WATER Development and Sanitation Minister Raphael Nakacinda has appealed to citizens to give him an opportunity to do his best to serve the public.

When asked if his appointment was politically motivated in view of concerns expressed by various stakeholders that President Edgar Lungu elevated him to a Cabinet position for political reasons, Nakacinda said he earned the portfolio on merit.

“That is why we are retrogressive as a country because everything is about personalities. You mean somebody cannot be appointed on merit? The one who assigned me is the one who can answer that question. We shouldn’t be disrupted by petty politics that people try to peddle all the time. In Zambia, there must be time for politics and time to focus on development. At this particular time, people should give me an opportunity to do the best I can within the short period of time that I have got to serve as Minister of Water Development other than those destructive questions you are asking me,” Nakacinda said in an interview.

“Are you sure that you would assume that an appointment of this nature could be related to anything you are suggesting? So, meaning what was happening at the Ministry of Health was to get at (Felix) Mutati? Basically, people deliberately want to create a debate that, ‘Mutati and Nakacinda, there is something,’ there is nothing between us. The gentleman served in his time, he has moved on politically and we wish him well. I have also been given an opportunity to serve and it ends there.”

And Nakacinda, whose position as MMD national secretary was revoked by the Nevers Mumba-led executive, advised technocrats in his Ministry to up their game and ensure that they delivered to Zambians’ expectations.

“I have been given an opportunity to serve as Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection. Mine is basically just to encourage and inspire the technocrats to specialise their entities under my Ministry, the departments under my Ministry to up their game and deliver to the people of Zambia. That is to ensure that in terms of water harvesting, we utilise the technology that is already in our hands. To charge up ground water and also to ensure the massive infrastructure development in terms of dams, the churning out of the canals to transfer water from water bodies in certain regions towards regions that are lacking, we speed up the process so that every Zambian benefits from what is celebrated of Zambia that we host 30 per cent of freshwater in the region. The Vision 2030, which His Excellency is pursuing with pressure, as expressed in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), we are working vigorously to enhance the implementation,” said Nakacinda.