STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu says the Ministry of Health must always plan ahead and ensure procurement of drugs is timely to prevent crises.
The President said ministries should never take a layback approach to seeking funding just because the Ministry of Finance says it has no money.
“Some ministries don’t assert themselves. They do not explain why they should be funded before others,” President Lungu said yesterday.
“All sectors need funding; education, health, security and defence.
“All of us need funding. But I have seen lethargy by some permanent secretaries and ministers in the execution of their tasks,” President Lungu said.
He said this at State House yesterday when he swore in Ministry of Health spokesperson Kennedy Malama as permanent secretary in charge of administration in that ministry.
President Lungu said ministries must convince the treasury to be funded first.
“Procurement of drugs falls under you (Dr Malama). I don’t want to be told that the Ministry of Finance has no money. Convince them why you must be funded first,” President Lungu said.
He said Dr Malama has spent virtually all his working life in the health sector and so he understands better the needs of that sector to provide services needed by the people of Zambia.
“Recently, I demarcated the functions, one to do with administration, and the other for clinical services. For you (Dr Malama), my reminder is that you will succeed if you take your job description as your bible and execute it to the latter. In saying so, I am aware that your job requires delegation to your subordinates, and also coordinating to ensure that which is in your job description is attained.
“Delegation without supervision is a recipe of failure. The buck stops at you in terms of administration. Be like me, eyes on the ball,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Malama’s wife Mutinta shed tears of joy as the husband was taking oath of office.
She wiped tears as her two children Samatha and Chanda too seemed overwhelmed with emotion.
In an interview later, Mrs Malama said her husband’s appointment is “humbling”.
“As a family, we will continue to support him.
“I am so humbled with this appointment,” she said.
Dr Malama, who has worked for 23 years as a public health specialist, said he will work towards achieving the Vision 2030.
“I will not re-invent the wheel. I will be guided by the Seventh National Development Plan. We will promote health and prevent disease.
“We do not want people to fall sick,” Dr Malama said.
He thanked the President for showing confidence in him by appointing him as permanent secretary, and pledged to execute his work to the best of his abilities.