PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has fired Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Administration Kakulubelwa Mulalelo and replaced her with Emmanuel Ngulube after the former was suspended for one month following revelations of her involvement in the abuse of COVID-19 resources at the Ministry.

And President Lungu has also dismissed Local Government Permanent Secretary Edward Chomba.

Speaking when he swore in seven permanent secretaries at State House, Tuesday, President Lungu urged the permanent secretaries not to fall prey to the temptation of antagonising ministers.

“Let me congratulate the seven of you on your respective appointments to the position of Permanent Secretary. Let me hasten to indicate that apart from Mr Emmanuel Ngulube – Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health who has previously served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance from 2006 to 2011. And Mr Matthew Leston Ngulube – Permanent Secretary Ministry of Local Government who is coming from the private sector, the rest of you have been promoted from the level of director to Permanent Secretary. Mr Lenox Kalonde, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Supply, you have over 16 years of service in the government. Until now, you were director of human resource and administration in the Ministry of Local Government,” President Lungu said.

He appointed Antonio Lungu to the Permanent Secretary position in the Ministry of Tourism and Arts after sacking Dr Auxilia Ponga in the same capacity.

“Mr Patrick Antonio Lungu, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Tourism and Arts. Until now you served as director for the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) and have worked at ZANIS for 29 years. Captain Davison Kabanda Mulenga (Rtd), Permanent Secretary Muchinga Province, served as district commissioner for Lusaka from 2015 to 2019 and thereafter as deputy permanent secretary,” he said.

“Mr Royd Mwape Chakaba permanent secretary Northern province until now, you were the deputy permanent secretary for Luapula province from 2017. Dr John Phiri – permanent secretary, ministry of youth, sport and child development. You have been promoted from within the same ministry where you held the position of director human resource and administration, having served government for 24 years.”

The Head of State observed that there was a growing tendency among some permanent secretaries who created a toxic environment in government ministries, which consequently affected public service delivery.

He, therefore, cautioned the new appointees to resist antagonising their respective line Ministers.

“Given the above, I have no doubt that you are all well accomplished senior public service workers and I will, therefore, address you collectively. As seasoned senior officials, I expect you to use your individual vast experiences and skills to bring a new dimension to the operations of the public service. You are now permanent secretaries charged with the responsibility of ensuring the smooth implementation of the various government policies, programmes and regulations falling under your respective ministries, provinces and other spending agencies. I urge you to take a keen interest in understanding the respective roles of your institutions in the development agenda of our great nation, which is clearly articulated in the Seventh National Development Plan and Vision 2030. You should also not lose sight of your very critical role of being the chief advisors to the honourable ministers in terms of articulating government policies and procedures,” said President Lungu.

“Do not fall prey to the temptation of antagonising your ministers. This growing tendency among some permanent secretaries is creating a toxic environment in the ministries and consequently affecting performance and service delivery. In conclusion, let me reiterate that my government is in a hurry to deliver on its promises to the people of Zambia. And so, changes will be made as and when necessary. I, therefore, expect hard work, professionalism and discipline from all of you as you take up your new positions. Once more, congratulations on your appointments.”

And in an interview, President Lungu’s Special Assistant Isaac Chipampe, who did not outline any reasons why Mulalelo was dismissed, announced several other transfers the Head of State had made ahead of the August 12 polls.

“The transfers are: Ms Agness Musunga who was at Works and Supply has gone to PS Cabinet Office remunerations; Mr Trevor Kaunda who was PS Energy goes to National Planning as PS Monitoring and Evaluation; Mr Dennis Chisenda PS National Planning goes to the Ministry of Energy as PS. Ms Joyce Nsamba, who was PS Muchinga goes to Southern Province as PS,” said Chipampe.

“Then the contracts that have been terminated; Mr Charles Sipanje PS Northern Province; Mr Joe Kapembwa PS Youths and Sports; Mr Sturdy Mwale PS Cabinet Office Remunerations Division; Bishop Edward Chomba PS Local Government; Ms Mulalelo Kakulubelwa PS Health and Dr Ponga PS Tourism.”