Former Defence Minister in the MMD Government George Mpombo has said that President Hakainde Hichilema has appointed what he described as some “Tamanga” business guys as permanent secretaries.
Speaking in an interview after witnessing the court petition judgment for Masaiti PF member of parliament Michael Katambo, Mr. Mpombo said that also described UPND’s 90 days in power as a complete disaster.
“The 90 days of UPND in power is a complete disaster, it’s a shame actually. What is orderly about their performance? You can see, here is a party which in opposition said will do away with district commissioners. Now they assemble a group of political cadres,” he said.
“District commissioners perform critical functions in government. Now, where you take a guy doing tamanga business in Buteko or Lusaka, what are you doing? You are knifing progress in the back.”
He charged that the current Cabinet consists of people with dubious backgrounds.
Mpombo wondered what would happen in government if all permanent secretaries were party cadres.
“In this Cabinet you have people with dubious backgrounds, people with no political capacity. Permanent secretaries are the controlling officers in charge of resources. He is in charge of advising the minister, the government. Now, if you’ve got party cadres as PSs, forget about progress. Where is the party going to understand the performance of government?” Mpombo asked.
“If they are not going to change, they will end up like the Tonse Alliance in Malawi. People elect the government, so where the hell do they get some dubious Alliance member Mr [Thabo] Kawana or some other people to address the people of Zambia? Which mandate do they use? These are party cadres with no mandate to speak to the Zambian people. Zambians will be spoken to by the elected people, people that have the legitimacy and not people doing tamanga business and make them PS. It is a setback.”
He said the UPND government is almost at zero in terms of performance.
Mpombo also said President Hichilema should be humble enough and move into State House.
“This government is almost like zero. The state of the nation is moving directionless. The Head of State can’t move into State House, is HH telling us that the other presidents are a bunch of political nitwits?” he asked. “For HH to say State House is inhabitable is an insult. If he is humble enough, he should move in. That is the designated house. UPND by its conduct is launching rockets of disunity in the country.”
Meanwhile, Mpombo said Katambo’s victory is massive and would produce more fire in parliament. He said Zambians needed strong checks and balances in parliament.
“This is a colossal victory because Katambo is a ball of fire and very productive. The verdict by the High Court is a vivid manifestation of the trust people have in his activities. These kinds of decisions by the courts go a long way in deepening the tenants of democracy. It is important that the will of the people is upheld. This victory is far the viral if democracy is to develop,” said Mpombo.
“UPND, this party is a source of great concern. When in opposition, they were at the forefront of calling for democratic practices but having massive petitions all over the country! The intention here is to reduce or dilute the substance of opposition in Zambia, and there is no country that can develop with a weak democracy. You need strong checks and balances in parliament, somebody to rise. So, this idea of mushrooming petitions must be condemned and it is a serious indictment against the dismal performance of the UPND government.”