THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions says the splitting of ministries by President Edgar Lungu will bring about efficiency in the discharge of duties.
And the congress has urged Government to ensure that adequate allocations were made to the newly created ministries in the 2016 national Budget in order to make them functional and effective.
ZCTU secretary general Cosmas Mukuka told a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that President Lungu should consider appointing ministers from the already existing pool of deputy ministers and permanent secretaries in order to save on cost.
“In his speech the President realigned a number of ministries with a view to improving performance and efficiency in service delivery. While we welcome this, however, it comes with its own challenges,” he said.
Mr Mukuka was reacting to the opening speech of the fifth session of the 11th National Assembly by President Lungu.
“On the other hand, we appreciate that splitting the ministries will bring about efficiency in the discharge of duties. We welcome this move because the Ministry of Education was too huge to manage,” he said.
Mr Mukuka however said that ZCTU was equally concerned that the creation of five more ministries would entail appointments of five more ministers and possibly five more permanent secretaries and deputy ministers.
“In view of the current fiscal challenges affecting Government operations, the President should consider appointing ministers from the already existing pool of deputy ministers and permanent secretaries. This is for the purpose of saving on costs,” he said.
Mr Mukuka said the contents of President Lungu’s speech would only be actualized if Cabinet ministers focused more on action and supervising programmes under their ministries than fighting criticism from opposition political parties and other individuals.
“We want to see ministers who can interpret policy direction into action so that the suffering of the large majority can be mitigated. The country still faces high levels of poverty, unemployment and inequity,” he said. Mr Mukuka said the current challenges could be addressed if the country had a working Government as opposed to a talking leadership.