Chipimo questions Lungu on deputy ministers in cabinet

 

The decision to include deputy Ministers as regular attendees of cabinet meetings is a violation of the Cabinet protocols and undermines the constitution. It is an attempt to replicate the PF approach of filling up its central committee with as many positions as possible in order to ensure inclusion of a wide spectrum of supporters. Government should not be run along the same lines as a political party. A political party is designed to suit partisan objectives while a Government should be designed to suit national objectives. Cabinet’s only role is to act as a policy adviser to the President. If the Minister’s deputy needs to be in cabinet at the same time as the minister then on of them is redundant. The role of a deputy minister under our laws is more based on partisan politics that national interest. A deputy minister does not have any powers to stand in for a minister in Cabinet but only serves as a speech reader and meeting attendee when the minister is unavailable. In order to correct this anomaly, the role of deputy minister should be an administrative one that is incorporated in the decision-making process of the policy implementation. Attending cabinet meetings simply reduces the effectiveness of the meetings because they become too large to allow any meaningful participation and they tie up the time of people who should be attending to other matters of governance.

Elias Chipimo
NAREP President

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