THOSE who have been appointed Cabinet ministers should not betray the trust of President Edgar Lungu by getting consumed by selfish and personal interests at the expense of the many poor rural Zambians who voted for the Patriotic Front (PF) on the basis of its pro-poor manifesto, Katele Kalumba has said.
Dr Kalumba, who is former Finance minister, said President Lungu was a humble but intelligent leader who had cultivated the culture of listening to counsel and ministers and those who advise him should honestly help him to govern to the expectations of the people.
Dr Kalumba said President Lungu does not need people who will always lie to him that all was rosy in the country but those that would have the courage to advise correctly and genuinely when things were wrong and citizens were getting discontented.
He said in an interview that President Lungu was a clear and logical thinker who would never want to be snobbish in his leadership and that was why he was ever close to ordinary citizens to listen and share their hopes and sufferings.
He advised that ministers and permanent secretaries should ensure President Lungu’s vision of making Zambia the best for all in the next five years a reality.
Dr Kalumba said President Lungu had ensured that Zambia remained a politically stable and peaceful nation despite the opposition UPND still grieving the elections defeat.
“Telling the truth makes a leader wiser and we do not expect those who have been appointed ministers to betray the trust of President Lungu by getting too involved with themselves. The Patriotic Front (PF) is a grassroots political party and I have read and almost memorised its manifesto whose core theme is to industrialise Zambia and create a middle income class.
‘‘The PF manifesto promulgates a prosperous, peaceful and united Zambia as well as an inclusive society. President Lungu needs a cadre of ministers who are going to help him meet his vision in the next five years,” Dr Kalumba said.
He said it was the expectation of Zambians that the prices of mealie meal, the country’s staple food, and other essential commodities would be reduced in the next five years.
Dr Kalumba said President Lungu’s desire was to reduce and eliminate poverty apart from reducing power deficits and should therefore not be side-tracked by people whose primary agenda was to see him fail.
He said achieving stable fuel supply, ensuring that all children had decent and affordable school and medical facilities was what President Lungu was envisioning in his new mandate.
Dr Kalumba said while the PF’s desire was to industrialise Zambia, it was important for President Lungu to realise that industrialisation was possible if the private sector was involved.
“The ministries of Finance, Commerce and Foreign Affairs will be critical in implementing the PF manifesto. President Lungu is not in State House for the sake of power but because of his desire and need to fight poverty and create a Zambia where resources would be equitably shared.
‘‘If he is going to fail to deliver in the next five years, we are going to have a very discontented citizenry at the end of his five-year term and that would not be good. Our bureaucracy cannot run business and the PF should not repeat that mistake,” Dr Kalumba said.