Lungu's mini cabinet reshuffle did little to inspire confidence among Zambians

A senior anonymous member of the ruling Patriotic Front has appealed to President Edgar Lungu to reconstitute his cabinet and to quickly set up a team of elders who should be advising him on political issues.

The official who is a member of the PF Central Committee chose to remain anonymous as she is not authorised to speak to media though stressed that Lungu’s current cabinet ministers are not working. The anonymous official also argued that the recent mini-reshuffle did very little to inspire confidence among Zambians, describing the changes to be simply “cosmetic”.

“The general feeling is that President Lungu is carrying with him a lot of deadwood in that cabinet. Even us in the Central Committee fear that going to a general election with the kind of people close to President Lungu will be disastrous,” she stated.

She added, “ With the next election only 17 months away, the people sitting in cabinet are not helping the President, the majority of those are merely serving their personal interests.”

The official singled out President Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe as someone who has failed to effectively executive his duties.

“All we see him (Sikazwe) is smiling and clapping around the President. A State House Minister ought to be active and offer support to the boss(President Lungu) but Mr Sikazwe fails to do so. The country has had previous Presidential Affairs Minister who were far more active. Let Mr Sikazwe learn and emulate Erick Silwamba when he served as Dr Chiluba.”

She said President Lungu should transfer Dr Dennis Wanchinga from the Ministry of Water Development to Luapula Province and move Charles Banda from Local Government to Eastern Province. The official further suggested that Kantanshi Member of Parliament Anthony Mumba be appointed as Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister replacing Christopher Yaluma who should be dropped.

“Even President Lungu himself, knows that he has a lot of people who are simply liabilities. This is not the time to carry emotions but time to work and deliver before we lose power.”

“The new Sports and Youth Development Minister Hon. Mulenga should be taken to the Copperbelt Province and drop Mwakalombe. Charles Banda should go to Eastern Province and transfer Bowman Lusambo to either State House or Local Government.”

She also suggested that the Minister of Lands Jean Kapata be moved to Ministry of Gender or Community Development while Hon. Sydney Mushanga should be taken to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.

“The current Minister of Gender should be moved to Lusaka Province while Ronald Chitotela should be out of Cabinet altogether.”

Other changes she suggested were; Nickson Chilagwa would do well at Tourism, while Makebi Zulu should be transferred to the Ministry of Justice, with Given Lubinda moving to Livestock and Fisheries.

“It’s worrying that President Lungu doesn’t have a team of eminent elders to whom he could be receiving wisdom on governance issues. People like Kaizer Zulu cannot be political advisers as they lack wisdom.”

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