Defence, security personnel must be neutral-Lungu

DEFENCE and security personnel who are partisan must voluntarily resign rather than wait to be dismissed because their stay in the civil service had the risk of compromising and undermining their superiors and the Commander-in-Chief who is the Republican President, President Edgar Lungu has charged.

And President Lungu has challenged newly appointed Commerce and Trade minister Margaret Mwanakatwe to ensure that small scale enterprises particularly those owned by women and youths are empowered.

President Lungu warned the defence and security personnel against engaging in partisan politics because as Head of State, he had the interest of all Zambians at heart and would therefore not accept to be undermined as Commander-In Chief.

The Head of State said he would not tolerate defence and security officers who would be undermining their superiors by jumping the gun in their discharge of their duties and functions but advised that if they faced challenges, they should use proper communication channels to seek his advice.

President Lungu said this at the swearing-in ceremony of Major General David Muma as deputy Zambia Air Force commander, Kakoma Kanganja as deputy Inspector General of Police, Ms Mwanakatwe as Minister of Commerce and Trade, Industry, former Lusaka mayor Mulenga Sata as deputy minister at State House, Joseph Katema as Chiefs and Traditional minister and Boniface Chimbwali as Luapula permanent secretary.

He advised Major Gen Muma and Mr Kanganja to respect and uphold the Constitution in the discharge of their duties if they were to effectively and efficiently help the presidency in governing the country.

He said in politics, it was easy for the defence and security personnel to undermine their superiors and that it was his expectation that those in the military should have exemplary professional conduct.

“Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you individually and collectively for your appointment and having excelled this far in your careers.

But to the two (Major Gen Muma and Mr Kanganja), I expect you to respect and uphold the Constitution in helping the command.

In politics, it is very easy to undermine your superiors and I do not want to hear or see that. If you want to actively participate in politics, salute your superiors and get your discharge letters and then come and join us,” President Lungu said.

President Lungu said he would soon be signing a Statutory Instrument that would see the police command have two deputy Inspector General of Police with one dealing with operations and the other administration.

He said the civil service should deliver to the best of its capacity because Zambians were expecting nothing but the best and that was why they had entrusted his leadership with the mandate to govern.

The President challenged Ms Mwanakatwe to ensure that small scale entrepreneurs especially women and youths were empowered so that their businesses could grow.

President Lungu said Ms Mwanakatwe had vast experience having served in various portfolios in the banking sector and was therefore better placed to preside over trade and commerce in the country.

He said Ms Mwanakatwe who was heading in Zambia and Standard Chartered Bank in Ghana, would better understand how best to support the participation of women in running businesses.

Meanwhile, President Lungu has directed Health Minister Joseph Kasonde to immediately investigate reports that there were shortages of drugs in clinics and hospitals.

The President directed Dr Joseph Katema as Chief and Traditional; Affairs minister not to interfere in the succession wrangles and processes in chiefdoms but follow the policy on the selection and installation of traditional leaders.

On Mulenga Sata as deputy minister at State House, the Head of State said he expected him (Sata) to bring sanity to Lusaka both on the streets and at State House.


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