FORMER Secretary to Cabinet Dr Sketchley Sacika says the revelations at the Ministry of Health should be a wake up call for the Secretary to Cabinet on what is going under his watch as head of the public service.

In an interview, Dr Sacika advised Dr Simon Miti to consider revisiting public sector reforms which MMD failed to implement.

“The revelations at Ministry of Health is a wake up call to the Secretary to the Cabinet to take a critical look at what is happening in his own backyard as the head of the public service. The government is spending too much money maintaining a bloated civil service which is not performing to the expectations of the people. Instead of issuing reforms, the government should adopt a comprehensive approach to solving the problem. I would advise Dr Miti to revisit the World Bank supported public sector reforms exercise which unfortunately the MMD failed to implement,” he said.

He said administrative action at the Ministry of Health was not enough as thorough investigations must be conducted and those found wanting in the Honeybee scandal must be prosecuted.

“The Honeybee affair is unfortunate, it’s saddening that such things can happen in our country. The new Minister of Health Dr Chanda should be commended because he is taking office to deal with the rot in order to restore and confidence to the Ministry of Health. But administrative action is not enough, a thorough investigation must be carried out with a view to establishing whether or not the activities of the Honeybee constituted a criminal offense. If so, the culprits must be prosecuted in the court of law either for corruption or for criminal negligence of endangering the lives of people,” Dr Sacika said.

“People who have broken the law must not be allowed to get away with it. The Minister’s decision to reorganise the administrative structure at the Ministry of Health is positive as there are a lot of directorates in a lot of government ministries which do not add value to the operations of government.”

On the dissolving of the ZAMRA board, Dr Sacika said as long as the next board would be appointed politically, nothing would be achieved.

“The firing of the ZAMRA board is most welcome but it will achieve nothing if the new board is appointed politically. Political appointments have caused a lot of harm to our system of government because political appointees have no allegiance to Zambians, their only allegiance is to the appointing authority. People should be appointed to positions on the basis of merit and not because they are party members and party supporters which happens to be the case now. If people are appointed on merit and fail to perform, they must be removed, there is no secret to proper management of public affairs except that people who are appointed, if they fail, they should be removed which is not happening now,” said Dr Sacika.