By GIDEON NYENDWA
IT will be difficult for the ministers in the new government to function effectively because the President seems to have no trust in them, former Minister of Home Affairs Steven Kampyongo has said.
And Mr Kampyongo has advised ministers to keep away from matters of procurement to avoid being implicated because such processes were handled by controlling officers who are Permanent Secretaries.
In an interview, Mr Kampyongo said that it would be very difficult for most of the current ministers and Permanent Secretaries to make decisions after President Hakainde Hichilema openly cast doubt on their credibility when he said some of them were being taught by a “clique of thieves” how to siphon money from the government.
Mr Kampyongo, who is also PF Shiwang’andu Member of Parliament, said the President should find better ways of talking to his ministers so that they should not feel intimidated rather than lamenting about them in public.
“I feel for my colleagues. It is difficult to function properly when your boss seems not to trust you. The President, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, should be mindful of how he is lamenting about certain issues involving his ministers,” he said. Mr Kampyongo was responding to remarks by President Hichilema suggesting that some cliques of former ministers were teaching his ministers and permanent secretaries how to siphon money from the government.
He said surprisingly, Mr Hichilema was talking about leaking buckets but he had not told the people how he was going to seal the leaking bucket, because people would think he was seeing people stealing and doing nothing about it.
He said ministers should not feel intimidated or demoralised, but encouraged to carry out their roles for the benefit of the nation.
Meanwhile, Mr Kampyongo has advised ministers to get acquainted with the Abuse of Authority Act and cabinet book which are cardinal for them in knowing their roles.
He said ministers should read the Cabinet book which spells out the parameters within which they should operate.
He said similarly, Permanent Secretaries should just acquaint themselves with the Public Financial Management Act which spells out the dos and don’ts with regards to how they should handle public resources.