President Hakainde Hichilema has warned his New Dawn government officials against repeating mistakes made by office bearers in the previous Patriotic Front (PF) regime.
Speaking during the swearing in of several presidential appointees who include Electoral Commission of Zambia Chairperson Mwangala Zaloumis, Secretary to Cabinet Patrick Kangwa and Ministry of Youth and Art Permanent Secretary “Pilato” Chama Fumba among others, President Hichilema said office bearers in the PF regime were playful.
The Head of State said the PF rundown the local economy and destroyed the country financially.
President Hichilema said government officials should be cautious that their offices belong to the people of Zambia and must not be taken for granted.
He told new government office bearers that they owe a service to the people of Zambia.
“It is the people that own these offices and we owe it to the people that we serve them to the best of our abilities. Sometimes we forget, sometimes it is evident that we forget. Last one year, I have been observing fifteen months, now getting to sixteen months. I am observing. I can see that, that colleague has forgotten that they work for the people. It is useful to remind ourselves that we work for the people. Without the people we would not be in these roles that we are performing. As you go to Japan (new envoy to Japan Tobias Mulimbika), as you get on the flight, you sit there, you are being served tea. Remember, it is at the big expense of the people of Zambia and I think that sends a different mentality to us as individuals that we work for somebody. A block of somebody, 20 million of them called Zambians. Let us be truly servants of the people,” President Hichilema said.
The President urged Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa to correct wrong things done by the previous government in the public service.
“Cabinet Office, Mr. Kangwa, you have been there in the public service for a long time. Many are asking questions. How did it happen? Logic works in certain ways. Did you miss the logic? You lose those ways. You understand what was happening in the last ten years, eleven years minus one, ten years. You understand things very well. You understand the things that led to the economy going down as you sit there. You understand how people were removed unduly, you understand and you know them. You also now know what the new government’s vision is. We are interacting with you, working with you. I can attest that you know. We are now able to see through you an individual who can correct things that may have not been done correctly.”
“At the same time to make sure we who have come in don’t make mistakes that were made before because then we will not be any better as a team than those that found themselves in difficult situations and the results are clear. Economy went down, debt went up, and expenditure went up. So, please use this knowledge working with your deputy. Do your best. Deputy Secretary to Cabinet, you too know what you didn’t do well in the previous system or what was not done well. As a chief servant of the people of Zambia, I expect a lot from yourselves and you have our support,” Mr. Hichilema said.
Meanwhile, President Hichilema has implored new Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) commissioners led by chairperson Zaloumis to facilitate electoral reforms.
He questioned why Parliamentary election petitions take almost a year when a Presidential petition can be disposed of within 14 days.
President Hichilema said Zambia should have an electoral process that respects the will of the people.
“We trust this combination plus Mr. Chipenzi. We expect that the electoral process leading to the day of elections will be one in which the will of the people will be respected,” he said.