Well done President Edgar Lungu

Dear Editor

I wish to congratulate his Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa lungu on his announcement that Government has introduced the system of performance contracts for permanent secretaries.

This is long, long overdue, and its delayed implementation has cost the country billions of kwacha in terms of lost time and opportunities. It is a fact that civil servants are now well remunerated; it must follow therefore that people are paid according to work done.

In the private sector this has been the order of the day; otherwise how would a private company make profit if its workers are not paid according to work output? For a long time, in fact since independence we have delayed introduction of this’’ life saver’’ and that delay has cost us billions of dollars.

The truth of the matter may in fact be that the colonial masters did leave with our civil service a system they were calling “the Annual Performance Review”, a form which every senior and middle management employee filled in once every year, and the supervisor   signed it in the presence of the worker.

In the report, the supervisor would note own the strengths and weakness he would suggest if any training was considered necessary to improve workers performance.

Cabinet Office ensured that where no such reports were filled, no annual salary increments would be granted to the employee.

Subsequently however, the annual salary increment became a routine, regardless of an individual‘s performance! What charity!

No wonder the country slipped into dependence on donor aid, and the terrible consequences of such was the patronage we have been witnessing between the so called ‘’Donor nations’’ and the so called poor nations.

A whole new culture and languages has crept into our vocabulary (donor fatigue, donor dependence etc.)

And sadly much of the so called Aid went into the pockets of those who signed the aid packages on behalf of the recipient nations It is very sad that even our labour unions came to accept the existence of such a system as part of modern governance.

I would like to urge the government to quickly implement the new performance management system and to ensure that permanent secretaries subject their departments Heads to the same, and so all the way down the chain of command.

The trade unions must play their role, so that we can build a strong economy based on our own production efforts, rather than one where it is made to look like only foreign donors and foreign investors have the magic wand.

I recall that one of the major reasons why certain NGOs supported the proposal that the new constitution, ministers of government should be appointed from outside parliament, was this very thing that, critically important positions in government were reserved, so to speak, for individuals some of whom had never been to university or never run a business; in other words; we were putting the future of the nation into the hands of untrained or unprepared persons.

Even successful shoe mending requires some sort of apprenticeship! This new performance based on contracts is likely to put paid to the old gravy-train mentality.

I believe that this single act by President Lungu will go a long way in bringing to the fore individuals who can help us mend the Zambian economy in a matter of a few years, and perhaps even the brain –drain that took our best workers to countries like Botswana and RSA may stop.

It is true that this country is filthy –rich  but we had all along allowed foreign economic players to make it look like ,without them ,there would be no country called Zambia. Such is the slave -mentality that has crept into our way of doing things.

We must liberate ourselves from such mentality and one way of doing so is by implementing the performance management system.

When the Commonwealth Secretariat in London sponsored a few Zambians –managers of public service institutions – to a performance workshop in Canada in 2005, we were surprised to be informed during workshop lectures, that other countries within the Commonwealth had already taken on Performance Management in their civil service and that recruit to the ranks of PS was based on competition; that even competent non –nationals who applied for such jobs were slowly being allowed to take up such important positions.

We were informed that ministers and their departments were taking on performance benchmarks used in business world, as far as possible.

That way, accounting for tax payers’ money could be enhanced. Sadly upon our return from that important international workshop, our report to our superiors ended up on the proverbial shelf, gathering dust.

Now at least I am certain that if key workers such as the ministers, permanent secretaries, district forestry officers, council secretaries and judges are going to work to given performance benchmarks, l can see a glowing future for this country. Especially if as we implement performance management in the civil service we ensure that there will also be an efficient inspectorate and monitoring system alongside it.

Well done Ba Chagwa Lungu, you have made my day.


Abel Chambeshi

Former MP and Minister of Science, Technology and

Vocational Training


The battle for Matero Constituency

Dear Editor,

It’s quite shocking how the so called aspiring UPND candidate in Matero can start donating rice in the constituency now that the seat is vacant.

Where was he all this time when Miles was still MP. If he truly cared for the people of Matero he should have been complimenting Miles with resources.

That’s the problem we face in this country; people only seem to help when they need our votes and unfortunately we give it to them.

I also urge Miles to test his popularity by re-contesting Matero in the by election that he has created.

This will be a test that will help him know his strength and weaknesses.

I would also want to shed some light on how Miles has been disloyal to PF by lying that he quit as minister to help PF while he was busy breaking the party.

Miles has been sponsored by the West and the cartel that want regime change, to dismantle PF so that the evil cartel can continue with their evil schemes. I urge Zambians not to fall prey to such.

Now we have Lungu trying to sort out Sata and the cartel’s mess.

The evil groups have again put their resources and heads together to try and kick him out.

Let’s wake up as Zambians

Michael Mulenga


Categorized | Letters

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