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Lungu must cut number of advisors to ensure policy consistency – KambwiliBy Sipilisiwe Ncube on 24 Aug 2017
Expelled Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili says President Edgar Lungu should trim his staff so that there can be policy consistency in government.
In a statement today, Kambwili observed that having too many advisors was not working well for President Lungu.
“I would like to suggest that the President should trim his staff. There are just too many ‘assistants’ around him. The wise have said that too many cooks spoil the broth. For a message to be transmitted accurately, there must be fewer people to do that. This is how one avoids Chinese whispers. Allowing fewer people to do things also means that those who are not experts in the matter should keep away. We do not need the President to flag off every road, break every sod, lay every foundation stone, commission every cog in the machine! The result of getting one’s fingers in every pie is that they do not have time to read and digest the speeches that are written for them,” Kambwili said.
He also wondered how President Lungu was able to keep up with paper work when he was always on the move.
“I cannot understand how a President can be out of his office every other day and still be able to approve and sign the thousands of pages of paperwork that turns up on his desk every day. Would I be right to assume that he just shares out this work with the lieutenants? A Head of State must be an avid reader and not only that but one who comprehends beyond the letter of the text. It is one thing to have an idea of the direction the policy is leading to, but it is another thing to grapple with what has been called ‘the devil’ in the detail,” Kambwili stated.
He also observed that ever since the Patriotic Front (PF) took office in 2011, Zambians had been subjected to inconsistent policies.
“Ever since the Patriotic Front took over the government of the Republic of Zambia, the Zambian people have been subjected to several government policy pronouncements that have had to be revised or withdrawn. The first of such as far as I can remember was the first Finance Minister’s Statutory Instruments 33 (2012) and 55 (2013) which were later revoked after what Mr Alexander B Chikwanda called ‘challenges’ had arisen. The matter of ROUTINE and not mandatory HIV testing is the latest of such incongruity of government policies,” Kambwili said.
He wondered what kind of a leader President Lungu was.
“According to the Constitution, the role of Cabinet ministers is to formulate the policy of the government and advise the President with respect to that policy. Every leader will have his own way of dealing with this. There are some like former US President Obama, who has been said to be very intelligent and would very quickly grasp the gist of what was presented before them. There are others like Margaret Thatcher who would pore over every line and detail with a tooth comb and take ministers to task over what was not clear. Then there are others who just do not bother to understand what is going on and leave everything to the ministers, fire them if it does not work or get the credit if it does,” stated Kambwili.
“The other extreme is where the President decides the policy and dictates it to the Cabinet for rubber stamping, the Idi Amin way. Those who disagree, get the boot or the bullet. I do not know which one of these applies to Zambia right now, but whatever it is, the government must be coherent and consistent, regardless of how it comes up with policy. So far, we have a cacophony and not a symphony.”
About Sipilisiwe Ncube
Sipilisiwe Ncube is a Zambian journalist with a background in radio news.
Email: sipilisiwe [at] diggers [dot] news
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