Editor's Comment

Cabinet shaping up well

ON Wednesday, President Lungu took the first step in shaping up his Cabinet by appointing eight members.
Those appointed are Felix Mutati (Finance Minister), Davies Chama (Defence Minister), Joyce Nonde (Labour and Social Security), Lucky Mulusa (National Development Planning), Margaret Mwanakatwe (Commerce, Trade and Industry), Harry Kalaba (Foreign Affairs), Chitalu Chilufya (Health) and Steven Kampyongo (Home Affairs).
The calibre of men and women President Lungu has appointed to form part of his Cabinet so far shows that the head of State is resolute on leaving this country better than he found it.
President Lungu should be commended for putting up such a strong team. It is a team of men and women with a proven track record where hard work and positive results are concerned.
We, like the rest of the highly anticipating citizens, expect these ministers to live up to the challenge placed on their shoulders.
Actually, going by the tone set by President Lungu during his inaugural address, these newly appointed ministers should brace themselves for more hard work and sacrifice.
This is no time for celebration but time to start rolling out the governing Patriotic Front’s vision for the next five years.
The task ahead of these men and women is daunting. There is therefore no time to waste as Zambians are eagerly waiting for fulfilment of promises made by the PF during the campaigns.
Mr Mutati, who comes in to head the Ministry of Finance at a time that Zambia is considering International Monetary Fund (IMF) help, has a huge task ahead.
Zambians are looking up to him to negotiate a better package, which will benefit the vulnerable but also encourage massive investment to boost economic growth.
Mr Mutati should also work towards preparing Zambians for the fiscal discipline which comes with IMF financial aid.
The re-appointed Minster of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Mrs Mwanakatwe, equally has her own share of tasks ahead. The minister must align with President Lungu’s passion to ensure private sector-led development by facilitating a conducive business and investment environment.
The minister will also be expected to be proactive by identifying sectors where private participation is not fully realised in a bid to devise policy and legislative interventions.
For Mr Mulusa, who is now Minister of National Development Planning, the message from President Lungu is clear – no one should be left behind. Every region of the country, and indeed all Zambians, must receive their equal share of development, including Dundumwezi.
In a bid to be inclusive in our national development agenda, we are also looking forward to the Minster of National Development Planning harnessing contributions from Zambians across all sectors.
In his inaugural speech, President Lungu said he will appoint an inquiry to establish the cause and perpetrators of the post-election violence so that the nation can learn from such mistakes.
While the police did a commendable job in curtailing the violence, the new Minster of Home Affairs, who once served as deputy minister in the same ministry, has a huge task of ensuring that violence is not allowed to rear its ugly head in our society again.
Zambians are also looking up to Mr Kampyongo to continue the commendable works done by the immediate past minister, Mr Davies Mwila. This is particularly so in the police service.
To all the newly appointed ministers and indeed provincial ministers, we say congratulations for your well-deserved appointments. We wish you well in your endeavours to make the lives of millions of Zambians better.

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