There’s a fight among govt officials on C/Belt, PS tells parley committee

Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Bright Nundwe says there is a fight for seniority among government officials on the Copperbelt, as some are positioning themselves to contest parliamentary seats in 2021.

And Nundwe says there is too much political interference in the fight against corruption in the country.

Speaking when he appeared before the parliamentary committee on Cabinet Affairs Thursday, Nundwe said there was a tag of war between district commissioners, council chairpersons and members of parliament on the Copperbelt.

He was responding to a question on whether district commissioners were needed in the province.

“To some extent yes [we still need them] but we still have a tag of war between the district commissioners, mayors and the council chairperson. They are fighting over who is senior than the other. They are even competing now with the MPS, others have already started eying to stand in 2021. I things there must be a clear distinction in terms of responsibilities. I can tell you I have worked under six ministries. Not even a single day have I quarrelled with anybody. I should know that this is my minister and this is my responsibility as PS, period. They are helping the system yes, but I don’t know if they need some orientation or what. To be frank with you, there are some fights now, the mayor, the council chair fighting with MPs, which is not suppose to be the case,” Nundwe said.

Asked how illegalities were handled in cases where politicians did not sign documents but rather instructed Permanent Secretaries to authorise, Nundwe said he would rather be fired from his position than shield corruption.

He added that there was too much political interference in the fight against corruption in the country.

“I want to tell you, I would rather be fired from a position for a good course. Yes we have certain people that have obtained money which does not correspond with what they are getting. Yes I can build a house even in one year because I get a good salary. But what I want to say is this, the way we are fighting corruption which is an element of hate, there is so much hatred in this country. There is so much politics in terms of fighting corruption which is not suppose to be the case. We need to be above board in terms of fighting corruption. If I hate this person because he is in a ruling party, just because I want to dilute their powers, I am not suppose to do that. There are certain Permanent Secretaries, directors, certain people have inherited resources from their fathers but just because he is a PS now, whatever he is investing you think he has stolen; which is not suppose to be the case,” Nundwe said.

Nundwe also explained that civil servants

“In normal circumstances, all those that have got cases are always given an opportunity to be heard as part of the disciplinary process. I can tell you this, in life we need to be factual. We don’t need to have hatred towards one another, its one Zambia one nation. I can tell you that I am one person that has no component of segregation. Even if the one that drives me comes from a place where one would maybe say no he is from this side. In fact before even when somebody is suspended or dismissed, sit down with him, reason with him, ‘is this what you are doing?’, ‘come here, is this right for you?’ I can’t find pleasure as permanent secretary where I should dismiss somebody who spent four years to do some college work at Evelyn Hone college because he belongs somewhere then I should suspend him, no! We have to nature them and teach them. But what we are saying is we don’t want to condone indiscipline in government institutions, we want to have a smarter institutions. We want people to deliver, people are itching to get our services but we can’t have a crop of civil servants that are doing such,” said Nundwe.

         

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