COPPERBELT minister Bowman Lusambo says he is ashamed that civil servants on the Copperbelt have continued to shun President Edgar Lungu’s arrivals at the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport. And Lusambo has ordered Copperbelt acting permanent secretary Joyce Nsamba to distribute the PF manifesto to all government offices.
On Saturday when President Lungu arrived in Ndola for the Zambia-Cameroon game, only about three turned up, prompting President Lungu to ask Lusambo where the civil servants were. Addressing heads of government department at Cabinet Office yesterday, Lusambo, who looked disturbed, said some civil servants would soon be fired.
“And for us as Copperbelt, we are a team and the President has a vision and we need to support his vision. I’m carrying Edgar Lungu’s vision. It is embarrassing that the President is coming to the province and you only find four or five heads of department at the airport,”
“We are here because the President is there. I told you that we are a winning team but you have started to disappoint me. I want to pose a question if there is anyone who does not want to work here on the Copperbelt, you are free to visit my office. I will put ink and paper and you will go in the province you want.”
He said he would not “tolerate lawlessness” from civil servants shunning the President at the airport and that he was shocked and ashamed that civil servants on the Copperbelt had changed from what they pledged to do.
“For me, I will not tolerate lawlessness. I will not tolerate anyone to sabotage His Excellency Edgar Lungu’s vision. It is very shocking that we are celebrating independence [but] the heads of government are not there. Only two or three are there. And you expect me as minister to start organising people to be part of independence cerebrations? You expect me to start knocking on your doors that today it’s independence and you as heads of government should organise so that we have a colourful event?”
“When the President is coming, everyone should be at the airport to show that we support him and his vision. The President came on Saturday. I was embarrassed. He told me ‘can you show me the civil servants, where are they?’ After greeting the politicians, only five or six, and the President questioned me. So before I’m fired, it’s better we part company and bring other people who can work.”
He said he was serious about getting people fired if they did not work.
“I’m very serious on that, very, very serious. Every one of us here are adults. You want me to start monitoring you? I’m not a monitor; I’m your colleague to work together with. I don’t want you to start calling me names. If you allow me to start inspecting you, most of you will go,” Lusambo said.
“Copperbelt is not me, the DC, PS; Copperbelt is everyone to contribute. How can Copperbelt be beaten by Central Province in mobilisation? I work 24/7, cabinet, Parliament and Saturday I was here. I started off around 02:00 hours when most of you were sleeping. Me I have powers to choose a person I want to work with. Everyone here is to push,”
He directed the permanent secretary to distribute the PF manifestoes in all government departments, saying “the PF is in power and everyone needs to work in line with its manifesto”.
“…I want you PS to find PF manifestoes and give them; all HOD’s here. I’m here because of PF so we need to push the PF agenda. If we see you are not worthy, we will part ways,” said Lusambo