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Lungu unveils Cabinet

YANDE SYAMPEYO, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has unveiled the full composition of his Cabinet with four new entrants including two opposition members of Parliament (MPs).
The Cabinet, which also includes five women, was unveiled at a press conference at State House in Lusaka yesterday.
Those appointed are Kabwata MP Given Lubinda as Minister of Agriculture and Livestock; and Zambezi West MP Christabel Ngimbu as Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
Opposition Chipangali MMD MP Vincent Mwale is Minister of Youth and Sport, taking over from Chishimba Kambwili, who has been moved to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services in the same capacity.
Michael Kaingu, also of the opposition MMD and MP for Mwandi, is Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, taking over from John Phiri who has been moved to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.
The appointments of the four new entrants see the exit of Wylbur Simusaa, who was Minister of Agriculture, Mwansa Kapeya (Lands), Robert Sichinga (Commerce) and Emmanuel Chenda (Local Government).
Those who have retained their positions are Christopher Yaluma as Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development and Fackson Shamenda as Minister of Labour and Social Security.
Others are Yamfwa Mukanga as Minister of Transport, Communications, Works and Supply and Emerine Kabanshi as Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.
Former Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Nkandu Luo, who is reported to be out of the country, has been appointed Minister of Gender and Child Development.
President Lungu is Minister of Defence until further notice.
Two weeks ago, President Lungu appointed Inonge Wina as Vice-President, Ngosa Simbyakula as Minister of  Justice,  Alexander Chikwanda as Minister of  Finance, Joseph Kasonde as Minister of  Health, Harry Kalaba as Minister of Foreign Affairs,  and Davies Mwila as Minister of Home Affairs.
And President Lungu says he has the right to make changes to his Cabinet at any given time.
He said he took time in composing his Cabinet as he had to critically analyse the appointees with the help of the security wings.
“I take responsibility for the lineup and I will not hesitate to substitute. I want to make sure I put the right people and it is not a simple task,” Mr Lungu said.
President Lungu also disclosed that he will next week appointment permanent secretaries and district commissioners.
“I will also make a few changes at deputy minister level and I will announce the appointments next week before Parliament resumes,” he said.
The President said he had to ensure the outlook of Government is representative to reflect the national character.
“I had to call in colleagues from the opposition to ensure some regions of the country where we did not do well in the elections are assured of representation.
I had to make a careful balancing act to blend the old and young because we in the Patriotic Front (PF) believe youth empowerment is very critical in rejuvenating the very idea of government,” he said.
Mr Lungu said he has deliberately appointed more women in his administration to ‘up’ their representation in leadership positions.
He also said “we must take hatred out of politics and banish all vices that divide our people”.
“Elections are over and therefore in our true character as a democratic people, we must summon our collective will to move the country forward,” Mr Lungu said.
He said he expects nothing less than excellence from his cabinet as he is in a hurry to deliver on campaign promises.
President Lungu said he expects the highest level of integrity, performance, discipline and unity of purpose from all appointees.
“I want to run a disciplined government and those not willing to play by the rules of collective responsibility should leave,” he said.
President Lungu said he will allow his ministers sufficient leeway to discharge their functions.
And Mr Lungu said his trips outside the country are not for fun.
And Mr Kambwili said in an interview that he will promote media freedom but that he will not entertain careless reporting that has the potential to divide the nation.
He said he will not hesitate to revoke licences of media houses that are not adhering to the set standards.
Mr Kambwili said it is unfortunate that some media organisations are promoting hate speech and tribalism.
He pledged to table before Parliament the Freedom of Information Bill.
Mr Kambwili further promised to address the challenges faced by employees at Times Printpak.
And Ms Ngimbu said she is grateful to President Lungu for the appointment.
She said she will ensure all laws relating to land are adhered to and that Zambians are given priority in the allocation of land.
Mr Kaingu is grateful for the appointment and pledged to work hard to ensure standards of education are enhanced.
He said he will engage technocrats in the ministry to understand challenges and how best they can be addressed.
Mr Mwale said he will see to it that more youths benefit from the empowerment fund and participate effectively in fostering national development.
He said he will interact with youths in the execution of his duties and thanked President Lungu for appointing him.
“Firstly we must open up a Facebook and Tweeter account as a ministry so that we can interact more with our youths,” Mr Mwale said.


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