President Edgar Chagwa Lungu being welcomed by Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe at State House upon arrival from Luangwa Valley National Park where he had gone on a working vacation -Pictures By Eddie Mwanaleza/State house 03-12-2018
FILE: President Edgar Chagwa Lungu being welcomed by Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe at State House upon arrival from Luangwa Valley National Park where he had gone on a working vacation -Pictures By Eddie Mwanaleza/State house 03-12-2018

By Prince Ndoyi, MMD Youth

As a young political activist I have had some questions that require some generous answers on the newly created Ministry of Presidential Affairs established by law pursuant to Article 92 (2) (d) of the Constitution. Like they say, there is no limit to the curiosity of uninformed citizens.

Since 30th October 2016, President Lungu swore in a new portfolio ministry he created, and two years down the line questions other than answers arise of what are the functions and scope of work of this ministry. Of what benefit has it been to the nationals at large?

One wonders where the new Ministry is located? What are the working hours and when is it open to the public? Who are the members of staff at this ministry? Who is the Permanent Secretary and who heads their PR department? Which Article of our Laws sets out the Ministry’s duties? These are just but among the many questions.

If this ministry is located at STATEHOUSE, then it solves no problem and that would be wrong. Then it overlaps on the duties of the PRESIDENTIAL AlDES who then would be doing absolutely nothing. This should have been a ministry located away from the tedious bureaucracy of statehouse, where ordinary citizens can have artificial access to the Presidency without hassle.

An ever too jovial and colourful Member of Parliament for Mpulungu Mr FREEDOM ‘Butterfly’ SIKAZWE graced the gesture to be the first minister in the new PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS MINISTRY. Ironically, every time one sees President Lungu it is always likely that Hon. Sikazwe will be somewhere nearby if not with him. Of course that’s the presidents minister, but then what would be the job of his aides if presidential affairs ministerial staff are everywhere with the President.

Two years down, seeing Mr Sikazwe with the President all the time seems to suggest a reality that perhaps President Lungu has created a MINISTRY without PORTFOLIO. I assume so because a minister without portfolio by definition is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister who does not head a particular physical ministry. While he or she may not head any particular office or ministry, still receives a ministerial salary and has the right to cast a vote in cabinet decisions. In Africa today only Uganda and Tanzania have ministers without portfolio, like Zambia had once in Late Mr Michael Sata during the Chiluba administration. The sinecure is particularly common in countries ruled by coalition governments.

My understanding, correct me if I am wrong, of why the ministry was created was among others to assume a pioneering role in supporting the country’s number one decision-maker by:-

  • By providing support and consultation to the decision-maker through the development of excellent, high-quality and credible capability to enhance the central role of the Ministry in developing national policies and community services.
  • Study pertinent issues in all sectors, provide appropriate advice to the President on these matters and follow-up on their implementation.
  • Prepare studies and research that reflect the president’s VISION in line with our country’s objectives and expectations, and that address the needs of society and the country.
  • Study and provide advice concerning draft laws, decrees, systems and agreements.
  • Monitor political developments, prepare analytical reports and issue regular publications and press releases.
  • To create databases and prepare statistics supporting the process of strategic decision-making in the country.
  • Create and implement Social Assistance programs etc.

I am of the considered view, that one would quickly think the presidential market empowerment initiative is supposed to be an umbrella project under this ministry other than a non locative initiative with no proper address. Since the Presidency is an office that attracts goodwill both locally and internationally, it could solicit international scholarships among others underwritten under the presidential scholarships from grades one up-to university level to help the vulnerable falling short of accessing loans or bursaries. This ministry was a brilliant idea which is not being efficiently utilized by the President.

In conclusion, our PARLIAMENTARIANS before voting should have taken keen interest to interrogate and realign the functions and duties of the new ministries President Lungu was proposing to create. This would have ensured the new ministry emanating from the Presidency does not appear to overlap into STATEHOUSE as an office. Thereby creating a minister without portfolio more senior in hierarchy than the Vice President. But like in the words of MCS who described PARLIAMENT as nothing less than a big meeting of more or less idle people.

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41 COMMENTS

    • Ati “Prepare studies and research that reflect the president’s VISION”.

      I thought Lungu himself said he’s VISION-LESS.

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    • With a horde of jobless cadres that helped in ushering the president into state house and expecting rewards, the president is pressured to creat positions to appreceiate them hence this Ministry. That is all there is to this Ministry. However, someone else is better placed heading it if it is really necessary.

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    • Very good observations and questions i hope we will get some answers from Lungu. I am glad Zambians are becoming clearer and have started questioning things. Lungu and co cannot take us for granted for too long, this is just the beginning.

