President Edgar Lungu says it is useless for PF members to keep positioning themselves for appointments because the prerogative to hire and fire lies in him.

And President Lungu says Zambia is committed to improving transparency of its debt management and will ensure that debt levels remain sustainable.

Speaking upon arrival at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula airport in Livingstone, Tuesday, President Lungu told ambitious PF members that he had information about who was working and who was not working which would inform his decisions on whom to hire or fire.

“Power to the people and the people in this case is PF who have been given the mandate to rule until 2021. But let me be very clear on this one, let us use our power properly. Let us stick to our lanes. Let us keep to our line of duties. I am saying so because you think that because you are the ones who employed us, you can direct us who to hire and fire, thats not how it goes. The power to hire and fire is reposed in the President of the Republic of Zambia for the civil servants. And the power to hire and fire, subsequent to separate procedures in the party, is vested in the President. So those of you who think you can position yourselves for appointments or disappointments, stop it! Just continue working. Because if you work, I will know who is working, if you are just a rubble rouser, I will know who is just a spoiler. So when the time comes for me to appoint people to positions in the government, in Southern Province, I will do it to the best interest of the party and the government,” President Lungu said.

“Even in football, it is the coach and the managers who determine which people to put where. So those of you who are working, we have reports that you are working. Those who are destabilizing the party, we know you are destabilizing the party. Those that are destabilizing government, we know you are distabilizing government so amubaleke, bayende (leave them, let them go). Your role is to tell the President and the party that things are not working, this is where things are wrong. Not to say that this one should be fired, or this one should be hired, you can’t do it because it is not your prerogative.”

And speaking at the official opening of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) Mid-Term Review Meeting at Avani Hotel, President Lungu said Zambia was committed to improving transparency of its debt management.

“We are also in the process of enacting a new planning and budgeting bill that will ensure value for money and guidance of national priorities as well as linking budgets to plans. On debt management, Zambia will remain steadfast in ensuring that our debt remains sustainable and does not compromise our sovereignty in any way whatsoever. It is in this regard that the country is implementing bold measures to ensure that we achieve debt and fiscal sustainability. My government is receptive to sound advice and support from cooperating partners. We are committed to improving transparency on debt management and reporting. I also wish to stress Zambia’s commitment to creating a conducive atmosphere to reforms aimed at strengthening good governance and upholding the rule of law,” he said.

President Lungu said no state assets had been sold.

“Zambia has not sold nor mortgaged any of her assets to any lenders be they bilateral, multilateral or commercial partners…listing on the open market is highly recommended by both the world bank and the IMF and we intend to transform our self owned enterprises into more viable entities through that route,” said President Lungu.

Meanwhile, World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva said African countries needed to act decisively against growing debt.