STATE House has warned that it will weed out staff that will be found stealing classified and secret Government documents and leaking them to unauthorized personnel and institutions because the scourge that characterized the previous administration has the potential to undermine the presidency and governance of the country.
State House permanent secretary Emmanuel Chilubanama said it was criminal and a breach of the oath of secrecy to steal State secrets and classified documents and sell them to unauthorized individuals and institutions with the sole purpose of blackmailing the President and undermining the smooth governance of the country.
Mr Chilubanama told the Daily Nation that State House staff were expected to protect the presidency and should at all times avoid falling into the temptation of getting involved in clandestine activities such as illegally lifting classified Government documents for purposes of undermining decisions made by the President.
He warned that any staff who will be discovered engaging in unethical conduct would be asked to leave because President Edgar Lungu was determined to run an effective, efficient and disciplined Government.
Mr Chilubanama said it was President Lungu’s desire to deliver to the people of Zambia and that as State House Permanent Secretary, he would ensure that the Head of State worked in an environment free of decoys from outside the governance system.
He said he would soon be talking to State House employees on the importance of confidentiality and the need to protect the office of the President to avoid the recurrence of Government and State documents getting stolen.
“Decisions made by the Head of State must extremely be protected before they are communicated to the nation. We do not want to see the culture of stealing State secrets and classified documents and leaking them to unauthorised people or institutions continue. Any staff at State House who will be found engaging in such clandestine activities will be weeded out. “President Edgar Lungu has the desire to run his Government in a clean, disciplined, effective and efficient manner and anything that will undermine the presidency and the governance of the country will not be tolerated,” Mr Chilubanama said.
He said Zambians had deposited their trust to run the country with President Lungu and that there was need that the confidence they had in the Head of State was not eroded on account of some officers serving the interests of enemies of the State.
Mr Chilubanama said it was important for civil servants to respect the channel of communication and that where people were not sure, it was important to consult for guidance so that one did not lose track in the course of performing their functions.
He said it was inevitable for State House to weed out what he called bad eggs because it was dangerous to attempt to hold the Head of State to ransom or captive by selfish individuals whose desire he said was to sabotage the governance of the country.
Mr Chilubanama said the code of conduct and ethics for State House employees was clear and that it was his expectation that it would be followed to the letter by all in their discharge of their duties.
“It goes therefore that there will be need to build capacity with our colleagues here at State House so that we appreciate the privilege we have working in this environment. We heard a lot of leakages and this must come to an end,” Mr Chilubanama said.