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    • Edgar Lungu simply likes to surround himself with people that have little education, umexposed and add little value. Freedom Sikazwe, Amos Chanda, Kaizer Zulu have no University education. Who then provides intellectual advice to the president after these cadres have done their part?

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    • You mean the laughing man does not have a job spec besides laughing at the President’s jokes?

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  1. African politics gives too much power/attention to presidents as if they are small gods. Presidents can’t be everywhere or attend to each & every penitent matter affecting the nation.

    Also the caliber/quality of people who ascend to presidency is very disappointing. Just look at Lungu. They get drunk with power & being hero-worshiped. Levy Mwanawasa banned the dancing at airports & boot-licking. He was able to perform well.

    Barack Obama said “Africa needs strong institutions NOT strongmen”.

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    • @Maloza you have a valid point, Africa does indeed need “strong institutions and not strong men”. However when institutions are made up of corrupt fat lazy individuals whose only interest is how much will their salaries be and what latest luxury SUV will they be given as a personal to holder vehicle, this often being the case then we will really remain doomed. It is ironic that an MMD member brings this up and his own statement has answered his question, the pointless Min Without Portfolio was created by Kafupi and this is merely a reincarnation of it.

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    • The way hh is treated. YOU cant oppose. You. And challenge him. If you post anything against him his cadres will descend on you like bees.

      You can move around in all the tarvens in southern province you never hear a voice against him

      On the contrary if went to pf strong hold you will find people in bars speaking and analysing any candidate including head of state

      Have you even head spaka, hh, maloza ,jj point a find at hh. But you have heard hardcore kudos commenting against ecl

      In short hh is tin pot dictator who is worshipped by his devotees

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  2. Freedom Sikazwe is National Monument. Presidential Affairs office is useless and serves no purpose. Sikazwe chews free taxpayers money his office was to go together with Deputy Minister office. Even the president himself cannot tell the nation a single thing Sikazwe does.

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  3. Presidential affairs ministry and religious affairs ministry both need to be scrapped.And to add salt to injury Lungu has a presidential special assistant Amos Chanda too.

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  4. He did say, ‘I have no vision in 2014’, and insisted in June 2018, saying ‘Yes, I have no vision but collectively we’ve vision’. I bet if we asked him where he sees himself in the next 5 years, his answer would be something like ‘at a bar asking for another round’.
    We get what we choose

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  5. To curb this waste and political patronage the GRZ positions and number of ministries need to be limited constitutionally to 20 ministries max.

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  6. Good points Prince. But wrong fora. MMD has presence in parliament. Table such issues with Rafa and Felix. Sit as a party and create a single voice and agenda. Then have the MMD table it. Sit with FDD and independents, probably even upnd and raise it in parliament. Arousing the emotions of diasporan dingbats will give you zero results!!!

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    • @Zambian Citizen. Very good points. Zambians have very limited access to the internet(“Lusakans” ndwii-ed by Kilometer) and when they do have access, they are all on social media living their “wonderful lives” and do not read Lusaka Times. Let MMD raise all issues in parliament and you will see how they will be running around righting things. Bring them to accountability through parliament and not through the media. It is not working.
      This dingbat sends you greetings from the diaspora.

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    • kkkkkk….if you read some of the comments from diaspora ns above it makes for sad reading and you’ll realise that you aren’t part of the generalised “dingbats” for one simple reason-your contributions are objective!! Not that you support PF but you have to be objective and constructive regardless of who your preferred party or candidate are. Nice, one boss!

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  7. Ndoyi has raised a very good point that needs answers. also ministry of religious affairs??? why can the three church mother bodies not sort out religious affairs.

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  8. He is more like the ‘chief of staff’ but since this position doesn’t exist even though people like ABC and Sichinga tried to ‘entrench’ this non-existent post, so the current regime created a Ministry. The sad thing is he ‘heads’ professionals for whom it must be frustrating to answer to a man whose only cv is beating up others or witchcraft but such is the sadness of our own reality.

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    • Upndchangeweneed
      Dont insult Hon Sikazwe he does have a cv.He is a mechanic/driver,those who worked with him at Mukuba Pension Trust can attest to this….

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  9. @1.2 has said it , the position is just to reward cadres other than every time cadres go to ask for nichekeleko let them cheka by themselves and chekelako others. This NDOYI boy has set the roles quite well but DO U THINK SIKAZWE can write a research hahaha..my FOOT. LET IT BE A PARTY POSITION OTHER THAN BEING PAID BY GOVERNMENT COFFERS.

