FORMER MMD member Prince Ndoyi has defended the extension of Zambia Revenue Authority commissioner general Kingsley Chanda’s contract saying not all positions of governance should be politicised.
Ndoyi, who was an ardent critic of President Hakainde Hichilema during his days in opposition, said the issue of bringing politics in everything was not only dangerous but also retrogressive.
He said the witch-hunt which some UPND supporters had started against some senior civil servants was what unfortunately affected Dr Denny Kalyalya, who immediately after getting rid of him by the PF government for what was perceived as purely politics and issues of loyalty, in spite of his performance, earned him a top job out of the country at African Development Bank.
“So let’s avoid victimising one another on cheap stories,” he said.
Ndoyi called on the UPND government to take a leaf from what happened when MMD lost power as PF retained most people in key positions while others were simply redeployed to other equally important portfolios to avoid victimisation.
Ndoyi said Chanda was a performer who had proven his worth at ZRA and was recognised in the region as one of the top officers of customs in the region as demonstrated by him being hired as a consultant in Malawi and Mozambique.
“Just a bit about Kingsley Chanda, give it to him, he is a performer. And what reason will HH give for getting rid of a performer? Governance is about achieving results. If people want to use hatred and jealousy, they will miss the script. What’s the point of having loyalists who can’t deliver?” Ndoyi asked. “Mr Chanda, as CG (commissioner general) is currently a consultant in the region in Malawi and Mozambique. He is the one, with other commissioners, who established the system they are using in Malawi. He has grown the tax base in Zambia, even the structure of ZRA has grown. He is an ambitious and bold Zambian who can make unpopular decisions in improving the tax revenues. Remember, the saga of Chriticles Mwansa, who was commissioner general before Berlin Msiska? He was victimised on many fronts for issues without substance. Not until the regime then got rid of him. Then what followed, his track record as a taxman made him get noticed at the EU to serve as a consultant on tax. This man died as a consultant in Sierra Leone on tax issues, a talented and dedicated Zambian sacrificed on the altar of cheap politics.”
Ndoyi said it was important to encourage Zambians who were working hard.
“Let’s encourage our very own Zambians to aspire so long as they are doing the right thing. Governments come and go, slogans come and go. But the legacy of every administration, weak as it maybe, highly depends on how motivated and respected the civil service is. Never demoralise the civil service, never let it slip off. They read between the lines, messages and sentiments are very condescending,” he said.
Ndoyi said President Hichilema promised to run a merit based government hence firing Chanda would raise eye brows as his performance indicates that he should be maintained.
“I am afraid here that we are possibly now looking at names and their surnames and this I am afraid is what HH is up against. And if you follow every presser by HH, he keeps repeating the phrase that ‘never shall we look at your surnames’, because on the trajectory people are pushing him. It will end up like an avalanche that the UPND government will fail to contend,” said Ndoyi. “ZRA has one the best tax human resource in the region so far. Citing examples, commissioner customs is headed by Sidney Chibbabuka; domestic taxes headed by Moses Shuko etc. Let’s not frustrate these. And I am told the Congolese government is patiently waiting on the sidelines to poach from our tax human resource. That’s why Zambians who are highly qualified never entertain ideas of coming back to work back home, because they are afraid of being scandalised by cadres. Once a cadre is paid, the civil servants lay victim.”