President Hakainde Hichilema has cautioned his administration against stealing government resources using the procurement system at the expense of the Zambian people.
The President urged that the procurement process should be done at a right price, right quality and that delivery must be timely to benefit the people of Zambia and the country at large.
“As a new administration, we should come up with efficient procurement measures that will facilitate timely delivery of material procured, with good quality and at a right price.
The Head of State has since directed Vice President Mutale Nalumango, Secretary to Cabinet Simon Miti, and ministers to ensure that specific measures are established to avoid wastage of public resources in the procurement of goods and services.
“So immediately Madam, your Honour, the Secretary to Cabinet, Ministers as I come back from New York I would like to find specific track measures that you would have made to adjust the procurement processes to allow these three principles to occur. I think that’s fair, I don’t think I’m asking for too much,” he stated.
The President added. “Madam Vice President I’m talking about working not to wait for these ceremonies every week but to move in right away to effect prudent control measures because every day we don’t do it, the taxpayers are losing money and it’s interfering with our capability to create jobs for our youths,” he stated.
And President Hichilema said he is aware of officials in the previous government who were procuring materials such as fertilizer at exorbitant prices when they could be purchased at an affordable price, a situation which should be condoned in the new administration.
The Head of State said this in Lusaka yesterday when he appointed and sworn in cabinet and provincial ministers as well as senior government officials.
Meanwhile, President Hakainde Hichilema yesterday sworn in the Minister of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu and the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Elias Mubanga.
The President has also sworn in newly appointed provincial ministers and senior government officials at State House.
The provincial ministers that have been appointed and sworn in are Central Province Minister Credo Nanjuwa and Robert Lihefu for North Western Province, while the senior government officials include Principal Private Secretary to the President at State House Bradford Machila, State House Permanent Secretary Oliver Kalabo and Special Assistant to the President for Economic and Special Affairs Jito Kayumba.
Others are Special Assistant to the President for Project implementation and Monitoring Lawrence Mwananyanda, COVID-19 Advisor to the President Dr. Roma Chiyengi as well as Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment John Msimuko.
President Hichilema urged the sworn-in officials to embrace teamwork towards achieving a common agenda of serving the Zambian people.
The Head of State further directed the new team to get to work and serve the people and the country at large by improving their wellbeing.
“As a new government we ought to know that the people decided to see change and so we have to deliver change anchored on the growth of the economy, to provide food on the table and create jobs for the people,” he said.
And the Head of State observed that without bringing the COVID-19 under control, it will be difficult to realize the dream of economic growth.
He further stated that as he goes to attend the United Nation General Assembly, the issue of addressing COVID-19 will be on top of the agenda including other African Heads of States.
The President indicated that the COVID-19 Advisor to the President has since been appointed to play a critical role to drive the agenda of fighting the coronavirus.
“The COVID-19 Advisor to the President is a circumstantial appointment. We should not relent with adhering to the measures of mitigating coronavirus because if we do, the fourth wave will greatly affect us,” he said.
The President added.” The office of the Presidency will provide direct leadership to mitigate the coronavirus. We have a programme for markets where we sell food and public places, to protect lives,”
President Hichilema stated that members of the public will see a change as clusters of advisors will bring combined skills so that State House functions perform to the satisfaction of the people.
President Hichilema further advised State House officials to relate well with their counterparts in other ministries in order to effectively and efficiently serve the people of Zambia.
“State House is not a unit to make things happen. You should begin to work together and implement measures that will be of benefit for the people,” the President emphasised.
The Head of State also urged Ministers in newly created ministries to start working on a clear note especially also in terms of tender processes.
“And for you Ministers in the new ministries, start on a clear slate. Revise tender processes. The next time I come here I want to come and share with the people of Zambia measures taken to control tender procedures,” The President said.
President Hichilema also thanked Parliament for approving suggestions restructuring of ministries and creation of new ministries.
Meanwhile, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Elias Mubanga noted that with the policies and strategies for the new administration of growing the economy, the Ministry will start on a good note.
“I love the ways of the people of Zambia, their positive thinking to create a better Zambia. We will work together to make sure we rebuild the nation together,” he said.
And Minister for Green Economy and Environment, Collins Nzovu said the green economy cuts across all ministries and therefore his ministry will work with other ministries to develop the economy.
“I’m very excited about the ministry because the whole world, Zambia inclusive has realised that we have to maintain the eco system and other necessary areas needed for national development.