that President Lungu also knows from the findings that some of the Social Cash Transfer money was used to rehabilitate ZAMPOST offices and paying daily subsistence allowances.
Mr Chanda stated that that for the fact there is an ongoing inquiry, State House is trying, as much as possible, to stay away from the details so that it does not put pressure on the investigators.
On 19th September, the president said:
“I have with immediate effect dismissed Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Emerine Kabanshi and the Zampost Post Master General McPherson Chanda.”
“I further ordered for a clean-up of Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and Ministry of Transport and Communications particularly Zampost.”
“Considering the mandate given to investigative wings, I met with Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Anti-Corruption commission to inform them of the administrative changes I made and expect the two wings to quickly constitute a speedy criminal investigation to establish whether there was criminal liability over the Social Cash Transfer.”
“I urge all leaders to work hard and serve the Zambian people with high integrity.”