No looting under my guard – HH
By SIMON MUNTEMBA
PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema says looting of public resources that characterised procurement procedures and expenditure in all government departments in the last 10 years would not be allowed in his administration.
President Hichilema reminded all government officials that they were in office to serve the interests of Zambians not theirs.
Mr Hichilema said this at State House in Lusaka yesterday when he swore in newly appointed Permanent Secretaries for the various government ministries and provinces, and other senior officials.
President Hichilema said some government officials in the last 10 years were serving their self-interests, rather than that of the citizens – a trend he said would not be allowed.
He said public resources should not be plundered but channeled to Zambians who were the owners.
“Many, not all of our colleagues in the last 10 years were serving themselves not the people of Zambia. We will reverse that role. We serve the people first before self,” the President said.
He reiterated that those in public office must remember that they were servants of the people, every time, they reported for work and ensure that they protected public resources against abuse.
He also challenged newly appointed Permanent Secretaries and other officials to prove themselves that they were the best because it took him, through wider consultations to identify them from across the country.
He also explained that he took time to make appointments for the Permanent Secretaries because he wanted to identify qualified Zambians from all the 10 provinces.
“Just check who is seated next to you, you will see diversity. It reflects this nation. That is why we take necessary time to identify diverse talents from our own fellow citizens from different corners of this country.
“It is a careful selection process to allow citizens of the country to serve the country in their localities because that is how it should be. And since, we have worked hard to identify you through consultations, it is up to you to prove that you are the best. It is a responsibility,” he said.
President Hichilema expressed gratitude that some of those appointed did not know anybody in cabinet, or related to anyone in State House because he wanted to unite this country.