President Hakainde Hichilema has told new Director of the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) Mary Chirwa to deal with people siphoning public resources.
Ms. Chirwa was sworn in today at State House in Lusaka together with Teaching Service Commission Chairperson Daphne Liseli Nawa Chimuka.
President Hichilema branded the positions Ms Chirwa and Mrs Chimuka have taken up as critical.
“Two distinguished ladies that are being sworn in today; in your own individual rights you have followed your own career paths that you served the country in different roles and today you are given yet additional responsibilities to serve this country. And you sit there not only because of the names you carry but you sit there because of your capabilities and the good news is that you are both women and I think this is important. I am sending a message out there but the message more important than just being women is capable women. I want to emphasize that point to the media. Capable citizens who happen to be women and its pleasure to be swearing in these colleagues today,” President Hichilema said.
The Head of State added that Ms Chirwa understood well the operations of the Drug Enforcement Commission.
“Madam Chirwa, you were a product of the Drug Enforcement Commission. You spent many years there before you went to the FIC. You know the challenges of that institution; you know what went wrong in that institution. You know, you know what is right. With the added advantage of the Financial Intelligence Institution Centre, you are also grounded in terms of training, qualification,” Mr. Hichilema said.
He said there is a need for conceited efforts in the crusade against corruption.
“In your profession, in our profession, what is wrong is wrong. There is no middle ground. I am following what is going on in social media. People are debating; no this is ethnic, victimization and fighting against corruption. This is getting at PF, no. It is none of that. What is there is that what is wrong is wrong. Taking away money that belongs to the public is wrong. If the Chief Executive Officer of the Drug Enforcement Commission sees a gray area that this may be wrong this may be right, maybe sits in the middle.”
“There is no middle ground. Taking away resources from the child for us to buy a desk as you sit, you two are partners being sworn in today. You are serious partners. It is the duty of Madam Chirwa to make sure that money meant for desks through CDF is not taken by a clique. I retain that terminology clique. They have now started fighting back,” President Hichilema said.
On the education part, the President urged Mrs Chimuka to tackle issues of teacher promotion and upgrade among others in the sector.
“Madam Delphine Liseli Nawa Chimuka, you are going to the Teaching Service, very important, extremely important function. You are going there to chair Teaching Service Commission and you have a huge task. You have a huge task to ensure that we change together the Teaching Service to where teachers work, who are they, where are they, that pupils are getting what they go to school for. You have a major task to do,” he said.
“This Government has pronounced itself very clearly, what it wants to see in the education sector. Particularly that education is the best inheritance for any child. I would not wish any child to seek to get millions of kwacha from parents without education. Promotion among teachers has been an issue, they go for further studies and come back, some are not on the payroll,” President Hichilema added.