WHO PROFITS FROM A BIG CABINET
THERE are a lot of competing factors that are conspiring to deny our country a lean cabinet. The President-elect, Mr Hakainde Hichilema who officially ascends to the throne today was explicit during campaigns on the size of his cabinet.
It seems behind the scene discussions, bargains and arm-twisting from within and without might derail the dream. This is where pragmatism and walking the talk comes into play. All eyes are now fixed on Mr Hichilema aka Bally to once more smash this big cabinet euphoria to smithereens.
Those with a penchant for everything bloated and opportunism must be stopped in their tracks. No one can say that the politics of small cabinets is unchartered territory.
Kenneth Kaunda led the way by naming a cabinet with only 15 members. Executive size should be the preserve of the president; didn’t Levy Mwanawasa, against all odds trim his from 24 to 20 and double as Minister of Defence?
Most post millennials or Gen Z’s who voted enmasse know the difference between a big and small cabinet; take note Bally and reduce government portfolios. As for provincial ministers; their stay in cabinet is superfluous.
Huge cabinets are synonymous with lavish expenditure. Cutting waste, inefficiencies and corruption starts with a small cabinet; Bally should fix this. Cabinet positions are not for cronyism and rewards but rather is the fulcrum; where government decision making processes swing.
We need an ascetic cabinet that is devoted to the country. A bad, non-diverse, bloated and tribally unbalanced government will be a recipe for corruption.
Time is over for misusing state resources, patronage and provision of positions to appease party structures. Electoral appeasement has a negative relationship with cabinet size; only venal rulers appoint large cabinets and clearly Bally is not one of them.
My idea of cabinet is one which combine everything education into one portfolio from kindergarten to university and allows agriculture to encompass livestock, food and fisheries. Why should finance be detached from planning?
Communication, works and transport to me are birds of the same feather! Apart from propagandist and self-pious reasons why do we maintain information and religious portfolios? Wouldn’t it make sense to have information communication and transport as one entity?
Is there any tourism that is not linked to the environment and natural resources? Doesn’t local government embrace housing, community and social development? As for works and supply, what hallow thinking; a ministry that doesn’t do any work nor supply anything?
Science and technology like gender are all encompassing and can never be ministries. Perhaps, I’m wrong; commerce, trade and industry embrace mining, labour and land. Why should we be steeped in traditional nauseating ministries that don’t make sense; arts, culture, sports, etc.
I don’t want to be simplistic but the United States government has a cabinet as big as the one Kaunda started with. It has a huge economy and has the luxury to have twice as many cabinet ministers but their catchword is prudence. Learn from others! Good luck Bally! It’s a tough job but you can give us a small signal for a start! I love you!