MMD faction leader Nevers Mumba says the trend of firing civil servants whenever there is a change of government needs to come to an end, as it is an injustice to the country.
Mumba has, however, noted that some of civil servants are removed due to incompetence in their positions.
Last week, fourth Republican President Rupiah Banda complained against a trend by successive governments of sacking professional civil servants because they served in previous administrations.
In an interview, Mumba, who also served as Republican Vice President in the Mwanawasa administration, said he was against vindictive firing.
“You know, to prepare someone in a field, it takes many years for people to become experts in their fields. Once they achieve that level, government should always look to those people as the resource that we are going to use to improve our country. So, by removing all the qualified, or removing all the people who understand the system and replace them with cadres is an injustice to the rest of the country. So, I think it remains for the watchdog organisations, the opposition, to be on the lookout for any action that is not based on professionalism and honesty in the removal of civil servants, that’s all I can say. Some removals are genuinely effected and others are politically-motivated and we just have to be on the lookout in terms of fighting back,” Mumba said.
“But what I am against, myself, is this vindictiveness that ‘because I have taken over office, everyone in the civil service must be removed!’ I think it’s a bad precedent and I hope that we are not going to sustain that kind of governance.”
And Mumba, who equally served as Zambia’s High Commissioner to Canada under president Banda’s administration, noted that some government employees were removed due to incompetence in their positions.
“When I was High Commissioner in Canada, and we witnessed a change of government, basically most of the civil servants are safe, but there are always a number of them that are moved by the new administration for various reasons. And some of the reasons could have been that they were incompetent in the last administration, but they could not move them because, maybe, there were some reasons as to why they kept them, maybe family reasons or political reasons,” explained Mumba.
“So, I saw that in Canada, I saw it in the United States; when governments are changed, there are certain positions that the new administration has to deal with in order to make sure that their particular administration runs effectively. And I can mention a few, for instance, from the level of ambassadors, immediately the President for the United States comes in, he changes the Ambassador to Canada, for instance, because they consider that as a very strategic point, I think he does the same for London. He has to make sure that the people he has there are going to respond to his policies as President.”