President Rupiah Banda appointed Mr. Mabenga who is Mulobezi MP in Western province on Saturday.
Mr. Mabenga lastly held the position of defense minister under Levy Mwanawasa.
His departure from government was sorrounded by accusation of corruption.
In 2003, the Supreme Court of Zambia recommended that Michael Mabenga be probed and prosecuted for alleged misuse of K29.8 million Constituency Development Funds (CDF).
No action was taken.