President Michael Sata Wednesday created another ministry he calls Gender and Child Development but seemed to have realised or reminded that his cabinet is swelling.
Sata made the splitting of the Ministry of Labour, Sports, Youth and Gender at state House when he swore-in the new ZAF commanders. He announced that the splitting was with immediate effect and told the nation that the Minister is Sara Sayifwanda, Zambezi East MMD Member of Parliament.
Less than two weeks ago, Sata merged the two ministries which he split on Wednesday.
This brings the number of ministries to 20 from the 19 he pronounced at first.
But when Safwinda went for the swearing-in ceremony, she discovered that she will be a deputy minister in a ministry that has no minister. She declined to be sworn in.
This made president Sata throw tantrums and talk about his regime’s ‘commitment’ to run a small a cabinet.
He announced that he had revoked Saifwanda’s appointment with immediate effect.
Sata said the ministry will now be run by a permanent secretary.
“We were supposed to swear in a deputy Minister Sara Sayifwanda but my sister wanted to twist our arm and wanted to be cabinet minister. We promised a smaller cabinet and we are not going to increase ministries,” the President said.
The purpose of having a smaller cabinet is to save public resources by paying fewer ministers.
But deputy ministers whom president Sata is happy to swear-in enjoy almost the same financial benefits with cabinet ministers. The only thing they are not allowed is to sit in cabinet.
The gender ministry will be the first ministry in the history of Zambia to be run by a permanent secretary.
It is not yet clear if the permanent secretary will be reporting to the president or parliament since all permanent secretaries’ report to ministers.
Meanwhile, the Watchdog understands that there is confusion at the ministry of finance regarding the abolishing of the position of secretary to the treasury.
It is reported that there are moves to reactivate the position which was abolished by the president a few days ago.