PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has fired Guy Scott as Vice-President and has replaced him with Inonge Wina who becomes the first female Vice-President since Zambia attained her independence in 1964.
When phoned by the Daily Nation about the speculation and reasons for his sacking, Dr Scott refused to speak and told the reporter: “Imwe baba simumvela chizungu (You do not understand English). No comment, no comment, no comment,” Dr Scott said before cutting the line.
So far, Dr Scott is the only senior official to be replaced in the ongoing Cabinet formation by President Lungu and no reasons for his dismissal have been given although speculation is rife that he (Dr Scott) may have been seriously compromised.
Dr Scott was at the centre of the ruling party succession wrangles that almost disintegrated the party.
Dr Scott opposed the PF central committee nomination of Mr Lungu as presidential candidate and instead called for a general conference.
When the general congress was called in Kabwe, he failed to attend preferring a parallel general congress that saw the election of Matero Member of Parliament Miles Sampa. The matter is in court.
President Lungu said Ms Wina was a solid woman who stood with the party when it faced the possibility of disintegration during the time the party was engulfed in succession wrangles after the death of president Sata.
The Head of State paid tribute to Ms Wina for her courage during the time some senior leaders of the ruling party strongly resisted his election as PF president and his subsequent adoption as a candidate in the just ended presidential election.
Mr Lungu urged Zambians to support women particularly the girl child because they were vulnerable.
Ms Wina has a rich educational and professional background and has degrees behind her name including a degree in history and sociology apart from being a social worker.
“I want to say something about the Vice-President. She is a solid woman who stood firm when we faced possible disintegration. I pay tribute to her for her courage during the time we were going through turbulances,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu has reappointed Alexander Chikwanda as Finance minister and has retained Harry Kalaba and Jean Kapata as Foreign Affairs and Tourism and Arts ministers respectively.
The President has appointed Davis Mwila as Home Affairs minister taking over from Ngosa Simbyakula who has since moved to the Ministry of Justice.
Mr Lungu has also appointed Kaizer Zulu as his special assistant (political affairs) while Emmanuel Chilubanama has been appointed as Permanent Secretary (State House)
President Lungu has appointed United Party for National Development (UPND) Solwezi Central MP Dolson Kafwaya as North-Western Province minister while Nathaniel Mubukwanu has been moved to Southern Province to take over from Daniel Munkombwe who has been fired.
He stated that he was aware that the appointment of Mr Kafwaya was going to raise dust but that he was ready to defend and support him.
He stated that he was extremely disappointed with the conduct of Mr Munkombwe who endorsed UPND president Hakainde Hichilema in the just ended presidential election, charging that he did not expect the former Southern Province minister to behave in the manner he did. “I did not expect Mr Munkombwe to do what he did even when he did not like my face. I did not expect him to stand and defiantly support the opposition. If it were an ordinary member of the party, I would not worry much but Mr Munkombwe was minister in the PF Government. By saying this, I am not opening a can of worms but you should know that it is either to toe the line or you get out,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu said he expected the ministers to work hard especially that his period in State House was only 18 months warning that he was not going to hesitate to fire ministers who were going to fail to perform.
Mr Lungu said the officers who have been appointed to work at State House should avoid blocking people from meeting him because as a leader he was expected to be available to all Zambians.
“Your job is not to isolate or insulate the President from being accessible to people. There are times when appointments are made and people do not get to see the President. My office will remain open and do the best or I will not hesitate to use the pen,” Mr Lungu warned.