A top cabinet minister has disclosed that President Edgar Lungu’s decision to bring deputy ministers and full cabinet ministers together in one meeting clearly shows that he did not understand late President Michael Sata’s leadership style.
“The idea to have deputy ministers attend cabinet meetings was initiated by late Sata so as to efficiently utilise them in the absence of the senior ministers but it looks like Mr. Lungu was always drunk in most of these meetings and did not understand the concept, While it is relatively fair for provincial ministers to attend these cabinet meetings, it doesn’t make sense to have a junior and his boss attend the same meeting,” he said.
He stated that Sata was very keen on making sure that all cabinet ministers performed together with their deputies and that he first applied the theory on then foreign affairs deputy minister who was later elevated to a full cabinet minister. He feared that the increased number of people attending cabinet meetings under this set up will increase the risk of leaks of whatever is discussed in there.
He stated that Sata’s intention was meant to empower deputy ministers with power to act in the absence of the cabinet ministers so as to improve efficiency unlike the situation where when one cabinet minister was out another one was appointed to act in that place, thereby making one minster run two minstries.
The minister also said that all reports at today’s meeting were presented by senior ministers and the deputies were merely there to watch the proceedings and drink the tea that was served and a further cost to the nation especially on provincial ministers from far way provinces.
“Imagine the provincial minsters from Muchinga, Luapula, Northern, Western, North Western and Eastern provinces. It means on this Monday of meetings these people will have to start off maybe on Friday or Saturday and these meetings at times end very late so they may only go back on Tuesday and that means they will only be in office from Wednesday to Friday before starting another costly trip to Lusaka,” he posinted out.