PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has appointed Nchelenge Patriotic Front (PF) member of Parliament Raymond Mpundu as the new deputy minister of Commerce to replace Miles Sampa who resigned from Government more than a week ago.
President Lungu said he was expecting the cooperative movement which had been moved from the Ministry of Agriculture to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to be invigorated so that its operations could be diversified.
He told Mr Mpundu, a former Zambia Co-operative Federation chief executive officer, that he was the appropriate successor to Mr Sampa because the new deputy minister possessed impeccable qualifications to efficiently run the cooperative department.
Speaking after swearing in Mr Mpundu as Commerce, Trade and Industry deputy minister at State House yesterday, the Head of State said unlike in the past when the cooperatives’ sole business was to deal with agriculture, it was his desire to see the cooperative movement expand its activities into other sectors.
President Lungu said it was his hope that cooperatives would be able to create jobs for many Zambians as it had moved away from being an agriculture-oriented movement.
“I have appointed you as the successor to your colleague who resigned and I see a lot of impetus in job creation through the cooperatives. I expect to see the cooperative movement growing unlike in the past when its main business was agriculture,” Mr Lungu said.