By SIMON MUNTEMBA
CREDIBLE hard working patriotic ministers and civil servants have been fired on mere allegations which the investigate wings failed to prove in court, President Edgar Lungu has lamented.
He has expressed displeasure with failure by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate and prove cases of corruption against public officers in court.
Mr Lungu has challenged the investigative wings to take their jobs seriously by ensuring investigations into corruption allegations against public officers were expedited and proved in the courts of law
He disclosed that he has been slow to act on corruption allegations given to him by officers and whistle blowers in the past,
President Lungu made these remarks yesterday at State House in Lusaka during the swearing-in ceremony for seven permanent secretaries.
He pointed out that some public officers at ministerial and civil service level have in the past been relieved of their duties on corruption allegations which both investigative officers and whistle blowers have failed to provide evidence.
“Let me also make it clear that I have been very slow to act when allegations of corruption are given to me by some officers and whistle blowers because in the past, we have lost a lot of credible hardworking patriotic Zambians both in civil service and in ministerial positions on account of allegations which the investigative wings have failed to prove,” President Lungu said.
The President also said contrary to baseless allegations, his government is not corrupt.
“Right now, there is talk that we are corrupt, we are not corrupt. What is instead obvious is that those making noise about corruption fail to provide evidence, and those who are charged with the responsibility of investigating corruption are not going out to bring culprits to court,” he said.
President Lungu challenged the investigative wings and particularly the ACC to tell him what challenges they were facing in investigating corruption allegations and bringing the culprits to court.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has fired ministry of health permanent secretary for administration, Mulalelo Kakulubelwa, and five others.
The other four whose contracts had been terminated are Charles Sipanje, Permanent Secretary for Northern Province, Bishop Edward Chomba, Ministry of Local Government Permanent Secretary, Stardy Mwale Permanent Secretary at Cabinet Office and Joe Kapembwa Permanent Secretary Ministry of Sports and Auxilia Ponga from the Ministry of Tourism
The head of state has reshuffled six permanent secretaries and appointed seven to the same position.
The newly sworn in permsecs include, Mr Emmanuel Ngulube at the Ministry of Health, Mr Lennox Kalonde for Works and Supply, Mr Mathew Ngulube for Local Government, Mr Patrick Lungu for Tourism, Dr John Phiri for Ministry of Sports, Mr Royd Chakaba for Northern Province and Captain Davison Mulenga for Muchinga Province.
Addressing the new permsecs, President Lungu tasked them to ensure the smooth implementation of various government policies as enshrined in the seventh national development plan.
He also urged them 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.
The President also warned them against falling prey to the temptation of antagonising their ministers.
“This growing tendency among some permanent secretaries is creating a toxic environment in the ministries and consequently affecting performance and service delivery,” he said. President Lungu reiterated that his government was in a hurry to deliver on its promises to the people of Zambia