PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says Government has started re-positioning staff in the civil service to make it more effective and has warned against bureaucracy which he said was common among those who have been in the service for a long time. Speaking when he swore in Charles Mushota as Ministry of Works and Supply permanent secretary at State House yesterday, President Lungu said Government was focusing on economic projects ahead of those in the social sector because such projects would assist in the implementation of other projects. He cited the Chingola-Solwezi road as one of the projects which needed urgent attention because it had the potential to give immediate economic gain to the country and he directed the Ministry to expedite its
completion. “Let me take this opportunity to announce that we have started re-positioning staff in the civil service so that we can up our service delivery. Unfortunately, most of you in the civil service who have been there for too long think that the hallmark of the civil service is bureaucracy but I expect nothing like that from you. I picked on you because I know how expeditious you are in implementing programmes and projects. “Like we have stated, we are focusing on economic projects first before we go on to projects of social sector in nature and I think projects like the Chingola-Solwezi road should be given all effort to ensure that it is done because that will open the economic potential in that area. So in your day to day duties, ensure that you focus on opening up areas where there is immediate economic gains such as the one I am talking about,” President Lungu said. He said the Government was in a hurry to connect all parts of the country and would prioritise regions with immediate economic benefits. “We want to connect all parts of Zambia and all areas to one another but we will be failing in our duties if we do not focus on those which will give us immediate economic benefits because it is from the economic benefits that we will be able to open other areas,” he said. And Mr. Mushota has warned Zambian contractors against doing shoddy works on capital projects, yet Government was pumping a lot of money from such projects, adding that there was no justification in local contractors’ continued bad working culture because foreign companies that were performing better than them were using the Zambian workforce. “The ministry is in-charge of delivering the infrastructure development to the Zambia people and I think after elections, Zambians are eagerly and anxiously waiting for that and as PS, I will ensure that projects are delivered on cost, on time and also hope to improve the efficiency and integrity in all the processes on how we implement these infrastructure projects. “It is unfortunate that while Government is spending a lot of millions of Kwacha, some contractors and consultants are more interested in getting money than delivering quality infrastructure to the Zambian people. We see time and again shortly after the projects are completed, they start falling before their lifetime and this is totally unacceptable. It is unfortunate that we should be talking about shoddy works among local contractors, yet we had enough time to learn and implement projects in the way other people coming from outside Zambia are implementing these projects. Moreover, most of the foreign companies, their workforce consist of Zambians,” Mr. Mushota said.