Ministry of National Development Planning Permanent Secretary in charge of monitoring and evaluation Dr Auxilia Ponga says employing civil servants based on school qualifications alone, has proved to be unproductive.

Speaking when she featured on ZNBC TV’s Sunday Interview, Dr Ponga said there was need for the recruitment process of civil
servant to assess the true production capacity of people who were being deployed government.

“I think that the way the civil service is run needs to change, and I have seen that a lot of countries have done that. They have also borrowed from the private sector, where you are clearly working to see profit and if you are not contributing to that! Why should they keep you? So even in terms of the way we are running as civil servants, we must have ethics that guide the way we work,” Dr Ponga said.

“We must have areas that are very important, if we are really not in corruption, then we must have something that we are good at. And that is why I think the recruitment process that we do am saying should not just look at my qualification, but what have I done to show that I have commitment to see this country develop? Even as a student, what are those traits in me? So we should go beyond just qualification and begin looking at a display of characteristics and attitudes that show that am willing to develop my country.”

And Ponga said Zambia needs more water to enhance its agriculture production.

“We also have focus areas of agriculture, tourism, and mining. But we are saying that if we are going to achieve the level of production in agriculture that we need or the standards in tourism that we need, we cannot avoid some conditions that need to be fulfilled for example; agriculture can only thrive if we have sufficient water. So the sector of water development is crucial. The level of energy in this country will have to increase if we are going to have to stop what we are growing or processing, so energy is important,” said Dr Ponga.

“So the three areas that we have said lets focus on is agriculture, because agriculture employs a bulk of our people. And so the discussion there is how do we raise productivity and when we do, how do we go to the next level of manufacturing and processing, and then of course marketing and distribution. You have heard the president talk about us becoming the food basket of the region. Its possible, but how do we make that? And that’s where I think monitoring comes in very importantly. If last year we produced 2.8 metric tonnes of maize, and this year we’ve done 3.6, how do we jump from 3.7 to for example double the figures, what is it that we can learn from what we have been doing and double that one? I think that is doable and I also believe that more than us civil servants and government employees talking about this.”