Newly-appointed Livestock and Fisheries Minister Professor Nkandu Luo will not be able to work well in the livestock sector because of her attitude, says National Union for Small-scale Farmers of Zambia (NUSFAZ) president Dr Frank Kayula.
And Dr Kayula has alleged that workers at the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries have misapplied monies meant for small-scale farmers to themselves.
Last Friday, President Edgar Lungu moved Prof Luo from the Ministry of Higher Education to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
But reacting to the development, Dr Kayula argued that Prof Luo was not the best replacement in the Livestock and Fisheries sector.
“Well, she is a tenacious woman, but for us, we believe she is very good in academia or in the health sector because her specialty is health. And it would have been good to take her there and do some swapping. I know that livestock, they are dealing with (things), which are close to human beings. But we are thinking that, that kind of attitude that she has, she may not get the necessary results if she takes it to livestock. She may find challenges because animals are treated in a different way. She is similar to the former Minister of Agriculture, Dora Siliya, and if you’ll be like Dora and read a lot and you know what is required, she may be successful. But at the moment she has to prove her worth. We do not think she may be the best the replacement in the Ministry,” Dr Kayula told News Diggers! in an interview in Lusaka, Tuesday.
“We think that there are others who are actually MPs, and they are also PF, who may do well in that Ministry because you see, in order for you to perform well, it’s not [just because] you are a professor, but it’s also because you have some background in the areas we are looking at. We still keep our fingers crossed and see how she will perform.”
Asked whether he felt she was capable of dealing with the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, Dr Kayula responded in the affirmative.
“She is commanding, and probably if she gives those commands, the guys in the Ministry will do the best they can,” he replied.
And Dr Kayula accused workers at the Livestock and Fisheries Ministry of allocating money meant for the small-scale farmers to themselves.
“We are disappointed that the finances that have been accessed have not benefited the farmers, but they have benefited the staff at the Ministry, beginning with the big people there; they have invested in a lot of things that sometimes you may question. We may not have the details, but you may question that ‘can this person actually have this investment just from the salary?’ When people get money, that they are not supposed to access, they will make houses, they will buy farms, re-stock farms! Check the farms of these people and find out where they got that worth maybe it will help you,” said Dr Kayula.
“The Money that they have received [because] now these (Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries) separated from Ministry of Agriculture is meant to deal with the small-scale farmers and support them.