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4 new ministries planned

PRESIDENT Lungu congratulates Minister of General Education Dennis Wanchinga during the swearing-in ceremony at State House yesterday. PICTURE: MACKSON WASAMUNU

NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu plans to create four ministries, subject to ratification by the National Assembly.
And President Lungu has called on the newly-appointed ministers to immediately get to work and ensure that they deliver on the promises made to the people during campaigns.
Speaking when he swore in seven Cabinet Ministers and State House permanent secretary Christah Kalulu yesterday, the President said he plans to re-align the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection by removing the National Resources and Environmental Protection portfolio to create the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation.
President Lungu said Zambia has abundant water resources and that water shortages should be addressed adequately hence the need for a ministry that will work on this.
The President also announced that the Housing portfolio will be re-aligned to Infrastructure Development to create the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to address the housing challenges that the country faces.
He expressed concern that many citizens are still living in sub-standard houses more than 50 years after independence.
Mr Lungu said the proposed Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs will also be re-aligned.
Mr Lungu said he intends to re-align some ministries and introduce new ones to decentralise and streamline Government operations.
“I will finish appointing Cabinet Ministers by Thursday [tomorrow] and in the afternoon, the last group will be sworn in, but I will have to re-align some ministries subject to Parliament approval, including the controversial Religious Affairs Ministry,” Mr Lungu said.
President Lungu also underscored the need for the ministers to actualise the pronouncements that the PF made to the Zambian people and that they should be guided by the PF manifesto to execute their work.
“Let’s get to work. Words have been spoken during the campaigns and during the inauguration and thereafter. Even if I go on saying the same things over and over, those who are not prone to getting counsel will not get to know what I want,” Mr Lungu said.
He said what the PF promised to do for the people of Zambia is what appealed to the electorate to vote for the ruling party and that is what they expect Government to do.
“I do not expect any difficulties in that respect because we have said the same things over and over and in the manifesto it is there,” President Lungu said.
He also urged ministers whose parliamentary seats have been petitioned not to be distracted in the execution of their duties.
“If you get distracted, you will lose focus and people will say that you have failed,” Mr Lungu said.
He said those criticising and accusing the PF of having stolen their votes should be ignored.
President Lungu said a loss is difficult to handle for anyone whether in the political arena or in other matters.
“To accept loss is a very big challenge. We will keep hearing these rambling and so on but let’s focus on improving the lives of the people of Zambia through service delivery,” he said.
Mr Lungu pledged to support all the ministers.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has announced that Cabinet will hold its first meeting next Monday to deliberate on the 2017 National Budget among other issues of national development.
The Cabinet Ministers sworn in yesterday are Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya, Minister of Local Government and Housing Vincent Mwale and Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Lawrence Sichalwe.
Others are Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Jean Kapata, Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo, Minister of General Education Dennis Wachinga, and Minister of Youth and Sport Moses Mawere.

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