Zambian President’s Bloating Government Scrutinised

A Zambian Non-Governmental Organisation is expressing concern with the growing number of government position in President Sata’s administration alleging it was a categorical sign of failing to reduce on unnecessary expenditure.

President Sata and the Patriotic Front campaigned on the premise of running a lean and effective government that would not allocate ministerial positions to split expenditure.

Since coming into office some 10 months ago, President Sata has failed to leave up to his promises of managing government affairs with a small Cabinet by slowly increasing the ministries with the latest re-shuffle bringing the size of his inner circle to almost the same as the previous administration.

During a press briefing in Lusaka on Wednesday, Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) executive director Oscar Tembo has asked President Sata to explain why he was going against his campaign messages.

“They (PF) have been campaigning on the platform that they are going to reduce Cabinet so they are now beginning to send mixed messages to their electorate. It would be very good for the President to explain why he has begun expanding the Cabinet when their
campaign message was to reduce,” he said.

On Tuesday, President Sata appointed Chongwe member of parliament Sylvia Masebo to the ministry of tourism after for the second time de-linking it from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He had initially merged it with the Ministry of Labour, Information and Broadcasting.

The PF leader also elevated Edgar Lungu from deputy minister in the Office of the Vice-President to the position of Minister of Home Affairs after transferring Kennedy Sakeni to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting which he de-linked from Labour and is headed by Fackson Shamenda.

President Sata’s changes have brought the number of Cabinet positions to 21 from the 89 he started with. The MMD had 22 Cabinet positions.

Meanwhile, Tembo has said the creation of new districts in Rufunsa and Shibuyunji was merely a political statement, rather than evidence of real decentralisation.

He said without human resources, infrastructure and a budgetary allocation, the pronouncement and creation of new districts was meaningless and could not change anything.

President Sata has since being elected to the highest office in the land created nine districts increasing the number from 72 to 81 but without a budgetary allocation to administer the areas.

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