Newly-appointed Livestock and Fisheries Minister Professor Nkandu Luo says she will take time to reflect on her new posting before she opens her mouth to discuss the way forward in the sector.

And Prof Luo has insisted that she will not participate in any gossip, which suggested that she destroyed the legacy of the higher education sector in the country.

Last week, the University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) said Prof Luo’s removal from the Ministry of Higher Education was long overdue.

According to UNZALARU general secretary Dr Kelvin Mambwe, Prof Luo lacked a consultative approach to issues and described her as an “I know it all” type of a minister.

But in an interview with News Diggers! in Lusaka, Thursday, Prof Luo said she would take her time to reflect on her new position as Livestock and Fisheries Minister.

“We have this country to survive and thrive; we have a very rich country, which requires all of us to put our brains together and develop it to greater heights. I have a job to do. The President (Edgar Lungu) has given me an important Ministry to run so I want to take time to reflect. Get handover notes from my predecessor and build where she ended, then I will be game for the greater good of this country. So, I am going to discuss my new plans when I get the handover notes,” Prof Luo said.

“My predecessor and I have not discussed anything yet. So, how do I start opening my mouth? That is not leadership; I am a leader. I know that I had several predecessors in the Ministry; I need to learn from them: where are they, what are they. It’s a collective responsibility when you get transferred; it doesn’t mean that you are going with your plans. There is a (Seventh) National Development Plan that is the one that guides all of us.”

And Prof Luo insisted that she would not engage in any gossip suggesting that she destroyed the legacy of the higher education sector.

“I have just arrived in the country, I don’t discuss gossip. I am a researcher so all you need to do is to go is to the sector and see where the destruction is and you will make your opinions. We believe in evidence. I am not speaking and commenting on any gossip; I am not part of the gossip corners; I will not be embroiled in any discussions. I have a nation to deal with. So, if we, as leaders, start involving ourselves in gossip, that will not be good for the country. Let those that have time continue to gossip. People are entitled to their own opinions that is what democracy is all about, isn’t it? And I am sure you have also received information about people that have said good things about me, but because you want to be part of the gossip corner, you want to concentrate on that,” charged Prof Luo.

“And those of you who are good at gossip, God bless you and posterity will judge me! I am above those discussions and you must know that by now. That is how I operate.”