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  10. Every leader has his own leadership style. Chiluba created a desk for vendors at state house. It’s role no body knew apart from pleasing ”call boys” If he thinks having a minister for presidential affairs is worth it, no one can stop him. After all, the constitutional powers revolve around the president. We formulate a constitution around the president. He has all the powers to make even useless ministries. Next time,Ndoyi, complains, he should think of the powers the president has. Let those powers devolve to the people. The president has constitutional privileges to create ministries he want even if they are useless. Just like, he has powers to offer clemency to criminals, he has powers to create any ministry according to the constitution we have designed for ourselves.

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  11. This is a clear indication that PF does not trust God and does not believe in God whose Jesus is the Lord. PF from today onward should never call upon the church to any function until its exit in power because its is a blasphemer. We all look to God in time of problems and difficulty such as this. Why pray without action? Is God a God of falsehood? A leaders whose heart is away from God falls away from the grace of God and his or her downfall is a misery.
    God will never disappoint Zambians but will ever be with the many Zambians and not for the leadership of the evil one.

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  12. The old man is a chola boy for the President. Always seen grinning at whatever function the president is attending with no input. I don’t think he has enough capacity even to draft a speech for the president. One wonders the criteria for his appointment.

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  13. I think the office of the presidential affairs minister should not be politicised but must be seen in the true thinking and strategic alignments towards the support of the whole entire programmes and fiscal agenda of the government whoever thought after the establishment of the office was correct there is always the office of presidential minister or secretary s I some countries would have it global and regional here
    Ideally the Presidential affairs minister hold the Strategy of the President that feeds into Gov strategy Its a a custodian and driver of strategic Gov and operational Coordination and drives the agenda of the president to implementing units
    It ensures focused and…

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  14. and well-coordinated delivery of national strategies and budgets and monitories developments and projects apart from main stream as a strategic eye of the presidency and makes sure the presidency is made aware of any emerging concerns that can reflect implementing agencies
    The office Gives oversight and works to ensure normal Gov is delivering and timely makes the President receive and act proactively

    It makes the annual Strategic work plan for the President to deliver those General Gov Fiscal and strategy plans separate from normal Gov
    Like in other well positioned Governments and Countries Its part of Gov establishment with its office and budget allocation to support the…

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  15. “sorry monitors there” and support the President For the Proper Functioning and Oversight of the President, the Office is very necessary It makes the president prompt and act and accountable by setting his annual work plan and budget strategies to effectively deliver Gov programmes

    Its a critical though Part of Accountability and strategic monitory of Gov Deliver of its Plans Its very very necessary if well capacitated to support the workflow and dily ctivities of the presidency towards annul normal Gov Plans as in the Budgets and other NDPs

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  16. You think 10 united is working for free. They have wives nd children.At the end of the day they all want jobs and more miniseries have to be created so that they can also enjoy.

    Foward foward foward with what? Zambia needs 180% turn because we are going in a ditch with PF.

    Foward with mukula
    Forward with zaffico
    Foward with tribalism
    Foward with muzzled press freedom
    Foward with FIRE TENDERS

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  17. WHOEVER IS IN THE OFFICE WILL NEED THAT OFFICE TO AVOID CHAOS AND WORK IN A STRATEGICALLY AND WELL FUNCTIONING GOVERNMENT

    THE PRESIDENT NEEDS AN ANNUAL PLAN AND BUDGET THAT IS ONLY POSSIBLE WITH THAT OFFICE THEY HAVE IT IN UK US SOUTH AFRICA GERMANY FRANCE CANADA AND OTHER WELL FUNCTIONING GOVERNMENT GLOBAL THAT SUPPORT THE EXECUTIVE

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  18. Iwe na iwe Ndoyi you make it seem like this ministry’s location would justify its existence. Yayi! Its a moribund ministry. You dont need a ministry to organise the Presidency. State House is enough.
    If this ministry is located at STATEHOUSE, then it solves no problem and that would be wrong. Then it overlaps on the duties of the PRESIDENTIAL AlDES who then would be doing absolutely nothing. This should have been a ministry located away from the tedious bureaucracy of statehouse, where ordinary citizens can have artificial access to the Presidency without hassle.

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  19. I agree with you 109% Prince Ndoyi. I myself have uttered similar sentiments. To me there are two things
    1. Wrong and frankly illogical appointment if at all we need the position.
    2. Lack of seriousness. As a result both the position and the appointee Freedom Sikazwe add a large comical dimension to the Presidency. Unfortunately the comedy is not amusing at all, and is an unnecessary cost on our taxes.

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  20. Thank God it did not travel with the President to Addis Ababa, it is quite an embarrassment for Zambia really. Or whenever the President travels with it, please hide it among the presidential bedroom or laundry attendants.

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