OPINION: Deputy Ministers Savaged

By Dickson Jere

Between 2003 and 2005, I was one of the commissioners appointed by President Levy Mwanawasa to draft the new constitution of Zambia. I, and the rest of the team, traversed the entire country to listen to Zambians as to what they wanted in the new constitution. One issue that garnered unanimous position was the issue of deputy Ministers.

“The majority of those who addressed the Commission on this subject preferred that the office be abolished, as its continued existence could not be justified,” read our final report at page 348 of the Mung’omba Report.

So, If there is ever one issue that garnered consensus in Zambia is the removal of deputy Ministers.

They were too many and did no work at all. Deputy Ministers do not sit in Cabinet. And when the substantive Minister is out of station, deputy Ministers do not act in that position but instead another Cabinet Minister from another ministry sits in. So deputy Ministers just sit in offices, drink tea and read newspapers. Worse off If they have a stingy Cabinet Minister, they suffer – as they will never even see any brief on what is happening in the ministry.


You see, you cannot compare the work of Permanent Secretary to that of deputy Minister. The two are in different category. The former is a professional civil servant hired supposedly based on his education qualifications and experience. While the latter is a politician with mostly no known experience in the field. At most, that proposal of bringing back deputy Ministers should be removed from the draft constitution! The people already spoke! What more do you want mwebantu….


  1. Impyakusu ichinyo

    They want to employee their relatives

  2. Bk

    The office is not Relevant

  3. jimmy shaba


  4. Kashif Mulenga

    Ndelolesha fye come 2021…

  5. enalo

    Save tax payers’ money for other developments.

  6. Truestory

    I blame those who shunned participating in the on going NDF, had they attended maybe it may not have gone through. Nomba filebosa bosa fye on social media, when they had the opportunity to go and debate on these issues. This is the problem we have with the so called politicians abamoneka kwati balishiba fyonse, but fipubafye.

    • Hadley Namakando

      Bakalamba, try to understand issues NDF, was supposed to be chaired by the three church mother bodies for transparency’sake, bwana.
      What the PF, are doing is wrong, the members of parliament, who stayed away are patriots, for they are standing by the people of Zambia, PF has sabotaged National Dialogue, because they have more members of parliament, for the sake of voting and passing the Amendments into law, the delegates are hypocrites, they should have stayed away from the NDF, up until everything was agreed upon by consensus, then all would have been well, but as things stand, NDF, will give Zambia a good constitution

    • Redson Chisenga

      you have hit the nail on the head

  7. Doubt Katwishi

    @True story, they are not in politics to serve us but their tummies.

  8. Truestory

    True my brother, that’s y I will never trust any of these liers, coz they’ve taken us for granted. Today they say this, the other day they change and they bring in words like….no permanent enemies in politics bra bra…..Wait you will soon see Kambwili apologizing to someone, today he’s busy telling us this and that, the other day he will shift camp. What kind of people are they?

  9. Truestory

    Mr Namakando, let me ask you this question? Who are the three church mother bodies? What deference is there between those who chaired the NDF and those you’re talking about? What help do the three church mother bodies do to the citizens of this nation? Am not trying demean them but to be frank don’t you think they don’t represent us well as Christians, but also fights for their own benefits and most of them are partisan men of God who also supports political parties of their choice. In short they are carders also, and one them resigned due to the defencies they hard among themselves. So for you to support those who stayed away from NDF due to that reason, to me they are the ones who don’t mean well for this country. I rest my case.

  10. Dr Fonicks

    Deputy minister’s office shouldn’t even have been tabled. reasons being that, the govt was running without them for along time. also it is a drain on the national coffers. Furthermore, Permanent Secretary’s are doing fine. The main reason I personally see is that Mr Lungu and his cohorts wants to create employment for PF cadres who can help in mobilizing the electorates. Where is the justification on this. totally nothing. if some govt aligned sectors can’t be paid their salaries where will money to pay deputy minister come from. The issue has been executed in bad faith. Whoever thought of this had no tjis country at heart. Ifyabupuba fye kwati twaice. am a disappointed Zambian.

  11. Daniel Banda

    Lord Jesus come quickly and deliver us from the shackles of confusion and cruelty. Where will the resources come from to support these unnecessary positions when terminal benefits are not being paid? If that NDF is to be of value it should look at the interest of common Zambians more than it should for the rich where the deputy ministers will be appointed from. It is disappointing to see people concentrating on political issues leaving out issues of food on the table for the majority.

  12. Chizoman

    No need to reintroduce Deputy Ministers, it’s not a welcome move.


    Indeed, Zambia lost her best opportunity to have a Constitution that would have served us for many years. Unfortunately for Zambia, the then opposition parties parties comprising the UPND and PF walked of parliament. That has now, forever deprived us of a good constitution.
    Aren’t we hearing of having a priest, or bishop, who may only know Canon Law to guide us produce a good constitution? The Chairman of any serious meeting must have good working knowledge of the issues being discussed so that he can guide the deliberations. If not, it is the blind leading the blind. Where do they ended up, THE DITCH.
    Thank you Sir, this has been a very topical issue.

  14. GIZMOjr

    Pipo that brought the church in politics are now 2 afarid 2 evolve them,it nw is a guess what would have cme out of the churc led DIAGLOUE

  15. CM

    Where will you get the money to pay those irrelevant officers when you are even fuelling to pay agro dealers, zampost workers and even other institutions? Or is it because you want to create jobs for your relatives? Nokwisa twalabutukila nomba surlely? Bakatolika twafweni.

  16. Perry M. Chiasamu

    My brother Truestory.
    I understand where you are standing and you have reason.
    My view is, ALL the parliamentarians should not have attended the forum.
    Yes they are the Law makers, but not in fora
    Like this. Their time is coming. It is trite law, that no man be Judge of their own cause.
    Regarding the mps who didn’t attend, their presence would not have made any difference. The numbers, even in parliament don’t favor them. Yet they were going to be accused of having been part of these resolutions.
    Many times the opposition have demonstrated care for the people they represent, but the arrogance of numbers has failed them.
    Deputy Ministers, SURELY??

  17. ENGINEER Nkandu

    We Zambians are educated yet very pretentious!
    Can any one explain why all our neighbouring countries do their constitutions once and for all?
    If you don’t have an answer I will give you ONE-SELFLESSNESS PERIOD!
    Can any of you mention a leader of Mandela’s calibre in Zambia since independence – None. A guy comes out of prison after immense suffering and coins a constitution for which no one complains about including the minorities – the Boers. It is incredible and by the way he was a lawyer.
    Or listen to this,
    When I visited China, one of the hosts told me something that explains China today.
    Some time back a group of Chinese met to plan for China to be a super power in the next 50 years then. The youngest person in the group was 58 years and the oldest was 92! Can you see the selflessness?
    Here we are in Zambia with a gang of so called politicians with shortsighted selfish motives-economic, political, ethinical and all that jazz. They have no motivation to plan for generations to come.
    Even those church leaders you are craving about, are you blind to their life styles compared to the masses they lead? Some have churches like shopping malls.

    Until true patriots and nationalists arise the vicious cycle continues. God bless Us.


    The project is a sham it will back fire ……

  19. Redson Chisenga

    you have hit the nail on the head


    At some point I could think that those who shunned the NDF did well when you look at such considerations as reintroduction of the position of Deputy Ministers.On the other hand I began to think they did wrong as they were going to be the persons to deny the move there and then.Really, one may wonder what it could mean by AUSTERITY Measures.Is this concept understood in it’s entirety? Awe mwandini.God intervene.

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