PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has told controlling officers not to be afraid of resisting illegal instructions and educating their ministers on proper procedures and guidelines.
He said this after he swore in eight controlling officers at State House yesterday.
President Lungu said he was aware that some people were mischievously using his name to intimidate permanent secretaries into doing wrong things.
“Several people have made decisions in my name against the law fearing that the President will fall on them like a tonne of bricks. I am not that type of President because I know what is good and what is wrong,” President Lungu said.
“Don’t let the name of the President make you tremble and do wrong things because I don’t instruct anyone to do wrong because I know the law.”
He reminded them that they would face the auditors on their own.
“The buck stops at you. When auditors come, it is you they query. So, reflect and cross-check. If I want to give you instructions from State House, I will call you and interface with you and say this is how I feel it should be done,” President Lungu said.
“I am holding you accountable. If anyone does something wrong in a ministry, the buck stops at you. Even your ministers tell them ‘sorry honourable minister, the rules are these’. You can only go that far. Provide leadership. So help us to provide the best for this country. Zambians are not wrong to have trusted PF. We won three times in five years. We have won elections because people have confidence in us and I also have confidence in you. If you let me down, I will let you down. You have been hired and so you can be fired. Place yourself in a position of relevance and do the right thing.”
He also advised them to be kind and courteous.
“Please be nice and courteous to people. Be kind. Even the letters that you write, use polite words. Be civil. We are where we are because of them. You shut the door in their faces, bang the phones on them, that is not good,” said President Lungu.
Those sworn in were Mushuma Mulenga as national coordinator, private sector development, industrialisation and job creation at Cabinet office; Juliana Chilombo as permanent secretary, parliamentary business division in the office of the Vice-President; and Dick Shichembe as Accountant General at the Ministry of Finance.
Others were Ministry of National Development Planning permanent secretary for development planning and administration Chola Chabala and Ministry of Tourism and Arts as permanent secretary Liya Mutale.
The rest were Commissioner of Lands Wilfred Muma; Copperbelt permanent secretary Elias Kamanga and Northern Province permanent secretary Jobbicks Kalumba.