Former Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Sketchley Sacika says President Edgar Lungu had no powers to fire the Public Service Pension Fund CEO Richard Mwiinga.
And Sacika says President Lungu’s appointments to senior management positions in the public service show a trend of tribalism.
Recently, President Lungu went against the Public Pensions Act by interfering in the decision of the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) Board to keep Dr Richard Mwiinga as Chief Executive Officer, by terminating his contract.
The Head of state has also personally removed PSPF Board Chairman Dr Moses Banda and Board member Professor Oliver Saasa, leaving Ministry of Labour Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga in charge.
However Sacika said in an interview with News Diggers! that only the board had powers to either discipline or fire Mwiinga because he was their employee.
But in an interview, Dr Sacika noted that only the board had powers to dismiss Dr Mwiinga.
“According to the law, the President has no power to fire Dr Mwiinga because Dr Mwiinga is an employee of the board of directors of the Public Service Pensions Fund. That is the only body which has powers either to discipline or fire Dr Mwiinga. If the board of the directors is of the view that Dr Mwiinga is the right person for the job, and was actually in the fore front with the renewal of the contract, the board should ignore the President’s direction or decision to fire Dr Mwiinga. If the President is not happy with the boards decision it is up to him to dissolve the board and the board members should tell the nation why the board has been dissolved. It will be wrong for the board to allow the President to engage in illegality. The President of Zambia is not above the law. And it is therefore up to the people of Zambia to see to it that he runs the affairs of this country according to what the law says. And not according to what he thinks is right,” Dr Sacika said.
And Dr Sacika observed that President Lungu’s appointments to senior management positions in the public service smelt tribalism.
“If the President is practicing tribalism, then he is driving our country in the wrong direction. And the consequences are for the country. As a country, Zambia is too fragile it can not withstand a tribal upheaval. And yet this is inevitable if those in power behave as though this country belongs to one or two tribes only. President Lungu’s appointments to senior management positions in the public service have a trend of tribalism,” said Dr Sacika.
“As a Lozi person myself, I’m disappointed that we only have one minister in the whole cabinet and one permanent secretary in the whole government establishment. This is incredible because the vice-president of our country happens to be a Lozi like myself and yet we have so many Mulenga’s, Zulu’s and Banda’s. How can we have a government that is dominated or controlled by one or two tribes? What is the meaning of ‘one Zambia one Nation’? So if Dr Mwiinga has been fired because he is Tonga, then its absolutely unfortunate.”