Vice-President Inonge Wina says all Permanent Secretaries in line ministries have necessary qualifications which were ascertained before their appointments.

But an investigation conducted by News Diggers in April this year revealed that Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, Dr Bishop Chomba is not a double PhD holder from “Oxford University (Trinity College)” and “Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson)” as he claims to have on his government endorsed biography.

And Vice-President Wina says information by some UPND officials that District Commissioners are campaigning for PF in Mangango district using government resources and vehicles is wrong.

Responding to Chiengi FDD member of parliament Given Katuta who wanted to know during the Vice-President’s questioned time, Friday,‘why government had not extended the verification of qualifications to Permanent Secretaries, Friday, Wina claimed all PSs were trained and had requisite qualifications.

She however challenged Katuta to take information regarding PS’s without qualifications to the Secretary to the Cabinet.

“A Permanent Secretary in any ministry is at the apex of the governance system. Before PSs are appointed, they are scrutinised by the various security wings of government and their qualifications are ascertained at that time. As for the honourable member for Chiengi, if she can bring this information to the Secretary to the Cabinet regarding Permanent Secretaries who do not have qualifications, I think this will be very welcome. But for now, I know that all PS’s in the line ministries are trained and have the requisite qualifications for the job they are holding,” Vice-President Wina claimed.

But a News Diggers! investigation in April revealed that Bishop Chomba has fake qualifications.

“We have been asked about Mr Chomba’s credentials on previous occasions. We have no record of his ever having been registered as a student at Trinity College, Oxford. I am copying this reply to my colleagues at the University’s Research Degrees Office, who will be able to confirm whether he has been awarded any doctoral degree from the University. The College does not hold this information. The digitised College records that have been checked go back to the 1930s,” The Oxford University, Trinity College responded to a News Diggers press query in April.

Despite the report, no action was taken against Bishop Chomba.

And when asked by the leader of opposition Jack Mwiimbu what they were doing regarding District Commissioners who were campaigning for PF in Mangango district using government resources, Vice-President Wina said that information was false.

“The comment by the leader of the opposition is an assumption. Because DCs have not been allowed by the central committee to participate in the campaigns in Mangango. I do know that there are no government vehicles that are being used in that campaign. I think the honourable member must have been given untruthful reports because all the campaign vehicles in Mangango have been secured from Lusaka. We can go there to Mangango to verify whether government vehicles are being used in the campaign,” she said.

Asked a follow up question by Gwembe UPND member of parliament Attractor Chisangano who wanted to know what to do to DCs who were found using government vehicles to campaign, Vice-President Wina said the idea of concentrating on DCs would not win UPND a seat in Mangango.

“As a political activist, your job is to concentrate on the campaign. You are not going to Mangango to hunt for DCs and vehicles. If the purpose of going to Mangango is just to confiscate vehicles simply because you suspect this vehicle belongs to a DC, I think the law will take care of that. It’s not DCs who win campaigns. We have our own party structures on the grounds and these are the people leading the campaign in Mangango. So the idea of concentrating on DCs will not win UPND a seat in Mangango because our people are there campaigning. If there is even one DC in Mangango, he can leave but we are still going to win Mangango,” she said.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Wina acknowledged that the country’s reserves had gone down adding that government was taking different measures to increase them.

“I do realise that our reserves have gone down from $2.something million to $1.8 million. Of course that is acknowledged. But government has not just sat to mourn over this situation. Government is taking measures to ensure that we increase our reserves by taking many interventions including the austerity measures that we have taken which will help us to be able to contain excess expenditures unnecessarily,” she said.

Vice-President Wina also said NRDC College management was still investigating the causes of riots at the institution.

“The riots at NRDC were prompted by students who were in the first or second year and wanted to get into the next academic level without passing the required subjects. I’m yet to see a university or college where a student can aspire to go to the next level when they have not passed all the required subjects. However, as of now, the college has been reopened. Of course management is looking into the causes of the riots,” said Vice-President Wina.