Copperbelt-based good governance activist Peter Mulenga says President Hakainde Hichilema should not be forced to reshuffle his cabinet.
Democratic Governance and Human Rights Advocates (DEGHA) President Gerald Mutelo at the weekend advocated cabinet reshuffle saying some ministries were not running effectively.
Mr. Mutelo cited the Ministry of Information and Mines as some portfolios that need to be tinkled with.
But Mr. Mulenga has opposed the idea of cabinet reshuffle at the moment saying ministers are functioning well under the New Dawn government.
He said people will soon start seeing the efforts of Ministers in improving various sectors of the economy such as mining and commerce.
Mr. Mulenga said President Hichilema should not be forced to make changes to the current cabinet just one year after forming government.
“I wish to disagree with my colleague Gerald Mutelo from the Democratic Governance and Human Rights Advocates (DEGHA) who is suggesting a reshuffle of the current cabinet. The media statement issued by Mr. Mutelo is preposterous and a direct attack on the Government. It is vague to suggest that President Hakainde Hichilema should consider re-assigning some Ministries. I think the ministries and cabinet of the New Dawn Government have shown efficiency in the manner they have been operating. Ministers have settled down well in their first one year in office and I strongly believe that fruits are now being seen. Ministers have settled down well and should now be given time to produce positive results aimed at improving the well being of the Zambian people in all sectors of the economy,” Mr. Mulenga said.
He added that the Ministry of Mines and Development under Paul Kabuswe has made strides to unlock the mining sector and restore sanity.
Mr. Mulenga said he has observed that Mr. Kabuswe has made efforts to resolve the impasse between Vedanta and Konkola Copper Mines by directing ZCCM to deal with the issue outside court.
“In particular, I disagree that the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development needs to be realigned. I believe the Ministry of Mines has been one of the best performing Ministries in the New Dawn Government. We have seen vigorous efforts Minister of Mines Paul Kabuswe and his Permanent Secretary have been putting in to unlock the mining sector. Mr. Kabuswe is a trusted lieutenant who has in the recent past acted as Finance Minister. The Minister of Mines and his team inherited a sector that was marred with problems among them the issue of Konkola Copper Mines. People of good will are able to see the sanity being brought to the Mining Sector under the competent leadership of Mr. Kabuswe,” he said.
“Not too long ago, Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe directed that ZCCM-IH quickly dialogue outside court on issues of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Vedanta Mineral Resources. Unlike past arrogant Ministers and Government, it was gratifying to see that the government through Mr. Kabuswe is interested in dialogue so that matters surrounding Vedanta are resolved swiftly,” he said.
Mr. Mulenga further observed that the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development has brought sanity and order among small scale miners operating the Black Mountain in Kitwe.
“The Ministry of Mines has also brought sanity and order among small scale miners. You can’t look further than the Black Mountain operation in Kitwe which is benefiting many people beyond the Copperbelt. The Black Mountain which previously benefited few well known people or families is now benefiting women in mining, youths and traditional leaders through cooperatives. Let us be objective as we advocate good governance in our country. By the way matters of appointing Ministers, disappointing or reshuffling is a preserve of the President and therefore let the Head of State operate without undue external forces,” Mr. Mulenga concluded.