President Edgar Lungu has challenged investigative wings that probe corruption cases to be serious and conclusive in their operations.
President Lungu said those tasked with investigating such matters should inform him when they face challenges so that they can be provided with the help needed to execute their duties.
The Head of State made these remarks at State House in Lusaka today during a swearing-in ceremony for newly appointed Permanent Secretaries.
“Right now there is talk of government being corrupt, no we are not corrupt but what is becoming obvious is that those who make noise about corruption fail to prove their actions and those who are charged with the responsibility of investigating corruption are not going out to investigate and bring this war to court,” the President explained.
He added that the fight against corruption is not his job alone saying it requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders.
And President Lungu has urged all the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries to use their individual vast experiences and skills to bring a new dimension to the operations of the public service.
“You are now Permanent Secretaries charged with the responsibility of ensuring the smooth implementation of the various government policies, programmes and regulations falling under your respective ministries, provinces and other spending agencies. I urge you to take a keen interest in understanding the respective roles of your institutions in the development agenda of our great nation, which is clearly articulated in the seventh National Development Plan and vision 2030,” the President said.
The President further urged the Permanent Secretaries not to lose sight of their very critical role of being the chief advisors to the ministers in terms of articulating government policies and procedures.
“Do not fall prey to the temptation of antagonising your ministers. This growing tendency among some permanent secretaries is creating a toxic environment in the ministries and consequently affecting performance and service delivery,” he noted.
President Lungu reiterated that government is in a hurry to deliver on its promises to the people of Zambia hence changes will be made as and when necessary.
“I, therefore, expect hard work, professionalism and discipline from all of you as you take up your new positions. Once more, congratulations on your appointments and may God bless you,” the President stated.
The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries include Mr. Emmanuel Ngulube for the Ministry of Health, Mr. Matthew Ngulube for the Ministry of Local Government, Dr. John Phiri for the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development and Mr. Royd Chakaba for Northern Province.
Others are Mr. Lenox Kalonde for the Ministry of Works and Supply, Mr. Patrick Lungu as Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism and Arts and Captain Davison Mulenga (Rtd), for Muchinga Province. Mr. Lungu was until today Director for the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) and has worked for the department for 29 years.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has transferred the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Works and Supply Agnes Musunga to Cabinet Office in the same capacity but in charge of remunerations and Mr. Trevor Kaunda from Ministry of Energy to Ministry of National Planning in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation while Mr. Davies Chisenda has been moved from National Planning to Energy in the same capacity and Ms. Joyce Nsamba, who was Permanent Secretary for Muchinga Province, has been transferred to Southern Province in the same capacity respectively.
And the Head of State has terminated contracts for Permanent Secretaries for Northern Province Charles Sipanje, Youth, Sports and Child Development Joe Kapembwa, Cabinet Office Remuneration Division Sturdy Mwale, Bishop Edward Chomba Local Government, Ms. Mulalelo Kakulubelwa for Ministry of Health and Dr. Auxilia Ponga, who was Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism.
President Lungu said the termination of contracts for the said Permanent Secretaries is to enable some of them to go and pursue their political ambitions while for others it is because they have fallen short in terms of their conduct.