By NATION REPORTER
INDISCRIMINATE political cleansing in the public sector has the potential of breeding political polarisation in the country, political science lecturer at the University of Zambia (UNZA) Dr Alex Ng’oma has said.
And Dr Ng’oma has advised the UPND to ensure that professionalism in the civil service is restored.
Dr Ng’oma said blanket statements that were being issued to persuade the UPND government to fire people should be discouraged.
“It is not every person that was appointed by the PF that is bad, yes indeed some people can be weeded out but not everyone. We understand that there has to be room for the new government to bring in its people. Of course that is expected but issuing blanket calls that ‘all the appointees of the former regime should be weeded out,’ that I think is a recipe for political polarisation.”
“President Hakainde Hichilema said during the campaign trails, that he would not retire anyone in public interest and that he would appoint people on merit. The central issue that we need to bring to the attention of Mr Munshya is the fact that time has come for Zambia to come up with a professional civil service, where we do not look at whether somebody worked in the previous government or not. It should be expected that a new government has to employ some of its own people but getting rid of everyone from the previous government is undemocratic,” he said.
“Singapore has an excellent and professional civil service where people are trained not to work on partisan lines. It is in order and expected that the new government will embark on retraining people to help them understand the content of the UPND manifesto which emphasises the need to uphold professionalism in in the civil service,” Dr Ng’oma said.
Dr Ngóma was reacting to a Zambian lawyer based in Canada, Mr Elias Munshya, who over the weekend through his Online TV Station, BAKWETU, questioned why the UPND government had maintained individuals who worked under the PF government instead of appointing new people.
According to Mr Munshya, people who were holding strategic offices in government should have submitted their resignations even before being fired.
He said Zambians voted the PF out of power because of the poor governance, which individuals who worked under them tolerated.
But Dr Ng’oma said such a move would divide and create discord in the country.
“Kicking them out of the system would amount to excluding people from what the UPND is going to do and that is precisely what has created polarisation in this country,” he said.
“So what Mr Munshya is championing is a recipe for polarisation because those that will be thrown out of this new dispensation will actually hate the system and hate those that are championing it and so if we are to continue on the path started by our forefathers of ‘One Zambia One Nation,’ I think it is important that we find a way of keeping some.”