GOVERNANCE activist Rueben Lifuka has called on President Hakainde Hichilema to appoint well qualified professionals to senior government positions.
Commenting on President Hichilema’s decision to terminate the services of some Permanent Secretaries and other senior government officials, some Ambassadors and High Commissioners, Lifuka said it was unfortunate that scarce public resources were paid to individuals who were preoccupied with campaigning for the PF.
“The decision by President Hichilema to terminate the services of some Permanent Secretaries, diplomats and senior government officials, is to be expected and is part of the process of the UPND government realigning the public service to work in tandem with the party manifesto,” Lifuka said.
“While among those that have been relieved of duties, you have some fine and dedicated professionals who served this country with distinction, you also have a group of cadres who basically abandoned their duties to serve parochial interests of the Patriotic Front. It is a pity that scarce public resources were used to pay salaries and other benefits to persons who were preoccupied with campaigning and doing the bidding of the PF.”
He said the conduct of some senior government officials in the PF administration should serve as a constant reminder for the UPND to professionalise the public service.
“President Hichilema should endeavour to appoint suitably qualified professionals to serve in these senior government positions. It is important that opportunities are also provided to career public servants who have the necessary skills and competencies to work at a high level,” he said.
“The conduct of some of the senior government officials in the PF administration, should serve as a constant reminder to the UPND on the magnitude has a lot of work to do to professionalise the public service. This cannot be business as usual and those privileged to serve in government, should do so with a sense of duty to all Zambians.”
Lifuka said although it was costly to terminate their contracts, the cost of maintaining non-performing officials who were partisan politicians was colossal.
“While accepting that it is costly to terminate and pay off some of these contracts, the cost of maintaining non-performing officials and those who are partisan politicians, will in the short term, be colossal. The premium should be placed on service delivery and we should spend our money on this and not carrying deadwood along,” said Lifuka.
“The politicization of the public service of the past, has made it inevitable for these wholesale changes. President Hichilema and team should do everything possible to clean up the service and make it attractive for the most brilliant of Zambians to serve. We want to see important entities like the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit to be reformed and repositioned to do its work as opposed to being a facilitator of bribes and gifts for vote schemes.”