Editor's Comment

Get rid of non-performers

Government complex.

THE stance taken by President Edgar Lungu to undertake countrywide tours to physically check on projects being implemented is not only spirited but evidence that he is resolute on leaving Zambia better than he found it.
This is the promise he made to the Zambians during his inauguration.
President Lungu has and continues to traverse the breadth and length of this country to physically check on the progress of ongoing developmental projects.
As a pragmatic leader, President Lungu does not believe in gluing himself to the comfort of State House and wholly putting his faith in the reports handed to him by his ministers and technocrats on what is happening on the ground.
If President Lungu wanted, he would sit in his air-conditioned office and wait for the quarterly ministerial reports to assess the progress of developmental projects across the country.
But no! He has instead opted to go round and get first-hand and unadulterated information on what is happening on various projects.
What President Lungu has embarked on is a highly challenging venture for the strong-hearted.
It is not an easy undertaking for someone occupying a highly demanding office such as the Presidency to follow through on projects right to the grassroots level.
But this is what President Lungu is doing for the love of his country.
President Lungu’s stance is also a clear demonstration that he has drawn lessons from some of his predecessors.
We know of some heads of state within and outside the country who were deceived by those who surrounded them that things were okay on the ground when in fact not.
They cooked reports and presented sugar-coated scenarios of developmental projects across the country.
Unfortunately for some leaders, it took the loss of elections to realise that their entire tenure they were under deceit on what was happening on the ground.
This is because they depended more on second-hand information from people tasked to state it as it is.
Unfortunately some of these people sugar-coated the truth and exaggerated progress to portray themselves in positive light.
This is because some people are not honest enough to tell the truth when it exposes them as non-performers and they later on have to pay for their inadequacies.
This is why the Head of State has taken it upon himself to ascertain reports he is receiving.
And true to his instincts, President Lungu’s tour of projects has unearthed a number of inadequacies and inconsistencies.
For instance, it was during his tour of duty that he discovered way into the rainy season that some farmers in rural parts of Zambia were still waiting for inputs when reports presented to him indicated that the process had been concluded.
The Head of State has also received reports of progress on a number of infrastructure projects and yet nothing was happening.
These discoveries have certainly validated the President’s decision. This is the only way he can verify that the reports he is receiving from the technocrats are nothing but the truth.
While on one hand the President’s stance shows his commitment to serve the people, on the other hand it exposes the inadequacies of some of his ministers and technocrats.
Cabinet ministers in particular must understand that they are the President’s lieutenants or pillars who are supposed to anchor him in delivering on the promises.
The same goes for district commissioners and all other government officials who supervise the many various projects across the country.
By virtue of holding these positions, they should share the President and party’s vision to the core.
They do not need to be pushed to ensure that development reaches all parts of the country.
Many times President Lungu has issued stern warnings against non-performing public workers, some appointees have been casualties already.
President Lungu should not relent in cracking the whip against any non-performers bent on denting his legacy.
He has a legacy to protect and anyone seen to be working in the opposite direction should be shown the door without hesitation.
The stance taken by the Head of State to be inspecting projects should therefore be taken as a wake-up call for ministers and all frontline public workers charged with the responsibility of implementing and monitoring projects.
It is a strong message that they need to up their game before the whip is cracked.

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