By Sean Tembo – PeP President
1. While in opposition, President Hakainde Hichilema promised Zambians that once elected, he will put in place a professional civil service that will be non-partisan. But from the list of PSs, DPSs and other senior Government officials released yesterday, it is clear that President Hichilema’s civil service is filled with political cadres and his tribesmen.
2. Let’s look at one example; the Ministry of Home Affairs. The former PS, Dr. Masiye Banda whom HH fired was a career civil servant who last worked for the Auditor General’s office and was in Govt for more than 20 years and rose through the ranks to the position of Director, before being promoted to become PS at Home Affairs about a year ago. He was a Chartered Accountant (FCCA, FZICA), a Lawyer and had a BSc, MSc and PhD.
3. President Hichilema has since appointed two PSs for Home Affairs. The first PS is Mr Josephs Akafumba who is the Party President for NDC and a member of the UPND Alliance. Mr. Akafumba did not resign his political position before being appointed as PS, which means he is doubling as PS and NDC Party President, a situation that has never happened in this country before.
4. The second PS at Home Affairs is Mr. Dickson Matembo. We are not aware of any sound qualifications that he has, and held a junior position of Principal Analyst in the Ministry before President Hichilema made him to jump four positions to become Permanent Secretary. Suffice to mention that Mr. Matembo is President Hichilema’s tribesman.
5. I want every Zambian to make their own judgement in terms of who was best suited to be PS at the Ministry of Home Affairs. Dr. Masiye Banda the highly qualified and experienced career civil servant whom President Hichilema fired, or Mr. Akafumba the politician and/or Mr. Matembo, the junior ranked tribes-mate who jumped four positions?
6. The trend whereby President Hichilema is purging people from other provinces and replacing them with those from his three-province stronghold of Western, Southern and North-Western, is totally unacceptable. He is a President for all Zambians and must reflect that in his appointments. Otherwise he is really dividing this country on regional lines in his quest to appease people that hail from his three-province stronghold. I submit.