COPPERBELT permanent secretary Bright Nundwe has directed all heads of government institutions in the province to be turning up to receive President Edgar Lungu. According to a memo, Nundwe stated that everyone should be at the airport an hour before the President’s scheduled arrival time.
“Be informed that every time the President is coming, we need to be at the airport. Be at the airport to receive the President every time he is coming to the Copperbelt. This is a directive that will receive sharp action if not taken,” Nundwe stated.
Heads of government department and civil servants have been shunning President Lungu at the airport. Last year, then Copperbelt minister Bowman Lusambo said he was ashamed that civil servants on the Copperbelt had continued to shun President Lungu’s arrivals at the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport.
Addressing heads of government department then at Cabinet Office, 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,” Lusambo complained.
“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.”
But the trend had continued, prompting Nundwe to issue a new warning to the civil servants. And Nundwe said this year’s show gives an opportunity to the business community to take advantage of the sound policies of the government. He said the government had provided an environment conducive for business.
“So take advantage of this fair. It is an opportunity for the business community to expand their businesses. This is the conducive environment which government has provided. See you at the fair,” said Nundwe.
Meanwhile, Zambia International Trade Fair has recorded a reduction in the number of exhibitors this year.
Giving an update on the fair, ZITF board chairperson Jean Kabwela said the number of exhibitors this year stands at 515 against last year’s 550.
“As of today (yesterday), we stand at 515. But we hope to have an increase as late entries will come through. On the number of mining companies that have come through, if we can have two or three, we are happy with that,” said Kabwela.