I have never been fired before, so this is a new feeling, says former Information and Broadcasting Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo.
On Sunday, President Edgar Lungu dropped Kasolo for saying that the salary cuts announced by the Head of State were voluntary.
“His Excellency, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, has terminated the contract of Mr Chanda Kasolo as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. ‘Pursuant to Articles 92 (2) (e) and 270 of the Constitution of Zambia, I have decided to terminate your contract as Permanent Secretary with immediate effect,’ the President said. The President thanked Mr Kasolo for the service he has rendered to the Government of the Republic of Zambia and also wished him well in his future endeavors,” read the statement issued by President Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe, Monday.
In his farewell message to media bodies that he worked with, Kasolo confirmed his dismissal, saying the termination was as a result on his comments on the President’s directive.
“Hello everyone, I have had my contract terminated following my radio and TV showing last night regarding the directive to cut salaries. I really enjoyed working with you. God bless and please give your support to the incoming PS. Love you all. Chanda Kasolo,” he wrote.
And in a brief interview in Lusaka, Monday, Kasolo said he had accepted President Lungu’s decision to relieve him of his duties.
“All I can confirm is that last (Sunday) night, a letter was delivered to my house, early evening (of) the President cancelling my contract and wishing me well. I think you can speculate, the letter doesn’t give any reasons and, of course, the Head of State, when he appoints, he doesn’t give any reasons so even when he says, ‘good bye’ he doesn’t give any reasons. It’s fine, I have accepted it, that’s what life is like. But it’s the first time I have ever been fired so it’s a new experience (laughs),” said Kasolo.
Last week, Kasolo was quoted by Diamond TV saying: “the salary reduction announced by President Edgar Lungu ranging from 15 to 20 per cent is not a mandatory measure, but voluntary scheme, which can be joined by his appointees and other Zambians.”
He said while President Lungu had set his salary reduction at 20 per cent, others who would volunteer to join the scheme were free to set their salary reduction percentage without being forced.