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Facebook freaks warned

PRESIDENT Lungu with newly-appointed Chiefs and Traditional Affairs permanent secretary Michael Pwete (left), Southern Province permanent secretary Sibanze Simuchoba (second left) and Zambia’s High Commissioner to Kenya Brenda Muntemba at State House in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURE: COLLINS PHIRI.

NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has advised civil servants to expend their energies on service delivery to help his administration expedite development, instead of wasting time on social media networks like Facebook.
And President Lungu has warned that he will rid the civil service of individuals bent on frustrating his administration’s development agenda.
Mr Lungu said the civil service does not need individuals that spend most of their time on Facebook.
“This culture of sitting and posting stories on Facebook the whole day must come to an end and it is you the permanent secretaries who can see that this comes to an end,” Mr Lungu said at State House in Lusaka yesterday.
He said this when he swore in  Brenda Muntemba as High Commissioner to Kenya, Michael Pwete as Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs permanent secretary and Sibanze Simuchoba as Southern Province permanent secretary.
“The civil servants are fond of saying that ‘you found us in the system and you will leave us’. We will leave you if you deliver but I won’t leave you if you don’t.  I will ‘kolopa’ (mop), and that I will do,” Mr Lungu said.
He said Government is in a hurry to develop the country and it needs an efficient civil service to do so.
Mr Lungu said civil servants who frustrate Government’s efforts must be recommended for extraction and not transfer.
“Don’t ask me to transfer incompetence to other regions, we will recommend that they are extracted from the civil service so that the civil service helps us deliver,” Mr Lungu said.
The President congratulated the appointees on their well-deserved appointments and urged them to work hard.
He urged Mr Pwete, who is former clerk of the House of Chiefs, to ensure that the role of traditional leaders is extended to developmental functions.
Mr Lungu said Government wants to work with chiefs as custodians of heritage and also as protectors of natural resources from which many Zambians can benefit.
“I know that chiefs can help us preserve our heritage and our natural environment if they are engaged,” Mr Lungu said.
He also urged Mr Pwete to guide Zambians so that they can start appreciating their chiefs and have a sense of belonging.
Mr Lungu said Government alone cannot manage to take care of the needs of the chiefs but that it is everyone’s responsibility to appreciate the role they play.
“I know next year, chiefs will be recipients of whiskeys and dollars in a bid to get into office but this should not be the case,” Mr Lungu said.
He said he is also aware that some chiefs have not been gazetted because of the negative attitude of some civil servants.
“I know that some chiefs have not been gazetted not because of you and me but because of civil servants who work under you, they are too sloppy,” Mr Lungu said
To Mr Simuchoba, the President said the new permanent should ensure that all the development projects in the region are finished on schedule.
Mr Lungu said Southern Province has very remote areas which are difficult to access but that Mr Simuchoba should find time to get there and not to just sit in the office.
The President also urged Ms Muntemba to ensure that Zambia benefits from the various opportunities available in Kenya.
“See what co-operation we can get from Kenya as it has a lot of practices like agriculture and tourism that we can benefit from,” President Lungu said.
He urged Ms Muntemba to invite Kenyan businessmen to invest in Zambia and to partner with local businessmen.
And Ms Muntemba said in an interview that there is need to bring Kenya to Zambia and vice-versa in terms of tourism and trade.
“We have very close links with Kenya, especially with upcoming Zambia International Trade Fair, that will be my first task,” she said.
And Mr Simuchoba, who is a lawyer by profession, said he takes up the challenge with confidence that it is possible to deliver.
“Southern Province is a peculiar province but the people also deserve development,” he said
Mr Pwete said there is need to revamp the traditional authorities in the country.
“We will make sure that the institution of chieftaincy is revamped and develop rural areas,” he said.

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