Newly-appointed Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Simon Miti is suitably-qualified despite the unfounded corruption allegations levelled against him in the past, Parliament has heard.

In his debate in Parliament, Tuesday, Kantanshi Independent member of parliament Anthony Mumba insisted that Dr Miti was suitably qualified for the top civil servants’ post despite the controversy that surrounded his appointment by President Edgar Lungu on June 27.

Mumba said this after the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the Presidential Appointment of Dr Simon Kamwendo Miti to serve as Secretary to the Cabinet, for the Third Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on July 26, 2019.

“Mr Speaker, the Committee notes with satisfaction that all the witnesses submitted that the nominee met the constitutional requirements and possessed the requisite academic qualifications and experience for appointment as Secretary to the Cabinet. The Committee notes that there was some concern regarding the nominee’s alleged involvement in the theft of K37billion un-rebased donor funds that occurred in the Ministry of Health between 2007 and 2009 when the nominee was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health. The Committee notes that the financial irregularities in the Ministry of Health that culminated in the famous case of the People vs Kapoko and others occurred at a time when the nominee was doubling as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health and personal doctor to the then Republican President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. The Committee further notes, contrary to public opinion, the nominee was never a suspect or accused person in the case and has taken all the necessary administrative measures to ensure that Kapoko and his accomplices were brought to book,” Mumba, the Committee chairman, explained.

And in seconding the motion, nominated member of parliament Raphael Nakacinda urged Dr Miti to use his vast experience to weed out corruption in the civil service.

“Despite the unfounded turbulent stories, my fervent hope is that he will work to prove all of those who hold some negative feeling wrong to the best of his ability in the interest of our great nation. Had it not been for the bravery of the appointing authority to do the right thing against the tide of public opinion as a result of falsehood the public was fed with, Dr Miti would have continued to suffer this injustice! Mr Speaker, we can only implore the said appointee, taking a leaf from his ordeal to weed out the perceived corruption and the laissez-faire attitude within the civil service. He should take advantage of his experience to honour by clearing the names of fellow civil servants, who in the course of their duties, who may be unjustly persecuted in the court of public opinion by publicly declaring their innocence without fear or favour,” said Nakacinda.

Dr Miti, who had been serving as Principal Private Secretary at State House replaced his predecessor Dr Roland Msiska, who was retired.