SINAZONGWE member of Parliament Richwell Siamunene was yesterday sworn in as Minister of Defence and declared that United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema is a detractor who did not want other people to succeed.
President Edgar Lungu swore in Mr Siamunene as Defence Minister and directed him to work hard and transform the defence forces so that it could effectively and efficiently serve the nation.
The Head of State also swore in James Kapyanga as Transport and Communications deputy minister.
President Lungu said Government was acquiring new equipment for the defence forces and that it was his desire to see the defence get involved in the economic infrastructure development programmes.
He said Mr Siamunene was coming to the Ministry of Defence at a critical time when Government had embarked on the process of modernizing the defence forces so that it could play its mandate of maintaining peace in the country.
President Lungu urged Mr Siamunene to work closely with the competent technocrats at the Ministry of Defence to transform the defence forces so that it could effectively participate in the economic development of the country.
The Head of State said Government was procuring equipment for the construction of the road infrastructure and that the Rural Road Unit (RRU) had been taken to the Zambia National Service (ZNS) so that it could be used in upgrading of roads in rural areas.
To Mr Kapyanga, President Lungu said he expected the new deputy minister not to talk too much but to work and advised him to ignore criticism because some people would not be happy with his position.
President Lungu said he was a victim of endless criticism but had learnt to smile at the people who were criticising him because he had the responsibility to govern the country.
And Mr Siamunene told journalists that UPND was quarrelling with God by objecting to his appointment because President Lungu had been guided by heavenly power to appoint him as Minister of Defence from among 14 million Zambians.
Mr Siamunene said he had received the appointment in humbleness and that he was not going to betray President Lungu who had given him the privilege to serve Zambians as Defence minister.
He said Mr Hichilema was wasting his time by denouncing his appointment and that he was not going to be detracted by the UPND leader whom he accused of not wanting other people succeed.
“The positions we assume here on earth are ordained by God and the Creator Knew I was going to be Defence minister even before I was born. So Mr Hichilema is arguing with God by objecting to my appointment and he is just wasting his time. I will not be detracted by him because my loyalty is to the presidency,” Mr Siamunene said.