Several Ministers working in the New Dawn administration are unhappy with President Hakainde Hichilema’s style of leadership accusing him of undermining them.
The Ministers are now threatening to rise up against President Hichilema and resign from his government if he continues running government as a “One Man Show.”
The Ministers who spoke to Lusaka Times in confidence have challenged President Hichilema to publicly deny the accusations if they are untrue.
They said they have resorted to exposing his poor leadership style as a way of getting him to change but threatened that they will resign enmass if he continues with his style.
They accuse President Hichilema of micromanaging all aspects of his government including all appointments to government and parastatal roles.
They said even in Cabinet Meetings, no one of them is allowed to even oppose President Hichilema’s position on any matter presented to Cabinet.
“On appointments, no Minister has ever made any appointments, the list of how to appoint is brought to us and we just read the names. The list is done by him alone at State House. This is why some Boards are still not done up to now because only one man is doing everything,” one of the female Ministers said.
“This is why regional balancing of this appointments is becoming very difficult because they are coming from one mind,” she added.
Another Minister complained that all the Ministers under President Hichilema are treated like children.
“He doesn’t consult us, even in Cabinet, we just go to rubber stamp his positions. Do you know that he appointed all the Press Attachés? That is how bad things are in this government,” he said.
The Ministers explained that since some of the appointees know that they were appointed by President Hichilema, they have no respect for Ministers.
“Now what is happening is that some parastatal Chiefs know that the appointment letter came from State House, we are failing to direct or instruct them. They can’t follow our orders because somehow they know that they came through State House and therefore they will only listen to the President.”
One Minister recounted how some Board Members recently paid themselves irregular allowances and when they were questioned by the line Ministry, they rushed to State House and pushed that the Minister be sacked.
“They style of leadership has made our work very difficult. We are like robots and it’s very frustrating,” a Minister complained.
The Ministers stated that their working morale is at the lowest.
“This man (President Hichilema) doesn’t know how to work as a team. He doesn’t allow us to get allowances even on our foreign trips. If the host Country or organisation doesn’t cater for your allowances, you will struggle through out your visit because he has instructed controlling officers not to say us any allowances when we travel. How can we work like Children?”
“He doesn’t listen to us. He is very distant from us. The only Minister he is close to is Stanley (Kakubo) but all of us feel like we are serving in a government that doesn’t want us.”