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Veep calls for professional, non-partisan civil service

STEVEN MVULA, Parliament
VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina says certain questions by some members of Parliament (MPs) during her 45 minutes question time are aimed at dividing the nation.
Mrs Wina said this after Monze Central MP Jack Mwiimbu (UPND) asked if it is Government’s policy to dismiss civil servants perceived to be UPND sympathisers in particular parts of the country.
Mrs Wina said President Lungu’s Government does not discriminate on the basis of colour, tribe, sex or religion.
The Vice-President said the civil service has its own rules and regulations that guide it and any transfers or retirements are made based on those guidelines.
“Mr Speaker, this Government is all-inclusive and does not discriminate on any grounds. Such questions are meant to divide the nation,” Mrs Wina said.
She, however, informed the House that Government would investigate reports of alleged dismissals in the civil service on the basis of tribe, region or political party affiliation.
“I will investigate the issue of Zambians in the civil service, if that is what the members want,” Mrs Wina said.
In his question, Mr Mwiimbu asked: “Mr Speaker, I would like her Honour the Vice-President to tell this House why we have seen an unprecedented number of civil servants in Southern, North-Western, Central and Western Provinces being dismissed on the basis of being supporters of the UPND?”
And two more MPs – Ambrose Lufuma (Kabompo) and Derrick Livune (Katombora), both of the UPND, asked the same question although differently.
And Mrs Wina emphasised the need for a professional and non-partisan civil service because it is the core of governance.
She said if the civil service is polarised, it will fail to serve the citizens as it is the core of governance.
“The PF may not be here after 100 years, so civil servants must work for Zambians,” Mrs Wina said.
She was responding to a question by Lunte MP Mutotwe Kafwaya (PF).
Mr Kafwaya wanted to know what specific measures Government has put in place to stop civil servants from engaging in active politics.
Meanwhile, Mrs Wina says the African Development bank (AfDB) plays a vital role in Zambia’s development agenda because it offers cheaper loans compared to Eurobonds.
“AfDB offers concessional loans to African countries at a much cheaper rate compared to Eurobonds that demand higher profits in a short period of time,” Mrs Wina said.
The Vice-President was responding to a question by Kanchibiya MP Martin Malama (PF), who wanted to know what significant role AfDB plays to Zambia.

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