Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says he is not scared of “little flies” in the ruling Patriotic Front who are calling for his dismissal because, as far as he is concerned, he deals with the Minister and party chairman.
Last month, a group of Eastern Province PF officials led by secretary Joseph Kalosa staged a protest, demanding that President Edgar Lungu transfers of dismisses Kasolo on grounds that he was not giving government contracts to members of the ruling party.
This call was followed by a puzzling warning from the PF secretary General Davies Mwila who said “PF members who want government contracts must not inform the media”.
Reacting to the calls from the youths, Kasolo said he had earlier received a text message from the youths summoning him to a meeting and he ignored because it was not coming from the party chairman.
“I am glad you even said youths because if they were senior members I would be very worried but I am not worried at all, it comes with the job. You see, the understanding of our youths about what we do is very limited, they think that because I am PS I can simply say give this job to this one and so on. They don’t realise I have got civil service rules to follow, the ZPPA Act and other legislature to follow and in addition, they don’t actually realise that the role of a civil servant is to be none partisan, its to be exactly in the middle without having to look at the person bringing papers to you,” Kasolo said.
“So when you are talking about youths shouting ‘Kasolo out, abash Kasolo’ let them try, I am a nice guy but am also pretty tough and I can tell you [that] these are little flies. I have been through hell before and for me I have a job to do. The President appointed me as PS for Eastern Province, I will perform to the best of my ability despite little flies and little birds jumping on my back. I am like an elephant, I just keep going and I will be like that so I don’t fear them at all.”
He said the youths never met him to complain in person.
“The only time they made an effort was when they sent me a text message telling me ‘tomorrow at such and such a time’ I think it should be 18:00 hours, ‘you be at Eastern Comfort Lodge, you will be asked serious questions by the committee’ and that’s it,” Kasolo recalled.
Asked if it was the PF central committee that wanted to meet him, Kasolo said “yes… I am not sure which committee exactly”, adding that “if the text hasn’t come from the Chairman… because as far as I am concerned, I should deal with the Minister and the Chairman of the Province that’s all, these are the ones I can deal with.”
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Asked why, as a civil servant, he would be taking demands from a party official, Kasolo said he was open to meeting all political party officials in the Province to hear their concerns and not only PF.
Meanwhile, Kasolo observed that hunger was driving youths to demand government contracts.
“For me I know there is hunger, people want to eat, they want jobs and so on. So when people come out with an outburst, the good thing for us as leaders in the civil service is to keep quiet and analyse and we have done that we have analysed. We understand what they don’t understand and our role is to do civil service works as the ZPPA Act wants,” said Kasolo.