TRANSPARENCY International Zambia has warned against ruling party cadres interfering with the work of ministers when it comes to making appointments to boards.

Last week, confusion ensued between the UPND leadership in Eastern Province and the Minister of Water Development and sanitation Mike Mposha over the appointment of Eastern Water and Sanitation Company Board.

The UPND leadership mounted pressure on Mposha, asking him to revoke the appointments he had made because those appointed were PF members.

The UPND leadership in Eastern Province has refused to recognise the board, saying the Mposha did not consult them on who should be selected.

UPND youths, led by their Treasurer Issah Daka, staged a protest in Chipata demanding that Mposha revoked the appointment of all board members.

The youths accused the Water Development and Sanitation Minister of appointing PF sympathisers to the board, which is led by Chrispin Kamuna, who served as EWSC Board vice chairman in the last five years.

UPND provincial chairman Johabbie Mtonga said his party had enough competent people to occupy board positions.

“The truth of the matter is that, when I saw the names on social media, I called the Minister and asked him where the names he selected to sit in the board came from. He said Chairman, I’m sorry I did not consult you. So to me it did not look good because in the province here, there are people who fought together with us and we feel that we were supposed to be consulted,” said Mtonga.

But in an interview, TIZ vice-president Ana Chewe said if the legal procedure was followed in the appointment of the of Eastern Water and Sanitation Company Board, then it cannot be queried by party officials in that manner.

“If a person is qualified to be in that position and they have the experience, they have the necessary know how to contribute to the board then it should not be for a cader or a member of a political party to query that because essentially, what we will be saying now is anybody can decide to appoint. The minister has the authority according to the law to appoint and what we look at is the qualifications and the experience. Has the procedure been followed? if the minister has followed the procedure then it cannot be queried in that manner,” she said

“Then also we look at affiliation that is been claimed that person is a PF member so they should not be appointed. You see, personal issues or personal vendettas should not come into legal procedures. This is where we are going to be having matters of abusing government workers in their offices. We recently had the District Agriculture Officer in Kasama being abused like that, it is uncalled for because then we are out of the law. However, acting in that manner is out of the law and for us really focusing on the law, the procedure and transparency and an accountable process that has been adopted we wouldn’t encourage the issue of caderism or victimizations irrespective of where they are coming from. Our point is, are they qualified? if they are qualified they are able to deliver that’s enough and the minister in this particular instance has the authority to appoint.”

Dr Chewe said the fact that someone belonged to other political parties did not disqualify them from holding certain positions.

“Just the fact that a person belongs to PF or MMD does not disqualify them. We work in different institutions and people have different affiliations. Does that take away from their qualification? No! Does it take away from their experience ? no! And so that kind of an action for us could be something that is not welcome. It is an action that should actually go back in finding out whether the due process was followed. Did the minister exercise his ministerial powers according to the mandate that he has? if he did then it cannot be queried in that fashion of saying this is a PF sympathiser, that is not covered in the law,” said Dr Chewe.